Summer Seeing: 10 Must-See Photos in September

Summer Seeing: 10 Must-See Photos in September

Posted by on Sep 9, 2015 in Patricia Silva | No Comments

As mentioned in my first post, this summer I joined Baxter St at CCNY to present a monthly selection of ten not-to-be missed photographs in New York City.

Observing how social movements shape themselves around photography is often rewarding study. This list presents several works linked to modern movements supported by visual shape shifting: Soviet era optic tactics, Japanese avant garde, American experimental culture, Mexican revolutionaries, the aftermath of colonialism, and two first shows by European women in the US.

Images function both within and outside a matrix of contexts, reading photographs requires more and more attention to nuance. What people define as the digital revolution is only a natural continuation of a medium that, despite it’s historical dependence on this word, has never been “fixed.” Contemporary digital imaging has grown from strong conceptual legacies in photography that raises expectations of, and contextualize, our visual potentials.

With so many excellent shows going on this month, I’d like to highlight a few artists/curators part of the CCNY community at large who continue evolving with the social roles within image cultures: “I need my memories. They are my documents” at Sepia EYE, curated by Nandita Raman; Marvin Heiferman organized an excellent show closing this week, “Watching You, Watching Me;Nona Faustine has an upcoming exhibition and panel discussion this weekend, co-curated by Qiana Mestrich; Christian Erroi has an upcoming show at Duvernois Gallery.

Much to see and explore.
Hope you enjoyed this “Top 10” monthly series!



01_RodchenkoYakov Khalip, Large-Bore Cannon, Baltic Fleet, 1935.
Currently showing in the “Soviet Photography 1920s-1930s” group show at Nailya Alexander Gallery.
September 9 October 30, 2015

Artists in the 1920s were still processing ideas from the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, maintaining that a new era required new ways of seeing, new tools, new constructions.


02_GreyHiroshi Yamazaki, Heliography, 1978.
Currently showing in the “Experiments in Japanese Art and Photography, 1968-1979” group show at Grey Art Gallery.
September 11December 5, 2015

A not-t0-be-missed exhibition in general, Yamazaki’s series of photographs of the sun’s travel are a luminous treat. As we prepare for the upcoming Supermoon Eclipse that will most likely dominate our social media feeds, it’s a good time to experience how pre-digital photography recorded such events.


03_Monakhov_Stockton_7336_P93Yola Monakhov Stockton, Untitled (Post-Photography)[P93], 2015
Currently showing Rick Wester Fine Art.
September 12 October 24, 2015

Fusing the dominant subject matter present in the last two photographs (disorienting space, travel around the globe), Monakhov Stockton shows us the strange orbit of pinhole photographs made en route, from photo boxes mailed to herself.


04_Schwalbe_SeeLake_2008Anne Schwalbe, See/Lake, 2008.
Currently showing in “The Life Within” at L. Parker Stephenson
July 1 – September 12, 2015

The first solo show of this German photographer who makes their own C prints.

05_Frida_ARTEMOISLOAD-38Juan Guzmán. Frida holding a mirror in the hospital, ca.1951
Currently showing in the “Frida Kahlo, Mirror Mirror…” show at Throckmorton Fine Art.
Closes September 19th.

Combined with a small exhibition of Kahlo’s paintings at the Haupt Conservatory of the New York Botanical Garden, New York City art goers can now examine the importance of mirrors in Kahlo’s process: From seeing her representation in photographs by her father to relying on mirrors as a tool for painting. Notably absent in both shows are images by photographer Tina Modotti.


06_VisualAidsJoseph Modica, A Night at Danceteria (Ethyl Eichelberger, Keith Haring, Cookie Mueller & John Sex), 1984.
Currently showing in the “Party Out Of Bounds: Nightlife As Activism Since 1980” group show at La Mama Galleria.
September 18–October 10, 2015

Not quite holding court from the bed as Kahlo was known to do, Modica’s photograph of Ethyl Eichelberger at Danceteria registers the heightened emotions of a time when nightlife in the East Village belonged to artists and friends, famous or not, who knew how make an art event also a site for political awareness—social media experts, do take note! As the next artist, Bill Beckley, said: “We didn’t call it ‘Soho’ it was just ‘downtown’.

