Seen in Art: March 2015


Garry Winogrand!! At the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This was by far my favorite exhibition since the last SEEN column. So much so I visited it three times and could easily have visited more.

Understanding Garry Winogrand. l-rt: Jeff Rosenheim, Tod Papageorge, Leo Rubinfien. Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2014. Photo © Susan May Tell. Discussion among curators and photographers who knew Garry Winogrand.
Understanding Garry Winogrand. l-rt: Jeff Rosenheim, Tod Papageorge, Leo Rubinfien. Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2014. Photo © Susan May Tell

Winogrand famously left behind 6,500 rolls of film he had neither developed nor seen–as well as contact sheets he had not edited. The selected photographs, chosen by his friend and guest curator Leo Rubinfien, included some of everything. Including one (see below) I was so drawn to, I photographed it on multiple visits; its wall text indicated it was unmarked on a contact sheet and printed posthumously.

© Susan May Tell-Garry Winogrand-Posthumous
Photo © Garry Winogrand, New York ca. 1958. Posthumous print. Unmarked on contact sheet. Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2014

For behind-the-scenes glimpses into his personal history and life, the installation included display cases. They showed Winogrand’s photograph, taken about 1960, of good friend, photographer, Lee Friedlander and a photograph taken by Friedlander’s wife, Maria, of him. Since I know that some of you (readers of SEEN) received an MFA or a Guggenheim Fellowship, I thought you might get a kick out of Winogrand’s 1964 Guggenheim application (see below). Hand-written. Words crossed out. No degree. Were things simpler back then??

© Susan May Tell-Garry Winogrand-Guggenheim Application
Garry Winogrand’s 1964 application for a Guggenheim Foundation Photography Fellowship, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2014

Full disclosure: I took a workshop with Winogrand at the International Center of Photography when it was located on East 94th Street. He was generous. Smart. Spoke directly. Although decades ago, I can repeat verbatim what he said. For example: San Francisco is a “rest home for young people.” I also have three of his books which he autographed.

For anyone interested in seeing/hearing Winogrand in action, here is a link to a class at Rice University. When a student asked him about a contemporary photographer, he held no punches and totally trashed the photographer’s work. Ouch! The video lasts 1 hour 46 minutes. I listened to it twice!

On a hot Saturday afternoon in June, I met up with six friends to attend the opening of Larry Clark‘s exhibition “they thought i were but i aren’t anymore” at the Luhring Augustine Gallery in Chelsea. It was difficult to know what to make of the work, which included paintings and collages as well as photographs, on the sparsely covered walls of the large gallery. We decided the highlight of the exhibition was seeing Clark, himself.

Larry Clark, in black t-shirt, at the opening of “they thought i were but i aren’t anymore” at Luhring Augustine Gallery. With Patrick Fox, c, and Patrick McMullan, rt, 2014. Photos © Susan May Tell

On the other hand, there were multiple highlights when seeing  Anastasia Taylor-Lind‘s exhibition, “MAIDAN: Portraits from the Black Square” at the Anastasia Gallery on the LES. The beautiful portraits and the gallery itself. The gallery itself is a revelation! Work hanging on the wall is typical of galleries. Check. The availability to see work of other photographers represented by the gallery. Check. However, at the Anastasia Gallery the work of the not-currently-exhibited photographers is accessible to all visitors. On a large table are portfolios of each photographer’s work, the prints in protective sleeves.

A visitor looks at a photographer’s portfolio. On the wall is Anastasia Taylor-Lind’s “MAIDAN: Portraits from the Black Square,” Anastasia Gallery, 2014. Photo © Susan May Tell

Taylor-Lind’s somber photographs were taken in Kiev, during protests against the government. Posed against a black cloth in a makeshift studio, inside the barricaded square, she captured quiet moments of protesters and mourners.

The gallery specializes in documentary photography and photojournalism. Its photographers include luminaries such as David Burnett, Ed Kashi, Ron Haviv and Natan Dvir. Dvir’s work is currently on view (March 4th – April 30th, 2015).

I don’t remember ever seeing an exhibition at the Howard Greenberg Gallery which I didn’t admire. Some of their recent exhibitions included “The Middle East Revealed: A Female Perspective” and Joel Meyerowitz’s double exhibitions ”European Trip” and “The Effect of France.”

The Middle East: A Female Perspective, Photographs © from top left: Shadi Ghadiran, Teem Al , Faisal, Boushra Almutawakel and Rania Matar, Howard Greenberg Gallery, 2014
The Middle East: A Female Perspective, Photographs © from top left: Shadi Ghadiran, Reem Al Faisal, Boushra Almutawakel and Rania Matar, Howard Greenberg Gallery, 2014

Contemporary photographers Boushra Almutawakel, Reem Al Faisal, Shadi Ghadiran and Rania Matar produce exceptional work. Each photographer’s work was very different from the others–as seen in the compilation image (see above). The prints, either gelatin silver or chromogenic, were large and ranged in size from 22×16 inches (smallest) to 39×53 inches.

It was interesting to see these in relation to a companion exhibition in the gallery’s book alcove: Margaret Bourke-White’s “Syria in 1940.” The largest of her 14 vintage gelatin silver prints was 10×14 inches.

