LIMINAL @ Elizabeth Houston Gallery

Mark Lyon, Wash N’ Glo, Newburgh, NY, 2014, Archival pigment ink print, 24 x 36 in.

December 13, 2017 – February 3, 2018

Opening Reception: December 13, 6-9PM

“Examining the relationship between accessible and imaginary space, Elizabeth Houston Gallery presents LIMINAL, a group show whose trilogy of works expose time and space beyond initial availability. Working across diverse mediums, each artist redefines the limits of reality and the constraints of perception. Challenging our collective consciousness, LIMINAL provides an alternative translation of our environment. Disrupting and affirming our reliance on visual perception, each work offers an alternate framework to reimagine our own limits, understanding, and perception.”

Elizabeth Houston Gallery
190 Orchard Street
New York, NY 10002

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Book Review: Spanish Harlem: El Barrio in the 80s by Joseph Rodriguez

When Brooklyn-raised photographer Joseph Rodriguez first debuted his body of work shot in Spanish Harlem in the 1980s, it changed the face of documentary photography. Grit, elegy, celebration, pride, lurking cataclysm—all embedded in the portrait of a place and the people. Now, three decades later, Rodriguez and powerHouse Books are revisiting that groundbreaking series: unearthing huge new caches of images, and re-editing and showcasing the body of work in a beautiful, deluxe monograph, reframing the project as one that pushed beyond documentary into the realm of fine art.

Spanish Harlem, New York’s oldest barrio, is the U.S. mecca where Puerto Ricans first established themselves in the 1940s. One of America’s most vital centers of Latino culture, Spanish Harlem is home to 125,000 people, half of whom are Latino. Shot in the mid-to-late 1980s, Joseph Rodriguez’s superb photographs bring us into the core of the neighborhood, capturing a spirit of a people that survives despite the ravages of poverty, and more recently, the threat of gentrification and displacement. The drive for the people of Spanish Harlem to hold onto their community and fight off developers is a strong theme in this book. In a now-distant landscape littered with abandoned buildings, ominous alleyways, and the plague of addiction, the residents of Spanish Harlem persevered with flamboyant style and gritty self-reliance.

Scenes and settings become familiar over the pages of the book. The people who he visited frequently over time gives the viewer a feeling that this series of images was a long-term labor of love for Rodriguez. He developed a relationship with the community of Spanish Harlem and was fortunate enough to capture and convey this relationship of trust. His access, paired with a sharp eye for detail and composition, and the practiced and disciplined ability to find the perfect moment, led to the creation of an entirely unique and breathtaking narrative. From idyllic scenes of children playing under the sprinklers on the playground, or performing the Bomba Plena on “Old Timer’s Day,” to shocking images of men shooting up speedballs and children dying of AIDS, Rodriguez reveals a day in the life of the barrio in the 1980s.

The afterword in the book by Fred Ritchin journals the origin of the project. Famed photographer Bruce Davidson had asked if students at ICP could help with a project that brought awareness towards East Harlem residents threatened by gentrification. Rodriguez was a part of that project, and then afterwards he took the approach back to his own community. The community he documented, the people and the culture that make Spanish Harlem as rich as it is, show us an example of the ability of a group of American immigrants to make a living and define themselves. As Ritchin says, “They are, as Joseph makes clear in this book, and continue to be, a significant part of what makes America great.”

Spanish Harlem: El Barrio in the 80s by Joseph Rodriguez
with essay by Ed Morales and afterword by Fred Ritchin
Trim Size: 11-3/4 x 9-1/4
Page Count: 200
ISBN: 9781576878255

Joseph Rodriguez was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He began studying photography at the School of Visual Arts and went on to receive an Associate of Applied Science degree at New York City Technical College. He worked in the graphic arts industry before deciding to pursue photography further. In 1985 he graduated with a Photojournalism and Documentary diploma from the International Center of Photography in New York. He went on to work for Black Star photo agency, and print and online news organizations like National Geographic, The New York Times Magazine, Mother Jones, Newsweek, Esquire, Stern, and New America Media. He is an award winning photographer with numerous awards, grants, and exhibits to his credit.

To purchase a copy of Spanish Harlem: El Barrio in the 80s please visit powerHouse books website here.

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Alejandra Carles-Tolra, Sam Laughlin and Lua Ribeira @ Jerwood Space, London

Alejandra Carles-Tolra, Sam Laughlin and Lua Ribeira
17 January – 11 March 2018

The exhibition explores themes of such as death, belonging and the fragility of the natural world.

Jerwood Space
171 Union Street, London SE1 0LN

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The Douglas Brothers @ Kopeikin Gallery

The Douglas Brothers: SEE / SAW
January 13th – February 17th, 2017

Opening Reception Saturday, January 13th from 6-8pm

“The brothers combine a 19th century Pictorialist tradition with a contemporary sensibility. They relax focus and court movement, marginalizing light and celebrating shadow. Darkness illuminates their subjects. They began testing nuances of alternative chemistry and later, the stark permanence of platinum. Which brother pressed the shutter was never revealed. It was a true collaboration. In 1996 the brothers abandoned photography for film. Their archive was mothballed in a lock up in Londons Kings Cross. Their photography retreated quietly into the shadows. ”

Kopeikin Gallery
2766 S. La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90034

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Chen Man @ Fotografiska

Chen Man: Fearless & Fabulous
9 December – 4 March 2018

“Chen Man is undoubtedly the pioneer of China’s fashion photographer. Throughout the years, Chen Man has firmly established herself as the most sought-after and certainly the highest paid fashion and portrait photographer in China. Her works have featured across a range of leading publications, including Vogue, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan and i.D”


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Shawn Walker @ Steven Kasher Gallery

Shawn Walker: Day by Day: 1968
January 11 – February 24, 2018

Opening Reception: Thursday, January 11, 6-8pm

“The exhibition surveys Walker’s evolving and wide-ranging work from the 1960s through the 1990s and proposes his importance to the photography and art of our time. Embracing and melding abstraction, surrealism, social documentary and street photography, Walker’s work challenges the myth of a singular African-American aesthetic. Each body of work marries transcendental spiritual philosophies with contemporary urban representations of African heritage. From his 30- year study of parades to his on-going series on shadows and reflections, Walker’s work is connected to profound rituals, ceremonies and masking found in African culture.”

