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Pieter Hugo: La Cucaracha

From January 10, 2020 to February 29, 2020
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Pieter Hugo: La Cucaracha
245 10th Avenue
New York, NY 10001
Yossi Milo Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new photographs taken in Mexico by South African artist Pieter Hugo. La Cucaracha will open on Friday, January 10 with a reception for the artist and book signing from 6:00-8:00pm and will be on view through February 29. This is the artist's sixth exhibition at the gallery.

Known for photographing communities on the periphery of society in Africa, Hugo similarly immersed himself in Mexico City and in regions of Mexico including Hermosillo, Oaxaca de Juárez and Juchitán, during several month-long trips in 2018-19. Prompted to make work in Mexico for an exhibition on the theme of sex and death, the resulting photographs embody Mexican attitudes on the subjects in both deliberately staged vignettes and in raw, vibrantly colored images of everyday people, landscapes and objects. As the artist describes his obsession with the country, "Mexico's anarchic, visceral energy got under my skin and sucked me in".

Intimate, powerful portraits of diverse subjects, including a young bride posing with an iguana, a dwarf couple dressed as revolutionaries Emiliano Zapata and Adelita, a police officer disguised as a sex-worker, a local amateur theater troupe, and an older generation of Muxes (Zapotec culture's "third gender", who are male by birth but dress as and fulfill roles more associated with women) are depicted in the candid and direct manner that is Hugo's signature style. Often drawing on Mexican history, cultural icons, art historical and literary references, such as the mural From the Dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz to the Revolution (1957-66) by Communist artist David Alfaro Siqueiros, the literary figure Don Quixote and stories from the Bible, the artist and his subjects collaborate to investigate the culture's complex reconciliation of the celebration of life with the realities of violence and death. Hugo has observed of the Mexican people, "...humor, ritual, a strong sense of community and an embrace of the inevitable make it possible to live with tragic and often unacceptable situations".

As a metaphor for the ethos in which the extremes of life and death reside comfortably, Hugo chose to title his series after the Spanish folk song, La Cucaracha, about a cockroach struggling to walk with its two hind legs missing. While the origin of the upbeat song is unknown, it has, over time, been coopted and embellished since the 1800s by groups as diverse as rebels and dictators, marijuana users and Looney Tunes cartoons. The heroic creature ideally symbolizes perseverance in spite of hardship and, along with the many nude portraits in Hugo's new series, reflects the artist's long-standing interest in how history, the environment, and the passage of time inscribe themselves on a culture, and on a physical body via tan lines, scars, tattoos and wrinkles.

A book of La Cucaracha, with essays by Ashraf Jamal and Mario Bellatin, will be released by Editorial RM (Mexico and Spain) in March 2020. Hugo's solo exhibition, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, traveled from 2016 to 2018 to Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany; Coleção Berardo, Lisbon, Portugal and the Museum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte, Dortmund, Germany. Prior solo exhibitions include the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; National Gallery of Art, London; Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, Paris; Ludwig Museum, Budapest; Fotografiska, Stockholm; Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon; Musée de l'Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland; Hague Museum of Photography, The Netherlands; and MAXXI, Rome. His work is held in the collections of museums worldwide, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Huis Marseille, Amsterdam; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; and the South African National Gallery, Cape Town, among others. The artist's previous books include Looking Aside: South African Studio Portraits 2003-2006 (2006), Messina/Musina (2007) both published by Punctum; The Hyena & Other Men (2007), Nollywood (2009), Permanent Error (2011) and This Must Be the Place (2012) and 1994 (2016) all published by Prestel; There's a Place in Hell for Me and My Friends (2012) published by oodee, London; Kin (2015) by Aperture Foundation. Pieter Hugo was born in South Africa in 1976 and currently lives in Cape Town.
