Tag Archives: Lisette Model

The Radical Camera: New York’s Photo League

A game of hopscotch. A toothpaste ad. Filthy slums. This, for better or worse, was New York life in the 1930s. Many looked but few saw until the Photo League—a pioneering group of young, idealistic documentary photographers—captured that life with cameras.

The Manhattan-based League, which incorporated a school, darkroom, gallery and salon, was the first institution of its kind when it was founded in 1936 says Mason Klein, curator of fine arts at The Jewish Museum, which is currently presenting “The Radical Camera,” an exhibition in collaboration with the Columbus Museum of Art in Ohio. “There was nothing like the Photo League, where people could exhibit their work, students alongside their mentors, be taught a kind of history of photography and start understanding what the meaning of the photograph might be.”

Many of its founding members, including Sid Grossman, Sol Libsohn and Aaron Siskind, were first-generation Jewish immigrants with progressive, left-wing sensibilities. “They were very conscious of neighborhoods and communities,” says Klein. “I think it was very natural for Jews to form an egalitarian group and understand that the ordinary citizen of the urban scene was as much a valid subject as any for photography.”

The League thrived for fifteen years, generating projects like the Harlem Document, a collaborative effort by ten photographers to document the living conditions in poor black neighborhoods. It also fostered the careers of notable photographers such as Lisette Model, Weegee and Rosalie Gwathmey.

Despite its progressive agenda, the League’s mission was far from simplistic. Founder Grossman, who was just 23 when the group started, encouraged its members to look beyond documentary and question their relationship with the image. “Sid taught people to challenge their habitual ways of seeing the world,” says Klein. “A more poetic and metaphoric expression of how one saw the world was what Sid wanted from his students.” Under Grossman’s guidance, the League’s young muckrakers became artists.

By the 1940s, the League had turned away from its narrow political focus, capturing the squalor and splendor of everyday New York. The country was moving in the other direction, however, zeroing in on those suspected of harboring leftist sympathies. On December 5, 1947, the U.S. Attorney General blacklisted the League as “totalitarian, fascist, communist or subversive.” In 1951, it closed its doors forever.

The League’s reputation has never truly recovered, says Klein. “They were condemned to a kind of ideological shelving and, I think, unfairly treated by history. We’re trying to rectify that with this show, because they really were always about pushing the photograph and understanding it as art.”

The Radical Camera is on display at The Jewish Museum in New York through March 25. 

Sonia van Gilder Cooke is a reporter in TIME’s London Bureau. Follow her on Twitter at @svangildercooke.

Fall Exhibitions in New York

Basil Jones (2011) © Gary Schneider

This Fall, many works by Aperture-featured photographers are being exhibited in New York City. Here is our run-down of this season’s must-see shows.

Gary Schneider: HandPrints, Johhanesburg at David Krut Projects. Made by hands’ sweat and heat interacting with film emulsion, these unusual portraits of friends and family will be on view September 8 – October 22, 2011.

Hellen van Meene at Yancey Richardson Gallery, September 8 – October 22, 2011, will exhibit the photographer’s distinct style of portraiture.

Vik Muniz at Sikkema Jenkins & Co., September 9 – October 15, 2011, focusing on paintings by the Brazilian artist.

Edward Steichen: The Last Printing at Danziger Projects, September 15 – October 29, 2011. Photographs made by George Tice, renowned photographer and Steichen’s last printer.

Social Media at Pace/MacGill, from September 16 – October 15, 2011, featuring work by Penelope Umbrico & others. Detailing the rise of social media in our visual culture, it includes Umbrico’s work Sunset Portraits From 9,623,557 Sunset Pictures which was meticulously culled from the photo-sharing website Flickr.

Simon Norfolk: Burke + Norfolk at Bonni Benrubi Gallery, September 14 – December 3, 2011, features a visual dialogue between nineteenth-century British photographer John Burke and contemporary photographer Simon Norfolk, centered in Afghanistan.

