Tag Archives: Richard Avedon

Matt Licari

On October 26th, The Kiernan Gallery will host an evening for photographer, Matt Licari in his studio in Richmond, Virginia. Earlier this year, Matt unfortunately lost nearly all of his photography equipment in a robbery, so The Kiernan Gallery Presents: Matt Licari will be part fundraiser, part salon, as Matt’s
studio transforms into an alternative gallery space to display his work. I am featuring one of his series, Ride, about the experience of day to day travel on the NYC subway system.
Matt  received his BFA in photography from the School of Art +
Design at SUNY Purchase in New York. Inspired by street photography,
his work explores urban, suburban, and rural subjects. The work –
primarily in large format – has been exhibited widely, including Sasha
Wolf Gallery, Kris Graves Projects, and The Neuberger Museum of Art.
Licari has worked for the Guggenheim Museum and the Richard Avedon
Foundation, and currently serves as the Programs Chair of ASMP. He currently lives, works and travels between Richmond, Virginia and New York City. 
Ride is a series of images I have made in the New York City subway system. I’m a native New Yorker and have ridden the train since I was young, so the images didn’t start as an attempt to create a series, they were simply made in transit as I rode from place to place. I’m particularly fond of the el (elevated) lines due to the unique cityscapes they offer and the flickering, dappled light that the interior of the car receives. I also love the crowded midtown trains, where you often find every type of person in the same space. 
And of course, the elements provide another dimension to the rail system, which rarely seems to shut down even in inclement weather. It is not a conceptual series in the least – it is rather visceral – it is a place where people cram into a small space for a short time, and for the most part, deal with it quite gracefully. And then there are the people who don’t act so gracefully or ordinarily, which becomes a spectacle and sometimes a fun diversion for the rest of the travelers. The images are, in essence, about the experience of riding the train and seeing the city and it’s people through in that context. All images were made between 2008 and 2012 and are Untitled (Ride), year created.

In Amsterdam, a Photo Festival ‘Unseen’

This fall, Amsterdam—known for its innovative photo community— will welcome a new photography festival to its Dutch district. Called Unseen, the festival hopes to be a festival that, well, viewers have never seen before, with a focus on new and emerging talent as well as an aim to showcase never-before-seen work from established favorites including Richard Avedon, Steven Klein, Helmut Newton and Edward Steichen, among others.

Taking place from Sept. 19-23 at Amsterdam’s Westergasfabriek, the fair comprises more than 50 galleries hailing from around the world. With photography from places as diverse as Japan and New York, Dubai and Finland, the scope of the work will range from documentary to conceptual to experimental. Highlights include Miles Aldridge’s Immaculee #3 (Red Madonna), 2012, which reaffirms the long standing relationship between photography and iconographic painting, but pushes the boundary of what we expect as a viewer by asking the virgin figure to maintain eye contact and acknowledge the image maker. Also of interest is Zanzibar, 2010, by Chloe Sells. The American photographer explores the idea of land and nostalgia through her experimental darkroom C-prints. Colorful and graphic with bold colors and strong shapes, yet abstract and ambiguous, her images inspire thoughts of place and placelessness.

While there are many photography fairs around the world, Unseen works to offer a few additions to the typical fair. There will be a collection of affordable photographs, all priced under 1,000 euro (approximately $1280), to both help young photographers reach a new audience, as well as allow the young collector, or photography appreciator to invest in affordable work. And for the book connoisseur, Offprint Amsterdam will be at the fair, curating a new collection of self published and limited edition books.

You can learn more about the galleries featured and the day-to-day events here. Unseen is a project initiated by Foam, Platform A and Vandejong.