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Exhibitions Closing Soon

Erik Hoffner: Ice Visions
Brattleboro, VT
From October 24, 2020 to March 06, 2021
Ice Visions is an informal collaboration between myself, the ice fishing community, and elemental forces. When fishing holes refreeze overnight, they create fertile ground for nature's wild artistic side, and these perfectly augered circles become worlds at once interstellar and cellular, dreamlike and tactile. The images on display depict ice designs I've documented during 20 years of exploring New England lakes and ponds. In the morning light, with tiny bubbles from below fixed in place by several inches of new ice, these scenes come to life as eyes, galaxies, stars, cells, and more when rendered in black and white. Due to milder than usual temperatures during the past winter, on many mornings I found barely a skin of new ice covering the prior day's fishing holes. Bubbles pooled up at the surface before freezing, creating striking new kinds of formations I'd never seen before, ones that perhaps reveal the fingerprint of a warming climate.
Federico Pardo: Ice Shanties: Fishing, People & Culture
Brattleboro, VT
From October 24, 2020 to March 06, 2021
As a biologist, a photographer, and a filmmaker, I have always been focused on humans' relationship with nature. At the beginning of my career, my photographs mostly took a documentary and taxonomical approach to describing species and ecosystems, as well as capturing the processes and intricacies of making science. Later on, while I was pursuing an MFA, my ideas expanded into the realm of "contemporary photography," broadening the way I produce and understand photography. When thinking about the images from the Ice Shanties series, two main questions come to mind: what is nature without humans, and what are humans without nature? In asking questions, I don't seek to find correct answers but rather to open up conversations about human-nature interactions across different cultures and latitudes. As a Colombian who moved to Vermont a couple years ago, I instantly became curious about and fascinated by the peculiar structures that adorn the frozen waters of Brattleboro's West River. What are they for? Who uses them? Why do they have such unique looks? Friends quickly answered these questions, but my obsession with the tiny houses, the frozen ecosystem, the fishing culture, and the ephemeral aspect of the landscape pushed me to take a deeper look. When I came across the shanties, photographing them in broad daylight didn't seem fitting. The fully revealing light and bright atmosphere felt detached from the ideas of ethereality, solitude, and contemplation. At night, however, a whole new world is revealed: the absence or presence of moonlight, the color of the night, the city lights and traffic, the frozen tracks of life on the snow, and the connection between the shanties and the ecosystem. Night also allows us to delve into imaginary narratives about life on the ice, narratives that are complemented by the daylight portraits of "frozen" fish and "buried" fishing traps.
Revelations: Recent Photography Acquisitions
New Orleans, LA
From March 14, 2020 to March 07, 2021
Revelations: Recent Photography Acquisitions features a selection of photographs made from the early 20th century to the present and added to the Ogden's Museum of Southern Art's permanent collection over the last decade. With over 70 photographs featured, Revelations represents a wide range of processes and techniques made by a diverse group of 39 photographers. Revelations celebrates regional identity in parallel with the South's ongoing contributions to a global conversation on photography in the visual arts. Photographers included in the exhibition: Keith Calhoun, William Christenberry, Lee Deigaard, Walker Evans, Debbie Fleming Caffrey, Aaron Hardin, Lewis W. Hine, Birney Imes, Dorthea Lange, Sally Mann, Andrew Moore, Chandra McCormick, RaMell Ross, Ernest Withers and more.
Julie Blackmon: Homegrown
Atlanta, GA
From February 19, 2021 to March 11, 2021
Jackson Fine Art is proud to continue our online viewing room series with works by newly represented photographer, Julie Blackmon. Contemporary American photographer Julie Blackmon draws inspiration from the raucous tavern scenes of 17th-century Dutch and Flemish painters, creating photographs based around the people and places in her small community. Blackmon has compared her surroundings to a giant Hollywood prop closet, where a Starbucks employee out on a smoke break may appear in her next photograph, or the beauty shop she passes every day becomes the setting for a new piece. "It's a fun perspective to have... to see the world around you as a potential story or idea. It changes how you see things. Nora Ephron said, 'everything is copy,' and that has really stayed with me. I live and work in a generic town, with a generic name, in the middle of America, in the middle of nowhere… but the stories unfolding around me are endless."
