Clegg & Guttmann

In this exhibition, as in a classic 17th-century picture gallery, the color photographs of Michael Clegg and Martin Guttmann (all from 1986) were installed on the walls in two horizontal rows: still lifes above, large-format portraits below. It may seem paradoxical to apply a reference to 17th-century painting to the work of these two young New York photographers, but the images presented in this show are indebted to that particular social and artistic period.

The subjects in the portraits are posed according to specific formal conventions. In some of these, their eyes are turned toward the observer, while in others they appear to look outside the visual field. But in the portraits of couples and family groups there is never any visual contact between the photographic subjects; they remain separate entities. Everyone is elegantly dressed—the women in black evening dresses and jewels, the

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