Benedikt Partenheimer, Eve Sussman, Brooklyn

Benedikt Partenheimer, Eve Sussman, Brooklyn

Benedikt Partenheimer

Eve Sussman, Brooklyn,
, 2006
From the Turnaround series
Website – Benedikt-Partenheimer.com

Benedikt Partenheimer is a photographer living in Berlin, Germany. He studied Philosophy, History and Art History at the LMU University in Munich and Photography at the RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia and at the Parsons School for Design in New York. During his time in New York he interned and assisted for Richard Avedon. Since 2003, his work has been presented in numerous international solo and group exhibitions. In 2009 he was awarded at the Hearst 8×10 Photography Biennial, New York and the recipient of the Art Award for Photography in Berlin, Germany. In 2010 he was nominated for the Lead Awards and exhibited at the Haus der Photografie, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, Germany. He has just received the Art Scope Award from Daimler Contemporary and will be living and working in Tokyo, Japan for 3 months.

Benedikt Partenheimer, JP / Monte Catria

Benedikt Partenheimer, JP / Monte Catria

Benedikt Partenheimer

JP / Monte Catria,
Monte Catria, Marche, Italy, 2007
From the Turnaround series
Website – Benedikt-Partenheimer.com

Benedikt Partenheimer is a photographer living in Berlin, Germany. He studied Philosophy, History and Art History at the LMU University in Munich and Photography at the RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia and at the Parsons School for Design in New York. During his time in New York he interned and assisted for Richard Avedon. Since 2003, his work has been presented in numerous international solo and group exhibitions. In 2009 he was awarded at the Hearst 8×10 Photography Biennial, New York and the recipient of the Art Award for Photography in Berlin, Germany. In 2010 he was nominated for the Lead Awards and exhibited at the Haus der Photografie, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, Germany. He has just received the Art Scope Award from Daimler Contemporary and will be living and working in Tokyo, Japan for 3 months.

Melissa Harris on Merce Cunningham

Merce Cunningham in Totem Ancestor, 1942. Photograph by Barbara Morgan. (Courtesy the Estate of Barbara Morgan and Bruce Silverstein Gallery.)
Melissa Harris is Editor in Chief of Aperture magazine, editor of Merce Cunningham: Fifity years and Cunningham’s Other Animals, as well as the upcoming ePub Merce Cunningham: 65 Years, co-edited with Trevor Carlson. She is a Trustee of the John Cage Trust.

The irony is not lost on me—as a photo-editor who has devoted many years to a medium known for stilling, or capturing, time, decisive or otherwise—that I should be equally consumed by another medium, one that defies any notion of “capture,” that I am seduced by dance’s very impermanence, especially in the case of Merce Cunningham. Cunningham’s choreography never leaves even a storyline to hang onto in its wake, but rather evinces a kind of isness, as if each dance has an ineffable essence that might somehow be touched, experienced, and that remains vital and resonant long after the curtain falls, so that endings are somehow intangible.

Cunningham’s sensibility was as much about time as about space—or, better, it was about the coexistence of the two and, unlike what transpires in much photography, time is liberated from illustration in a Cunningham dance. Things don’t have to happen in any narrative sense. Time is more about duration—which is in part why John Cage, and the other composers with whom Cunningham collaborated, had such freedom. In photography, conversely, the precise moment at which a picture is created may make all the difference—from evidentiary images to sports coverage to street shots to dance photography.

Which gets me thinking about the ephemeral—an idea that rarely pertains to the photographic object.

Of course photography can help to anchor that which is fleeting—whether it is Michael Jordan in the air, or Cunningham, as in Barbara Morgan’s image of his early solo, Totem Ancestor, 1942.  (Morgan—one of Aperture’s founders–collaborated closely with Martha Graham, and first photographed Cunningham when he was dancing with Graham’s troupe, beginning in 1939.).

Should art have a life span, like nature’s processes?  Looking at Robert Rauschenberg’s marvelous “Combine,” Monogram (1955–59), in a museum exhibition some years ago—the stuffed Angora goat on its platform, trapped under Plexiglas (I assume)—I was so saddened. This poor creature—once part of an irreverent, funny work built of materials that belie any intent of endless durability—is now subdued by the art world, forever viewable, but oddly spiritless in its cage. . . . Okay, that’s perhaps unfair. The choice of materials may certainly have been in part due to the artist’s poverty at the time of the work’s making. And I understand that if a museum pays millions or whatever dollars for something, the mandate is that it will last. Furthermore, I’m all for artists being able to sell their work—how else might they survive? I am of course grateful, too, for the opportunity to see work that, if not for profoundly good caretaking, I might never have had the chance to see.

