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Picture Man: Portraits by Polo Silk

From July 16, 2022 to January 08, 2023
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Picture Man: Portraits by Polo Silk
One Collins C. Diboll Circle, City Park
New Orleans, LA 70124
For more than three decades, Selwhyn Sthaddeus “Polo Silk” Terrell (American, born 1964) has been photographing Black New Orleans, creating a unique body of work that blends elements of portraiture, fashion, performance, and street photography. This exhibition explores how Polo Silk successfully blends all of those elements, while illustrating his role as an important part of photographic history.

Polo Silk mobilized the traditional portrait studio, taking it to the streets and clubs of New Orleans and transforming it into an adaptable, on-the-spot method of picture making. In the course of his career, Polo perfected the use of instant-photo technology, making dynamic, one of a kind portraits that capitalized on the vibrant color range and immediacy that is a hallmark of Polaroid and other instant films. Sold on demand to clients who wanted a record of an event like Super Sunday, or to show off their carefully planned outfit on any given Saturday night, Polo’s pictures have become an integral part of how many Black New Orleanians have used photography to represent themselves.

Polo’s pictures are often taken in front of the colorful airbrushed backdrops painted by his cousin Otis Spears (American, born 1969) that feature figures from hip-hop and bounce music, fashion brands, sports logos, and the hot songs of the day. In bringing photography out of the studio and directly to the people, Polo made it a truly accessible phenomenon. While traditional portrait photographs were often designed to appear timeless and placeless, Polo’s pictures are absolutely fixed in time, and rooted in New Orleans. Together, Polo and his subjects have created one of the most important visual archives of this time and place, an important set of pictures that highlight Black expression, individuality, and ultimately, a collective community identity.
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Exhibitions Closing Soon

Reynier Leyva Novo: The Flowers of My Exile
Lisa Sette Gallery | Phoenix, AZ
From May 06, 2023 to September 30, 2023
Reynier Leyva Novo, a prominent participant and documentarian of what has become known as the 27N movement – a demand among Cuba’s younger generation of artists for freedom of expression and identity – is also an internationally recognized conceptual artist whose elegant minimalist works expose the hidden machinations of power in Cuba and the USA. Novo has been represented by Lisa Sette Gallery since 2014 and his works are in the public collections of the Hirshhorn Museum, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Perez Art Museum, Walker Art Center, Pizzuti Collection of the Columbus Museum of Art, Bronx Museum, Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, and Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, among others; he was featured at the 2017 Venice Biennale and was recently awarded the Pommery Prize at the 2022 Armory Show. Opening this May, Lisa Sette Gallery will exhibit The Flowers of My Exile, a selection of new and recent projects that trace Novo’s journey as a dissident artist in Cuba to his current status as an artist in exile in the USA. Experience additional artworks by Reynier Leyva Novo at Phoenix Art Museum, placed in conversation with the exhibitions Juan Francisco Elso: Por América and Lo que es, es lo que ha sido/What It Is, Is What Has Been: Selections from the ASU Art Museum’s Cuban Art Collection. Phoenix Art Museum will also feature Novo’s digital artwork Methuselah (2021-2022) which tracks the 6,000-mile migratory journey of a single monarch butterfly across the Americas as part of its reproductive cycle. The work was created during the artist’s own process of migration out of Cuba. Image: The Desire to Die for Others (with details), 2012 © Reynier Leyva Novo
Bangla Road, Life After Dark by Tebani Slade
All About Photo Showroom | Los Angeles, CA
From September 01, 2023 to September 30, 2023
All About Photo is pleased to present Bangla Road, Life After Dark by Tebani Slade Bangla Road, Life After Dark Bangla Road on the island of Phuket in Thailand is a place of two worlds. During the day it is like any other street but after sunset, this 400-meter stretch of road transforms into a lively almost forbidden world. During the day, the girls remain hidden, but at night they come out to work. Initially, you might feel uneasy or offended, but as you spend more time there, you start to realise that this is a normal way of life for them. Performing and showcasing themselves to attract tourists to buy drinks or pay for them to perform. They are self-assured and confident, and take pride in their identity and work. Many people would shun this type of place, but it gave me a feeling of resilience and strength. It’s almost like their confidence had a contagious effect on me.
