Ten years of photographs by Henry Wessel, Jr. will be on view at the Fraenkel Gallery, 55 Grant Avenue, February 18 – March 28. The exhibition begins with Wessel’s earliest work, the “man-altered landscapes” he is best known for and which were included in his exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1974. Tracing Wessel’s development as a photographer, the exhibition includes his most recent work, a series of images made in Hawaii.
The photographs of Henry Wessel, Jr. deal with the nature of places, usually public spots- parks, beaches, back and front yards, views from small city streets or highways. These places have been shaped by human activity. Yet Wessel’s photographs of a man gazing at the sea, or a small cottage with a tree in front of it, become something imbued with mystery, far apart from the everyday world. Wessel bestows upon these scenes his own specific and unique meaning which transcends the prosaic subject matter.
Using a 35 mm camera and the most straightforward of approaches, Henry Wessel, Jr. has been making photographs for the past fifteen years.