But what if the integrity of the work is at stake? How does that affect its value—in more than the monetary sense? Maybe the pertinence of art is the thing itself, its “quality of life,” rather than its longevity?

My guess is that, when the supremely generous Rauschenberg was alive, had something technical gone awry with the aging Monogram, he would have been quite willing to pitch in. I say this with some conviction: in 1999, the New York City Ballet staged Cunningham’s 1958 dance Summerspace, which features an exquisite, pointillist backcloth by Rauschenberg, who from 1954 to 1964 was the Merce Cunningham Dance Company’s resident designer—décor, costumes, lighting. David Vaughan, archivist of the Cunningham Dance Foundation, in his book Merce Cunningham: Fifty Years (Aperture, 1997), notes that the original set was executed with the help of Jasper Johns (who had the title of artistic advisor to the Company from 1967 to 1980). During the intermission of the Lincoln Center performance, Rauschenberg paced outside the theater, smoking a cigarette and clearly vexed. He had apparently wanted to do a little work on the backcloth for these performances—but the unions wouldn’t allow him to touch it. Go figure. . . .

Jasper Johns spray-painting Carolyn Brown’s costume for Canfield, 1969. Photograph by James Klosty. (Courtesy the artist.)

It is gratifying, then, to consider Richard Rutledge’s photograph of a hands-on Rauschenberg assembling the “machine” for Cunningham’s 1961 AEon, or James Klosty’s image of Johns spray-painting Carolyn Brown’s costume for the 1969 dance Canfield (as Brown’s partner at the time, Klosty had unprecedented access touring with and documenting the Company, as well as a unique and sensitive perspective.  His exceptional images provide an intimate take on the MCDC from the late 1950s to the early ‘70s.).  Here is the ephemeral in the making: these kinds of moments are the stuff of photography. And then there are images of the dances themselves—from the very earliest photos, at the Company’s inception in 1953, right up to those made by Stephanie Berger and Anna Finke late in Cunnginham’s life, in the natural light of his “Beacon Events” at Dia:Beacon (2007–9). And finally there are the images from New York’s Park Avenue Armory “Events”—first, the memorial “Event” in October 2009, and most recently those of the last six performances of the Company’s farewell Legacy Tour, at the end of last year, danced under Daniel Arsham’s dramatic “clouds.”

If dance is ultimately fleeting, photography makes for a compelling partner.

50 words V/14/72

Sleeping till 11:30. (All previous-night flight, & all day studio-catch-up-late movie TV.) Rare to really sleep long. Real refreshment. Day spent cooking beans, writing article never finish that article (East & West=never best). Evening with CH 13—movies of the 40’s. Old movies are like old photographs. You remember so many surrounding things. John’s call from Koln: back from Bonn, off to London, diarrhea outside hotel, clothes in laundromat.

—Merce Cunningham, from his book Other Animals: Drawings and Journals, (Aperture, 2002)

I first met Merce, thanks to John Cage’s intervention, in the early 1980s, when I was an undergrad writing a senior essay on their collaborations with Rauschenberg and Johns. But it wasn’t until nearly twenty years later, while I was editing Merce’s book Other Animals, that I really had an opportunity to spend time with him. Sometime in 2001, I was invited to his loft–that he had shared with Cage–for dinner (prepared by Laura Kuhn, executive director of the John Cage Trust). David Vaughan was there, as was Margarete Roeder, Cunningham’s gallerist and friend who helped keep him in art supplies. At the end of the evening, as I was leaving, Merce handed me a shopping bag filled with steno pads from the 1970s onward, suggesting that I might enjoy looking at them. A selection of these drawings and journals (with additional works and photographs sprinkled throughout) eventually evolved into Other Animals, and he worked closely with designer Wendy Byrne and me on the format and sequencing of this book.  Earlier, when editing Vaughan’s Merce Cunningham: Fifty Years in the mid-nineties, I had also periodically brought Merce layouts of that book to review. He had one consistent complaint: “Do there have to be so many pictures of me?”   My “YES!” was non-negotiable.