Steven Kasher Gallery

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Book Review: You An Orchestra You A Bomb by Cig Harvey

Cig Harvey’s third monograph is a vibrant and bold book, capturing moments of awe, icons of the everyday, and life on the threshold between magic and disaster. The breathless moments of beauty in her images propel us to fathom the sacred in the split-seconds of everyday. A raw awareness of fragility permeates this work.

I cannot fully understand the life events that take a woman through her youth and into middle age. However, I am a parent, a husband, and am squarely in middle age. Harvey’s book spoke to me. The rawness of Harvey’s written passages and relevance to where she finds herself in life strikes home. But you don’t need to be a peer of Harvey to get the drift. She photographs and writes with the passion of a Beat poet. To quote, and slightly edit, the poet Neal Cassady, “One should write, as nearly as possible, as if she were the first person on earth and was humbly and sincerely putting on paper that which she saw and experienced and loved and lost; what her passing thoughts were and her sorrows and desires.” Harvey does not hold back – with understated power, she records her broad experiences with the world. 

Harvey’s moments captured in her camera speak to the temporal nature of life, and her intimate poetry weaves them together in this memoir of symbolism.

“In my 20s I wear vintage dresses every day. / 1940s ball gowns to get coffee. Fringed flappers to the post office.  / They are itchy and smell of someone else’s transgressions. But I am fearless and my life is a photograph. / When I turn forty, I retire them all in favor of tight jeans and high boots. / I put one thousand dresses in a room upstairs. / A room now a galaxy of velvet, taffeta, crinoline, lavender, silk, fur, cashmere, magenta, chartreuse, and moths like stars in the night sky. / I like the idea of the moths taking back the clothes of these women, slowly making dust of our stories.”

Cig Harvey’s hugely successful books You Look At Me Like An Emergency (2012) and Gardening At Night (2015) both sold out rapidly. Her photographs have been exhibited widely and are in the permanent collections of major museums, including The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the International Museum of Photography, George Eastman House, Rochester, NY. She has been a nominee for John Gutmann fellowship and the Santa Fe Prize, and a finalist for the BMW Prize at Paris Photo and for the Prix Virginia, an international photography prize for women. You Look At Me Like An Emergency was first exhibited at The Stenersen Museum, Oslo, Norway. Cig’s devotion to visual storytelling has lead to innovative international campaigns and features with New York Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar Japan, Kate Spade, and Bloomingdales.

Design: Deb Wood
ISBN 978 90 5330 893 6
Format: 22.5 x 22.5 cm
Hardbound with cloth cover
144 pages with 72 photos in full colour
Schilt Publishing, Amsterdam

To order a copy of the book from the publisher, please visit their website here.

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Maggie Meiners @ The Union League Club of Chicago

Maggie Meiners: Revisiting Rockwell

Opening Reception: December 7 | 5:30 – 7 PM

“In Revisiting Rockwell, Meiners attempts to contemporize Norman Rockwell’s original works by weaving into each photograph the social issues and elements more suggestive of today. She is examining whether the nostalgia of Rockwelll’s work translates into our rapidly changing lifestyles and his very human tableaux can reflect this moment in time. ”

The Union League Club of Chicago
65 W. Jackson Blvd.

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Svetlana Bailey @ Filter Space

Svetlana Bailey: once there was there wasn’t
December 1 – 30

“Until the age of eight, Svetlana Bailey’s childhood summers were spent at her grandmother’s house in the Russian countryside. It was an influential period in which she discovered the world on her own and her earliest memories were formed. Sixteen years ago her grandmother passed away and now the house stands empty. For this body of work, once there was there wasn’t, Bailey returned to her grandmother’s empty house to examine those early impressions. Through this journey of returning, she was transported in time, as if opening a time capsule. Here Bailey discovered layers of image fragments captured in stories, old objects, images in albums and magazines. They pointed to the invisible marks, the impressions and mental images that remain, and perhaps for this reason— besides the dust, spider webs and the thicket of birch and cherry trees that had jungled the outside— the house did not seem abandoned.”

Filter Space
1821 W. Hubbard St.
Suite 207

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DECEMBER 8, 2017 – JANUARY 14, 2018


“Brooklyn’s Domino Sugar Refinery, once the largest in the world, shut down in 2004 after a long struggle. Most New Yorkers know this 135-year-old industrial relic only as an icon on the skyline, multiplied on T-shirts and skateboard graphics. In 2013, Paul Raphaelson, known for his formally intricate urban landscape photographs, looked past the facade. He received permission from the developers of the Domino site to explore every square foot of the refinery just weeks before its gutting and demolition. Raphaelson is the last photographer given access to the factory.”

48 Hester Street.
Williamsburg, Brooklyn

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