Tag Archives: Robert Mapplethorpe

Aperture Summer Issue #207 Available Now!


The Mushroom Collector, Jason Fulford, discusses his obsessive and genre-defying project. (cover)

An interview with influential French publisher Robert Delpire about his formidable achievements over the last fifty years as a pioneer in photography magazine and book publishing, films, and advertising. Blog Submission . Information on related exhibitions here.

Young South African photographer Daniel Nauds series Animal Farm that chronicles mankinds dominion over animals.

Excerpts from Martin Parrs new book, Up and Down Peachtree, a whimsical look at Atlanta, Georgias popular culture.

Award-winning photojournalist Stephanie Sinclairs images documenting womens issues from around the world.

Sylvia Plachy captures and notes fleeting moments at the Kentucky Derby and a nearby cemetery.

Best-selling author Francine Prose on Judy Linn, best known for her photographs of Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith.

Vintage Congolese nightlife photos by Jean Depara.

Click here to subscribe now and get a free book!

Shared Vision: The Sondra Gilman and Celso Gonzalez-Falla Collection of Photography

“Coney Island, NY, July 9, 1993″ by Rineke Dijkstra and “Patrick, Palm Sunday, Baton Rough, Louisiana, 2002″ by Alec Soth


Opening reception:
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
6:00–8:00 pm

Exhibition on view:
Friday, March 2, 2012–Saturday, April 21, 2012

Aperture Foundation
547 West 27th Street, 4th Floor
New York, New York
(212) 505-5555

Sondra Gilman and Celso Gonzalez-Falla, two individuals that Art News ranks among the top ten photo collectors in the world, have amassed hundreds of the most iconic images reflecting the diverse nature of the past century of photography. Aperture Foundation pleased to announce the opening of Shared Vision: The Sondra Gilman and Celso Gonzalez-Falla Collection of Photography, featuring over two hundred of those photographs that form one of the world’s best private collections. An exhibition organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Jacksonville, a cultural resource of the University of North Florida, curated by Ben Thompson, MOCA’s curator, and Paul Karabinis, assistant professor of photography at UNF.

Gilman and Gonzalez-Falla’s collaboration hinges on a few underlying principles— mainly, to acquire works of major importance by leading photographers of their generation, and to focus on vintage prints. Although each of the collectors brings a different point of view to the photography—Gonzalez-Falla analyzes color and form, while Gilman responds to images on a more visceral level—these distinct approaches merge into a single, shared vision and emanate from the same goal: to collect photographs that move and inspire them.

Prominet photographers in the collection include Ansel AdamsEugène Atget, Margaret Bourke-White,Walker Evans, Loretta LuxSally Mann, Richard Misrach, Doug and Mike StarnRobert Mapplethorpe, and Alfred Stieglitz.

The exhibition, organized by MOCA, a cultural resource of the University of North Florida, curated by Ben Thompson, MOCA’s curator, and Paul Karabinis, assistant professor of photography at UNF, is supported by Sondra Gilman and Celso Gonzalez-Falla, The Haskell Company, Marilyn and Charles Gilman III, and Joan and Preston Haskell. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog published by MOCA and produced by Aperture Foundation. This catalog features selected photographs from the exhibition, with historical context about each image and the photographer, curatorial remarks from Ben Thompson and Paul Karabinis, and an exclusive interview with the collectors.

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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!

The Unseen Eye…A Life in Photography and Other Digressions

Poster photographed and designed by Gerald Slota for W.M. Hunt and Aperture, © Gerald Slota

In conjunction with his new book The Unseen Eye: Photographs from the Unconscious, W.M. – Bill – Hunt has created a special performance piece suggested by his text for the book.

This monologue with projections and video will consist of ruminations on his many years of collecting and a life in photographs. Mr. Hunt has been a collector since his early years as an actor. He has been a fundraiser (Photographers + Friends United Against AIDS, The Center for Photography at Woodstock and the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund), a dealer (Ricco/Maresca Gallery and his own Hasted Hunt) as well as a writer and teacher.

Hunt is known for his wit and sometimes larger than life personality. This evening is one of information and digression. He hopes to bring into the light many of the names and stories left out of book.

The Unseen Eye: Photographs from the Unconscious presents an idiosyncratic and compelling collection of photographs assembled around a particular theme: magical, heart stopping images of people in which the eyes are obscured, veiled, or otherwise hidden. The gaze of the subject is averted. The pictures present a catalog of anti-portraiture, characterized at first glance by what its subjects conceal, not by what the camera reveals.

