Fast Takes: What To See

Although we all have a bit of G.A.S. (Gear Aquisition Syndrome), and we are all over the multiple screens, there are times you should really kick back, and visit some museums and galleries to see what photography looks like on the walls.
And there is some fantastic work out there right now.
In LA (actually Santa Monica):
Peter Fetterman Gallery
American Masters: The Silver Print.
This is an incredible collection from one of the top gallerists in the world, Peter Fetterman. If you have ever considered collection fine photography, your dream collection is here.
From the release:
Ansel Adams (1902-1984) famously said, “the negative is the equivalent of the composer’s score, and the print
the performance.” Few statements in the history of photography have so simply expressed the importance and
unique qualities of the print as the final realization of the artist’s intent. The hand-made photographic print, still
an adolescent in the history of fine art mediums, is sculpted by darkroom techniques and only rarely mastered
through countless hours of experimentation and skilled devotion. The aesthetic fruits of their labor, the subtle
variations and rich tonalities of each unique print, are what set these darkroom gems apart from the more easily
replicated contemporary processes and further establishes their significance among more historical mediums of
fine art. These rare masters, and the techniques themselves, are an increasingly endangered species as digital
processes and the use of computer produced prints continue to overshadow more traditional methods among
contemporary photographers.

c7cbf42450ac30415ee0a92377e63cdc-1Don Worth
Plumeria Blossoms, Hilo, Hawaii, 1991, Gelatin Silver print
Dates: July 18 – October 17, 2015
One of my favorite places to visit and see exceptional collections is the Getty.
This time they have taken a look at processes, Light, Paper, Process: Reinventing Photography, and while starting of with Man Ray, they continue onto modern images that explore the
the physical way that images are made. From the chemistry to the actual packaging of the photographic paper, creating it’s own shadow and light images.
I usually go more for an illustrative image, but this collection will give you a different perspective on the process of the image.
Here is a video by Allison Rossiter on the subject:

In NY:
Yossi Milo Gallery
Jacob Aue Sobol – Arrivals and Departures

large-jas-01Untitled #06, 1999–2002
From the series Sabine
Gelatin Silver Print

This incredibly strong exhibit of work is another example of why you should see photographs in person. The intense contrast of black and white gives a visceral experience of the grit and rawness of the subjects. Yes, this is a prime example of the photographic arts. And pick up the catalog that accompanies the exhibit. You will want to revisit these images.
Chronicles Jacob Aue Sobol’s travels across the Asian continent by train during 2012-2014, with stops in Moscow, Russia; Ulan Batar, Mongolia and Beijing, China, and numerous rural communities along the way. During three separate month-long trips, Sobol photographed the changing landscape from his window seat, as well as encounters with inhabitants of the locations where he disembarked. Using the camera as a tool to create contact, closeness and intimacy, Sobol’s approach to photography is personal. His voyage along the Trans-Siberian Railway was, he says “an investigation of the emotional states that control us, inspire us, and keep us moving.” The images capture life’s complexities: people, places and the relationships between them.

In the Public Eye
The NY Public Library could be overlooked for their great exhibits, but this one should be on your list.
Combining 2 kind of shows, Public Sharing, which explores the way we exchange our visual experiences start with Daguerre
and goes up to 2013 methods, it supports the concept that photography has always been social. And there is a special integrated section on Street Photography, including one of my favorite masters of that genre, Gary Winogrand. And of course photographers such as Helen Levitt, Zoe Leonard, and more.
And you can start with a self portrait, suitable for sharing at the entrance to the show. They have set up a mirrior with type on the floor to help complete the deal.

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