I first came to know of Susan Meiselas' amazing photographs when she was photographing in conflict zones in the 70's and 80's. To a one, these images were extraordinary in making the viewer proximate to the violence of war and our shared humanity. Overtime, I acquainted myself with most of her work, well at least the images in monographs, museums, and galleries finding inspiration in her photographs of women and culture. In Mediations, San Fransisco Museum of Modern Art pays homage to one of the most important female photographers of all time. This epic retrospective of her work is on view through October.
Every two years, MoMA’s celebrated New Photography exhibition series presents urgent and compelling ideas in recent photography and photo-based art. This year’s edition, Being, asks how photography can capture what it means to be human. Exploring new ground and the many forms that the photographic image can take, New Photography is a key part of the Museum’s contemporary program. Since 1985, the series has introduced new work by over 100 artists from around the world. In 2018, Being brings together an international group of 17 artists at various stages in their careers, all presenting their work at the Museum for the first time. Through August 19.
Art 100 was a sweeping survey course in art history that was and perhaps still is a a right of passage for any student majoring in art. I remember coming to know and love all of the artists who would influence me over the years, in particular the dissonant and oddly haunting American Gothic by Grant Wood. Like Robert Frank's photographs of American life, this was a painting that manifest the psychological underbelly of American consciousness. Wood's work also investigates the anxiety of being an artist and a deeply repressed homosexual in the Midwest in the 1930s. Wood's double portrait of a pitchfork-wielding farmer and a woman commonly presumed to be his wife—is one of the most recognizable paintings in 20th century American art and perhaps Wood's most famous artwork. The Whitney's survey of the Wood's career that opened in early March, Grant Wood: American Gothic and Other Fables brings together the full range of his art, from his early Arts and Crafts decorative objects and Impressionist oils through his mature paintings, murals, and book illustrations, revealing a complex artist whose image as a farmer-painter was as mythical as the fables he depicted in his art. Read Philip Kennicott's review of the show here.
Film maker Jeremiah Zagar has adapted the groundbreaking debut novel by Justin Torres, We The Animals, that plunges us into the chaotic heart of one family and the intense bonds of three brothers into a singularly original and poetic film. Having just won the NEXT Innovator Award at this year's Sundance Film Festival, We The Animals has been touted as "This Year's MoonLight" in IndieWire, "A Poetic Battle Cry of Childhood" by Screenanarchy, and "Mesmerizing" by the Hollywood reporter. Produced by Paul Mezey (my darling husband) and Andrew Goldman of Cinereach, an extraordinary film company dedicated to vital, artful filmmaking, WTA is the newest of their critically acclaimed must see films from the production house that has brought us Beasts of the Southern Wild, Sorry to Bother You, Beach Rats, Brimstone and Glory, Dina, The Florida Project, Night Comes On, and numerous other award winning narrative and documentary films.
When I was in graduate school for photography at Yale School of Art in the late 80's Steven Shore was the name on everyones lips. At a time when classic modernist photography had already given way to new color photography and post modernism was in quick ascent, Shore's iconic color images were a through line in the landscape of the medium. I loved his work for its quirky cultural critique but his images resonated most because of his sensitivity to light, something that was at the core of my own practice. MoMA just mounted the first retrospective of Shore's work, certain to impress with a collection of images spanning forty years. Exhibit runs through the end of May.