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Dawoud Bey: An American Project

From February 15, 2020 to March 31, 2020
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Dawoud Bey: An American Project
151 Third Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
Since the beginning of his career, Dawoud Bey (American, born 1953) has used his camera to depict communities and histories that have largely remained underrepresented or even unseen. This full-scale retrospective highlights the artist's commitment over the course of his four-decade career to portraying the black subject and African-American history in a manner that is at once direct and poetic, and immediate and symbolic. The exhibition includes his tender and perceptive early portraits of Harlem residents, large-scale color Polaroids, and a series of collaborative word and image portraits of high school students, among others.

More recent projects have taken a historical turn: The Birmingham Project (2012) commemorates the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, in a series of deeply affective portrait diptychs. Lately, Bey has turned to landscapes: Night Coming Tenderly, Black (2018) depicts, in deep shades of black and gray, the imagined experience of a fugitive slave moving along the Underground Railroad, marking a formal departure from the artist's earlier work but considering the same existential questions about race, history, and the possibility of bearing witness through contemporary photography.

The exhibition is co-organized with the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
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Exhibitions Closing Soon

Daniel Beltra: The Amazon
Chicago, IL
From March 13, 2020 to May 30, 2020
Catherine Edelman Gallery is pleased to present The Amazon, our third exhibition by Spanish born photographer Daniel Beltrá. The show opens March 13 and runs through April 25, 2020. Daniel Beltrá has spent the past thirty years witnessing humans influence on the climate. Photographing from the air, he has documented everything from oil spills, to glacial melts, to droughts, to the effect of greenhouse gases. His commitment is extraordinary and has been acknowledged by both the conservation and art worlds, as he lays bare the undeniable reality of the climate crisis. The Amazon features fifteen photographs taken over a span of twenty years, alongside a photographic timeline describing his many adventures. The Amazon rainforest is a vital part of our ecosystem, covering more than 2 million square miles across nine countries. According to recent data, it is home to more than 390 billion trees, 2.5 million insect species, 40,000 plant species, 2000 birds, 2200 fishes, 1294 birds, 427 mammals, 428 amphibians, and 378 reptiles.* Prior to the 1970s, the forest remained relatively intact until the construction of the Trans-Amazonian Highway, which has yet to be completed. Nonetheless, access to the rainforest created opportunity for commerce, which in turned led to the discovery of fossil fuel. Deforestation, due to land development, logging, and drilling, has accounted for the loss of almost 20% of the rainforest. The fires in 2019 brought more destruction, creating an international outcry to protect the most biodiverse area on the planet. The Amazon features photographs of controlled burns, pristine canopies of untouched forests, and illegal logging. All images are taken from a small plane or helicopter, offering a unique perspective of the land's fragility. The tenuous state of our ecosystems is a continuous thread throughout Daniel Beltrá's work. By taking viewers to remote locations where man and nature conflict, Beltrá seeks to raise awareness about our effects on the planet through beautiful and haunting photographs. Daniel Beltrá (b. Madrid, Spain, 1964) is an award-winning photographer whose work has been published by most of the prominent international publications including The New Yorker, The National Geographic Society, Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, Le Monde, and El Pais. He has been honored with awards from the Prince Charles Rainforest Project, the Prix Pictet, and three world press photo awards, and is a fellow of the prestigious International League of Conservation Photographers. He currently resides in Seattle, Washington, with his wife and two cats. *Wikipedia
The Qualities of LIGHT: The Story of a Pioneering New York City Photography Gallery
Tucson, AZ
From December 14, 2020 to May 30, 2020
This exhibition celebrating the legacies of LIGHT (1971-1987), a significant early photography gallery, focuses on characteristics identified by those who visited, worked, showed, and were impacted by the gallery. It draws heavily on archives at the Center for Creative Photography. Sections of the exhibition highlight LIGHT's innovation, commitment to artists, focus on education, cultivation of community, and influence on the market, illustrated by photographic artworks, archival documentation, film or audio footage, installation views, period snapshots, and contemporary photographs, all chosen for their potential to illuminate. Educational programming is an integral component of the exhibition, offering visitors opportunities to better understand the critical period of the 1970s and 1980s within the history of photography and the seminal influence of LIGHT, as well as encouraging creative inquiry into broader ideas about the photographic market, artist legacies, and the nature of a research center and archive like the Center for Creative Photography. The accompanying symposium, Legacies of LIGHT- A Three Day Celebration, uses the immense influence of LIGHT, a contemporary fine-art photography gallery that operated in the 1970s and 1980s, as a starting point for a larger discussion about photography.