Got a feeling 21 is going to be a good year
New York, NY
From January 15, 2021 to March 13, 2021
An exhibition about hope - takes its timely title from the lyrics of The Who's song "1921." The exhibition includes a selection of works by both classical and contemporary photographers where the underlying theme is positivity and optimism - an important feeling many of us desperately need to hang on to following the dismal year we have all just lived through! As The Who's song referred to a reunited couple looking ahead to better times following WWI, similarly, our exhibition seeks to present uplifting images to remind us there are better days ahead! Especially now that there are cures in play for the political, social and medical viruses we have been afflicted with. From the classic Blue Marble NASA image taken from Apollo 17 in 1972 to Murray Frederick's Vanity series where our gaze is redirected from ourselves and into our surrounding mesmerizing desert environment to Richard Misrach's mystical and spiritual images of Stonehenge to Ansel Adams Mount Williamson from Manzanar which was described by Edward Steichen as an image representing the birth of mankind on planet earth. All these landscape images inspire hope for our planet which has been seriously neglected as of late. Cig Harvey's Goldfinch depicting a hand releasing a bird signifies the letting go of anxieties and becoming free and unencumbered while John Mack's Mazatian, Sinaloa, Mexico image shows a diver high on a platform with arms wide open while below him a couple embraces, both ready to accept a new and better future. Works that address this timely theme by artists including Jeff Brouws, Elijah Gown, Michael Kenna, Ed Sievers and Aaron Siskind will also be on view. Art has always been used to communicate messages, to inspire people to act and to think. After the year we've all just had we hope the works in this exhibition provide an uplifting experience, filling the viewer with hope and positivity for the year ahead.
Brea Souders: End of the Road
New York, NY
From January 14, 2021 to March 13, 2021
Bruce Silverstein Gallery is pleased to announce End of the Road, an online exhibition of new work by New York based artist Brea Souders. The Viewing Room features thirty gelatin silver prints made during a year of turmoil and precarity in the United States. Shaped by these realities, the series reflects the moment of their creation. The body of work is comprised of black and white images documenting an uninhabited piece of land leading to a gravel cul-de-sac, and the various people who visit the end of the road.
Dawoud Bey: An American Project
Atlanta, GA
From November 07, 2020 to March 14, 2021
Since the beginning of his career in the 1970s, Dawoud Bey (American, born 1953) has used his camera to create poignant meditations on visibility, race, place, and American history. From early street portraits made in Harlem to a recent series imagining an escape from slavery on the Underground Railroad, Bey explores photography's potential to reveal communities and stories that have been underrepresented or even unseen. Both a form of personal expression and an act of political responsibility, Bey's art insists on the power of photography to transform stereotypes, convene communities, and create dialogue. Dawoud Bey: An American Project traces these through lines across the forty-five years of Bey's career and his profound engagement with the young Black subject and African American history. The title intentionally inserts his photographs into a long-running conversation about what it means to represent America with a camera. The questions of who is considered an American photographer, or simply an American, and whose story is an American story are particularly urgent today. Bey's work offers a potent corrective to the gaps in our picture of American society and history—and an emphatic reminder of the ongoing impact of those omissions.
Seeing Essential Workers through a New Lens
Wilmington, DE
From November 11, 2020 to March 14, 2021
COVID-19 and the response to stop the spread of the virus have reminded us all just how much our community relies on our essential workers. Nurses, bus drivers, farmers, teachers, firefighters, childcare workers, doctors, and government officials, to name just a few, have supported us and ensured that our needs are met and our families remain healthy and cared for. This photography project, created by Operation Technician Iz Balleto and Teaching Artist and Curator in Residence JaQuanne LeRoy, brings faces and voices to the many people who have kept our community going through this pandemic. This campaign explores what essential work entails and honors those individuals who continue to dedicate their lives to it every day.
