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Ans Westra: Urban Drift

From December 05, 2019 to March 28, 2020
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Ans Westra: Urban Drift
143 Ludlow Street
New York, NY 10002
Ans Westra is responsible for the most comprehensive documentation of Māori culture over a 60 year period of significant political and cultural change in New Zealand. Regarded for their realism and spontaneity, Westra's images bear witness to the post-war urban drift of historically rural Māori as they moved to urban areas and began living in a very different world, alongside Pākehā (New Zealand Europeans), often for the first time.

Between 1945 and 1986, the proportion of Māori living in New Zealand cities grew from 26% to nearly 80%. This deliberate urban migration fueled by industrialization, employment opportunities, and the allure of a 'modern' lifestyle, has been described as the most rapid migratory movement of any population.

Westra emigrated from The Netherlands in 1957 and in 1962 began her career as a fulltime freelance documentary photographer, primarily working for the School Publications Branch of the Department of Education and Te Ao Hou, a Māori magazine published by the Department of Internal Affairs. Westra's work for these two publications led her to travel extensively throughout New Zealand and the South Pacific. Her Humanist style was greatly influenced by Edward Steichen's landmark international exhibition The Family of Man which Westra saw when it traveled to Amsterdam in 1956.

Westra's historic work has resounding relevance in the current climate of diaspora and cultural pluralism. Central to her pictorial documents lie the tensions Māori faced in "the dual challenge of adapting to the demands of the urban industrial system and successfully transplanting their culture into urban centers."

The enduring and intimate observation of Māori in Westra's work has, in the words of renown author, Witi Ihimaera, served as "confirmation that the photographer herself has become inextricably involved in the recording of the artistic and political imperatives of our time. In doing so, Ans continues to give us a pictorial whakapapa of our lives, a genealogy which charts the ever-changing destiny of the Māori."
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Highlights from the Light Work Collection: Dawoud Bey
Light Work | Syracuse, NY
From March 18, 2024 to May 17, 2024
AN AMERICAN PROJECT AND EMBRACING EATONVILLE Curated from our collection, Light Work is pleased to present a selection from two of Dawoud Bey’s photographic projects: An American Project and Embracing Eatonville. Black-and-white images from An American Project, made in Syracuse in 1985 during his artist residency, chronicle the community and history of the city. These prints were recently gifted by Bey and Stephen Daiter Gallery to celebrate the dedication of the Jeffrey J. Hoone Gallery. Embracing Eatonville was a photographic survey of Eatonville, FL—the oldest Black-incorporated town in the United States—that featured work by Dawoud Bey, Lonnie Graham, Carrie Mae Weems, and Deborah Willis, and was exhibited at Light Work in 2003. Bey made color photographs of high school students combining their portraits with text sharing personal hopes, fears, and dreams. “I was invited to do a residency at Light Work in 1985, after being introduced to the organization by my friends, photographers Michael Spano and Sy Rubin. Applying and being accepted has remained an important highlight of my career almost forty years later. It was the first time I was also able to have the kind of absolute support that allowed me to have what is still one of my most productive months ever as an artist. That support was something that I’d never experienced before, and it allowed for a profound burst of creative activity, going out into the Syracuse community every day to make photographs without the worry about how that investment of time would be remunerated.” – Dawoud Bey Dawoud Bey (born 1953) is an American photographer and educator renowned for his large-scale photographs including American adolescents in relation to their community, and other marginalized subjects. In 2017, Bey was the recipient of a “Genius Grant” from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Currently living in Chicago, Illinois, Bey is Professor Emeritus at Columbia College Chicago, and is represented by Sean Kelly Gallery (New York), Rena Bransten Gallery (San Francisco), and Stephen Daiter Gallery (Chicago).