Women of Progress: Early Camera Portraits
Washington, DC
From June 14, 2019 to May 31, 2020
In mid-nineteenth-century America, the growing presence of women in public life coincided with the rise of portrait photography. This exhibition of daguerreotypes and ambrotypes from the 1840s and 1850s features portraits of early feminist icons, women's rights advocates Margaret Fuller and Lucy Stone, abolitionist Lucretia Mott and best-selling author Harriet Beecher Stowe. Ann Shumard, the National Portrait Gallery's senior curator of photographs, is the curator of this exhibition.
Gillian Laub: Southern Rites
Asheville, NC
From March 01, 2020 to May 31, 2020
American photographer Gillian Laub (b. 1975) has spent the last two decades investigating political conflicts, exploring family relationships, and challenging assumptions about cultural identity. Her work frequently addresses the experiences of adolescents and young adults in transition who struggle to understand their present moment and collective past. In 2002, Laub was sent on a magazine assignment to Mount Vernon, Georgia, to document the lives of teenagers in the American South. The Montgomery County residents Laub encountered were warm and polite, both proud of their history and protective of their neighbors. To the photographer, Mount Vernon, a town nestled among fields of Vidalia onions, symbolized the archetype of pastoral, small town American life. Yet this idyllic town was also held hostage by a dark past, manifesting in the racial tensions that scar much of American history. Laub learned that the joyful adolescent rites of passage celebrated in this rural countryside-high school homecomings and proms-were still racially segregated. Laub photographed Montgomery County over the following decade, returning even in the face of growing-and eventually violent-resistance on the part of some community members. In 2009, a few months after Barack Obama's first inauguration, Laub's photographs of segregated proms were published in the New York Times Magazine. The story brought national attention to the town and the following year the proms were finally integrated. The power of the photographic image served as the catalyst and, for a moment, progress seemed inevitable. Then, in early 2011, tragedy struck the town. Justin Patterson, a twenty-two-year-old unarmed African American man-whose segregated high school homecoming Laub had photographed-was shot and killed by a sixty-two-year-old white man. At first, the murder seemed to confirm every assumption about the legacy of inequality and prejudice that the community was struggling to shake. But the truth was more nuanced than a quick headline could telegraph. Disturbed by the entrenched racism and discrimination that she encountered, Laub recognized that a larger story needed to be told. Her project, which began as an exploration of segregated high school rituals, evolved into an urgent mandate to confront painful realities. Relying on her incisive and empathic eye as a photographer, she explored the history of Montgomery County and recorded the stories and lives of its youth. What emerged over the next decade-during which the country witnessed the rise of citizen journalism and a conflagration of racially motivated violence, re-elected its first African American president, and experienced the formation of the Black Lives Matter movement-was a complex story about adolescence, race, the legacy of slavery, and the deeply rooted practice of segregation in the American South. In Southern Rites, Laub engages her skills as a photographer, filmmaker, storyteller, and visual activist to examine the realities of racism and raise questions that are simultaneously painful and essential to understanding the American consciousness. Through her lens and the voices of her subjects we encounter that which some of us do not want to witness, but what is vital for us to see. Southern Rites is a specific story about young people in the twenty-first century from the American South, but it poses a universal question about human experience: can a new generation liberate itself from a harrowing and traumatic past to create a different future? Southern Rites is organized by the International Center of Photography and ICP curator Maya Benton.
JR The Chronicles of San Francisco
San Francisco, CA
From May 23, 2019 to May 31, 2020
Celebrate the voices of our extraordinary, unique, and diverse city in The Chronicles of San Francisco, by internationally recognized artist JR. Over the course of two months in early 2018, the artist set up a mobile studio in twenty-two locations around San Francisco, where he filmed and interviewed nearly twelve hundred people from across the city's multifaceted communities. In the completed work, a digital mural scrolls across a seamless bank of screens, bringing together the faces and untold stories of the people we encounter every day. Presented in SFMOMA's soaring Roberts Family Gallery, this work is free and accessible to the public. Born in France in 1983, JR began tagging buildings as a young teenager. Soon he shifted from graffiti to photo-based work, creating images of faces, printing them on large sheets of inexpensive paper, and pasting them on buildings. Although he has completed many such projects around the world, this is his first major installation in San Francisco, and uniquely draws inspiration from Diego Rivera's murals found throughout the city.
