New York

“Groupings”

O.K. Harris Works of Art

“Groupings” was made into an especially pleasurable experience by one’s having to walk through a room of photographs by William Anastasi to get to it. Anastasi’s were photographs of the walls on which they hung, while “Groupings” was a large number of group photographs by, in the main, anonymous and provincial commercial photographers. These were collected over a period of two years by Ivan Karp, the gallery’s director, and his assistant Patterson Sims. Unless the original date was part of the photograph—as in the title Fat Men of the West at Put-in Bay, Ohio, September 10th., 1872—the work’s provenance was left open to speculation. They seemed to range from the middle of the 1860s to the 1950s. Some of the pictures went further than others to reinforce what is I think a basic premise of Ivan Karp’s, that what he has called “vernacular” art is of interest because it tends to unconsciously

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