The Plot Thickens: 35th Anniversary Show Opens

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No claim is attempted here about the state of the art – only something about the state of the gallery.—Jeffrey Fraenkel

Fraenkel Gallery is pleased to announce The Plot Thickens, an exhibition accompanied by a 250-page catalogue celebrating the gallery’s 35th anniversary. The Plot Thickens features 100 photographs selected with forethought over the past five years. By juxtaposing works from the masters of photography with prints from the anonymous and unknown, The Plot Thickens offers an unorthodox insight into the medium spanning three centuries. The majority of the images featured in The Plot Thickens are being exhibited for the first time.

Fraenkel Gallery opened in San Francisco in September 1979 with an exhibition of recently discovered albumen prints by the nineteenth-century photographer Carleton Watkins. Since then, the gallery has presented more than 300 exhibitions exploring photography and its connections to the other arts, and published 55 books on subjects ranging from Edward Hopper’s influence on photography to the sculptor David Smith’s multi-decade involvement with photographs, as well as the complete library of Diane Arbus and nine monographs by Lee Friedlander.

Nicholas Nixon Interviewed by To The Best of our Knowledge Radio


Nicholas Nixon was interviewed by TTBook Radio about his experience creating his series ‘Old People & Patients’ and ‘People with AIDS.’ Many of the images in these series are the visual outcomes from his years as a volunteer for people in nursing homes. Nixon intimately speaks here about his influences, process, and on “giving the brightness depth.”

Individuality. Showing individuals. Showing their spirit. Showing their family. Showing it in an unprejudiced way that had no agenda except a certain amount of passion and clarity.—Nicholas Nixon

From the To The Best of our Knowledge (TTBook) online posting on 10 November 2014.
To learn more about Nixon’s work and publications, please visit his artist page


Richard Misrach’s work featured on the cover of The California Sunday Magazine

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Richard Misrach’s new work on the border between the United States and Mexico  is the cover story for the second edition of The California Sunday Magazine. Misrach’s work, which also includes collaboration with sound artist Guillermo Galindo, documents the tragic narrative between a collision of culture and politics present along the 1,969 mile border.

All the photographs are about found objects — shotgun shells from a Border Patrol shooting range, a soccer ball, a boot, a Spanish translation of Doctor Zhivago — that are banal but laden with meaning. I’m always on the lookout for the anomalous.—Richard Misrach

From the The California Sunday Magazine online posting on 2 November 2014
To learn more about Misrach’s work and publications, please visit his artist page.


Nan Goldin receives Lucie Award


Nan Goldin will be presented with The Achievement in Portraiture award at the 12th annual 2014 Lucie Awards at Carnegie Hall in New York on November 2nd. The Lucie Awards are an annual non-profit event held by The Lucie Foundation honoring the greatest achievements in photography recognizing artists worldwide. Previous honorees of The Lucie Awards include Richard Misrach and Richard Avedon.

From The Lucie Awards 2014 online posting of The Announcement of the Honorees.
To learn more about Goldin works and publications, please visit her artist page.


In the New York Times Magazine: Forty Portraits in Forty Years


For the 40th anniversary of Nicholas Nixon’s The Brown Sisters, The New York Times Magazine is featuring the entire photo series–including the debut of the 2014 photo. The accompanying article by Susan Minot discusses the emotional impact of the works, as well as ideas of aging and sisterhood.

But the more we study the images, the more we see that aging does not define these women. Even as the images tell us, in no uncertain terms, that this is what it looks like to grow old, this is the irrefutable truth, we also learn: This is what endurance looks like. —Susan Minot

From The New York Times Magazine article by Susan Minot on 5 October 2014.
Hear Nicholas Nixon speaking about the evolution of this series in our video interview.
To learn more about Nixon’s work and publications, please visit his artist page.

Video Interview with Nicholas Nixon

Nicholas Nixon sat down with us to talk about his series The Brown Sisters, which celebrates its 40th Anniversary this year.  The series, which began in 1974, depicts Nixon’s wife, Bebe, and her three sisters.

We’re all aware of time passing and us not being aware of it while it’s passing…so seeing the sisters, for a lot of people, just gives them the sort of reliable marker that a year has passed.  —Nicholas Nixon

To learn more about Nixon’s work and publications, please visit his artist page.