In Focus: Platinum Photographs
Los Angeles, CA
From January 21, 2020 to May 31, 2020
The J. Paul Getty Museum presents In Focus: Platinum Photographs, featuring more than two dozen striking prints made with platinum and the closely related palladium photographic process. Drawn from the museum's collection, the exhibition explores the wide variety of visual characteristics that have come to define the allure and beauty of this medium, which include a velvety matte surface, wide tonal range, and neutral palette. Introduced in 1873 by scientist William Willis Jr. (British, 1841-1923), the use of platinum was quickly embraced by both professional and amateur photographers alike and helped to establish photography as a fine art. The visual qualities of each print could be individualized by changing the temperature of the developer or adding chemicals such as mercury or uranium. Photographers further enhanced their works by using an array of commercially available papers with rich textures and by employing inventive techniques such as the application of pigments and layered coatings to mimic effects associated with painting and drawing. Platinum printing became widely associated with Pictorialism, an international movement and aesthetic style popular at the end of the 19th century. Advocates of Pictorialism favored visible marks of the artist's hand that might be achieved by manipulating either the negative or the print, or both. These hand-crafted prints differentiated themselves from the crisp images produced by commercial photographers and snapshots made with hand-held cameras recently introduced by Kodak. Among the works on view is a triptych of a mother and child by Gertrude Käsebier (American, 1852-1934), one of the most technically innovative photographers associated with Pictorialism, an atmospheric nude by Edward Steichen (American, born Luxembourg, 1879-1973), and a view of Venice by Alvin Langdon Coburn (British, born United States, 1882-1966). Other images by Paul Strand (American, 1890-1976) and Karl Struss (American, 1886-1981) incorporate geometric forms or unusual vantage points to introduce abstraction into their compositions. The popularity of platinum paper declined in the years leading up to the First World War. The soaring price of the metal forced manufacturers to introduce alternatives, including papers made with palladium and a platinum-and-silver hybrid. As platinum became crucial in the manufacture of explosives, governments prohibited its use for any purpose outside the defense industry. The scarcity of materials and eventual shifting aesthetic preferences led many photographers to abandon the process in favor of gelatin silver prints. Interest in the process was renewed in the mid-20th century, and a relatively small but dedicated number of photographers continue to use the process today. The fashion photographer Irving Penn (American, 1917-2009) began hand coating papers with platinum in the 1960s and created prints that simultaneously emphasize intense and detailed shadows and subtle luminous highlights. More recent examples include a double portrait by artist Madoka Takagi (American, born Japan, 1956-2015) featuring herself, arms crossed and a shirtless man covered in tattoos, both gazing stoically into the camera's lens; a suburban night scene by Scott B. Davis (American, born 1971); and an experiment in abstraction by James Welling (American, born 1951).
Body Language: Picturing People
Boulder, CO
From July 18, 2019 to June 01, 2020
This exhibition considers how the pose, the gesture and the body in motion are used by artists to convey meaning. Figural artworks from the CU Art Museum’s collection are brought into conversation across cultural geographies and historical eras. Whether in presenting portraits of individuals or fictional personages, or in picturing religious icons, artistic depictions of the body speak volumes about personality, character and the values of a time or place.