Cunningham may not have liked photographs of himself (or perhaps what he might have felt as the intrusion of the photographer), but photographers loved taking his picture, and therefore evocative images of him abound, by myriad artists, including: Richard Avedon, Imogen Cunningham, Arnold Eagle, Johan Elbers, Allen Ginsberg, Lois Greenfield, Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, Peter Hujar, Annie Leibovitz, Babette Mangolte, Jack Mitchell, Peter Moore, Max Waldman, and many others. And there are of course other kinds of portraits: both Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol, for example, made works incorporating Cunningham’s image; and his footprint appears in Johns’s Numbers (1963), commissioned for the lobby of the New York State Theater at Lincoln Center. (According to Vaughan: “Johns had Cunningham step in the upper right-hand corner of the painting so that ‘Merce would get his foot in the door’ of the new theater.”) Even William Eggleston, not a portraitist, expressed to me his interest in photographing Cunningham. Eggleston recalled that he’d once driven from Memphis to Little Rock to see the Company perform. “It was marvelous,” he said. “Then after, people were asking him questions: ‘Was the dance supposed to be about this, or about that?’ And he simply said: ‘No, it’s not supposed to be anything but what it is.’” Eggleston added: “People ask me what my work is about. I also just want them to have their own experience.”

Cunningham was adventurous and stunningly prescient. Toward the end of 1989, as part of his choreographic process, he began to use a computer program developed for him, then called LifeForms. His 1991 piece Trackers (the title inspired by the “tracking” function on the computer) was the first work he made utilizing this technology.  And in a 1997 snapshot by digital artist Shelley Eshkar, a seemingly elated Cunningham looks on while two of his dancers don reflective spheres to track their form and movement with optical sensors. Eshkar and his partner Paul Kaiser were introducing the choreographer to “motion capture” (from which derived their 1998 project Hand-Drawn Spaces, and the following year Cunningham’s dance BIPED—the latter titled after a computer program by the same name designed for Cunningham). In the image, one can sense Cunningham’s sheer pleasure in the untried, in moving beyond his preconceptions—always key for him, as for Cage.

Merce Cunningham in the early stages of creating a dance to be incorporated into a multimedia film, installation, and computer project titled Hand-drawn Spaces. Working at the motion capture studio at Biodivision, San Francisco, in April 1997, in collaboration with Paul Kaiser and Shelley Eshkar of Riverbed Media, MC choreographs on screen using “Biped,” a computer program designed especially for him by Michael Girard and Susan Amkraut of Unreal Pictures. Reflective spheres are attached to dancers Jeannie Steele and Jared Phillips to track their form and movement with optical sensors. The data is stored in the computer, where MC can refine it, manipulate it, and develop a choreography. Photograph by Shelley Eshkar. (Courtesy the artist.)


Cunningham’s own interest in engaging with new technology was one of the principal motivations behind our forthcoming epub, Merce Cunningham: 65 Years. Aperture, in collaboration with the Cunningham Dance Foundation, is preparing to launch the project this spring (in conjunction with Aperture’s own sixtieth anniversary, as well as the centennial of John Cage’s birth). With the support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Aperture, in collaboration with the Cunningham Dance Foundation, is preparing to launch the project this spring (in conjunction with Aperture’s own sixtieth anniversary, as well as the centennial of John Cage’s birth).

