Alec Soth’s Photographs Mine the Margins of the US

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Brian Karl, examines Alec Soth’s most recent work in this online review.  Karl examines Soth’s most recent show, Songbook, and marks interesting transitions in Soth’s career as photographer and documentarian. Songbook is on view until April 4th.

Not only do we sense natural and social pressures, we also see evidence of those failed schemes and hopes played out in architectural structures, as in the neat walkways and stairways of untenanted motels and their carefully measured out, yet near-empty parking lots.  –Brian Karl

From the Hyperallergic online posting on 25 March 2015.
To learn more about Soth’s work please visit his Artist page


Making Music form Migants’ Items


Richard Misrach and Mexican composer Guillermo Galindo have long individually reflected on the migrant experience. Now, the Artists have come together to create instruments out of the discarded and abandoned objects left by migrant families along the Mexican/American border.

To learn more about Richard Misrach visit his artist page
From a BBC World Service Clip on 13 March 2015

Oregon Art Beat: Photographer Robert Adams

In an interview with the Oregon Art Beat, Robert Adams reflects on his interest in the changing landscape, trusting his instincts, photography as a resource, and his many experiences while photographing.

I’m worried about what’s happening to the environment, but I’m also worried about what’s happening to the people who live here. I don’t think you can look at this, day-in and day-out, and remain unchanged.—Robert Adams

From the Thirteen online posting on 13 February 2014.
To learn more about the work and publications of Robert Adams, please visit his artist page.

Alec Soth with Charlie Schultz

Soth-web1Soth discusses his artistic journey from his beginnings as a suburban newspaper photographer, to his newest show Songbook with Charlie Schulz writer for The Brooklyn Rail.

Someone the other day was talking to me about how they loved the shoes everyone was wearing in my pictures—and I love that. That’s what’s so great about this open-ended photography. It gives people a place to look at those things and to try to figure out meaning through them. As much as I love the text and love using it, if you are looking at this picture and you have a page of text describing it, you tend to not look at the soles of people’s shoes to figure out who they are.—Alec Soth

From the Brooklyn Rail online posting in March 2015.

To learn more about Soth’s publications, please visit his artist page


Alec Soth interview at Fraenkel Gallery

A lot of the language surrounding Songbook is about community and American culture…and that stuff’s in there, but actually what I wanted to do with it is talk to something more primal, more internal, and more about the human condition than the American condition. It’s the great problem of consciousness. —Alec Soth

Alec Soth sat down with us to chat about his current exhibition “Songbook,” on view through 4 April 2015.
To learn more about Soth’s work and publications, please visit his artist page.

Assignment No. 2 – Sugimoto/Misrach


Jonathan Blaustein reviews Assigment No. 2, a publication by TBW Books that explores incarceration through a copy of a handwritten essay written by an inmate, Mr. Nelson, from San Quentin Prison. The essay compares and contrasts a Sugimoto and Misrach photograph as part of an art assignment written while in solitary confinement in 2011.

 The essay is smart, but takes a turn towards poignant when Mr. Nelson alludes to his own situation in life. The metaphor of a world changing beyond recognition, seen in the pictures, also seems well-chosen, for someone living on the inside. — Jonathan Blaustein

From aPhotoeditor online posting on 13 February 2015.
To learn more about the works of Sugimoto, please visit his artist page.
To learn more about the works of Misrach, please visit his artist page.

Fraenkel Gallery at The Art Show 2015


Adam Fuss, From the series ‘My Ghost,’ 2000

For The Art Show, organized by ADAA, Fraenkel Gallery is collaborating with Peter Freeman, Inc. on Mirror/Mirror–two related presentations that focus on self-portraits. The Fraenkel Gallery booth will feature self-portraits by Berenice Abbott, Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon, Sophie Calle, Claude Cahun, Lee Friedlander, Adam Fuss, Nan Goldin, Peter Hujar, Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Eadweard Muybridge, Nicholas Nixon and Hiroshi Sugimoto.

The fair will be held 4–8 March 2015 at the Park Avenue Armory in New York.

Hope to see you there!

A New Record of Small Town America


Alec Soth discusses his newest body of work, Songbook, which pulls images from the LBM Dispatches made alongside writer Brad Zellar.  The LBM Dispatches were created over a series of three years in which Soth photographed different regions across the country, acting as news reporter.  The series explores the desire for connection amidst a strong sense of American individualism.

