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Artist's Opening Reception: Alex Prager at M+B Gallery

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Updated: Thursday, December 19, 2013

Face in the Crowd

Exhibition Dates:
January 25 - March 8, 2014

Artist's Opening Reception:
Saturday, January 25
6:00 - 8:00 pm

M+B Gallery celebrates Alex Prager's latest and most complex work to date Face in the Crowd; the work is also being shown at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., and includes 29 photographs and 4 films by the Los Angeles-based artist. Prager is known for her drama and theatrics, for the tension in her work, and her almost uncanny use of color. While she has explored post-war American archetypes, including burlesqued female characters that draw from classic Hollywood, fashion, advertising, and iconic documentary photography these new works engage plural open-ended narratives. They show both the mass and the individual within; the connections between figures and their isolation are both palpable sensations.

Intricate frames are both subtle and over-saturated with activity. Our eye searches for a resting place but is unsatisfied and keeps navigating the thick seas of bodies in such local as an airport terminal, lobby, beach, and movie theater. Faces, gestures, glances, and micro-interactions all keep our eye flowing through the image and, captivated by deeper searching, we find ourselves locked in place. The large scale of the work acts with their drama to implicate our viewing. We literally are drawn into the images and are affected by their swarming crowds. We engage themes of public and private space and sense the limbo of anxiety that exists between the need for personal safety and desire to belong to the mass. In either case we are destabilized but dazzled. The scope of the project is massive- Prager gathered and directed hundreds of costumed actors into specially designed sets and shot at surprising angles. The series was inspired by personal experience; Prager admits to being fascinated by "being involved in other people's lives accidentally," and here she plays out the drama of fleeting but potent interaction.

For more information on the gallery exhibition, please visit M+B Gallery

More on the Corcoran Gallery of Art's exhibition.

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Artist's Opening Reception: Jeffrey Wolin at Catherine Edelman Gallery

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Updated: Thursday, December 19, 2013

Pigeon Hill
Then & Now

Friday, January 10
5:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Saturday, January 11

Jeffrey Wolin's work on Pigeon Hill is piercing, sullen, and mournful. It raises hope just enough to make its squashing all the more painful. Pairs of images present individuals in Wolin's hometown of Bloomington, Indiana alongside text and were made with a separation of 25 years. The section of town known as Pigeon Hill is a low income area and the effects of living in poverty are both seen and read in Wolin's work.

Original portraits were made in 1987-91 and are of much more youthful faces than those in the second portrait from 2010. The idea for these works was itself sparked by a tragic event- the murder of one of his subjects. This story gave Wolin impetus for the series, and he initiated searches online, through word of mouth and on foot through housing complexes to find his old subjects and work with them again. Wolin asked his sitters to reflect on what they remember from the day the first image was made and then to reflect on where their lives have taken them. A new image was made and recorded texts included in the final works. Stories of abuse, teen pregnancy, neglect, poor education, imprisonment, and murder all seem common, and the mere drumming of these tunes make the work more weighty and relevant. We experience the power of portraiture to capture identity and record history. Together these works tell the difficult stories of both individual and community legacy.

Wolin has used handwritten text in his work for over 25 years, and its inclusion adds potency by becoming more than a leaping off point for narrative, but visual aesthetic component of the work as well. He is the recipient of an NEA and Guggenheim Fellowship, among other awards. He has three monographs on his work, and he is in numerous private and public collections including the Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY), Museum of Fine Arts (Houston, TX), Los Angeles County Museum of Art and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and The Art Institute of Chicago.

For more information on this exhibition, please visit Catherine Edelman Gallery

Additional Upcoming Gallery Programming:
Saturday, January 11, 1:00 - 2:30 p.m.

Appetite for Art is a private dinning experience with a contemporary photographer and Director Catherine Edelman. It provides a unique opportunity to share a meal with an artist, meet other art lovers and ask questions in an intimate setting.More information here

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Exhibition & Signing: A Gallery for Fine Photography Celebrates Photo NOLA

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Updated: Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Oblivion Atlas: Louviere + Vanessa and Michael Allen Zell

Inventing Reality: New Orleans Visionary Photography
Author, Curator: D. Eric Bookhardt, Foreword by Russel Lord

Saturday, December 14
8:00 – 10:00 pm

In celebration with the city's Photo NOLA A Gallery for Fine Photography will host a book signing. Two texts will be offered the evening of Saturday, December 14:The Oblivion Atlas and Inventing Reality.

The Oblivion Atlasis a collaboration between Louviere and Vanessa (L + V) and Michael Allen Zell, features a full color design by Louviere + Vanessa with vignette illustrations for the seven short stories by Michael Allen Zell.The Oblivion Atlasbegins with the simple idea that "motion must be frozen before being recreated as motion." The multi-medium artwork of L + V is set in motion as influence and inspiration for short stories by Michael Allen Zell, and L + V in turn have created new work to serve as backdrop and counterpoint to the stories. The text explores and accumulates an aviary of themes, including dreams; time-sculpting; memory; madness; resistance; nihilism; the frequencies and trajectories of the mind; absorbing/dissolving; and infinity in a finite space; none of this with cognitive delicacy but rather by nimbly moving through the tension with a sprung step that rumbles as necessary.