Fragile Landscapes: Sophie Delaporte
New York, NY
From May 01, 2020 to June 05, 2020
Sous Les Etoiles Gallery is pleased to present "Fragile Landscapes," featuring the work of French artist and photographer Sophie Delaporte. "Fragile Landscapes" is Delaporte's fourth solo exhibition at Sous Les Etoiles Gallery, and will be an exclusive online exhibition on view May 1st through June 5th, 2020. The series "Fragile Landscapes" has received the "Grand Prix Photography & Sustainability" in 2019 organized by Eyes and Talent and Paris good Fashion. Since the early 90s, when the artist began her formative collaborations with cutting-edge British magazine I-D, Sophie Delaporte has remained dedicated to the "play" in photography and fashion in its most straightforward definition, emphasizing freedom and theatricality. Today, with her specific touch of color and the grace of her poetic illusion, she evokes her concern about the fragility of our landscapes, exploring a new relationship between shapes and colors: suspended aerial silhouettes and chromatic improvisations reveal a poetic abstraction. The backgrounds, invariably united, plunge us into the vastness of the sky, or perhaps of the sea. The very lively tones used by Delaporte and the strong contrasts on which she relies make her compositions very bright. Combining light blue, radiant yellow, intense purple and vibrant vermillion, Delaporte invents fluid landscapes and rhythms that allow a universe of freshness and movement that resonate with Henri Matisse and his series of cut-outs. There is no discontinuity between her approach to fashion and cut-outs, just a new allegorical language to express the fragile harmony of earth and the place of human beings in nature. With an ever-refreshing perspective, Delaporte positions her work in the realm of surrealism, promising nothing but the surprise and delight of the imagination. Sophie Delaporte, b. 1971, is living and working between Paris and New York. The depth of color, staging and gestures of her imagery evoke the world of storytelling. Delaporte likes to imagine situations that do not exist, creating a photographic language where sweetness balances innocence and concerns. Sophie Delaporte's work is frequently featured in numerous books and publications such as Vogue Italy, Vogue Germany, Vogue Japan and independent magazines such as I-D Magazine. Sophie Delaporte studied photography and film at Ecole Nationale Supérieure Louis-Lumière.
Going Viral
Wellesley, MA
From February 06, 2020 to June 07, 2020
Today, we use the phrase going viral to describe the rapid reception and reproduction of media on the Internet. However, since the dawn of amateur photography in the late-nineteenth century, critics have warned of a "universal snapping psychosis." Long before the age of the selfie, the craze for candid cameras spawned innumerable tropes that snapshooters found irresistible. This exhibition of early-twentieth-century American snapshots considers our everyday relationship to photography: the ways in which we mediate, understand, and narrate our lives through the snapping and sharing of photographs, and how and why certain types of images become socially infectious. In addition to serving as personal mementos, snapshots are objects of material culture produced in accordance with social norms and public expectations. The happy couple is documented cutting the cake on their wedding day, a family commemorates a trip to Paris with a photo in front of the Eiffel Tower, or a little girl twirls in her new dress for the camera. Mined from the Peter J. Cohen Collection gift of nearly 1,000 anonymous snapshots, the exhibition is organized into eleven sections that explore various performances, rituals, and gestures that have gone viral via photography: Viewing Vistas, Monuments Men, Showing Skirts, Fake Fighting, Cross Dressing, Snapping Shadows, Pyromania, "Me," The Ends, Costumes & Caricatures, and Pictures of People Taking Pictures. The texts for each section provide micro-histories of these diverse social phenomena and demonstrate how vernacular photographs might function as affective historical documents. A single image of two men, fists aimed at each other in a classic pugilist pose, cannot tell us much about the circumstances under which the exact photograph was snapped. But hundreds of examples that depict variations on the same theme? They promise rich rewards for the imaginative historian, anthropologist, or sociologist. In addition to the 123 snapshots on view, the exhibition will also showcase an Original Kodak camera, early amateur photography manuals, Kodak 1s and 2s, twentieth-century album pages, and six photo albums. The exhibition concludes with the latest from Kodak-the Printomatic-which will allow visitors to shoot and print their own snapshots in the gallery.
