Andy Grundberg

  • André Kertesz

    André Kertész (1894–1985), the Hungarian-born photographer who made his best work in Paris in the ’20s and ’30s and had a resurgence in New York in the ’70s, was the master of a unique kind of lyrical Surrealism. His famous Melancholic Tulip, 1939, and Satiric Dancer, 1926, exemplify his knack for intensifying everyday subject matter, as do his autobiographical color Polaroids taken shortly before his death. Kertész’s work has not been shown much since a full-bore exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago twenty years ago, so this retrospective of more than one

  • John Szarkowski

    John Szarkowski, who eloquently and often maddeningly set the tone for art photography at SF MoMA from his nearly thirty-year perch in the museum’s photography department, was a picture maker before he became a curator and has become one again since his retirement in 1991. His images from the ’40s and ’50s dote rigorously on Louis Sullivan buildings and vernacular architectural subjects; the recent ones are more rural, landscape oriented, and reflective. How these poles make sense as a career—and how Szarkowski’s photographs might have shaped his curatorial work,

  • Rineke Dijkstra

    Rineke Dijkstra’s beautiful and unsettling portraits of individuals in transition—early adolescence, childbirth, and initiation into military life—are brought together for the first time in this show of seventy photographs and two video pieces.

    Rineke Dijkstra’s beautiful and unsettling portraits of individuals in transition—early adolescence, childbirth, and initiation into military life—are brought together for the first time in this show of seventy photographs and two video pieces. The exhibition starts with Dijkstra’s beach pictures of teenagers from the early ’90s and climaxes with her recent studies of a young Frenchman entering the Foreign Legion and Israeli teens turned soldiers. These portraits, for some of which Dijkstra followed her subjects for several years, convey a poignancy that is mirrored in her video portraits of

  • Between Past and Future: New Photography and Video From China

    Contemporary art from China is the latest hot ticket, so it’s hard to see how this survey of Chinese photography and video from the past decade can miss.

    Contemporary art from China is the latest hot ticket, so it’s hard to see how this survey of Chinese photography and video from the past decade can miss. Given that most of its fifty artists are exhibiting in the US for the first time, talent pickers should be out in force. Since Chinese art photography was subject until recently to an officially sanctioned, academic aesthetic rooted in Pictorialism (filtered through the traditions of Chinese painting), the 125 works here, which smack of postmodernist cultural critique, are sure to come as a shock to

  • Edmund Teske

    One of the great oddballs of American photography, Edmund Teske (1911–96) remains best known for complex, mostly abstract darkroom concoctions that owe a large debt to the Surrealist faith in happy accident.

    One of the great oddballs of American photography, Edmund Teske (1911–96) remains best known for complex, mostly abstract darkroom concoctions that owe a large debt to the Surrealist faith in happy accident. Streaked and stained to the point of muddiness, these prints nevertheless helped to inspire a wave of process-oriented photography on the West Coast in the ’70s. Now the Getty is looking at the whole of Teske’s career: These 115 images, taken over a forty-year period, reveal that his chops extended to social documentation, nudes, portraiture, and architectural views.

  • James VanDerZee

    James VanDerZee’s seventy-five-year career as a portraitist in Harlem spanned most of the twentieth century and took in almost every African American of note, from Marcus Garvey to the literati of the Harlem Renaissance.

    James VanDerZee’s seventy-five-year career as a portraitist in Harlem spanned most of the twentieth century and took in almost every African American of note, from Marcus Garvey to the literati of the Harlem Renaissance. But his bread and butter consisted mainly of walk-in clients of a less celebrated sort. Curator Colin Westerbeck, who recently left the Art Institute after a nearly twenty-year stint, has selected 105 prints—many borrowed from the collection of the Studio Museum in Harlem—that put the focus on what he calls VanDerZee’s “everyday working methods as a

  • Nan Goldin

    Treating Goldin’s landmark Ballad of Sexual Dependency, 1981–86, as a distant memory, this small-scale retrospective (the artist’s first solo in Canada) concentrates primarily on her photographs from the ’90s.