Human/Nature: Encountering Ourselves in the Natural World
Fotografiska New York | New York, NY
From February 09, 2024 to May 18, 2024
Our impact on nature has far-reaching consequences, as we know from our changing climate. Human / Nature will explore our faceted relationship with the natural world, including moments of harmony and recovery, as well as our tendency towards destruction. The show will shepherd viewers through scenes reflecting on the impact of urbanization and climate change on worldwide ecosystems. Human / Nature is comprised of 14 artists whose work explores, in various ways, humankind’s fraught and mutually beneficial relationship with nature. Alfredo De Stefano Brendan Pattengale Cig Harvey David Ụzọchukwu Djeneba Aduayom Edward Burtynsky Helene Schmitz Inka & Niclas Lewis Miller Lori Nix / Kathleen Gerber Ori Gersht Pat Kane Santeri Tuori Yan Wang Preston
Preston Gannaway: Remember Me
Chung 24 Gallery | San Francisco, CA
From March 06, 2024 to May 18, 2024
The power of photography as a storytelling medium is well-represented in Gannaway's ongoing series Remember Me, now in its 19th year. From intimate portraits to alluring landscapes to everyday vernacular photography, Gannaway takes viewers on an emotional journey with images that feel, at times, voyeuristic and confronting. The use of color as a thread weaving through time is subtle yet observable. This series began in 2006 as a story for a New Hampshire newspaper, Concord Monitor, which followed the St. Pierre family as they navigated through the processes of illness, death and grief. What could have ended with the death of the mother evolved into the beginning of a longitudinal visual narrative focusing on the coming of age of the youngest child, a 4-year old boy. The honesty and rawness come through consistently in images spanning nearly two decades; there is no glossing over the rough edges or overly leading sentimental shots. Gannaway is not telling a tale about a motherless boy in a place far, far away; she is showing us a universally-relatable human story of life, love and remembrance. Photos from the beginning of Remember Me earned Preston Gannaway the Pulitzer Prize in Featured Photography in 2008.
Barbara Nitke: American Ecstasy
Storage Art Gallery | Tribeca, New-York, NY
From February 14, 2024 to May 18, 2024
Storage is pleased to announce a new project space, Storage APT (Art Presentation Template), unveiling on The Bowery on February 14th, 2024. Storage APT invites Barbara Nitke (b. 1950), whose photographs elucidate a female gaze in the male-dominated adult film industry of the 80s in Downtown New York City. Inaugurating the space on Valentine’s Day, the exhibition reveals elegant and spiritual connections between adult actors, in color photographs taken in downtown New York of the 1980s. Barbara Nitke (b. 1950, Virginia) is a photographer whose focus spans from behind-the-scenes of hardcore porn sets to constructed narratives and portraiture. Nitke’s work is found in collections including the Kinsey Institute, IN; The New Hampshire Institute of Art, NH; Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki, Finland; Leather Archives and Museum, IN; Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, NY; and the Museum of Sex, NY. Nitke has been shown nationally and internationally. Selections of her work are collected in two monographs, Kiss of Fire: A Romantic View of Sadomasochism (introduction by A. D. Coleman) (2003) and American Ecstasy (introduction by Arthur C. Danto) (2012). Nitke is self taught in photography, having studied literature and philosophy at Baruch College, City University of New York. She has been on the faculty of School of Visual Arts since 1992.
Lynn Saville: Elevated
Yancey Richardson Gallery | New York, NY
From April 04, 2024 to May 18, 2024
Yancey Richardson is pleased to present Elevated, Lynn Saville’s third solo exhibition with the gallery. Seven photographs will be on view in the project gallery from April 4 – May 18, with the artist present in the gallery Saturday, April 6 from 2 - 6 PM. Twilight in the city, after the sun disappears below the horizon and the hustle and bustle has dissipated, is where Lynn Saville finds refuge and inspiration. For decades, she has documented these fleeting, dream-like moments suspended in time within the urban landscape. Elevated showcases Saville’s mastery of the city’s natural light. Much like Edward Hopper, who painted the solitude of New York City through its buildings and rooftops, Saville’s photographs transform architectural elements and structures into dramatic geometric forms and patterns through light and shadows. Saville describes the importance of capturing images at twilight, “During this transitional time, the change from daylight to moonlight and artificial light seems to awaken the city’s own dreams, apart from the business and errands of its inhabitants. For me, these dreams are expressed in basic shapes and patterns, as if the infrastructure were communing with its own geometry while distracting details are hidden in shadow. The shifting