SFMOMA Interviews Mel Bochner


In an interview with SMOMA, Mel Bochner reflects on his first experimentation with blue carpenter’s chalk on walls in his studio and his evolution to using the wall as a medium itself.

I didn’t want to make a mural. To me a mural is something that extends to the edges and creates a complete and total illusion, in other words a window into the wall.—Mel Bochner

From the SFMOMA online posting in August 2014.
To learn more about Mel Bochner’s work please visit his artist page.

Sound Bite

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Remember this photograph from our exhibition, “Where There’s Smoke?”  To create this photograph from his series “Matter”, Michael Lundgren threw found objects into a pipe and captured their descent with the use of a handheld strobe.

Take a listen to the sound the objects made via Soundcloud.

To learn more about Lundgren’s work, please visit his artist page.
To learn more about “Where There’s Smoke” please visit the exhibition page.

Robert Adams’ Journey to Nehalem Bay



KQED reviews our exhibition Robert Adams: A Road Through Shore Pine. The review provides insight into Adams’s use of metaphor.

Adams’ photos, however, appear to be an homage to that road, not the dirty, oil-stained asphalt, but the idea of it as a journey or a destination. Many travelers are particularly fond of certain roads — they are drawn to the trees that flank the pavement, the tourist traps that divert their spare change, or memories of conversations they’ve shared with a lover while speeding through a valley of dried sagebrush. — Matthew Harrison Tedford 

From the KQED  online posting from 22 September 2014.
To learn more about Adams’s work and publications, please visit his artist page.

Robert Adams’s healing images of “A Road Through Shore Pine”


Kimberly Chun sat down with Robert Adams to discuss his recent body of work, “A Road Through Shore Pine,” on view at the gallery through 15 November 2014.

One can go back along the spit, back to town and to one’s duties, and the pictures record an attempt to find peace. It’s a walk we all make sooner or later, and the actual act of photographing is the most healing thing I can do.—Robert Adams

From the San Francisco Chronicle online posting from 12 September 2014.
To learn more about Adams’s work and publications, please visit his artist page.

Robert Adams Photographs and Books

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Kenneth Baker of the San Francisco Chronicle reviews our exhibitions “Robert Adams: A Road Through Shore Pine” and “Robert Adams: The Complete Books 1970-2014″ on view through 15 November 2014.

His level-eyed approach almost makes us feel like resisting the call of nostalgia, even perhaps of reminiscence, as if revisiting these vistas were an exercise in self-discipline. — Kenneth Baker

From the San Francisco Chronicle online posting from 12 September 2014.
To learn more about Adams’s work and publications, please visit his artist page.


Looking at Photos the Master Never Saw: When Images Come to Life After Death


Many of Winogrand’s photographs included in the current retrospective on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art were printed posthumously.  Arthur Lubow of the New York Times wonders: is the artistry of photography in clicking the shutter or is it in the editing process? Can posthumous prints truly express an artist’s vision?

There is an endless anxiety on the issue of how authorship works in photography —Jeff Rosenheim, curator in charge of the photography department at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

From the New York Times online posting by Arthur Lubow on 3 July 2014.
To learn more about Winogrand’s work and publications, please visit his artist page.

John Gossage: Visual Art Source Review


A review of the July and August group show “Where There’s Smoke” and John Gossage’s “Who Do You Love”.

The veteran photographer dubs this series, made in the 1990s, as ‘photographic distractions,’ which may reflect the diversionary nature that they had for him. — Dewitt Cheng

From the Visual Art Source online posting by Dewitt Cheng.
To learn more about Gossage’s work, please visit his exhibition page.

Where There’s Smoke. John Gossage: Who Do You Love


The two exhibitions on view through August 23, Where There’s Smoke and Who Do You Love look at a new materiality, offhanded gestures, and emerging visions from the perspective of four contemporary photographers, and in little seen mixed-media works by John Gossage.

Gallery director Darius Himes raises questions about how works were made and exploratory intentions. ‘Is the photographer off-kilter,’ he asks, ‘or is the subject?’ His selections suggest transition, the artists caught in the act of formation. — Glen Helfand

From the Photograph Magazine online posting by Glen Helfand on 29 July 2014.
To learn more about these artists’ work and publications, please visit the exhibition pages for Where There’s Smoke and Who Do You Love.

