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

  • “Snap Judgments: New Positions in Contemporary African Photography”

    The more-than-two-hundred works on view include photographs, videos, installations, and performance documentation, and explore themes familiar to Western discourse: identity (through race, gender, and the body); historic trauma and representation; and political narratives in a postcolonial nation.

    A successful attempt to comprehend contemporary art practices in Africa must encompass broad geopolitical and cultural diversity. For this sweeping survey, Okwui Enwezor has chosen thirty-five artists from twelve countries on the epic continent, most of whom have never exhibited abroad. The more-than-two-hundred works on view include photographs, videos, installations, and performance documentation, and explore themes familiar to Western discourse: identity (through race, gender, and the body); historic trauma and representation; and political narratives in a postcolonial

  • Todd Eberle

    Todd Eberle is best known for his architectural photographs in stylish magazines like Vanity Fair, W, and Domus, but his new series of large-format images distills the contemporary architectural venture to found geometries and grids.

    Todd Eberle is best known for his architectural photographs in stylish magazines like Vanity Fair, W, and Domus, but his new series of large-format images distills the contemporary architectural venture to found geometries and grids. Locating the modernist schematic in the patterns of ceilings, grills, tiles, and other architectural surfaces, these photographs reference much of the history of geometric abstraction, from De Stijl to Stephen Westfall, yet ultimately remain photographic: luminous, airy, and somewhat ethereal. The thirteen prints on view—of

  • “ClickDoubleClick: The Documentary Factor”

    Although sympathetic to the documentary ideal, the roughly 150 images on view, by Taryn Simon, Larry Sultan, Jeff Wall, Luc Delahaye, and nineteen others, operate between fact and fiction. At its core, the show emphasizes photography based on the artist’s interpretation rather than fact.

    Throughout its history, the practice of documentary photography has implied a rigorous responsibility to truth—an illusive ideal that has grown increasingly problematic in the digital age. This exhibition examines the influence of digital manipulation on the documentary tradition and how technology has weakened the medium’s integrity and authenticity. Although sympathetic to the documentary ideal, the roughly 150 images on view, by Taryn Simon, Larry Sultan, Jeff Wall, Luc Delahaye, and nineteen others, operate between fact and fiction. At its core, the show emphasizes

  • Stephen Shore

    Besides almost single-handedly dismantling the distinction between high and low forms of photography, introducing the use of color film for high-brow ambitions, and reviving large-format photography, Stephen Shore forged, in the ’70s, two distinct ways of observing the colloquial American landscape. “Uncommon Places,” 1973–86, posed a silent, dense description of the present, while “American Surfaces,” 1972–73, was restless, ephemeral, and glib. This show of 120 prints from 1968 to 1993 (as well as Shore’s daily logs from 1973 and early conceptual projects)

  • Ralph Eugene Meatyard

    The most significant force in photography during the past forty years has been the development of practices that accommodate subjectivity and interiority, recognizing that which is felt by the photographer as opposed to making any statement of fact. Although this approach now dominates contemporary photographic discourse, it has not always been so. In fact, the fundamental lexicon of the photographic subjective, not to mention the development of photographic narrative and the constructed image, emerged in the late ’50s and early ’60s from the unlikely precincts of Lexington, Kentucky, the

  • Sally Mann

    In her often haunting photographic series “What Remains,” Sally Mann conflates the Romantic appreciation of disintegration’s inherent beauty, the photograph’s compulsive preservation of the past, and a southern narrative that evokes both.

    In her often haunting photographic series “What Remains,” Sally Mann conflates the Romantic appreciation of disintegration’s inherent beauty, the photograph’s compulsive preservation of the past, and a southern narrative that evokes both. Through her eyes, the landscape becomes an unrelenting burial site that composts considerable psychic weight. Organized by senior curator of photography and media arts Philip Brookman and accompanied by a substantial monograph, this exhibition features more than ninety gestural and glossy wet-collodion prints that reward the viewer

  • Gary Schneider

    These exquisite prints redefine portraiture as a rendering of temperature, of body heat that becomes the emotional mapping of an individual, a ghostly afterimage that renegotiates presence and absence, past and future.

    The ethereal and luminous quality of Gary Schneider’s photographic portraits resembles the flickering of silent films. The artist rejuvenates practices from photographic history and joins them to the most advanced photographic technology—long shutter speeds, platinum printing, medical imaging. These exquisite prints redefine portraiture as a rendering of temperature, of body heat that becomes the emotional mapping of an individual, a ghostly afterimage that renegotiates presence and absence, past and future. This exhibition comprises thirty-three works from the last

  • Laura Letinsky

    Laura Letinsky scrutinizes the intimacies of the domestic in probing photographs that bring a contemporary relevance to the familiarities of genre painting.

    Laura Letinsky scrutinizes the intimacies of the domestic in probing photographs that bring a contemporary relevance to the familiarities of genre painting. This exhibition of thirty prints from the mid-’90s to the present surveys her interrogation of romanticism in emotionally complex works that are as voluptuous and elegant as they are feverish and remote. In their depictions of the remnants of shared meals, the photographs play on fragments of activity: Melon rinds, withered bouquets, and scattered bread crusts lie quietly against the geometry of the table plane and