Stephen Frailey

  • Irving Penn

    Over the course of seven decades, Irving Penn did much to dismantle what was once thought to be a rigid barricade between fine-art and commercial photography, setting a precedent of mobility among diverse photographic contexts. Along with his colleague Richard Avedon, Penn elevated fashion photography to the highest levels of aesthetic ambition and refinement (though his work has seemed, at times and to a newer generation, as the embodiment of the historical canon). His eye was promiscuous and restless. Although his sensibility was rooted in the still life, his work straddled many photographic

  • Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Modern Century

    Long canonized through his street photographs’ articulation of the “decisive moment,” pioneering photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson is now the subject of a three-hundred-print retrospective.

    Long canonized through his street photographs’ articulation of the “decisive moment,” pioneering photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson is now the subject of a three-hundred-print retrospective. Although he documented many of the social shifts around the world between the 1930s and the ’70s, it is primarily his portrait of the quotidian life of postwar Europe, imbued with charm and sentiment, that has seemingly endured. The exhibition’s inclusion of his reportage from China, India, and elsewhere promises to expand our understanding of his oeuvre, but it is just one of the

  • “Richard Avedon: Portraits of Power”

    The 231 portraits that constitute this election-time exhibition chronicle fifty-four years of national politics—and celebrate the cult of self-promotion that now permeates our culture.

    Himself a figure of considerable clout, Richard Avedon understood power and cultivated his access to it throughout his career, often via prominent media venues like Rolling Stone, Vogue, and the New Yorker. The 231 portraits that constitute this election-time exhibition chronicle fifty-four years of national politics—and celebrate the cult of self-promotion that now permeates our culture. An emphasis on male Washington insiders and the military elite is balanced by images of lesser-known figures, including 1960s-era student civil rights workers Jerome Smith and Isaac Reynolds,

  • Edward Steichen

    This extensive survey, presenting seventy years of Edward Steichen’s work—from 1895 to 1965—will feature some five hundred images, chronicling his transition from the romanticism of early pictorialism to experiments in postwar modernism and fashion photography.

    A monumental figure in both the aesthetic and promotional history of twentieth-century photography, Edward Steichen nevertheless raised hackles for effortlessly inhabiting the twin but opposing citadels of visual culture—New York’s Museum of Modern Art and Condé Nast. This extensive survey, curated by Todd Brandow and William A. Ewing, presenting seventy years of Steichen’s work—from 1895 to 1965—will feature some five hundred images, chronicling his transition from the romanticism of early pictorialism to experiments in postwar modernism and fashion

  • Foto: Modernity in Central Europe, 1918–1945

    This survey of photographic practice in Austria, Germany, Hungary, Poland, and the former Czechoslovakia, bracketed by the two world wars, makes the compelling and provocative cases that modernist photographic innovation and theory were the results of cathartic social disturbances—which affected those institutions charged with teaching, promoting, and disseminating the medium—and that photography dominated the cultural imagination of the time. Photomontage, darkroom experimentation, Surrealism, and Constructivism are all part of the legacy of this period, and this

  • Richard Avedon

    Richard Avedon’s achievement and his monumental influence on twentieth-century photography rests on his reshaping of two distinct photographic genres: fashion and portraiture. His mercurial take on fashion infused the form with mischief and celebration of the individual, his early work presaging the social shifts of the 1960s and ’70s. It is his portraits, however—simultaneously ratifying public life and deflating the individual—that are ultimately the most lucid and enduring of his pictures. For this first complete retrospective in more than a decade, the elegant

  • Henry Wessel

    Based in the Bay Area for the past three decades, Henry Wessel is a highly regarded, influential photographer and educator whose early photographs were championed alongside the work of contemporaries Lee Friedlander and Garry Winogrand for their deadpan, flat portrayal of everyday American life experienced under searing California light.

    Based in the Bay Area for the past three decades, Henry Wessel is a highly regarded, influential photographer and educator whose early photographs were championed alongside the work of contemporaries Lee Friedlander and Garry Winogrand for their deadpan, flat portrayal of everyday American life experienced under searing California light. Such practices helped maneuver highbrow photography from the monumental to the ephemeral and descriptive. Paying close attention to West Coast vernacular through complex compositional means, Wessel’s pictures—some eighty of which are on

  • “Ecotopia: The Second ICP Triennial of Photography and Video”

    “Ecotopia” features some eighty works by nearly forty artists—an international roster including An-my Lê and Simon Norfolk.

    With the significant exception of the objective, documentary style loosely known as “New Topographics,” named after a 1975 group show at the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York, landscape photography has been generally perceived as one of the more conservative genres of the medium—resilient to innovation, aloof from contemporary discourse, upholding exhausted pictorial traditions. All of this has changed in the past decade, as complex issues of environmental duress—an increasingly urgent part of the

  • Annie Leibovitz

    Long before American culture attained its present state of celebrity fixation, Annie Leibovitz brilliantly created a new form of star portraiture that helped redefine the genre and influenced all subsequent work in it.

    Long before American culture attained its present state of celebrity fixation, Annie Leibovitz brilliantly created a new form of star portraiture that helped redefine the genre and influenced all subsequent work in it. Adjusting the then-careful calibration of public and private, Leibovitz shared with a magazine audience the privilege of a witty and breezy intimacy. This exhibition of more than two hundred photographs from 1990 to 2005 includes depictions of the photographer’s extended family and of pop-culture icons, from Nicole Kidman to William S. Burroughs. Proposing

  • Joel Meyerowitz

    Abandoning the complex street photography that launched his career in the ’60s, Joel Meyerowitz fully embraced the use of color film in the early ’70s and shifted his lens from the spontaneous, restless, and jagged urban scene to the serene silence of landscape.

    Abandoning the complex street photography that launched his career in the ’60s, Joel Meyerowitz fully embraced the use of color film in the early ’70s and shifted his lens from the spontaneous, restless, and jagged urban scene to the serene silence of landscape. The Jeu de Paume’s survey of 120 prints, the first European presentation of the artist’s color photography, chronicles his work during this formative decade. Although often leaning toward a form of bourgeois sentimentality, Meyerowitz’s best images, of beaches and the simple domestic manner of Cape Cod, draw on

  • Doug Aitken

    This survey will be the first to focus exclusively on Doug Aitken’s still photography, which, like his more familiar video installations, explores such themes as disembodiment, solitude, spatial dislocation, and nonlinear narrative.

    This survey will be the first to focus exclusively on Doug Aitken’s still photography, which, like his more familiar video installations, explores such themes as disembodiment, solitude, spatial dislocation, and nonlinear narrative. While Aitken’s moving-image environments are immersive and sensory, however, his photographs are silent, lucid, and haunting imprints of recurring interests—nighttime cityscapes, places of public transit (highways, airports, and bus stations). The pictures, about thirty of which are presented in this exhibition, often feel

  • Catherine Opie

    Co-organized by Elizabeth Armstrong, from OCMA, and Jessica Hough, from Connecticut’s Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, where a smaller version premiered in January, this survey comprises some 140 photographs in nine series—beginning with a selection from Opie’s graduate project, “Master Plan,” 1986–88, and ending with work from “In and Around Home,” 2004–2005.

    Catherine Opie fuses the observational tradition of American photography with a European poststructuralist approach to identity politics in a practice that seeks to determine the aesthetic and cultural languages that articulate community. Co-organized by Armstrong, from OCMA, and Hough, from Connecticut’s Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, where a smaller version premiered in January, this survey comprises some 140 photographs in nine series—beginning with a selection from Opie’s graduate project, “Master Plan,” 1986–88, which chronicles the