The Radical Camera: New York’s Photo League, 1936 – 1951 at The Jewish Museum from November 4 – March 25, 2011. Featuring work by Lisette Modell, Aaron Siskind, Weegee & many other photography legends.

There are also many gallery openings that are showing artists featured in our 2011 Benefit, Auction & SNAP! Party:

Sara Greenberger Rafferty at Rachel Uffner Gallery, September 7 – October 23, 2011.

Charlotte Dumas: Retrieved at Julie Saul Gallery, September 8 – October 15, 2011.

Click here to start bidding online for work by these artists and others!

Lisette Model at Bruce Silverstein Gallery

Singer at Café Metropole, 1946. © Lisette Model

Self Reflections: The Expressionist Origins of Lisette Model

Exhibition on view:
September 22–November 12, 2011

Bruce Silverstein Gallery
535 West 24th Street
New York, NY
(212) 627-3930

The works of Lisette Model will be featured in the exhibition Self Reflections: The Expressionist Origins of Lisette Model at Bruce Silverstein. Her photography will be presented alongside the works of European Expressionists Max Beckmann, Otto Dix, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, George Grosz, Jeanne Mammen, and Lyonel Feininger. Influenced by Expressionist artists, the revered Model was herself a significant influence on other photographers, including Diane Arbus. Her photography is in the collections of many museums including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Getty Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art. See the Aperture-published monograph, Lisette Model, here.

Opening Tonight!

Robert Frank
Rodeo, New York City, 1954, printed c. 1954

Great Photographs of the 20th Century: From the Street will feature work by Robert Adams, Richard Avedon, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Robert Frank, Lee Friedlander, Abbas Kiarostami, Lisette Model and Gary Winogrand.

Exhibition on view
May 19 – July 1, 2011

Reception and Panel Discussion:
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Reception at 5:30 pm
Panel discussion at 6:30 pm

Hasted Kraeutler
537 West 24th Street
New York, NY


LaToya Ruby Frazier (Save Our Community Hospital) Campaign for UPMC Braddock Hospital 2011

Always The Young Strangers

Higher Pictures presents Always the Young Strangers, an exhibition of 17 young artists. The exhibition is modeled after and takes its name from a show curated by Edward Steichen at the Museum of Modern Art in 1953. The work in our show is cohesive, chaotic and expansive. The artists are highly tuned-in, producing work that vaporizes the traditional 20th century approach to medium and style. For the artist today, these have entered the hyper-real – they leave us only with references to medium and style. Aided by technologies beyond the camera, their art discloses a hybridized world made by hand. Collectively this work feels and speaks of individuality and possibility.

Erica Allen, Cortney Andrews, Talia Chetrit, Jessica Eaton, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Anna Krachey, Jessica Labatte, Andrea Longacre-White, Aspen Mays, MPA + Katherine Hubbard, Yamini Nayar, Emily Roysdon, Carrie Schneider, Kate Steciw, Letha Wilson, Ann Woo.

Higher Pictures
764 Madison Avenue
New York

Opening reception: Thursday May 19, 6 – 9 pm
Exhibition on view: May 19 through July 9, 2011

Arthur Ou, untitled (Screen Test 1) 2007, courtesy the artist

The exhibition Undressing the World presented by Conveyor will feature Aaron Gustafson, Arthur Ou, Christine Shank, David Horvitz, Elizabeth Bick, George Pitts, Haley Bueschlen, Hrvoje Slovenc, Laura Bell, Leif Huron, Nicholas Alan Cope, Penelope Umbrico, Simone Douglas, Claudia Sohrens, Sophie Barbasch, Stephen Cardinal, and Sylvia Hardy.

The launch party will kick off with a performance by Hypercolor.

Conveyor will be hosting a series of artist talks, live music and perhaps even performance art throughout the weekend at 25CPW.

Stay tuned to our website for more details: www.conveyorarts.org

Conveyor is an organization dedicated to supporting photographic-based artists, through the production and circulation of new works in the medium. In partnership with Conveyor Print Space, we provide artists with opportunities for printing, exhibition and publication.