light brings out forms that may disappear in the darkness of night or remain invisible during the more chaotic visual world of daylight.” As the exhibition title implies, photographs featured in the show were taken from the elevated platforms of New York City’s mass transit system or from the street looking upward at structures on rooftops. These photographs explore perspectives on the language of the built environment and our perception of the cityscape. For example, Elevated subway platforms offer an expanse of skyline structures such as rooftops, water towers, and upper sections of nearby buildings, which along with the coming and goings of trains become the focal point. Born in Durham, North Carolina, Lynn Saville lives and works in New York City. She earned her BA from Duke University and her MFA from Pratt Institute. Her work has been widely exhibited in the US and abroad, including at The Photographers’ Gallery, London; Brooklyn Museum, New York; Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina; Tucson Museum of Art; and Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University. Her work can be found in numerous major public collections including National Portrait Gallery, London; International Center of Photography, New York; Brooklyn Museum, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, among others. Saville has published four monographs: Acquainted with the Night (Rizzoli, 1997); Night/Shift (Monacelli/Random House, 2009), with an introduction by Arthur C. Danto; Dark City: Urban America at Night (Damiani, 2015), with an introduction by Geoff Dyer, and Lost (Kris Graves Projects, 2018). Saville’s archives were acquired by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University. Image: Lynn Saville, Plymouth Water Tower, 2019. © Lynn Saville
Isaac Julien: Lessons of the Hour
Tang | Saratoga Springs, NY
From February 03, 2024 to May 19, 2024
London-based artist Isaac Julien CBE RA is a multimedia filmmaker and photographer known for bringing history to life with a nuanced and thought-provoking visual language that critically addresses the politics of race and gender. His film installation Lessons of the Hour features actor Ray Fearon in the role of Frederick Douglass, the nineteenth-century abolitionist, writer, and freed slave. Open-ended narrative vignettes set in Washington, DC, London, and Edinburgh portray Douglass with various influential women of his time—including Susan B. Anthony and Ottilie Assing—dramatizing ideas of racial and gender equality. Julien’s work reiterates Douglass’s belief in the importance and power of photography and picture-making in advocating for social justice. Julien conjures Douglass’s role in the abolitionist movement, powerfully emphasizing its relevance to contemporary social justice struggles. Lessons of the Hour features ten screens of varying dimensions hung salon-style—referencing a popular nineteenth-century method of arranging a group of images. The vibrant colors of the film have a modern aesthetic that, in conjunction with the period set, costumes, and salon-style screens, unites past and present. Isaac Julien CBE RA, born in London in 1960, makes work that focuses on themes of remembrance and social justice in contemporary and historical cultural narratives. His previous films include the 1989 documentary-drama Looking For Langston and his 1991 feature-film debut, Young Soul Rebels, which won the Cannes Film Festival’s Semaine de la Critique prize. His films and photography have been shown worldwide in solo and group exhibitions in galleries and museums, including Victoria Miro Gallery, London; Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Cape Town; and the 57th Venice Biennale at the inaugural Diaspora Pavilion, Venice. Julien has received numerous awards for his work, including the Charles Wollaston Award for his work in the 2017 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, an annual show at the Royal Academy of Arts, where he was named a Royal Academician. In addition to creating film, photography, and installation art, Julien has taught at the University of the Arts London and Staatliche Hoscschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe. He is currently a professor of digital arts at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Image: The North Star (Lessons of the Hour), 2019 © Isaac Julien
Alexey Brodovitch: Astonish Me
The Barnes Foundation | Philadelphia, PA
From March 03, 2024 to May 19, 2024
