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August 14, 2002
Wow, wow, Whitney.

It is a bit my own fault. I spent the last few years looking at the opinion of my Europe centric friends and have missed a whole flurry of movements that were going on in Photography here in the United States. Now I am in for an education. While the Guggenheim Show currently on display felt a bit like the living room, or maybe the bedroom, the two photographic exhibitions I saw at the Whitney today felt a bit like the nicely decorated gallery of the better educated kid from the house across the street. There is plenty of quite excellent photography to be looked at in the Whitney Galleries and if I had to make the decision whether to spend my $12 on the FLW experience or the Marcel Breuer trip, I would probably opt for the Tornado building with the Rectangular coordinates. The one that is the Museum of American Art, yet was built by a German Architect. Maybe it is the excitement that came from the large collection of relatively small photographs on 1.5 Floors that made today’s visit so special. Maybe it was the feeling that the photographs I was looking at were not really photographs, but something of a bigger idea. They were illustrations of concepts, entry points into magical worlds or horror cabinets, they were documents and copies, they were series and “Unikate”. And they seemed quite well curated.
So I suggest that you see Visions from America: Photographs from the Whitney Museum of American Art, 1940-2001, which is on view now through September 22, 2002. and (if you can find the gallery) take a look at What's New: Recent Acquisitions in Photography (scroll all the way down). (same dates)
And since you are there, you might as well take a look at the Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen drawings, which are a great introduction to sculptures which you might then visit on the Roof of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. But that’s tomorrow’s story.
All in all, my impression is that the Whitney has just embraced the opportunity that the MoMA shipped its collection to Berlin and the rest to Queens and is now really worth a visit. But hey, it all stays in the Lauder family. Sort of. I am turning cryptic here. Go, visit the Whitney.
Or buy the catalogue, as it is available at the river book mart, (for $31.50).


That show does look very good, doesn't it....I have the feeling I will be submerged in photography when I get back to the city.

Did you see the Joan Mitchell however? There was no mention here and twice from others I have heard very good words about the show.

Maybe not your cup of tea....

Posted by: k on August 15, 2002 09:23 AM

I was in NYC for a few days last month and saw that show - there were a number of photographs (a series, actually) that really got me interested. Now, of course, I can't remember the artists names, but I think the images I liked were by a married couple (maybe the folks that did the German industrial building series, or the Water Towers?): the images were black&white close-ups of tract housing, I think.

And I finally got to see a James Casebere photo in person! It was much smaller than I had anticipated...

Posted by: Matthew on August 15, 2002 02:49 PM

The city seems to be awash in new photography shows. Or maybe I'm more sensative to them now that I'm "into it." New York, New York at the Met, Moving Pictures at the Guggenheim, Rise of St. Photog. at Jewish History Musem, Joel Meyerowitz at the Museum of the City of NY. There are more, too many to list. Damn, I'm glad I live here.

Posted by: Todd on August 16, 2002 06:35 PM
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