Mortenson's small black-and-white photographs of Manhattan have so many precedents that they already look comfortably familiar.
Berenice Abbott's pictures of the city in the nineteen-thirties provide a key template for his images of skyscrapers sweeping upward. Even if the buildings here are virtually featureless International Style monoliths, the work has a classic sense of restraint and a traditionalist's eye for elegant composition. But there's nothing retro to Mortenson's cityscapes (nearly all from 2008); they're muscular and crisp and smartly varied.
Read the complete review in The New Yorker.