‘I was interested in the newspaper, in part, [because] it used to exist as this vehicle of social interaction,’ he says. ‘It’s a place where, [especially in] small towns, you would not only have the news but you would have notification that someone had passed away or there was going to be a public dinner at the church— it connected events to each other.’ —Alec Soth

From the TIME Magazine online posting on 27 January 2015.
To learn more about Alec Soth’s work and publications, please visit his artist page.

Katy Grannan: Interview by Tabitha Soren


Tabitha Soren interviews artist Katy Grannan about her photographic series of people and communities taken along Highway 99 in California. Grannan describes her impulse to photograph as a means to preserve and honor the lives of her subjects.

In retrospect, I can recognize that growing up around a funeral home influenced the way that I looked at every single human being in the world. Photographing people was a way of memorializing them – acknowledging their value and their mortality at the same time. I was almost mourning every person. In the back of my mind I was always aware that people, that life, kept moving on. —Katy Grannan

From the Issue Magazine article by Tabitha Soren in 2015.
To learn more about Grannan’s work and publications, please visit her artist page.

Interview: Alec Soth’s Tragicomic American Songbook


Eugene Reznik of American Photo interviews Alec Soth about his latest work, Songbook, his connection with music, and the idea of narrative in photography.

My whole career in photography has been this sort of battle with text, and with story, and narrative…The Songbook, it sort of liberated me of that, and the pictures can just exist on their own. —Alec Soth

From the American Photo online posting from 26 January 2015.
To learn more about Soth’s work and publications, please visit his artist page.

Lost and Found Connections in Alec Soth’s American ‘Songbook’

081_Soth_JR, Leadville, Colorado, 2013

Alec Soth’s Songbook, published by MACK books contains a selection of images gleaned from his work creating the “LBM Dispatch” newspapers with friend, Brad Zellar.  Nicole Crowder of The Washington Post reviews the publication.

The photographs are at times funny and wry, displaying a mix of irony, dark humor and longing in a vein similar to two other famous Minnesota boys, the Cohen brothers, often evoking a cinematic quality to everyday Americana. — Nicole Crowder

From The Washington Post online posting on 8 January 2015.
To learn more about Soth’s work and publications, please visit his artist page.

Alec Soth on Influence, Summer Nights, and Allen Ginsberg

But for me to have an authentic voice, I need to follow whatever stirs me. Maybe it would make me a better citizen if I read Wendell Berry rather than watched Breaking Bad, but it wouldn’t make me a better artist.—Alec Soth

In an interview with Aperture Remix’s curator, Lesley A. Martin, Alec Soth discusses the influence of Robert Adams and Allen Ginsberg on his work.  He emphasizes the importance of finding his own voice, and finding what moves him. The interview also includes a video, which takes the place of still photography, and serves as a response to the work of Robert Adams.

From the Aperture online posting on 8 November 2012.
To learn more about the work and publications of Alec Soth, please visit his artist page.

Nan Goldin on Fashion, Catholic Art and Photographs that Make You Cry


My work shows the beauty in so many different kinds of people because I never photograph anyone who I don’t think is beautiful. I never take an intentionally mean picture. I won’t show a picture where a person doesn’t look beautiful.—Nan Goldin

Pure Magazine interviews Nan Goldin on her work in fashion, self-portraiture, her influences, which include fashion, her friends, Renaissance art, and film. The article also discusses her future project ideas, and her current interests, like light and landscape, with the intent of exploring atmosphere.

From the American Suburb X online posting for Pure Magazine by Caroline Simpson January 2015.
To learn more about Nan Goldin’s work and publications, please visit her artist page.

Art Biennale 2011 – Christian Marclay (Interview)

In an interview at the Art Biennale Venice, Christian Marclay, who also won a Golden Lion for best artist at the ILLUMInations Exhibtion, discussed his project, The Clock.

I think it has an appeal because everybody is concerned with time, you know, you never have enough time to do anything, especially to see art. And in Venice, there’s so much art to see, and so little time, so it’s a real challenge.—Christian Marclay

From the la Biennale di Venezia channel on YouTube on 6 June 2011.
To learn more about Christian Marclay’s work, please visit his artist page.

Garry Winogrand at Jeu de Paume

When I’m photographing, I don’t see a picture, I see faces.—Garry Winogrand

In this short video, curators at the Jeu de Paume discuss the work of the late photographer, Garry Winogrand (1928-1984), known for his images of American life. Winogrand’s images are currently on view at the Jeu de Paume (14 October 2014 – 8 February 2015), and is the first retrospective in twenty-five years. Divided into three sections, the exhibition allows viewers an opportunity to see images that were previously unprinted, and some that have never been exhibited before.