James Barnor: Accra/London
Detroit Institute of Arts | Detroit, MI
From May 23, 2023 to October 01, 2023
The DIA (Detroit Institute of Arts) proudly presents the exhibition, James Barnor: Accra/London—A Retrospective, a comprehensive survey of the work of British-Ghanaian photographer James Barnor whose career spans more than six decades. A studio portraitist, photojournalist, and Black lifestyle photographer, Barnor was born in 1929 in the West African nation of Ghana. He established his famous Ever Young Studio in Accra in the early 1950s and devoted his early photography to documenting critical social and political changes that animated the nation on the cusp of independence from Britain. After moving to London in 1959 to further his studies, he began a hugely successful career with influential South African magazine Drum, which captured the spirit and experiences of London’s burgeoning African diaspora. Upon his return to Ghana in the 1970s, Barnor established the country’s first color processing photo lab. An avid music enthusiast, he embedded himself in the social and highlife scene while continuing his work as a portrait photographer. He returned to London in 1994. James Barnor: Accra/London—A Retrospective is on loan from the Serpentine Gallery, London, England. Image: Studio Ever Young, Accra, c. 1950s © James Barnor
Richard Avedon: MURALS
The Metropolitan Museum of Art | New York, NY
From January 19, 2023 to October 01, 2023
In 1969, Richard Avedon was at a crossroads. After a five-year hiatus, the photographer started making portraits again, this time with a new camera and a new sense of scale. Trading his handheld Rolleiflex for a larger, tripod-mounted device, he reinvented his studio dynamic. Instead of dancing around his subjects from behind a viewfinder, as he had in his lively fashion pictures, he could now stand beside a stationary camera and meet them head-on. Facing down groups of the era’s preeminent artists, activists, and politicians, he made huge photomural portraits, befitting their outsized cultural influence. On the centennial of the photographer’s birth, Richard Avedon: MURALS will bring together three of these monumental works, some as wide as 35 feet. For Avedon, the murals expanded the artistic possibilities of photography, radically reorienting viewers and subjects in a subsuming, larger-than-life view. The murals are society portraits. In them, Avedon assembles giants of the late twentieth century—members of Andy Warhol’s Factory, architects of the Vietnam war, and demonstrators against that war—who together shaped an extraordinarily turbulent era of American life. Presented in one gallery, their enormous portraits will stage an unlikely conversation among historically opposed camps, as well as contemporary viewers. The formal innovations of Avedon’s high style—of starkly lit bodies in an unsparing white surround—are best realized in these works, where subjects jostle and crowd the frame, and bright voids between them crackle with tension. Uniting the murals with session outtakes and contemporaneous projects, the exhibition will track Avedon’s evolving approach to group portraiture, through which he so transformed the conventions of the genre. The exhibition is made possible by Joyce Frank Menschel. Image: Marquee: Richard Avedon (American, 1923–2004). Andy Warhol and members of The Factory, New York, October 30, 1969. Gelatin silver print, 8 × 10 in. (20.3 × 25.4 cm). Collection of The Richard Avedon Foundation © The Richard Avedon Foundation
Berenice Abbott’s New York Album, 1929
The Metropolitan Museum of Art | New York, NY
From January 19, 2023 to October 01, 2023
In January 1929, after eight years in Europe, the American photographer Berenice Abbott (1898–1991) boarded an ocean liner to New York City for what was meant to be a short visit. Upon arrival, she found the city transformed and ripe with photographic potential. “When I saw New York again, and stood in the dirty slush, I felt that here was the thing I had been wanting to do all my life,” she recalled. With a handheld camera, Abbott traversed the city, photographing its skyscrapers, bridges, elevated trains, and neighborhood street life. She pasted these “tiny photographic notes” into a standard black-page album, arranging them by subject and locale. Consisting of 266 small black-and-white prints arranged on thirty-two pages, Abbott’s New York album marks a key turning point in her career—from her portrait work in Paris to the urban documentation that culminated in her federally funded project, Changing New York (1935–39). Berenice Abbott’s New York Album, 1929 presents a selection of unbound pages from this unique album, shedding new light on the creative process of one of the great photographic artists of the twentieth century. For context, the exhibition also features views of Paris by Eugène Atget (French, 1857–1957), whose extensive photographic archive Abbott purchased and publicized; views of New York City by her contemporaries Walker Evans, Paul Grotz, and Margaret Bourke-White; and photographs from Changing New York.