The Conveyor Magazine Issue One {Curiosities} includes Review on the Photographic Universe Conference: Images and Writing from Arthur Ou, Penelope Umbrico, Andrea Geyer, Wafaa Bilal, Lorne Blythe, Daniel Small, Luca Antonucci and Simone Douglas.

Click here to purchase the Penelope Umbrico Photographs book.


Primary Photographic Gallery is pleased to present “2001″ an exhibition of photographs by New York photographer Tim Barber.

Opening reception: Thursday, May 19th, 6-10pm

Exhibition on view: May 19th – June 15th

Tim Barber grew up in Amherst Massachusetts, lived for a few years in the mountains of Northern Vermont, studied photography in Vancouver B.C. and now lives in New York City. A photographer, curator and designer, Barber runs the online gallery and image archive tinyvices.com, where visitors are encouraged to submit their photographs and artwork. He is represented in the US and UK by Webber Represents.

Following this show Barber will be curating a series of solo exhibitions for Primary Photographic Gallery featuring the artists Asger Carlsen, Brooke Smith, Greg Halpern and Kate Steciw. Stay tuned for schedule information.

Primary Photographic Gallery
195 Chrystie St.
New York, NY 10002

RICHARD AVEDON: "Jacob Israel Avedon" (1974)

Jacob Israel Avedon, Sarasota, Florida, May 15, 1971By Richard Avedon, July 14, 1974, New York CityA photographic portrait is a picture of someone who knows he’s being photographed, and what he does with this knowledge is as much a part of the photograph as what he’s wearing or how he looks. He’s implicated in what’s happening, and he as a certain real power over the result. carpet cleaning companies . stanley steemer . free family counseling . Lisette Model told me

Apeiron Workshops Reunion This Fall

Apeiron Zen PorchZen Photography workshop at Apeiron, ca. 1979. Front row, 3rd from left: workshop leader John Daido Loori; 5th from left (hand above eyes): Apeiron founder Peter Schlessinger, who later helped Loori found the Zen Mountain Center in Woodstock, New York. Both were students of Minor White. Atlanta Driveway Replacement . new home . (Photograph courtesy Apeiron archives)

Forty years ago, shortly after working for a year and a half as an editorial assistant at Aperture (and using many of the contacts hed made there), Peter Schlessinger opened a photography-workshop center called Apeiron Workshops. criminal attorney . Located two hours north of New York City in Millerton, N.Y., and based on methods of focusing attention taught by Apertures editor, Minor White, Apeiron offered immersive residential programs of various lengths. Its summer programs offered workshops with an A-list of creative photographers of the time, including Berenice Abbott, Robert Adams, Diane Arbus, Paul Caponigro, Linda Connor, Judy Dater, Robert Frank, Lee Friedlander, Ralph Gibson, Emmet Gowin, Robert Heinecken, Elaine Mayes, Lisette Model, Aaron Siskind, Frederick Sommer, and Garry Winogrand, plus Magnum photographers Charles Harbutt, Mary Ellen Mark, Susan Meiselas, Gilles Peress, and Burk Uzzle. Eventually, Apeiron would also run longer (three-month) spring and fall programs, teach in the public schools, offer a selection of traveling exhibitions, run specialized workshops for teachers, and offer theoretical conferences. During its 12-year tenure, Apeiron published Linda Connors first book, Solos, and mounted one of the largest NEA-funded photographic surveys, The Long Island Project. Always run on a shoestring and the heroic commitment of its near-volunteer staff, it closed in 1982 as interest rates hit 18 percent and President Reagan slashed the NEAs funding.

This coming Labor Day weekend, a reunion open to all who ever participated (as staff, students, workshop leaders, artists-in-residence, or special-project staff) is being held at a conference center in the mountains outside Asheville, North Carolina. Anyone who falls into one or more of the aforementioned categories is encouraged to contact Benjamin Porter at [email protected] or call him at 828-281-1825 for full information.