From the Jeu de Paume / magazine online posting on 12 November 2014.
To learn more about Garry Winogrand’s work and publications, please visit his artist page.

Magnificent Obsessions: The Artist as Collector


‘I always consider antique objects to be my mentors,’ he says. ‘As an artist I try to measure my art against masterpieces from the past. They give me hints to the secrets of human history, particularly history of consciousness and of spirituality.’—Hiroshi Sugimoto

The Telegraph Luxury interviews artists in conjunction with the Barbican Art Gallery’s exhibition “Magnificent Obsessions: The Artist as Collector.”  Sugimoto, who was a dealer of Japanese folk art prior to dedicating himself to his photography, has a portion of his recent acquisitions on display in the show.

From The Telegraph Luxury online posting by Georgia Dehn on 17 January 2015.
To learn more about Hiroshi Sugimoto’s work and publications, please visit his artist page.

Making of – installation de l’exposition Winogrand

RATP, in partnership with the Jeu de Paume, shows how it transformed some of the Paris Metro stations into an exhibition space showcasing several images by the late photographer, Garry Winogrand (1928-1984). His photographs are on view at 16 different stations throughout Paris from 14 October 2014 to 8 February 2015, and are intended to complement the current retrospective at the Jeu de Paume, which also ends on 8 February 2015.

From the RATP channel on YouTube on 30 October 2014.
To learn more about the work and publications of Garry Winogrand please see his artist page.

Richard Misrach Interview with Vice Magazine


I’ve always thought of them as a giant stage – everything from bomb ranges to nuclear testing happens in our American deserts. —Richard Misrach

Richard Misrach sat down with Vice Magazine to discuss his recent work on the US/Mexico border and his collaboration with composer Guillermo Galindo.  He talks about his interest in photographing desert landscapes and the impact of finding “human trash” – personal artifacts – along the border.

From the Vice Magazine online posting 9 December 2014.
To learn more about Misrach’s work and publications, please visit his artist page.

Southern California Public Radio reviews new work by Richard Misrach


These things end up being loaded symbols, things that tell us where the country is headed—Richard Misrach

Artist Richard Misrach and composer Guillermo Galindo collaborated to produce a body of work commenting on the United States and Mexico border. Misrach roamed the vast expanse of the border for five years. By documenting the desolate landscapes through photography and collecting found objects along the way, the collaborative work offers an intimate view into the tragic state of the border.

From the KPCC Radio online posting 25 November 2014.
To learn more about Misrach’s work and publications, please visit his artist page.

NPR interview with Richard Misrach


It could be backpacks, and water bottles, tennis shoes, things like that. Each one of those objects has this incredible story, and it’s a tragedy. Every single one of them is a tragedy.—Richard Misrach

Over five years, Misrach traveled across the border documenting the despondent landscapes while gathering abandoned objects. Accompanying Misrach in the interview is composer Guillermo Galindo. Misrach asked Galindo to make instruments out of the objects he had found at the border. The subsequent instruments sound like the desolate landscapes captured in Misrach’s images.

From the NPR online posting on 22 November 2014.
To learn more about Misrach’s work and publications, please visit his artist page.

The Guardian reviews 40 years of the Brown Sisters


The Guardian reviewed Nicholas Nixon’s The Brown Sisters series. The article explores his initial inspiration to make the portraits, how the sisters age differently over time, and what the viewer can intimately feel through these four strangers.

It is, among other things, a testament to the power of one great, simple idea. Out of that idea, though, Nixon has made a series with an extraordinary cumulative power that rests on photography’s singular ability to capture the passage of time and, with it, human aging and the lurking shadow of mortality.—Seth O’Hagan

From the Guardian article by Seth O’Hagan on 19 November 2014
To learn more about Nixon’s works and publications, please visit his artist page.

Nicholas Nixon’s Brown Sisters at MoMA


MoMA will exhibit Nicholas Nixon: Forty Years of The Brown Sisters in the Museum Lobby from November 22nd, 2014 until January 4th, 2015. Since 2006, the Museum has acquired the series both as tactile contact prints and as 20 x 24″ enlargements. This upcoming installation will feature all 40 images and will be the first time the museum has displayed the full series in this scale.

From the MoMA online posting on 4 November 2014
To learn more about Nixon’s work and publications, please visit his artist page.

The Plot Thickens: 35th Anniversary Show Opens

The Plot Thickens 10

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.