    Treating Goldin’s landmark Ballad of Sexual Dependency, 1981–86, as a distant memory, this small-scale retrospective (the artist’s first solo in Canada) concentrates primarily on her photographs from the ’90s. That decade happens to mark a transition in Goldin’s life from club-hopping, taboo-breaking, sexual-experimenting hyperactivity to a more mature and reflective adulthood (she turned forty in 1993), and a shift in her pictures from incident and angst to an almost formal sensitivity to color and composition. The result is a show of pictures of unmistakable—dare one say it?—beauty. Also on

  • Adam Fuss

    It’s easy to see Fuss’s cameraless photograms and latter-day daguerreotypes as reactions to our digital era, in which photography’s ring of truth has a hollow sound. But as this fifty-five-print not-yet-midcareer survey (curated by Cheryl Brutvan of the MFA and Thomas Kellein of the Kunsthalle Bielefeld) shows, Fuss is interested less in documentary fact than in evanescence and immateriality. His archaic techniques provide a direct imprint of the thing photographed, but the result is a paradoxical loosening of the image’s bonds to the physical world—an

  • George Tice

    With his poetic evocations of industrialized northern New Jersey from the late ’60s and early ’70s, George Tice seems an unlikely choice of weapon for the International Center of Photography’s critically armed new curatorial regime. But there is an undeniable appeal to the photographer’s finely printed black-and-white pictures of nearly deserted urban oases like a White Castle burger joint and a Mobil gas station. Tice’s reputation took a hit with the rise of a less romantic landscape style epitomized by Robert Adams and Lewis Baltz, and his life and work have taken some

  • Alfred Stieglitz: Known and Unknown

    For longtime National Gallery curator Sarah Greenough, this is the big one: a 100-print exhibition of Alfred Stieglitz’s career, drawn from the museum’s collection of more than 1,600—the so-called key set assembled by Georgia O’Keeffe and donated by her and the Stieglitz estate. Greenough’s career has focused on the impressario of modernist photography, and in showing Stieglitz’s iconic images alongside lesser-known pictures, this survey promises to be insightful. Best of all, the show is accompanied by a catalogue reproducing the entire collection, with scholarly

  • Wolfgang Laib

    Wolfgang Laib, whose largest US retrospective to date began its tour at the Hirshhorn in October, is an artist of particular import for a historical moment when “sensation” and “brilliance” have become merely hyperbolic synonyms for “the new.” What Laib’s work offers is sensation in the purely perceptual sense of the word, a kind of ecological ethic that aspires to supplant what the artist sees as the rational, mediated mind-set of Western culture. It is brilliant, but its brilliance is of a decidedly organic, Zen cast.

    Laib was trained in medicine in his native Germany but turned to art in the

  • Raymond Depardon

    Second-generation (read post-1968) Magnum photojournalist Raymond Depardon mixes traditional hand-camera lyricism with a measure of political purpose. Less combat-oriented than Robert Capa but not so dandyish as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Depardon was as astute in documenting third-world liberation movements as he was alive to the peculiarities of contemporary French life. His self-selected eighty-print retrospective raises important questions: To what degree does the Magnum idea of politicized, mass-media reportage retain its efficacy in a postmodern world? And will the context of the museum reduce

  • The Man in the Street: Eugène Atget in Paris

    Although it's practically a given that Eugène Atget was the most influential photographer of the last century, the Getty may be right in assuming that much of today's audience missed MOMA'S exhaustive four-year, four-part Atget survey in the early '80s and viewers who did see it may be ready for a refresher. Curator Gordon Baldwin has put together seventy-two prints from the museum's collection, covering the turn-of-the-century Parisian scenes that are the basis of the photographer's reputation: shop windows, empty street corners, prostitutes, tradesmen, parks, and sculptures. These are complemented