Alexey Brodovitch (American, born Russia, 1898–1971) was a graphic designer, instructor, illustrator, and photographer who spent formative periods of his career in Paris, Philadelphia, and New York. His artistic pursuits were surprising and diverse, in an era when creatives were free to experiment across media. Brodovitch is perhaps known best for being the art director of the US fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar for nearly a quarter century (1934–58). There, he ushered in a bold new aesthetic, drawing on European modernism and making photography the cornerstone of the magazine’s identity. Through his work at Bazaar and his legendary design classes in Philadelphia and New York, Brodovitch influenced a generation of American and emigré photographers, including Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, Lillian Bassman, and Eve Arnold. Though distinct in style, they are unified by their embrace of Brodovitch’s dictum: “Astonish me.” Alexey Brodovitch: Astonish Me, presented in the Roberts Gallery, follows the trajectory of Brodovitch’s career and influence through personal stories and case studies. Featuring original and collaborative works by Brodovitch and his protégés, it illuminates the breadth of his impact on print culture today and shows that his legacy is all around us. The Barnes is proud to present the first major US exhibition devoted to Brodovitch, who, like Dr. Albert Barnes, played a vital role in introducing modern European art to American audiences. Image: Alexey Brodovitch reviewing page layouts for Richard Avedon’s Observations, 1959. Photo by Hiro. © 2024 Estate of Y. Hiro Wakabayashi
Born in Brooklyn: Photographs, Sculptures, and Drawings by Walter Weissman
Kingsborough Art Museum | Brooklyn, NY
From April 17, 2024 to May 22, 2024
The career of Brooklyn-born photographer, sculptor, and arts activist Walter Weissman developed in tandem with the founding and early years of Kingsborough Community College. Currently celebrating its 60th Anniversary, Kingsborough pays tribute to its “first art student” in a month-long exhibition, Born in Brooklyn: Photographs, Sculptures, and Drawings by Walter Weissman, which opens April 17 and runs through May 22, 2024 at the Kingsborough Art Museum (KAM). An opening reception will be held on April 17 from 3:00-7:00 PM. A member of the pioneering Class of 1966, Weissman was there when the college first opened its doors in September, 1964. He would spend his first year at the college’s annex location, the former P.S. 98 in Sheepshead Bay, until the current Manhattan Beach campus was ready for occupancy in fall 1965. Already interested in photography, Weissman documented his neighborhood in his Brighton Beach/Coney Island Portfolio series (such as Ticket Office, Fig. 1), and also captured images of Kingsborough’s campus as it transitioned from a former Maritime Service Training Station to an academic institution. He also designed the first issue of Antheon, Kingsborough’s art and literary journal, for which he also contributed photographs and poetry. While at Kingsborough he had the good fortune to study with the artist and critic Gregory Battcock, who not only introduced him to contemporary art practice but also to some of the art world’s leading luminaries, such as Andy Warhol and Jasper Johns. After Kingsborough, Weissman would study with the equally-renowned conceptual artist Robert Morris at Hunter College. His sculptural work soon went from small conceptual pieces to larger architectural sculptures/environments that address the ways that architecture can often insidiously direct or misdirect human behavior and thought. The current exhibition documents several of these ephemeral works, including Written Trough: Entrance/Non-Entrance (1980); The Navigator (1983); and The Interrogator (1984), as well as an earlier work, Information Window (1977, Fig. 2), created as part of his residency at the art space PS1 (now MoMA PS1). Weissman was a member of the famed 14 Sculptors Gallery, an early artist’s co-op that sought to rewrite the rules of the gallery system by reclaiming control over exhibitions, promotion, and artistic freedom. A number of drawings, some related to these and other projects, will be on view, as well as a series of six experimental Vaseline Drawings from 1976. Also highlighted will be Weissman’s contribution to the history of arts activism in NYC. Always interested in politics, he was active in Art Workers News, a newspaper published by the Foundation for the Community of Artists, as well as the group Artists Meeting for Cultural Change; this latter activist organization, whose members included critic and curator Lucy Lippard and artists Leon Golub, Nancy Spero, and Claes Oldenburg, created a stir in 1975 with its protest of the Whitney’s Bicentennial survey of American Art, which had neglected to feature contemporary trends and artists of color throughout the nation’s history. Moreover, Weissman has had a remarkable career as a portrait photographer, having captured insightful images of Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Elaine de Kooning, Gilbert and George, Richard Serra, and many other artists and writers, including his wife, the feminist painter Eunice Golden. Beginning in 1995, he worked for over twenty years as a photojournalist for agencies such as Globe Photos, Zuma Press, Star Max, and Corbis. Through Walter Weissman’s photographs, sculptures, drawings, and activist projects, this retrospective will provide an overview of his many contributions to the world of contemporary art. Image: Walter Weissman, Ticket Office, 1965. © Walter Weissman
Rachel Libeskind: Good Morning, Beautiful!