Amassed over the course of almost forty years by Hunt, the collection includes works by masters such as Richard Avedon, Diane Arbus, Imogen Cunningham, William Klein, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Robert Frank as well as lesser known artists and vernacular images. Hunt’s instinctive pursuit of striking images has resulted in a collection that manages to evoke a picture of humanity from birth to death, with all the associated nuances of memory, wit, eroticism, fear, grief, and horror.

More than three hundred and fifty intensely evocative and frequently surreal images are brilliantly sequenced in this volume—the cumulative effect is unnerving and riveting. Most critically, the images are drawn together by the narrative of the collector himself—a highly personal monologue that weaves throughout the book, in which Hunt offers his own perceptive responses to the images he has gathered over many years. The end result is a series of surprising epiphanies about how and why one collects. This volume is a must for anyone who collects or has considered putting together a collection of his or her own.

W.M. Hunt is a frequent lecturer on collecting, a well known dealer and an adjunct professor at the School of Visual Arts, New York. An earlier exhibition of his collection launched to critical acclaim at the Rencontres d’Arles de la Photographie in 2005 before traveling to the Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland, and FOAM, Amsterdam. An exhibition of 550 works, The Unseen Eye: Photographs from the Collection of W. M. Hunt will be on view at the George Eastman House from Oct.1 2011 to February 19 2012.

Exhibition on view:
George Eastman House, Rochester, New York: October 1, 2011- February 19, 2012

Performance by Bill Hunt:
Aperture Gallery and Bookstore: Friday, October 28, 2011
Doors at 6:30 pm, Performance at 7:00 pm

[email protected]

Click here to read an interview of W.M. Hunt in At Length magazine.

The Unseen Eye: Photographs from the W.M. Hunt Collection

Carrie Levy, Untitled from “Domestic Stages,” 2004. Courtesy the artist.

The Unseen Eye: Photographs from the W. M. Hunt Collection is now on view at the George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography and Film. This is the largest exhibition in the museum’s history with more than 500 “magical images of people in which the eyes cannot be seen” and is the first major U.S. showing of The Unseen Eye. The featured works range from daguerreotype to digital by photographers such as Berenice Abbot, Richard Avedon, Robert Frank, Lee Friedlander, Annie Leibovitz, Robert Mapplethorpe, Irving Penn, among many more. This exhibition coincides with the release of the stunning Aperture publication The Unseen Eye.

Unseen in “The Unseen Eye,” An Evening with Susan Bright and W. M. Hunt
Wednesday, October 12, 2011, 7 pm
SVA Theatre, 333 West 23rd St, New York, New York
Free and open to the public

The Unseen Eye: A Life in Photographs and other digressions …
a multi-media performance piece with W.M. Hunt
Friday, October 28, 2011, 7 pm
Aperture Gallery, 547 West 27th Street, New York, New York
Free and open to the public but please RSVP at [email protected]

W.M. Hunt is a champion of photography— a collector, curator, consultant, writer, teacher, and fundraiser who lives and works in New York City. He was a founding partner of the prominent photography gallery Hasted Hunt in Chelsea, Manhattan and served as director of photography at Ricco/Maresca gallery. His new book The Unseen Eye: Photographs from the Unconscious (Aperture) focuses on Collection Dancing Bear, currently his largest collection of photographs.

Exhibition on view: Saturday, October 1, 2011–Sunday, February 19, 2012

Museum admission: $12 adults, $10 seniors, and $5 students

George Eastman House
900 East Avenue
Rochester, New York
(585) 271-3361

Click here to find W.M Hunt’s book, The Unseen Eye: Photographs from the Unconscious (Aperture), now on sale!

Read Elizabeth Avedon’s interview with W.M. Hunt about his collection in La Lettre de la Photographie. Find out more about her visit on her blog.



Interview by Althea Viafora-Kress
. . .
“wrestle” (installation view), hessel museum of art, 2006-07

During Art Basel Miami Beach 2006, I did a live interview with Tom Eccles for WPS1 Art Radio inside a shipping container at the show “Art Positions.” We talked about “Wrestle,” an exhibition that he co-curated with Trevor Smith at Bard College’s Hessel Museum, which now features more than 1,700 art works by over 900 artists, including Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Robert Mapplethorpe, Cindy Sherman, and Kara Walker. android application development . If you don’t already know Eccles’s curatorial work, you’ve most likely come across it without knowing it was his. He was the director and curator of the Public Art Fund from 1997-2005, for which he organized projects featuring work by such artists as Francis Alÿs, Louise Bourgeois, Wim Delvoye, Dan Graham, Jeff Koons, Barbara Kruger, Vik Muniz, and others. Since 2005, Eccles has been the executive director of The Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College. In this interview, we discuss the challenges of curating in private collections, a living outdoor museum like the Public Art Fund, and traditional museums like the Hessel or the Museum of Modern Art. How do curators wrestle with the multitudes of identities? How does a collection reflect the collector, the institution, the curator, and the artists?

