Charles Hagen

  • Peter Campus

    Peter Campus’ videotapes and installations from the mid-’70s had a riveting, obsessional quality. In an especially memorable group of tapes he used the familiar video technique of chroma keying, in which a blue surface drops out of a video image and another image is “keyed” into the space it leaves. In one tape from this group Campus held a card onto which he’d chroma keyed an image of himself; he then set the card on fire. In another he applied blue makeup to his face, gradually disappearing into the video background. At the time these works attracted attention for the reflexive nature of their

  • Sandy Skoglund

    With Maybe Babies, her latest photograph and installation, Sandy Skoglund moves another rung up the evolutionary ladder from her earlier Revenge of the Goldfish and Radioactive Cats, both 1981. In each of the three Skoglund has presented both a large Cibachrome photograph and the constructed environment on which it is based; all have featured drab domestic settings (a bedroom in . . . Goldfish, a kitchen in . . . Cats, an outside corner of a house in . . . Babies) teeming with remarkably detailed, luridly colored epoxy casts of the title creatures. Skoglund’s settings are like the mad hallucinations

  • Duane Michals

    Among the 41 works in this exhibition were examples of most of the varieties of photographic work for which Duane Michals is known. The roster was a diverse one: celebrity portraits (Francis Ford Coppola, Robert Downey) and portraits of friends and others; three photographic sequences, including one nine-part work, I Remember Pittsburgh, 1982, with marginal commentary written in Michals’ familiar spindly scrawl; multiple-exposure images—here frequently portraits in which each side of the frame is used as the horizon for each of four different exposures of the sitter; a dozen black and white

  • Alfred Stieglitz

    This show had the air of a family celebration about it. Timed to coincide with the publication of a new biography of Alfred Stieglitz by Sue Davidson Lowe, his grandniece, the exhibition was co-curated by Ellen Lowe—Sue Lowe’s daughter, and thus the great-grandniece of the photographer and entrepreneur extraordinaire of Modernism in America. Moreover, the elder Lowe, as a young girl, appears in many of the photographs by Stieglitz that made up half the show.

    For those in them and those who make them, family snapshots are artifacts of emotional moments—mementos of specific personal relationships,

  • “Image/Process 1 and 2”

    Judging by the work by 21 artists included in this two-part anthology, much recent video that relies on electronic image processing and manipulation draws its inspiration not so much from the Fluxist undermining of the image pioneered by Nam June Paik as from the computerized slickness (and emotional shallowness) of rock video and TV commercials. In fact, many of the tapes in this series (curated by Shalom Gorewitz, himself a video artist known for his electronically processed work) seem to be built up from a single formula, varied according to the individual predilections of the artists.

  • Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

    An artist risks succumbing to a certain giggly irony in undertaking a series of portraits of critics, given the ocean of misunderstanding between the two groups. Timothy Greenfield-Sanders manages to avoid snickering in this collection of black and white portraits of 40 New York art critics, all made with a mammoth 11-by-14-inch camera. Instead, he treats his subjects with an unremitting sincerity; his critics are caricatures, but of a particularly high-minded sort. Most remain the stern, scowling judges that anxious artists and popular opinion imagine them to be—there’s nary a smile in the lot.

  • “Faces Photographed: Contemporary Camera Images”

    Most of the photographs here are portraits of one sort or another, but despite the show’s title, few have all that much to do with faces. Instead most of them employ—but do not confront—various forms of stylization, both photographic and personal, and the fictive personas created by photographers and their subjects for fashion and magazine illustration. The sitters here are mainly celebrities, models, people with exotic, “interesting” faces—but the photographs are seldom just of faces. Few tasks in photography are as difficult as to photograph a person’s face and reveal something surprising and

  • Jim Dow

    In his earlier work Jim Dow photographed various forms of vernacular architecture, including county courthouses, interiors of bars and poolhalls, soccer stadiums in England, and minor-league baseball parks. Dow was pursuing the sort of photographic archaeological investigation of folk culture practiced by Walker Evans and a slew of followers. In this now-familiar approach typical but heavily connoted artifacts and scenes of contemporary life are presented in as neutral a fashion as possible, with the photographer typically using a large-format camera and great depth of field. Seldom is work of

  • Aaron Siskind

    In the late ’30s the Feature Group of the Photo League, a New York photography organization which would be hounded out of existence during the McCarthy era, produced a series of documentary projects about the city. The most extensive of these was “Harlem Document,” produced in 1938–40 with the help of black sociologist Michael Carter, who also wrote the text for the finished version. “Harlem Document” was exhibited at various locations around New York; a book was prepared, but never published. An exhibition that attempted to reconstruct this original “Harlem Document” (or what remains of

  • “After De Stijl”

    In the late ’20s and early ’30s a remarkable group of photographers from throughout Europe lived and worked in Holland, drawn both by its political neutrality and its thriving art scene. These immigrants—who included László Moholy-Nagy, Paul Citroen, Erwin Blumenfeld, Erich Salomon, and Germaine Krull—combined with local photographers and artists such as Piet Zwart, Cas Oorthuys, Paul Schuitema, and others to form an exceptionally fertile photographic milieu. Central to this surprising concurrence of artists were the various strains of Modernism (especially Constructivism) the arrivals brought

  • Sarah Charlesworth

    In three of the four pieces here, Sarah Charlesworth continues her literal deconstruction of photographs. In each large work she cuts up a photographic reproduction lifted from the ocean of anonymous illustration photographs in books, then rephotographs some or all of the resulting fragments in approximately the same relationship they had in the original, but separated and floating against a black background. Blown up to a commanding three by five feet, and with transparent colored gels applied to some sections, Charlesworth’s constructions take on an implacable sheen and presence.

    By gearing

  • Susan Eder

    In many of her earlier photographic works Susan Eder plays one system of meaning off against another. This tactic has been familiar in art since Duchamp’s Ready-mades, in which the formal qualities of common objects are ironically contrasted with their mundane functions. Eder’s pieces too are humorous and heady.

    In this earlier work Eder treats natural phenomena—clouds, leaves—according to various systems of analysis and ordering. In each piece in her “Ghost Images” series of 1976–79, for example, she juxtaposes two postage-stamp-size color photographs, one of an animal, bird, or fish, and the