Artist News

Richard Misrach: The Border Walls You’ve Never Seen

For Misrach, Border Cantos expands on years of prior work, covering the entire length of the Mexican-American border, all 1969 miles, Pacific to Gulf of Mexico. He shows us the existing walls that bisect cabbage fields and communities, slice through individual back yards, extend mile after mile through desert and end in the Pacific Ocean. They are a hodgepodge: squat cement barriers, intimidating-towering steel divides, wire mesh, WW II Normandy-style fencing to prevent vehicles but not people. We also see the ‘digital walls’ (8000 or so cameras, 11,000 underground sensors, etc.) the ones that work.

From The Huffington Post online posting on 8 March, 2017.
To learn more about Richard Misrach and Border Cantos, visit his artist page.

Katy Grannan’s “The Nine” at the Mill Valley Film Festival

THE NINE | TRAILER (2015) from Katy Grannan on Vimeo.

In two weeks, Katy Grannan’s first feature film, The Nine will be screening at the Mill Valley Film Festival.

Katy Grannan’s intimate documentary explores the lives of those who struggle with their past tragedies and current addictions. The filmmaker’s delicate but deepening focus on the mystery of Kiki—whose clinging, childlike world-view belongs to someone a fraction of her actual age—looks for answers in those around her, who still dream of reuniting with their children, working a garden, running a mud wrestling club. Despite their ravaged lives, their songs burst out with a terrible and unflinching beauty.

Tuesday, 11 October at The Cinearts Sequoia 2, 9:00pm
Wednesday, 12 October at The Lark Theater, 2:30pm

For more information on The Nine or to purchase tickets, please visit the Mill Valley Film Festival website.
For more information on Katy Grannan, please visit her artist page.

Filmmaker Magazine Profile on Katy Grannan


Artist Katy Grannan has been chosen as part of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film 2016” for her first feature-length documentary, The Nine. Grannan discusses her first experiences of Modesto, the relationships she has made with its residents, and her interest in the moving image.

“Photos can do one thing,” she says, “but they can’t embody a person’s energy and their conversation and all their idiosyncratic details. So, when I met the community down on the Nine, I was ready for a new challenge; I really needed to be a beginner again.”  —Katy Grannan

From the series “25 New Faces of Independent Film 2016,” in Filmmaker Magazine.
To learn more about Katy Grannan, please visit her artist page.

Holland Cotter reviews “Diane Arbus: In the Beginning” at The Met Breuer

Boy stepping off the curb, 1957-58,

Diane Arbus, Boy stepping off the curb, N.Y.C., 1957-58. Credit: Diane Arbus / The Estate of Diane Arbus LLC

“…in the process of photographing unconventional, sometimes outre subjects, she was training herself to detect strangeness when it occurred in a lower key, in everyday life. She would stop people on a Lower East Side street or in a park, and talk to them, and start to shoot, capturing a wide range of postures and expressions. Back in the studio she would pick one image. Was it the true one? They were all true. She usually went with the one that conveyed the most dramatic, least absorbable sensation of difference.” —Holland Cotter

Read The New York Times’ art critic Holland Cotter’s full review of the exhibition, “Diane Arbus: In the Beginning,” now open at The Met Breuer. The exhibition runs until 27 November.

Katy Grannan Interviewed in FT Magazine

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The May issue of FT Magazine, American photographer, Katy Grannan, talks about her upbringing and what inevitably lead her to photography. The Nine, Grannan’s new film, unveils the dark reality of poverty and addiction and shines a light on those individuals who are most affected.

“It is a thread that has run throughout her work since her earliest photographs of strangers: the power of the camera not only to objectify but to dignify a subject as someone worth looking at.” —Jonathan Griffin

To learn more about Katy Grannan’s work and publications, please visit her artist page.


Richard Learoyd and Frish Brandt – Photo London Talks 2016

Artist Richard Learoyd tells the story of how he first began his lifelong experiments with photography and talks about the relationships that have supported him in his pursuit of his craft, in conversation with his dealer and friend Frish Brandt of Fraenkel Gallery. Frish has represented Richard for many years and provides another fascinating perspective on his photographic practice.

Art Is… Going to a Dark Place | SFMOMA Shorts

In this SFMOMA short four artists, including Robert Adams and Richard Misrach, discuss how creating art has helped them cope with disturbing themes such as fear, trauma, and war. The artists address how going to these “dark places” has fostered the discovery of profound beauty and insight.

To want to make pictures is fundamentally to want to share something that you have seen of value, and that you suspect maybe people haven’t paid enough attention to. The American West has been my primary subject, particularly the landscape. They are frightening landscapes and the only way I can get over my own anxiety about them is to go and keep working. – Robert Adams

From the series SFMOMA shorts video posting on 6, June, 2016
To learn more about Robert Adams, please visit his artist page.
To learn more about Richard Misrach, please visit his artist page.