Rediscovering Garry Winogrand’s Vision of America


Garry Winogrand’s greatness as a street photographer can be much credited to his ever-readiness with his camera.

Unlike Dorthea Lange or Walker Evans, two of Winogrand’s influences who made emotional connections with their subjects, there’s a sense Winogrand took pictures simply because the moment presented itself. — Joe Newman

From the Huffington Post online posting by Joe Newman on 24 June 2014.
To learn more about Winogrand’s work and publications, please visit his artist page.

No Moral, No Uplift, Just a Restless ‘Click’ ‘Garry Winogrand,’ a Retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum


Holland Cotter of The New York Times argues that though many of the photographs in the MET’s Garry Winogrand Retrospective slide off the eye, the show is still engrossing as it captures a historical moment.

Winogrand was wrong about photographs’ being unable to change society, as he could have seen firsthand: pictures streaming back from Vietnam fueled public opposition to a war he hated. And he was wrong that art had no place for moral statement, that ambiguity was the only way to go, that what you randomly see is all that matters. On this score, however, his thinking was prescient: It’s the dominant ethic in a cash-bloated art world today. — Holland Cotter

From the New York Times online posting by Holland Cotter on 3 July 2014.
To learn more about Winogrand’s work and publications, please visit his artist page.

Paul Graham at the Winogrand Retrospective


Paul Graham visits the Garry Winogrand retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and provides insight and commentary for The New Yorker.

Winogrand was someone who said, ‘Give me the rapids,’ and he swam across them many times.
— Paul Graham

From The New Yorker’s online posting on 11 July 2014.
To learn more about Winogrand’s work and publications, please visit his artist page.

What photographers can learn from Garry Winogrand


“Think in black and white” and “Shoot, and shoot again.”  Photographers can learn a great deal from Garry Winogrand’s dedication and devotion to photography.

Garry Winogrand was out on the streets of New York snapping incredible pictures, day after day. Few can match his dedication – but all photographers can learn something from him. — Stephen Dowling

From the BBC Culture online posting by Stephen Dowling on 27 June 2014.
To learn more about Winogrand’s work and publications, please visit his artist page.

Garry Winogrand


Winogrand believed that one cannot read too much into a photograph, but the images he left behind present a challenge his statements.  The Brooklyn Rail reviews Winogrand’s retrospective at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

I think there isn’t a photograph in the world that has any narrative ability. They do not tell stories—they show you what something looks like. To a camera. — Garry Winogrand

From the Brooklyn Rail’s online posting by Sara Christoph on 15 July 2014.
To lean more about Garry Winogrand’s work and publications, please visit his artist page.

John Gossage disrupts photos by integrating distractions

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John Gossage focuses on distractions to bring people into his work.  The Chronicle interviews Gossage regarding his exhibit “Who Do You Love” on view at Fraenkel Gallery through August 23.

These aren’t paintings that aren’t about being anywhere else. Photographs don’t do that: They take you somewhere previous or elsewhere. I wanted to go back and forth between those realities.

— John Gossage

From the SF Gate online posting by Kimberly Chun on 9 July 2014.
To learn more about Gossage’s work and publications, please visit his artist page.

“curATE”: Quince at Hedge Gallery

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During a limited five-week period from July 30-August 30, 2014, the two Michelin-starred Quince restaurant will move to Hedge Gallery for a pop-up dinner series, titled curATE.  For the first week of curATE, July 30th – August 2nd, Fraenkel Gallery will be exhibiting from Richard Avedon, Adam Fuss, Idris Khan, Richard Misrach, Richard Learoyd, Irving Penn and Hiroshi Sugimoto, among others.

CurATE will operate four nights a week, Wednesday through Saturday.

For more information, please visit curATE’s website.

Garry Winogrand, the Photographer Who Captured the Madness of the Mad Men Era

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Vanity Fair reviews the Garry Winogrand Retrospective at the MET.

America is spectacle in Winogrand’s work, a big noisy parade across regions and classes. But it’s an uneasy, anxious parade, too… — Bruce Handy

From the Vanity Fair online posting by Bruce Handy on 30 June 2014
To learn more about Winogrand’s work and publications, please visit his artist page.