Many in the Cunningham orbit have nicknamed Vaughan’s Merce Cunningham: Fifty Years “the bible”–and as one dance aficionado insisted to me: “Nobody lets their bible disappear!”  Inspired by Cunningham’s spirited vision, the original print book will now be transformed:  Vaughan is updating the text of the Fifty Years book to 2009 (the year of Cunningham’s death), and the entire text will be digitized. The epub will incorporate fifteen-second excerpts of dance footage (with sound)—selected by Vaughan, Trevor Carlson (executive director of the CDF), and others—from some forty dances performed over the span of Cunningham’s career. Also featured will be brief excerpts of interviews with Cunningham from writer/producer Nancy Dalva’s remarkable series “Mondays with Merce,” and a selection from Vaughan’s discussions with Cunningham made after the publication of Fifty Years—in this way bringing Cunningham’s distinctive voice into the picture, so to speak.  There will also be selected drawings and journal pages; a consideration of the Legacy Tour by Bonnie Brooks (CDF Legacy fellow); as well as additional photographs from 1994–2009.  With the help of developer Larry Larson and designer Didier García, our hope is to create an enduring, accessible, multimedia project that will be experiential and more of Merce Cunningham and his extraordinary work, than simply about him.

The final stage performance of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company took place at the Théâtre de la Ville in Paris on December 23, 2011. The last dance of the evening was the sublime BIPED. The invocation of nature’s cycles and multiplicity, the poetry in the “non-endings” of so many Cunningham dances—as the curtain falls, one still sees the activity, the movement, continuing beneath it, ongoing—teased this time with particular poignancy. The notion that nothing has stopped just because the curtain has come down fed the desire for the piece to continue, not to end, so that we would not have to say goodbye. The audience’s longing was palpable, and literally heart-in-your-throat breathtaking.

I began this meditation thinking about dance, specifically Cunningham, and photography. Photography, as we know, captures. It allows us to not entirely have to say goodbye, and it offers us the memories of, as Cunningham embracingly wrote,  “so many surrounding things.”

—Melissa Harris, January 2012

Biped, 1999. Holley Farmer (left) and Lisa Boudreau (right). Photograph by Stephanie Berger. (Courtesy the artist.)

Traveling Exhibitions: Pennsylvania, Oregon, Kansas

Aperture has long been recognized as an excellent source for quality traveling exhibitions to museums, university galleries, libraries, and art centers around the world.  The foundation has a prestigious roster of exhibitions available at any given time, currently there are ten different exhibitions moving around the world and another four that are currently in development. These exhibitions reflect the diversity of our book program including monographic exhibitions from masters of the medium such as Bruce Davidson and Alex Webb to exciting group shows including The New York Times Magazine Photographs, a never before seen collection of some of the greatest photography ever published in the Magazine and reGeneration 2 a  introduction to the most promising photographers of the next generation. See below for more details on where our exhibitions are currently on view.


Dawoud Bey: Class Pictures

Odalys, 2007 by Dawoud Bey

Dawoud Bey’s Class Pictures are portraits of American adolescence across the social, economic and racial spectrum. Now on display at Silver Eye Center for Photography in Pittsburgh, PA, the 40 x 30 inch color prints are paired with page-long statements written by the subjects–sometimes touching, sometimes funny, sometimes harrowing–that deepen our understanding of the most awkward age.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012–Saturday, March 10, 2012

Silver Eye Center for Photography
1015 East Carson Street
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
(412) 431-1810


The Edge of Vision: Abstraction in Contemporary Photography

PushPins, 2002 by Ellen Carey

The Ronna and Eric Hoffman Gallery at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, OR presents The Edge of Vision: Abstraction in Color Photography. Photographs and photo-based installations, many exhibited for the first time, “explore the territory of ‘undisclosed’ or abstract imagery in all its forms.” Single-artist installations examine the photographic process and visual culture in an effort to discover new optical possibilities and meaning-making.

Thursday, January 19, 2012–Sunday, March 18, 2012

Ronna and Eric Hoffman Gallery, Lewis and Clark College
0615 S.W. Palantine Hill Rd.
Portland, Oregon
(503) 768-7687


Chuck Close: A Couple of Ways of Doing Something

Self Portrait, 2004 by Chuck Close

In Witchita, KA, the Witchita Art Museum presents A Couple of Ways of Doing Somethingfifteen of Chuck Close’s intimate daguerreotype portraits of influential contemporary artists alongside Bob Holman’s beautifully typeset poems.  In addition, Close a curator has included examples of his other works taken from each daguerreotype in a variety of media, including tapestries and photogravures.