Beyond the Harlem Renaissance
New York, NY
From April 09, 2020 to June 12, 2020
Keith de Lellis Gallery celebrates the portraiture of Carl Van Vechten (American, 1880-1964) in its spring exhibition. Van Vechten moved to New York City from Chicago in 1906 to pursue a writing career (he would become the first American critic of modern dance while contributing to the New York Times) before dedicating himself to photography. Van Vechten had a lifelong interest in African American culture and was committed to promoting black artists. In the early 1920s, Van Vechten sought out NAACP leader Walter White, who would introduce him to his colleague James Weldon Johnson. Johnson in turn facilitated introductions between Van Vechten and countless key figures in the rising Harlem Renaissance. Van Vechten became a familiar sight in predominantly black spaces, attending formal NAACP banquets as well as Harlem nightclubs and speakeasies. The artist wrote a number of articles championing black writers and performers that would be published in popular publications such as Vanity Fair and the New York Herald Tribune. Upon Van Vechten's influence, Langston Hughes was taken on by Van Vechten's publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, to publish his first set of poems in 1926. Rudoph P. Byrd wrote, "In an age of rising nativism, Van Vechten was one of a small group of European American intellectuals who recognized the uniqueness, depth, and far-reaching significance of African American culture" (Generations in Black & White, University of Georgia Press, 1993). While he initially wrote in response to his experiences with New York's black community, he later turned to photography to elevate both established and emerging artists. He assembled a home studio and darkroom in his West 55th Street apartment and invited sitters of all sorts "to show young people of all races how many distinguished Negroes there are in the world" (Bruce Kellner, Keep A-Inchin Along, Praeger, 1979). His subjects included Pearl Bailey, Amiri Baraka, Ruby Dee, Billie Holiday, Langston Hughes, Leontyne Price, Bessie Smith, Ethel Waters, and many more. Van Vechten's commitment to documenting remarkable black figures lasted far beyond the period known as the Harlem Renaissance, and in fact continued until his death in 1964. The personalities of Van Vechten's subjects are effectively communicated through their pose and expression combined with the photographer's nuanced composition, backgrounds, and lighting. These dramatic portraits convey in equal measure the subject's dedication to their craft and Van Vechten's reverence for the artist. Some lively (joyous Bill "Bojangles" Robinson dancing across the frame), others quiet (a contemplative Bessie Smith with downcast eyes), the photographs capture a range of emotions, aesthetics, and talents. Van Vechten's photographs were exhibited at the Museum of the City of New York and the Philadelphia Museum of Art during his lifetime. He established collections at a number of universities and museums, including Yale University, Howard University, the Museum of Modern Art, the New York Public Library, Princeton University, and more.
CELL SIGNALS: Reframing and Resisting Mass Incarceration
San Francisco, CA
From April 09, 2020 to June 13, 2020
Curated by writer and educator Pete Brook, Cell Signals brings together visions from within U.S. prisons and jails to address the role of images in our understanding of incarceration in America. Through visitation hacks, repurposed archive reels, collaborative portraiture, cellphone pics and prison newspaper coverage, Cell Signals peers upon the growing and changing uses of both artistic gesture and networked, image-technologies within American security, prisons, and homeland culture.
Paul Jasmin: Lost Angeles
Los Angeles, CA
From April 09, 2020 to June 13, 2020
The Fahey/Klein Gallery is pleased to present Paul Jasmin: Lost Angeles, a selection of works celebrating Jasmin's long career and the gallery's first exhibition by the legendary Los Angeles photographer. Paul Jasmin's photographs are a dreamy tableau that takes the viewer on a journey of seductive beauty and erotic ennui. Lost Angeles highlights the last 50 years Jasmin has spent photographing L.A.'s young dreamers. Jasmin's images eloquently mirror the mythology of the city in the vulnerability and intangible cool of his subjects. There is life in his portraits of smiling girls and strong and frail men - and the never fading love for the Los Angeles street scenes. There is a nostalgic myth of a splendid and ideal aesthetic, stopped and caught forever. Paul Jasmin has had a long career as a fashion and art photographer. He was born in Helena, Montana and in 1954 left to begin an incredible journey that would take him to Paris, Morocco, New York, and eventually "the city of dreams", Los Angeles. Paul had been an illustrator, a painter, and an actor before picking up a camera - at the urging of his friend, Bruce Weber. Jasmin's images of real and imagined dreamers evoke a sensual and glamorous ideal while firmly rooted in reality. His Editorial work appears in Vogue, Teen Vogue, GQ, Details, V Magazine, V Man, Vogue Hommes, W, Nylon, Interview, Mr Porter, APC, Ron Herman, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks, and Nordstrom. Paul Jasmin lives and works in Los Angeles where he teaches at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. Paul's photography books include the much-acclaimed Hollywood Cowboy (2002) and its follow up, Lost Angeles (2004). In December 2010, Steidl/7l published Paul's third book, California Dreaming.
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