07_BillBeckley_Deirdres_Lips_cibachromeBill Beckley, Deirdre’s Lips, 1978.
Currently showing in Beckley’s solo show “The Accidental Poet (The Avoidance of Everything)
Bill Beckley—1968-1978″ at Albertz Benda.
September 10 – October 3, 2015

Beckley has been engaging conceptually with photography, and through impeccable mastery of color, since the late sixties. Seeing this show in relation to #2 on this very list, “Experiments in Japanese Art and Photography, 1968-1979” shows us a variety of experimentation when photography as an art form wasn’t yet institutionally considered an art form.


08_Helen_KellerHelen Keller at home in Forrest Hills, circa 1920s. Courtesy of the American Foundation for the Blind.
Currently shown in the group show “Leading the Way: Six Outstanding Women of Queens” at Queens Historical Society.
Closes May 2016.

Found in a small exhibition big on community engagement, Keller’s gesture demonstrates the importance of touch as another form of seeing, reading, and communicating.


09_Encouble_Delphine_Burtin-12Delphine Burtin, Encouble.
Currently showing at Benrubi Gallery.
September 10October 24, 2015

The first solo show of a Swiss photographer continuing in the photographic tradition of abandoning expected perceptions of physical space.



Jo Ractliffe, Details of tiled murals at the Fortaleza De São Miguel, depicting Portuguese explorations in Africa, 2007.
Currently showing in “The Aftermath of Conflict: Jo Ractliffe’s Photographs of Angola and South Africa,” the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Closes March 6, 2016.

Ractliffe’s continued engagement with Angola’s post-colonial complexity has led to a body of work focused on restoring “a place for memory” in sites marked by conflict, erasure, and displacement. Photographs from this series are featured in the South African pavilion of this year’s Venice Biennale.



Grey Art Gallery, 100 Washington Square East, New York, NY
La Mama Galleria, 47 Great Jones Street, New York, NY
Albertz Benda, 516 West 26th Street, New York, NY
Benrubi Gallery, 521 West 26th Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY
Rick Wester Fine Art, 526 West 26th Street, Suite 417, New York, NY
Nailya Alexander Gallery, 41 E 57th Street, Suite 704, New York, NY
Throckmorton Fine Art, 145 East 57th Street, 3RD floor, New York, NY
L. Parker Stephenson, 764 Madison Ave #4f, New York, NY
Queens Historical Society, 143-35 37th Avenue, Flushing, New York
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue (at 82nd Street), New York, NY

Summer Seeing: 10 Must-See Photos in August

Summer Seeing: 10 Must-See Photos in August

Posted by on Aug 4, 2015 in Patricia Silva | No Comments

As mentioned in the first installment of this summer series, I am joining Baxter St at CCNY to present a monthly selection of not-to-be missed photographs in New York City.

This month’s photographs are showing in the Bowery, Chelsea, the Upper East Side, and in two shows that can be seen on the same day: one in Staten Island and another near the Staten Island ferry at Bowling Green. Some works are in shows closing by the end of this week, do not wait an extra minute to view them in person.
Enjoy the second of three installments this summer!



Willa Nasatir, Green #1, 2015. Courtesy Company Gallery.
Currently showing in the “Close to the Skin” group show at Company Gallery.
Closes August 8

One of the most beguiling works on view this summer.



Benny Merris, An Other Another 76, 2015. Image courtesy of the artist and Murray Guy New York.
Currently showing in the group show “The Secret Life” at Murray Guy.
Closes August 7

Merris has two works of gorgeous colour on view at the ever tasteful Murray Guy, but this one humorously and bluntly interjects photographic space with the gesture of painting.



Alice Austen, The Grounds at Clear Comfort, ca.1900s.
Currently showing in the show “Becoming Clear Comfort: History of a Landmark” at the Alice Austen House.
Closes August 30

Clear Comfort, the home where photography pioneer Alice Austen lived for 78 years contains an exquisite archive of early street photography, unique New York photographs, and of course, Austen’s social circle. In a show celebrating the 30th anniversary of Austen’s private home becoming a public museum, this photograph shows the grounds of Clear Comfort relatively unchanged, the expansive and remote characteristics Austen valued in Clear Comfort. Renwick, the well-known New York architect, was responsible for one of its additions. An affluent woman breaking gender roles at the turn of the century, Austen would have passed away penniless in a shelter had it not been for the rediscovery of her work.