Resistance and Rescue: Denmark and the Holocaust
Eastman Museum | Rochester, NY
From June 10, 2023 to October 01, 2023
During the massive German occupation of much of Europe during World War II, the people of Denmark rescued more than 90% of the country’s Jewish residents from German deportation, brutal internment and starvation, and systemic murder. In the early 1990s, photographer Judy Glickman Lauder took portraits of Danes who had protected or rescued Jews and of Jews who were rescued. The stories accompanying each photograph convey the power of moral courage in confronting hate and atrocities. The German occupation of Denmark began in April 1940. Unlike in other countries, the Danish government was allowed to continue to control its domestic affairs. For the next three years, Danish Jews were not required to register their property, identify themselves based on their religion, or give up their homes and businesses. The Jewish community continued to function and hold religious services. Then, in August 1943, the German military commander in Denmark declared martial law, took control over the Danish military and police forces, and implemented a plan to capture and deport Danish Jews. Some German officials warned non-Jewish Danes, who in turn alerted the Jewish community. Danish authorities, Jewish community leaders, and countless private citizens mobilized a massive operation. The Danish resistance, assisted by many Danish citizens, organized a rescue operation that helped hide Jews and move them to the coast, where fishermen ferried them to neutral Sweden. In just a few weeks, about 7,200 Jews and 700 of their non-Jewish relatives traveled to safety in Sweden. Despite these rescue efforts, about 470 Jews in Denmark were deported to the Theresienstadt ghetto camp in occupied Czechoslovakia, but Danish protests deterred the Germans from transporting them to killing centers. After the war, almost all of the survivors returned to Denmark, where most found their homes and businesses intact because local authorities had refused to allow the seizure or plundering of Jewish homes. Image: Jens Møller, Gilleleje © Judy Glickman Lauder
Avedon’s West
Amon Carter Museum of American Art | Fort Worth, TX
From March 22, 2023 to October 01, 2023
Spring 2023 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Richard Avedon, renowned fashion and portrait photographer. As part of a national celebration led by The Richard Avedon Foundation, the Carter is showcasing 13 works of art from the acclaimed project In the American West, which the Museum commissioned in 1979 and premiered in 1985. Over the course of six years, Avedon traveled through 13 states and 189 towns from Texas to Idaho, conducting 752 sittings and photographing a range of everyday people throughout the western U.S. in a now-iconic style he’d formerly applied to celebrities and politicians. The Carter owns one of only two complete sets of the series—one of the most important photographic projects of the 20th century. The selection of photographs from the series will be presented throughout the Museum’s collection galleries. Image: Ruby Mercer, publicist, Frontier Days, Cheyenne, Wyoming, 7/31/82 © Richard Avedon
Ming Smith: Feeling the Future
Contemporary Arts Museum Houston | Houston, TX
From May 26, 2023 to October 01, 2023
Ming Smith: Feeling the Future explores artist Ming Smith’s unparalleled career and is Smith’s first solo exhibition at a major institution to survey her work from the early 1970s through the present. The exhibition encompasses a multitude of artistic expressions to represent Smith’s vibrant and multi-layered practice, which is grounded in portraiture, and amplifies the heartbeat of Black life in the United States. Drawn from the full complexity of Smith’s oeuvre, Feeling the Future places works from the artist’s five-decades of creation in conversation with one another, and the cultural movements she witnessed and participated in. Exploring themes such as Afrofuturism, Black cultural expression, representation and social examination, the exhibition offers a guided tour into unperceived moments of life as captured by one of the most profoundly gifted artists of her generation. Feeling the Future includes Smith’s seminal photographic images, as well as her more recent work across media. Smith’s early images vibrate with the energy of her subjects—in carefully composed images, often developed or processed using techniques such as frame masking, hand-tinting, and superimposition, she blurs boundaries between the ethereal, tangible, and routine. Smith’s work uniquely embraces her subjects aesthetically and intellectually, through a style that is technically experimental and pointedly focused. Image: Amen Corner Sisters, Harlem, New York, 1976 © Ming Smith
