Gallery Picks...

A selection of exhibits for a late winter visit to New York City

Library of Dust. David Maisel

Library of Dust
Jan 21- Feb 27, 2010
Von Lintel Gallery
520 W 23rd Street
New York , NY 10011

Von Lintel Blog

David Maisel's Library of Dust features copper canisters in varying states of metamorphosis. The containers are photographed individually, black backdrop in place, each posed like a subject sitting for a portrait. Maisel's treatment of these objects is apropos. The canisters, once stored in a dilapidated outbuilding of a state-run psychiatric hospital, hold the cremated remains of people—more specifically, the unclaimed ashes of the asylum's patients. The Oregon State Hospital, inaugurated as the Oregon State Insane Asylum in 1883, interred the canisters in an underground vault in the mid-1970s. As the vault flooded repeatedly, the canisters—some containing remains more than a century old—underwent potent transformations. The chemical composition of each cremated body's ashes has caused unique and colorful mineralogical blooms to form on its individual copper surface.

House and Car. William Christenberry

William Christenberry
House and Car and
Pace/MacGill Gallery
until Feb 6, 2010
32 E 57th Street
9th Floor
New York, NY 10022

William Christenberry returns to his home in Hale County, Alabama
annually. Like Walker Evans, his images of the region’s architectural
sites and material culture provide a window into the rural South
by offering prolonged studies of a place over time. For example,
Christ berry’s sequence of 20 photographs, House and Car, near Akron,
Alabama (1978-2005), chronicles the physical transformation of a
single building over the course of 27 years. A related sculpture
gives three-dimensional form to the photographed building, however,
it is not intended to be seen as a replica. Rather, the sculpture
is a hybrid of both the actual image and Christenberry’s own memory
of it. Christenberry elaborates: “they are not models. They are
re-creations. Imaginative re-creations, like dreams.” The powerful
combination of memory and imagination is particularly evident in
Christenberry’s abstract drawings of gourd trees that reference the
regional tradition of hanging hollow gourds to attract nesting birds
and generate new life.

Chicago 206. Aaron Siskind 1953

Aaron Siskind
Jan 21- Feb 27, 2010
Alan Klotz Gallery
511 W 25th Street
New York, NY 10001

Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago

Architecture was one of Aaron Siskind’s principle photographic concerns during the 1950s. For instance, from 1952 to 1953 he and his students from the Institute of Design were engaged in an ambitious documentation of the Adler and Sullivan buildings in Chicago. Likewise, a similar project involved photographing the interiors of Mies van der Rohe’s buildings.

During the 1950s, Siskind’s primary subjects were urban facades, graffiti, isolated figures, and the stone walls of Martha’s Vineyard. Graphic in form, the subjects of each of these series resemble script, reflecting Siskind’s interest in musical scores and poetry.

Summer Nights. Robert Adams 1980

Robert Adams
Summer Nights, Walking
Feb 6 - Apr 17, 2010
Matthew Marks Gallery
523 W 24th Street
New York, NY 10011

Aperture Foundation, Summer Nights, Walking

From the Aperture book description from which this exhibit is based...

In this exquisitely produced book, Robert Adams revisits the classic collection of nocturnal landscapes that he began making in the mid-1970s near his former home in Longmont, Colorado. Originally published by Aperture in 1985 as Summer Nights, this new edition has been carefully re-edited and re-sequenced by the photographer, who has added thirty-nine previously unpublished images. The book is re-designed by revered book designer Katy Homans and printed as dry-trap tritone on uncoated paper by Meridian Printing. It is truly an “objet d’art” for the avid book collector.

Illuminated by moonlight and streetlamp, the houses, roads, sidewalks, and fields in Summer Nights, Walking retain the wonder and stillness of the original edition, while adopting the artist’s intention of a dreamy fluidity, befitting his nighttime perambulations. The extraordinary care taken with the new reproductions also registers Adams’s attention to the subtleties of the night, and conveys his appeal to look again at places we might have dismissed as uninteresting. Adams observes, “What attracted me to the subjects at a new hour was the discovery then of a neglected peace.”
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