Sunday, January 29, 2012–Sunday, April 15, 2012

Wichita Art Museum
1400 West Museum Boulevard
Wichita, Kansas
(316) 268-4980



We update all traveling exhibition schedules on a regular basis on our website here and here.  Please feel free to contact Annette Booth, Exhibitions Manager at 212.946.7128 or at [email protected] for further information on hosting an exhibition at your venue!

Eve Arnold: April 12, 1912—January 4, 2012

If a photographer cares about the people before the lens and is compassionate, much is given. It is the photographer, not the camera, that is the instrument.”—Eve Arnold

Photographer Eve Arnold, who died Thursday morning at the age of 99, is probably best remembered for her celebrity photographs of Marilyn Monroe, made over the span of a decade from the early 1950s to those taken on the set of the movie star’s final film, The Misfits. But Arnold also traveled the world to make equally exceptional photographs of the poor and disposed.

Arnold, the daughter of Russian-Jewish immigrants, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1912. In the late 1940’s, she studied photography—alongside Richard Avedon—under inspirational art director Alexei Brodovitch at the New School for Social Research in New York. Her first photo story documented African-American fashion shows in Harlem and the project would lead directly to her being granted unprecedented access by Malcom X to document the Black Muslims and the way they worked over the next two years.

In the early 1950’s, she began working for the photo news publications of the day, first for Picture Post, then Time and Life magazines. And in 1957 she became the first woman photographer to join Magnum Photos.

She will perhaps be best remembered for her exceptional photographs of people: the famous, politicians, musicians, artists —among them Malcolm X, Joan Crawford, Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Jacqueline Kennedy and Monroe. “I look for a sense of reality with everything I did,” she once said. “I didn’t work in a studio, I didn’t light anything. I found a way of working which pleased me because I didn’t have to frighten people with heavy equipment, it was that little black box and me”

But it is the long term reportage stories that drove Arnold’s curiosity and passion. She traveled extensively to make work on regions that had been off limits to the west—to China, Mongolia, the Soviet Union, and also to Cuba, South Africa and Afghanistan. In 1971 she made a film, Women Behind the Veil, going inside Arabian harems and hammams.

Arnold continued to work for respected publications, most notably the Sunday Times color supplement. In 2003 she was honored with an OBE in recognition for her services to photography. Her work is renowned for its intimacy. Whether photographing celebrity or the everyday, Arnold’s portraits are magical, memorable and enduring.

An Evening with Diane Arbus and Marvin Israel

© Diane Arbus

After the overwhelming response to the previous screening, Aperture and the School of Visual Arts present: A Slide Show and Talk by Diane Arbus [1970] and a screening of Who is Marvin Israel? [2005]. Read the article by Hilton Als titled Arbus Speaks from The New Yorker’s Book Bench column.

Who is Marvin Israel? [2005] is a short documentary on the life and work of the enigmatic Marvin Israel (1924–1984), artist, designer, art director, and teacher. Israel’s influence on Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon, and Lee Friedlander, among others, is explored in the words of those who knew him. Directed by Neil Selkirk.

The Slide Show and Talk by Diane Arbus is an original audio recording of a 1970 slide presentation by Diane Arbus in which she speaks about photography using her own work and other photographs, snapshots and clippings from her collection. Compiled and edited by Neil Selkirk, Doon Arbus, and Adam Shott.

This program coincides with the release of Diane Arbus: A Chronology and newly reissued Diane Arbus: An Aperture Monograph and Untitled: Diane Arbus on the fortieth anniversary of the original publication.

Thursday, November 15, 2011
Doors at 7:00 pm, Screening at 7:30 pm
First come; first serve.

This event is free and open to the public. Guests are encouraged to arrive early to the screening- there are limited seats available.

SVA Theatre
333 23rd Street (between 8th and 9th Avenues)
New York, New York