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