Robert Adams: The Modern Art Notes Podcast

Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 12.26.18 PMRobert Adams tunes in with Tyler Green, the host of The Modern Art Notes Podcast, for an hour long interview on his latest book, Around the House. Adams has published more than 60 books in his lifetime, and is widely recognized for his visionary accounts of the American West.  Around the House is Adams’ most intimate book to date, capturing the small yet significant moments that characterize his quotidian life.

The book is about nature really in a way. One of the great coherences of nature is that it has the cycle of days. I can’t explain it, except that this is the way we order our experiences; getting up and going to bed. —Robert Adams

From The Modern Art Notes Podcast posted on 10 March 2016.
To learn more about Adams’ work and publications, please visit his artist page.



A Photographer’s Eye



Nicholas Nixon discusses his recent work with the New York Times LENS Blog.

It’s the thing you focus on when you are photographing people, it’s the thing you look at with people instinctively to see if you trust them or not. — Nicholas Nixon

From the New York Times LENS posting by Rena Silverman on 8 June 2016.
To learn more about Nixon’s work and publications, please visit his artist page.

Fraenkel Gallery Artists at Photo London


Visitors to Photo London this week can enjoy a great series of artists’ talks: Richard Learoyd in conversation with Frish Brandt on May 18; Katy Grannan in conversation with Phillip Prodger onMay 19; and Alec Soth in conversation with Kate Bush as well as a lecture by Richard Misrach on May 20. Details on Photo London’s public programs can be found here.

In addition, Photo London presents a sneak preview of Katy Grannan’s first feature film, The Nine, at the National Portrait Gallery on May 20 at 2:30 pm, followed by a Q&A with the artist. The Nine will also screen at the Krakow Film Festival in Poland on May 30 and June 1. The Nine is a film about a visionary of innocence—a woman who endures unspeakable circumstances by reimagining her world and insisting on beauty and possibility.

A Conversation with Richard Misrach at City Arts & Lectures


Richard Misrach and Guillermo Galindo will discuss their current exhibition, “Border Cantos”, at City Arts & Lectures on Tuesday, April 26 at 7:30pm.  The artists will be joined by Amy X Neuburg, a vocalist and composer who has worked closely with Galindo.  For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the city Arts & Lectures website here.

For more information about “Border Cantos”, visit the San Jose Museum of Art website here.

Katy Grannan’s film “The Nine” to debut this April


Katy Grannan’s film, “The Nine”, will be shown for the first time at the Visions Du Reel film festival April 20-21, 2016.  This is the first showing of Grannan’s long anticipated film that offers a view into a side of America that is often overlooked.

To learn more about “The Nine”, visit their website.

To learn more about Grannan, please visit her artist page.

Robert Adams in Conversation with The Modern Art Notes Podcast


Robert Adams discusses his new work in our current exhibition, “Around the House & Other New Work” in this podcast with host Tyler Green:

Adams is among America’s greatest examiners of the West. He has published over 60 books, earned a MacArthur ‘genius’ grant and a Guggenheim, and numerous international awards. His most recent retrospective was organized by the Yale University Art Gallery and traveled around the world from 2011-14. – Tyler Green

From The Modern Art Notes Podcast online posting on 10 March 2016.

To learn more about Adams, please visit his artist page.

The Museum of Modern Art Launches Free Online Course about photography


The Museum of Modern Art is now offering a free online course, “Seeing Through Photographs”, that focuses on gaining a deeper understanding of photography as an art form.  Featured in the course are videos with Nicholas Nixon and Katy Grannan as well as other prominent photographers.

To learn more or sign up, visit the “Seeing Through Photographs” course page.

To learn more about Nicholas Nixon, please visit his artist page.

To learn more about Katy Grannan, please visit her artist page.

ABC News discusses Richard Misrach’s “Border Cantos”

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Richard Misrach discusses his series, Border Cantos, with ABC News in this online posting:

“Border Cantos” presents a unique collaboration between photographer Richard Misrach and composer and performer Guillermo Galindo. Misrach has been photographing the two-thousand mile border between the U.S. and Mexico since 2004, with increased focus since 2009—the latest installation in his ongoing series Desert Cantos, a multi-faceted approach to the study of place and man’s complex relationship to it. – ABC News

From the ABC News online posting in February 2016.

To learn more about Misrach’s work, please visit his artist page.

Richard Learoyd In Conversation with LA Review of Books

In this interview by LA Review of Books, Richard Learoyd discusses his use of the camera obscura and how people look at photographs.