Abelardo Morell, Upright Camera Obscura: The Piazzetta San Marco Looking Southeast in Office, Venice, 2007
Currently in the summer group show at Edwynn Houk.
Closes August 14

It may seem ineffectual to look at photographs taken within a camera obscura when the joy of the camera obscura is in rendering photography as a full-body experience. In looking at photographs such as these, in a flattened format, we face the the other optical qualities that in real-time our eyes can’t keep up with, or detect.


Glenn O’Brien, TV Party. Video Installation
Currently in “The Last Party” at WhiteBox.
Closing August 23

A fantastic archive of the Lower East Side’s creative scene from the late 70s to the 90s, “The Last Party” is an oasis of rebellion and individuality in an otherwise and regretfully gentrified neighborhood. Glenn O’Brien’s public access video is one of the many gems of the show, but important to review and enjoy its charisma and spontaneity in an era of visual quickies.


Leslie Hewitt, Untitled (Geographic Delay), 2009. Image courtesy Yancey Richardson.
Currently showing in the group show “A Room of One’s Own” at Yancey Richardson.
Closes August 21

Taking its cue from the unset energy that artists’ studios contain, Hewitt’s arrangement plays with media histories as a subject for arrangement.



Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Self-Portrait Study with Two Figures (1506), 2015.
Currently showing in the group show “A Room of One’s Own” at Yancey Richardson.
Closes August 21

Working with the “studio portrait as a site of exchange,” Sepuya’s photograph is a dynamic take on the accumulation of angles that form a self.



Meryl McMaster, Meryl 3, 2010.
Currently showing at The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.
Closing December 11, 2015

Why wait until the last possible day? Close to the Staten Island ferry, this is the perfect show to see after spending a good portion of the day at the Alice Austen House. What Countess Castiglioni did with the idea of the frame in photography, McMaster revisits with an approach that is all construction and modular.


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Ladislav Postupa, Untitled, 1968.
Currently showing in the “Land Lines” group show at Howard Greenberg.
Closes September 4

From the little that I know and have seen of this photographer’s work over the years, this photograph is unusual for Postupa because of its stark composition and blunt lack of pathos. And yet, for the time in which it was taken, and in the context of photography, I find it just riveting that it references, either consciously or unconsciously, the mechanism of portable bellows, and relationships of distance and weight in the tools of photography.


Stephen Somerstein, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Looks out at crowd in Montgomery, 1965.
Currently showing in “Freedom Journey 1965: Photographs of the Selma to Montgomery March by Stephen Somerstein” at the New York Historical Society Museum.
Closes October 25

Days away from the one year anniversary of Michael Brown’s death, we know that 683 individuals have been killed by police in the first 7 months of 2015. Discussing and evaluating the varying levels of embedded racism has always been relevant, and now more than ever. Despite video evidence to the contrary, Brown’s actions remain described as robbery (rather than shoplifting). Trayvon Martin’s death led to the formation of the Black Lives Matter movement, Eric Garner magnified the importance and risks of citizen media, and social justice organizers honoring Michael Brown didn’t take either of those social tools for granted. Citizen-driven still images and smartphone-generated videos have played a crucial role in the discussion of each of these cases. Somerstein’s photograph was made with the same urgency and similar level of access in a time of critical upheaval—one of many points of heritage for the digital media shaping today’s dialogue on racial and social disparity.




Alice Austen House: 2 Hylan Blvd, Staten Island, NY 10305
The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian: Broadway, New York, NY 10274
WhiteBox: 329 Broome St #1, New York, NY 10002
Company Gallery: 88 Eldridge Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10002
Murray Guy: 453 W 17th St # 3SW, New York, NY 10011
Yancey Richardson: 525 W 22nd St, New York, NY 10011
Edwynn Houk: 745 5th Ave #407, New York, NY 10151
Howard Greenberg: 41 E 57th St Suite 1406, New York, NY 10022
New York Historical Society Museum: 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024


Summer Seeing: 10 Must-See Photos in July

Summer Seeing: 10 Must-See Photos in July

This summer I am joining Baxter St at CCNY to present a monthly list of not-to-be missed photographs in New York City. That’s right: photographs, not shows. As photography continues reaching across social, aesthetic, and political arenas,  it’s increasingly possible (and most enjoyable!) to encounter disarmingly excellent photographs in situations having nothing to do with photography as a theme. Experiencing a photograph next to a painting, an audacious distant cousin (such as a heliograph), a sculpture, or even within much-debated sets of social obligation (journalism)—each of these scenarios expands the conversation around how photography functions in specific contexts, both inside and outside gallery spaces.