Howard Greenberg Gallery. Joel Meyerowitz: The Effect of France, New Still Lifes, 2012-2013
“Nine Objects, 2013,” © Joel Meyerowitz. Installation view of “The Effects of France,” Howard Greenberg Gallery, 2014

Joel Meyerowitz‘s exhibition “The Effect of France: New Still Lifes, 2012-2013” was surprising. Known for his terrific action-packed New York street photography, these photographs gave us an opportunity to see another, more controlled, quiet and reflective side of him. Wonder if he would have/could have taken these decades earlier and whether his archive has more of this quieter kind of work …

Stephen Mallon‘s exhibition “Patterns of Interest” at New York University Kimmel Galleries was eye-opening! The photographs were culled from his previous exhibitions “Brace for Impact: The Salvage of Flight 1549” and “American Reclamation: Next Stop Atlantic.” Widely exhibited and rightly acclaimed, I’ve seen the work before and always found it formidable. Although some of the better known photographs from these series are not included, what curator Pamela Jean Tinnen did was to perceptively re-contextualize Mallon’s work and create a new way of looking at it. She focused on images with details and composition, such as Throttle (seen to his right in the image below). That these included many of my favorites—even better!

Thomas Donley photographs Stephen Mallon and curator Pamela Jean Tinnen, Kimmel Galleries, NYU, 2015. Photo © Susan May Tell

The opening was also fun!! Lots of ASMP NY friends were there. Mallon is a former President of the chapter and still on its Board; Tinnen was a reviewer at the chapter’s Fine Art Portfolio Review which is where she and Mallon first met.

In case you haven’t seen the exhibition, you are in luck. It is on view through March 16th.

Also fun, albeit a bit more subdued, was the holiday toast at the Miyako Yoshinaga Gallery. Champagne. Congenial conversations with simpatico people. Surrounded by the poignant photographs in Miyamo Lake’s exhibition “Latent Heat.” A great combination! This was Lake’s fifth solo exhibition at the gallery and her first in four years.

A guest in front of Miyamo Lake's photograph Layered Solitude #1 at the holiday toast, Miyako Yoshinaga Gallery, 2014. Photo © Susan May Tell
Svetlana Jovanovic in front of Miyamo Lake’s photograph “Layered Solitude #1” at the holiday toast, Miyako Yoshinaga Gallery, 2014. Photo © Susan May Tell

Next up at the gallery is Joo Myung Duck’s “Motherland” which will be the Korean photographer’s first solo exhibition in the United States. The exhibition of gelatin silver prints will span the years between 1965 and 2010. The opening reception is on March 12th!

Installation view of Lauren Henkin’s exhibition “The Park,” Foley Gallery, 2014. Photo © Susan May Tell

After Lauren Henkin relocated from Portland, Oregon to New York City in 2012, she was drawn to photographing in Central Park. “The Park” at the Foley Gallery was the result. She describes it as neither portraits nor landscapes but a juxtaposition of all the park’s elements. In 2013 Yale University acquired a set of this work. Henkin and Michael Foley have also been reviewers at ASMP NY’s Fine Art Portfolio Review. The Foley Gallery has since relocated to 59 Orchard Street on the LES.

Liam Alexander, rt, in front of his work “Sisters” speaks to Latifa Metheny of Azart Art Gallery, Wix Lounge, 2014. Photo © Susan May Tell

Liam Alexander’s “New Works” at Wix Lounge. Finally! An exhibition with large-scale work that deserves to be that size. Alexander’s photographic based collage pieces are beautiful. At the closing reception he explained his unique technique, which is time and labor intensive, and one I wouldn’t dare try to repeat or explain. Fortunately he succinctly summarized it on his website: “after photographing each subject I de-construct, re-construct and re-imagine the captured image through a variety of tactile mediums, creating a unique photographic collaged piece.” In addition to the original art work, Alexander has made photographic copies of them; these limited edition prints are also available to acquire.

Soho Photo Gallery is a cooperative gallery, founded in 1971, which has a long and storied tradition. It recently offered several exhibitions worthy of its pedigree. These included “Blue Notes” by Marilyn Glynn-Fish, “The Edge of Night” by Lee Backer and “In Sight” by Carol Julien.

David Brommer photographs himself with Carol Julien at her exhibition “In Sight,” Soho Photo Gallery, 2015. Photo © Susan May Tell
Marilyn Fish-Glynn at her exhibition “Blue Notes,” Soho Photo Gallery, 2014. Photo © Susan May Tell
Lee Backer at his exhibition” The Edge of Night,” Soho Photo Gallery, 2014. Photo © Susan May Tell

Last, but definitely not least, is an exhibition of work by Zach Ranson. Ranson, thanks to a recommendation by educator and curator Thomas Werner, became an intern in my studio. A couple years later, we still work together. His Southern Gothic series combines fashion, family history and plain ol’ terrific photos and was exhibited at MILK Studios.

Zach Ranson at his exhibition, Milk Studios, 2014. Photo © Susan May Tell



Congratulations to Susan May Tell for receiving a MacDowell Colony Fellowship for the summer of 2015! Tell is an artist whose fine art photographs have been widely exhibited, collected and featured in solo museum and gallery exhibitions. Before choosing to only photograph personal projects, she was a successful editorial and news photographer who spent four years based in Cairo and four in Paris working for the New York Times, LIFE and TIME Magazines, followed by 10 years as a staff photographer and photo editor at the New York Post. A highly sought after speaker, portfolio reviewer and juror of fine art photography competitions and exhibitions, Tell is the Fine Art Chair of ASMP NY since 2008 and produces its acclaimed annual Portfolio Review. She is the Fine Art columnist for SHARPEN.

Leave A Reply