Inventing Reality: New Orleans Visionary Photography is an anthology highlighting the work of twenty-seven contemporary New Orleans photographers. The collection, curated by D. Eric Bookhardt, presents a vision that is both subjective and representative of a broad spectrum of techniques, providing an overview into the creative renaissance that is taking place in the city today. "In photography, this city and the surrounding region have long been a spawning grounds for visionary or magic realist imagery dating to Clarence John Laughlin's surrealist works of the 1930s," writes Bookhardt. "Today a coterie of younger emerging artists, often reflecting alternative socio-cultural milieus, have - in concert with their more established peers - expanded this visionary vocabulary." Bookhardt's insightful essay details the rich history of photographic arts in New Orleans, and his individual introductions to each photographer's series provide context for the works of 2013 Guggenheim Fellow Deborah Luster, David Halliday, Josephine Sacabo, and Louviere+Vanessa, among other established and emerging artists. The array of photographic practices used by the artists ranges from wet-plate collodions, orotones, photogravures, x-rays, and silver gelatins, to modern digital processes. The resulting anthology is a lyrical insight into personal visions, dazzling in their variety of approaches. As Russell Lord notes in the book's foreword: "It is a story about identity, tension, perception and the psychic mystery of photography in New Orleans."

For more information on this event & related texts, please visit A Gallery for Fine Photography

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Dual Event at Steven Kasher Gallery: Artists' Reception & Signing

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Updated: Thursday, December 19, 2013

Danny Fitzgerald and Les Demi Dieux
Brooklyn Boys
December 12 - January 18, 2014

Roxanne Lowit
Be Fabulous
December 12 - January 12, 2014

Dual Artists' Reception & Signing with Fitzgerald:
Thursday, December 12, 2013
6:00 - 8:00 pm

The Brooklyn Boys of Danny Fitzgerald are something of a rediscovery. Though his work appeared regularly in the 1960's on the covers of pre-Stonewall publications such as The Young Physique, Muscles a Go-Go, Demi Gods and Era, it was lost to time until Robert Loncar and James Kempster of BigKugels Photographic, Inc. brought it back to light. It is hard to deny these male nudes; they are chiseled but soft, and indeed some achieve an air of divinity. Fitzgerlad's models are generally young working class men, but the ruffians of Brooklyn's streets and beaches are transformed into timeless icons of classic beauty. Much of Fitzgerald's work catches the youths in their element- the shop, the gym, the water's edge, but occasionally Fitzgerald manages a shot in the more intimate confines of the studio. These gems break down the machoism and swagger of the sitters and reveal the delicate and intimate male nude.

Be Fabulous amounts to a mini-retrospective of Roxanne Lowit's work, and will include over 40 vintage and modern black and white photographs and over 20 large-scale color photographs. Lowit is a premier photographer of the strange world of the rich, famous and beautiful, and her subjects include such personalities as Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, and Helmut Newton; the original supermodels Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, and Naomi Campbell; designers John Galliano, Karl Lagerfeld, and Yves Saint Laurent; and trendsetters Anna Wintour, Diana Vreeland, Kate Moss, and Andre Leon Talley. Lowit was also at the forefront of fashion coverage for the past 40 years, as one of the first fashion photographers allowed entrée behind the scenes Lowit could work to elevate the snapshot to high art though her trademark candid realism. She has amassed an archive of over 200,000 negatives and color slides taken at hundreds of fashion events in Paris, New York, Milan, and London. Due to her great fascination with what she calls "people with magic," Lowit is our era's chronicler of the fabulous.

For more information on the Roxanne Lowit's exhibition click here.

For more information on the Danny Fitzgerald exhibition click here.

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Artist's Opening Reception: Massimo Vitali at Bonni Benrubi Gallery

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Updated: Thursday, December 19, 2013

Between Normalties

Exhibition Dates: December 12 – February 1, 2014

Artist's Opening Reception:
Thursday, December 12
6:00 – 8:00 pm

Massimo Vitali began his career as a photojournalist before dedicating himself to his own practice in 1994. Perhaps this early work helped to shape his artistic career, for his work stays free of judgment as it illuminates truth. It is both inquisitive and critical. This exhibition marks the artist's sixth solo show with Bonni Benrubi Gallery and is composed of large format photographs that continue to push into areas explored by earlier work through engaging sets of contrasts. Juxtaposed images reveal the line between pleasure and tragedy. In Lampedusa Diptych, for example, we encounter two images- one of a carefree beach scene and the other, while it reveals the same vista, is void of activity and figures. It is only the title and the knowledge that this site is more than a vacation destination; it was also the location of a tragic boating accident that caused the los of 360 lives in October of 2013. Works like this underline the plurality of place, its use, and history and leaves viewers wondering at the effect of humanity on the natural world.

Further contrasts and explorations of Vitali engage plurality of the photographic media itself; Vitali has begun photographing the same scene with both analog and digital process. The fact that the same image is rendered in dual forms reminds us of perspective and persistence. Our world is both singular and communal; it is the layers that Vitali asks us to engage.

For more information on the exhibition, please visit Bonni Benrubi Gallery

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