Deana Lawson
Boston, MA
From November 18, 2020 to March 14, 2021
This exhibition is the first museum survey dedicated to the work of Deana Lawson (b. 1979 in Rochester, NY). Lawson is a singular voice in photography today. For more than 15 years, she has been investigating and challenging the conventional representations of black identities. Drawing on a wide spectrum of photographic languages, including the family album, studio portraiture, staged tableaux, documentary pictures, and appropriated images, Lawson's posed photographs channel broader ideas about personal and social histories, sexuality, and spiritual beliefs. Lawson's large-format color photographs are highly staged and depict individuals, couples, and families in both domestic and public settings, picturing narratives of family, love, and desire. Engaging members of her own community as well as strangers she meets on the street, she meticulously poses her subjects in a variety of interiors to create what the artist describes as “a mirror of everyday life, but also a projection of what I want to happen. It's about setting a different standard of values and saying that everyday black lives, everyday experiences, are beautiful, and powerful, and intelligent.” Lawson's works are made in collaboration with her subjects, who are often nude, embracing, and directly confronting the camera, destabilizing the notion of photography as a passively voyeuristic medium. This survey exhibition will include a selection of photographs from 2004 to the present, and will be accompanied by a fully illustrated scholarly catalog, featuring the voices and perspectives of a variety of scholars, historians, and writers.
Trevor Paglen: Opposing Geometries
Pittsburgh, PA
From September 04, 2020 to March 14, 2021
The third iteration of the Hillman Photography Initiative (HPI), a CMOA project committed to exploring new ideas about photography, launches this year. The initiative will present an exhibition of work by artist Trevor Paglen, a publication, and an interdisciplinary podcast. With the development and advancement of artificial intelligence (AI), there has been a radical change in the way that surveillance systems capture, categorize, and synthesize photographs. Mirror with a Memory explores the many ways artists probe the intersections of photography, surveillance, and AI-their past, present, and future-to underscore concerns about implicit bias, right to privacy, and police monitoring embedded in corporate, military, and law enforcement applications. The exhibition will include a new site-specific commission as well as a sculpture that doubles as a WiFi hotspot and photographs that reveal how AI analyzes and labels photographs of people and places. These works will be placed in three areas within the museum, inviting visitors to encounter Paglen's insightful perspective in different contexts.
Andres Serrano Infamous
New York, NY
From October 23, 2020 to March 14, 2021
Infamous is a visual exploration of the long history of deeply rooted racism in the United States. Throughout his illustrious career, Andres Serrano has directly confronted the zeitgeist with provocative works. In this exhibition of over 30 photographs of racist artifacts, he continues to hold a mirror to the nation's recent, dark past. In 2019, Andres Serrano began buying and photographing objects with a sense of infamy attached. Serrano acquired KKK hoods, consumer products depicting caricatures of Black people, violent documentary photographs, and more, most of which were previously owned and purchased directly from the homes of Americans. By creating a visual catalog of evidence that includes reductive and virulent portrayals of Black Americans, the artist challenges viewers to confront the country’s racist history and consider its influence on and relevance in culture and society today. On the exhibition, Serrano shares 'Infamous is an excavation into Man's inglorious past. Seen through objects and images that paint a disturbing picture, it’s an exhibition imbued with the patina of tainted history. They tell the story of infamy with varying degrees of bigotry and insensitivity. Although we want to believe that ‘what happened in the past stays in the past’ history proves us wrong.'
Christopher Gregory-Rivera: Las Carpetas
New York, NY
From January 14, 2021 to March 14, 2021
Las Carpetas looks at the bureaucratic residue of a 40-year-long secret surveillance program that aimed to destroy the Puerto Rican Independence Movement. Through still-lives, archival appropriation, and investigation, Christopher Gregory-Rivera provides a counter-history to the way many understand this period of time and its aftermath. By rescuing, displaying, and photographing the contents of surveillance files, Las Carpetas questions what forces have control over what and how we remember. La Residencia is a co-located residency program in partnership with Pública. A cultural space in Santurce, Puerto Rico, Pública aims to provide a platform for local and international artists to strengthen relationships between Puerto Rico and a global audience. Over the course of eighteen months, Pública Co-Director Natalia Viera Salgado will serve as Abrons' 2020-21 Curatorial Resident and will support the development of projects at Abrons and Pública. Curated by Natalia Viera Salgado
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