This month’s list features photographs currently on view until the end of the month in the Bowery, Soho, Chelsea, the upper east side, and two significant shows in the Bronx within close distance of each other.

Enjoy the first of three installments this summer!


Jeff Whetstone, Banff Sun Spot, 2015. Pigment print.
Currently showing in the group show “Photography Sees the Surface” at Higher Pictures Gallery.
Closing August 7


Linda Connor, August 16 1895, 1996. Gold toned printing out paper from original glass plate negative.
Currently showing in the group show “Photography Sees the Surface” at Higher Pictures Gallery.
Closing August 7

Also of interest in this show is a beautiful 1899 heliogravure of the moon’s surface, by Loewy and Puiseux.


Sarah Sieradzki, Untitled (Arrangement #08), 2015. Courtesy of the artist and Jackie Klempay.
Currently showing in “Space and Matter” at Sperone Westwater.
Closing July 31

A young emerging artist living in Brooklyn, Sieradzki’s photograph is too delightful to avoid, try and peel yourself away.


Burk Uzzle, Dead Bird in Mirror, Florida, ca. 1975. Vintage gelatin silver, printed ca. 1975. Courtesy Steven Kasher Gallery, New York.
Currently shown in “Burk Uzzle: American Puzzles” at Steven Kasher Gallery.
Closing July 31

Uzzle’s solo show is filled with the found geometries and blunt spatial engagements that street photography renders so well.


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Maximo Colon, Untitled, c. 1970. Digital print.

Currently showing in the group show “¡Presente! The Young Lords in New York” at Bronx Museum of the Arts, one of three Bronx venues focusing on different aspects of the movement’s history.
Closing October 15, 2015

Although this exhibition is up until October of this year, you should see it immediately, and make time to see the rotating films. “The Young Lords had a defining influence on social activism, art, and identity politics, but the lasting significance of their achievements has rarely been examined,” said The Bronx Museum’s Executive Director Holly Block.


Giovanni Troilo, Gharleroi, Belgium, 2014.

Currently showing in “Altered Images: 150 Years of Posed and Manipulated Documentary Photography” at the Bronx Documentary Center.
Closing August 2

Part of a series titled “The Dark Heart of Europe” this staged image of a couple having car sex (the photographer’s cousin and his girlfriend) won the 2015 World Press Photo Prize. Like several other images in this exhibition, the WPP rescinded the award. Shown along side a larger context of image manipulation in contexts of journalism—from Roger Fenton’s Civil War photographs, to media outlets misrepresenting the Baltimore uprisings earlier this year by using a 2014 image taken in Venezuela—this show charts the of nuanced fields of responsibility and fallibility present in, and inseparable from, the history of journalistic practice.


Nobuyoshi Araki, Untitled, (Eros Diary, 2015.
Currently in “Eros Diary” at Anton Kern.
Closing August 7

A collection of 77 new black and white photographs by Nobuyoshi Araki: a diaristic engagement with the twists and turns of emotion while playing with time and time stamps.



Derek DeWitt, Stella Rose Saint Clair, 2013.

Currently showing in the group show “Interface: Queer Artists Forming Communities Through Social Media” at the Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art.
Closes August 2

In an amazing show of well-selected and intellectually rigorous works, DeWitt’s print of a polaroid is a refreshing surge of photography’s ability to arrest the eye, through high glamour and an economy of means. A wonderful juxtaposition with the selections at Higher Pictures right now: photographs made to highlight photography’s ability to convey surfaces. DeWitt’s image is seemingly devoid of texture, but the nuances of emulsion are exceptionally present, a red-lipped whiplash pushing and pulling at the subtle qualities of image reproduction.


Toshio Shibata, Kofu City, Yamanashi Prefecture, 2006.

Currently in the group show “Land and Sea” at Danese Corey.
Closing July 31

A stunning image made with no technical gimmick, just pure eye (much like DeWitt’s approach too).



Sperone Westwater: 257 Bowery, New York, NY 10002
Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art
: 26 Wooster St, New York, NY 10013
Anton Kern: 532 W 20th St, New York, NY 10011
Danese Corey: 511 W 22nd St, New York, NY 10011
Steven Kasher: 515 W 26th St, New York, NY 10001
Higher Pictures: 980 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10075
Bronx Museum of the Arts: 1040 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10456
Bronx Documentary Center: 614 Courtlandt Ave, Bronx, NY 10451