  • Harry Callahan

    Is it time to reevaluate the legacy of Harry Callahan? The Detroit-born photographer's combination of rigorous formalism and casual intimacy can been seen in this show (organized by the institution's Carlos Gollonet) in the multiple exposures, high-contrast natural scenes, and family portraits as well as the old houses and modern skyscrapers he shot in color. Whether the exhibition will add up to a new take on this most American of American photographers, who died last year at age eighty-six, is an open question, but it will surely celebrate an artist who never lost interest in the seductiveness

  • Lisette Model

    Third in a series of exhibitions devoted to émigré Austrian artists, this eighty-plus-work survey of photographs taken between 1933 and 1961, organized by Viennese curator Monika Faber, situates Model in the context of an exiled artist whose understanding of social life was colored by her outsider status. Plausible enough: Consider Model's caustic photographs of the wealthy (first in Nice, then in New York City) and her sympathetic portrayals of those below the poverty line (often from the New York's Lower East Side). But the premise won't come as a surprise to anyone who knows Model best for

  • “Contemporary Photographic Art from Japan”

    There’s been no shortage of Japanese photography exhibitions of late, but this show has a leg up: Hiromi Nakamura, a curator at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Japan’s leading photo venue, made the selection. Nakamura’s choices emphasize the breadth of the medium’s current uses, from Mariko Mori’s latest video installation to Kunie Sugiura’s photograms. Among the eleven other artists in the show are several (Naoya Hatakeyama, Hiroshi Sugimoto) who take a more documentary approach. All work with an international audience in mind.

  • “Propaganda and Dreams: Photographing the 1930s in the USSR and the US”

    For American photography, the '30s were the heyday of the social documentary style, when figures like Dorothea Lange put a human face on the Depression. In the Stalinist Soviet Union, the decade saw the decline of the artistic vanguard and its gradual replacement with socialist realism. Could social documentary and socialist realism be opposite sides of the same coin? That's the argument guest curator Leah Bendavid-Val puts forth in bringing together the Farm Security Administration pictures taken by Lange, Walker Evans, and Ben Shahn with the contemporaneous work of Soviets from Aleksandr

  • “Yasuhiro Ishimoto: A Tale of Two Cities”

    Honored in Japan but virtually unknown in the United States and Europe, the seventy-eight-year-old photographer Yasuhiro Ishimoto is nonetheless as much a product of the West as the East. A student at the fabled Institute of Design in Chicago during its salad days in the late '40s and early '50s, Japanese-born Ishimoto assimilated the influence of Harry Callahan and went on to produce graphically precise, strongly shadowed street photographs in both Chicago and Tokyo. (His book Chicago, Chicago [1969] remains a little-known masterpiece.) Art Institute curator Colin Westerbeck's 150-photo show

  • “A Look at Japan”

    Part of a city-wide photography exhibition that overlaps with the Venice Biennale, this compendium of sixteen separate solo shows assays the state of contemporary Japanese photography. True, not all the photographers live and work in Japan (Hiroshi Sugimoto is in part a New York artist, for example, and Keichi Tahara is based in Paris), but all share a common cultural heritage that presumably unites their work. The stylistic range is wide, and many if not most of the names found here—no Araki?—will be unfamiliar to all but the specialist. Walter Guadagnini, director of the organizing

  • Frederick Sommer

    FREDERICK SOMMER was an anomaly in American art, a photographer of desert landscapes, chicken parts, and collaged Old Master prints who was equally at ease with Max Ernst and Edward Weston. That he was a friend of both suggests the convergence of two otherwise discrete twentieth-century strands: American Purism, which pursued the sharp delineation of detail, and European Surrealism, which treasured intuition, chance, and the meld of horror and humor. Sommer’s photographs (of which there are few, given a career that spanned half a century) encompass both, using polished technique and a large-format