signs and symbols | New York, NY
From April 18, 2024 to May 23, 2024
signs and symbols is a contemporary art gallery grounded in performance. Operating nomadically since 2012, signs and symbols presented performances in New York and internationally. Our first physical space in the Lower East Side on Forsyth Street (2018) served as a curatorial platform and multi-disciplinary incubator bringing together diverse mediums to stimulate dialogue and creative connections. In the fall of 2021, the gallery relocated to its current location at 249 East Houston Street. signs and symbols' curatorial vision is rooted in performance and time-based media, informed and anchored by the work of three important art historical figures — Ulay, VALIE EXPORT and Vito Acconci — and thus encompasses performance, photography and architecture, with a focus on site-specific and performative practices with an emphasis on the body in performance, painting and other time-based media. signs and symbols’ experimental ethos is artist-centric, offering a place for experimentation and the development of new work. The gallery represents an international group of critically acclaimed and emerging contemporary artists working in a variety of media. Direct collaboration with the artist is central to each exhibition, allowing the gallery to present new original programming. The gallery is curated, programmed and directed by Mitra Khorasheh, an independent curator and educator. signs and symbols is a proud member of the New Art Dealers Alliance. In 2020, we launched Artists & Allies Berlin, an artist-run signs and symbols outpost in a former church in Kreuzberg organized by our Berlin-based artists in collaboration with the gallery here in New York. The project space, which was an extension of our annual artists & allies program, hosted performances, artist talks, workshops and communal dinners during the pandemic. In 2022, we began our experimental exhibition program 89 Greene, curated by Dr. Kathy Battista. Hosted within the gallery's location at 249 Houston, this project is an ode to the underground of 1960s, 70s and 80s New York City. In that spirit of community and collaboration, artists are invited to show works just for the sake of it and to forge new relationships in New York. Image: Maxie in the Pool, 2024 © Rachel Libeskind
Anastasia Samoylova FloodZone
Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery | Baltimore, MD
From January 29, 2024 to May 24, 2024
In 2016, Anastasia Samoylova (American, b. Soviet Union, b. 1984) moved to Miami, Florida. As she familiarized herself with the city through photography, a larger story began to unfold. The resulting body of work, FloodZone, explores what it looks like to live in the southern United States at a time when rising sea levels and hurricanes threaten the most prized locations with storm surges and coastal erosion. Samoylova’s lyrical photographs are deceptive, drawing us in with a seemingly documentary promise of a palm-treed paradise. Their alluring color palette—filled with lush greens, azure blues, and pastel pinks—gives way to minute details that reveal decaying infrastructure, encroaching flora, and displaced fauna. Both seductive and eerie, Samoylova’s images show us what it is to live at the edge of a climate crisis, a space where palm trees topple over onto buildings, where the patina of constant moisture results in dank mold on a freeway overpass, where the sky fills with golden hues after the storm. Somewhere between the artifice and the sobering reality lies the melancholy of living with the constant burden of climate anxiety. Image: Anastasia Samoylova, Gator, 2017. From FloodZone © Anastasia Samoylova
Futuristic Ancestry Warping Matter and Space-time(s)
Fotografiska New York | New York, NY
From February 02, 2024 to May 24, 2024
Fotografiska New York is proud to present rising-star French artist Josèfa Ntjam’s solo U.S. museum show debut. Through a multi-sensory video experience, biomorphic sculptures and photomontages printed on plexiglass and aluminum, the exhibition explores the artist’s deep interest and research into African mythology, biological processes, science fiction, and the ingrained but outdated ideas about origin, identity and race that rule our world. Throughout her work, Ntjam blends memory with historical fact and speculative fiction (from Battlestar Galactica to the novels of Octavia E. Butler) to produce new interpretations of radical liberation movements around the world, from the battle against white supremacy led by the Black Panther Party in the U.S., to the fights in Cameroon and Nigeria against colonial rule. Ntjam is best known for her work blending science fiction, history, and fantasy to present alternative narratives of African diasporic experiences. Across multiple mediums, her practice deconstructs mainstream discourses on origin, identity, and race. The artist, who earned a degree from the École Nationale Supérieure d’Art, has been featured in exhibitions at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and the Barbican Art Gallery in London.
Jackie Robinson and the Color Line
Gitterman Gallery | New York, NY
From April 15, 2024 to May 24, 2024
Gitterman Gallery proudly presents Jackie Robinson and the Color Line, an exhibition of the collection of Paul Reiferson, which uses photographs and artifacts to vividly narrate the story of baseball’s journey toward integration. The exhibition opens on Monday, April 15th in honor of Major League Baseball’s Jackie Robinson Day from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and runs through Friday, May 24th. Jackie Robinson, a trailblazing figure in civil rights, shattered baseball’s color line when Martin Luther King, Jr. was still in college, earning praise from King as “a sit-inner before the sit-ins, a freedom rider before freedom rides.” The exhibition frames Robinson’s odyssey within a larger one that had begun sixty years earlier, when men like Fleet and Weldy Walker, Sol White, Robert Higgins,and Javan Emory played for integrated teams in the late 19th century. Paul Reiferson is a dedicated collector driven by a passion for preserving American stories. “I saw that the color line transcended baseball, that it was about America struggling to solve a terrible problem, and that the stories of the people in that fight were extraordinary,” Reiferson explained. This exhibition of photographs, complemented by historic artifacts, illuminates the pervasive racism and the fervent aspirations for integration during that era. We hope everyone from collectors to students and families with children can visit this exhibition. By experiencing these powerful images together, we hope to help foster a deeper appreciation for photography as a medium of storytelling. Nearly 500 prints from Reiferson’s collection of photographs by Charles M. Conlon have been gifted or promised to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Many others have been exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum, Bronx Museum of the Arts, American Folk Art Museum, and Tampa Museum of Art, among others.


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