The Flower Show
Peter Fetterman Gallery | Los Angeles, CA
From June 17, 2023 to October 07, 2023
Peter Fetterman Gallery is proud to present The Flower Show. On view June 17th, 2023 – October 7th, 2023. An opening reception will be held Saturday June 17th from 3:00 – 6:00 PM at the gallery. The Flower Show is curated from the Peter Fetterman collection and explores the relationship between Photography and flowers. Flowers have a vital role in almost every ecosystem, and also carry powerful symbolism in cultures world-wide. Through the eye of Photography our exhibition explores flowers in fashion, beauty, ritual, celebration and beyond. With photographs from around the world, this exhibition features work by Andrew Bush, Jach Janusz Bulhak, Wynn Bullock, Julia Margaret Cameron, Paul Caponigro, Brigitte Carnochan, Bruce Davidson ,Robert Doisneau, Elliott Erwitt, Ernesto Esquer, Flor Garduño, Luis González Palma, Laure Albin-Guillot, Bert Hardy, Cig Harvey, Don Hong-Oai, Horst P. Horst, Graciela Iturbide, André Kertész, William Klein, Fred Lyon, Steve McCurry, Norman Parkinson, William B. Post, Karen Radkai, Sebastião Salgado, John Swannell, Patrick Taberna, Ron Van Dongen, Robert Whitaker, Minor White and Mariana Yampolsky. Exhibited in our Main Gallery the exhibition evokes the feeling of a field of flowers with the viewer surrounded by floral works on four surrounding gallery walls. Image: All the Pink Flowers, Rockport, Maine, 2020 © Cig Harvey
The Fashion Show
Peter Fetterman Gallery | Los Angeles, CA
From June 17, 2023 to October 07, 2023
Peter Fetterman Gallery is proud to present The Fashion Show. Opening June 17th, 2023 – October 7th, 2023. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, June 17th from 3:00 – 6:00 PM. The Fashion Show, curated from the gallery’s permanent collection, will feature an exciting display of fashions history, its elegance and its importance to the photographic medium. This exhibition is designed to explore how fashion photography transcends its commercial aspects and is a reflection of creative expression and societal aspirations. The Fashion Show will feature works by Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Jean Phillippe Charbonnier, Constantin Joffe, Lillian Bassman, Cecil Beaton, Georges Dambier, Duffy, Arthur Elgort, Ralph Gibson, René Groebli, William Helburn, Horst P. Horst, George Hoyningen-Huene, William Klein, Frances McLaughlin-Gill, Sarah Moon, Janine Niepce, Norman Parkinson, Len Prince, Willy Ronis, and Melvin Sokolsky. Image: Look Down, Bazaar, 1960 © Melvin Sokolsky
Uncanny Beauty
Harvey Milk Photography Center | San Francisco, CA
From September 14, 2023 to October 07, 2023
An exhibition of contemporary fine art photography by members of the Bay Area Photographers Collective. ''These photographs offer a fresh and captivating vision of life’s strange, eerie and unique beauty.'' Emmanuelle Namont, Curator When encountering the work of the Bay Area Photographers Collective, I was struck by the diverse practices, from street to abstract, from landscape to documentary. The common thread was an exploration of what is beautiful today. Photography is always a surprise; you master your camera’s controls and look at the world around you, but once you press the shutter, you discover another facet of life. From everyday occurrences transformed into bizarre moments by a unique combination of color, tones, and framing to an exploration of the natural world and the sublime, the use of the camera is all about the reinterpretation of reality. In that gesture, these photographers offer a fresh and captivating vision of life’s strange, eerie, and unique beauty. - Emmanuelle Namont Featured image: Bird-Man, Carnaval © 2023 Anthony Delgado
Jim Fiscus: Where Shadows Cross
Georgia Museum of Art | Athens, GA
From July 22, 2023 to October 08, 2023
Iconic image maker Jim Fiscus produces layered single-frame stories that comment on human experience. The exhibition “Where Shadows Cross” grew out of a new project he began in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. It will include a dozen large-scale color photographs. Fiscus attempts to “tell it all” visually through lighting, shadow and composition. He entices viewers to immerse themselves in his stage sets, move through them and appreciate every crisp detail. Fiscus investigates seemingly mundane situations, focusing on figures doing unpredictable or unconventional things. Their interactions among each other or with their setting often upend our perspective and generates uncertainty about the evolving stories these images show. Image: Heard Not Seen, 1/16/22, 6:49 p.m., Farmington, Oconee County, Georgia, 2022 © Jim Fiscus
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