It’s about replicating the way the eye works. When you see a person or look at an object, you don’t see it all in perfectly sharp focus if you’re a foot away from it. You see an area of it which is very detailed. I think that there’s something about working with the physics of cameras and making larger cameras and using the qualities that those cameras have. It becomes about how people see each other. And that’s to me when the details become very interesting.–Richard Learoyd

From the LA Review of Books online posting on 30 November 2015.

To learn more about Learoyd’s work, please visit his artist page.

Time Magazine Interviews Alec Soth


Olivier Laurent of TIME Magazine Lightbox  discusses Alec Soth’s teaching project, Winnebago Workshop.

The idea has already grabbed the attention of organizations across the U.S., including the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, and it’s already paying off for its creator too. “A few years ago, I had burnt out on photography and became kind of jaded myself,” [Soth] explains. “I sort of forgot that initial excitement, that raw reason that made us interested in making art. I think it’s healthy to be in touch with that original impulse.”-Olivier Laurent

From the TIME Magazine Lightbox online posting from 3 November 2015.

To learn more about Alec Soth, visit his artist page.

SF Weekly Reviews Sophie Calle Exhibition


Jonathan Curiel of the SF Weekly Culture Blog discusses our current exhibition and the work of Sophie Calle.

Money, secrecy and death are the Fraenkel exhibit’s central motifs. In Calle’s ATM photos, people fret as they wait for the machine to disperse their cash. They raise their eyebrows. They agonize. Money has a hold on them. None of them seem happy. None of them, it’s clear, ever expected their image would be used by a Paris photographer with a history of nosing around. – Jonathan Curiel

From the SF Weekly Culture Blog online posting from 4 November 2015.

To learn more about Sophie Calle, visit her artist page.

Sophie Calle Exhibition reviewed by The New York Times Style Magazine

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Erica Bellman of The New York Times Style Magazine discusses the work of Sophie Calle and our current exhibition.

Among the other works on view is “Cash Machine,” a series of readymade portraits of people accessing an ATM. The faces appear frozen between expressions: Some seem bored, while others approach glee, worry and sadness. The theme is our relationship with money, a subject that captivated Calle for the 16 years she worked on the series, returning again and again to the specter-like faces. “I was attracted to them, but I didn’t know what to do with them. It didn’t work for many years,” Calle says. “But when you’ve lost so much time trying to do something, then you have to find it; you cannot abandon it. The story of this project is to not abandon.” – Erica Bellman

From The New York Times Style Magazine online posting from 29 October 2015.

To learn more about Sophie Calle visit her artist page.

Nan Goldin’s “Ballad of Sexual Dependency” Turns 30


Ellyn Kail of Feature Shoot discusses Nan Goldin’s work and the thirtieth anniversary of her publication, The Ballad of Sexual Dependency.

Goldin created The Ballad to remember, to safeguard the things and the people that happened to her from being glossed over with the rosy tinge of nostalgia. The Ballad honors the bad and the beautiful, the tender and the violent, in equal measure, illuminating the ways in which the human race is both hopeless in relationships and hopeful in love. Sadly, the photographer was unable to hold fast and forever to all of the people in her life; many of the friends pictured have since died. And yet they do linger, neither as phantasms nor as memories tainted by sentiment, but as real people, flesh and blood, flickering on and off of a screen, nestled tightly within the corners of a book. – Ellyn Kail

From the Feature Shoot online posting by Ellyn Kail on 23 October 2015.

To learn more about Nan Goldin, visit her artist page.

Alec Soth Reviewed by The Guardian


Sean O’Hagan of The Guardian Photography Blog reviews Alec Soth’s retrospective, Gathered Leaves.

Like so many Soth images, it walks the line between the romantic and the resoundingly real, as well as between documentary and fine art – a hinterland he has negotiated more sure-footedly than any other photographer of his generation. –Sean O’Hagan

From The Guardian Photography Blog online posting by Sean O’Hagan on 6 October 2015.

To learn more about Soth, visit his artist page.

Richard Learoyd at the Victoria & Albert Museum


The Victoria & Albert Museum in London will be featuring Richard Learoyd in Dark Mirror, an exhibition of his large-scale portrait and still-life photographs, on view from October 24th – February 14, 2016.

Learoyd’s unique and large-scale portrait and still-life photographs captivate viewers with their quiet power and mesmerising detail, which is achieved through an innovative process. The images are made directly onto colour photographic paper in a room-sized camera obscura. The effect is almost hyper-real but is achieved entirely by non-digital and now obsolete chemical-based photography. Learoyd’s sitters seem frozen in deep reflection, and are shown alongside dream-like still life arrangements and mysterious dark mirrors with no reflections. Through a combination of symbolic subjects and sheer visual impact, his elegant compositions question the nature of optics and test limits of photographic representation. – The Victoria & Albert Museum

To learn more about Richard Learoyd, visit his artist page.