Althea Viafora-Kress: Among other achievements, you were the Director and Curator of the Public Art Fund from 1997 to 2005. If ever there was a living museum, it’s the Public Art Fund. You are now the Director of the Center for Curatorial Studies and Art in Contemporary Culture at Bard College. If traditional museums are containers of art, the Hessel Museum of Art at Bard is now a carrier of a living museum and a traditional museum. You’ve been entrusted with ideas and things, art, and this will be viewed and taught to future curators. Today, let’s talk about personal collections and curatorial practices, and also art about collecting and curating about collecting. Tell us about self-representation. How will you teach future curators using a pre-existing collection that was recently donated to your museum?

TOM ECCLES: Collecting is a form of self-representation. You create a portrait of yourself and your interests, and then through philanthropy, hopefully will give that to a much wider audience. There’s a very big difference between having a personal collection in your own domain and putting it out into the public domain. My role is to represent that collection in a way that perhaps is not really a portrait of our donor/benefactor, Marieluise Hessel. It’s about how to work with specific choices that she made over the years. Certainly, with the first show, entitled “Wrestle,” we took a particular slice of the collection-about 5%-and yes, it says something about her, but it has to be much more than that.

“wrestle” (installation view), hessel museum of art, 2006-07

Viafora-Kress: It becomes more than that. When something’s successful, it leaves the personal domain, and it goes into the public domain. You were formerly the curator of the Public Art Fund where hundreds of thousands of people walked by pieces that you installed, and now you’re contained in a museum. Normally museums are like mausoleums-the work is not alive. But your being there today makes this museum an organic, growing, evolving, curatorial process because you’re not only curating objects, but you’re now organizing principles of future curators’ visions and thoughts. How do you bring those two ideas together?

ECCLES: As you put it, we now have this container. We have a new 17,000 square-foot museum. I think one of the big challenges is how we break that container open, both metaphorically and, I hope, literally. You know?

Viafora-Kress: Yes.

ECCLES: One of the big differences between what I was doing at the Public Art Fund and what I’m doing now, and you hit on it immediately, is that I didn’t need to go and get an audience. Also, what’s interesting in the sphere of the museum is that even if thousands of people come, there is a much more intimate relationship with the audience. I watch my audience more carefully now. Also, in curating an exhibition, one of the most important things to consider is how people move through the space. How are you really going to confront them with those works? How are you going to make those works vital in some sense?

Viafora-Kress: You’re actually unpacking a suitcase of a collection, and forgive me, but you’re selling an idea or a curatorial vision through juxtapositions of an original representation of the collector herself with the representation of the curatorial team. Now you collaborated with another curator in doing this show, “Wrestle.” Was that part of the idea of the title of the exhibition or was it the juxtaposition of the pieces themselves?

ECCLES: The title came first because I chose to collaborate. I always collaborate. recycled glass wine glasses . I love working either with artists or with other curators. And in this case, we were working with a collection, so there wasn’t really an opportunity at that time to work with an artist, so working with Trevor Smith, formerly of the New Museum of Contemporary Art, we set up a kind of game, in a sense. The museum as well feels a bit like a Rubik’s Cube. We were turning, twisting, and then would throw it back to the next person and say, “Well you try it.” And then we would try another thing. And out of this dialogue came the idea of juxtaposing works. It was almost like trying a different card and a different card and trying it again and getting it better. For six months, it was a struggle, trying to do something that feels original and saying something specific about specific works. We’re in the sphere of a personal collection. This is not a universal collection. This is not the kind of collecting that, for example, MoMA is engaged in; it’s one single person.

Viafora-Kress: It’s not an institutional idea. How do you make this very fine line available to a general public: Bard is an institution by definition because it’s a university. At the same time, you’re showing works that were highly personalized.

ECCLES: Marieluise Hessel always had this idea that the collection should in some sense represent her time, which is in fact our time, from the 1960s up until the present, and we continue to collect today. She always had this idea, and it’s embedded in the name of the organization, “Art in Contemporary Culture.” So, the show says a lot about art. The art that we chose says a lot about our society and some of the struggles that we have in our society. We didn’t want to do a political show or a show about identity; there have been so many shows about identity, but I think that there is something in the works and in the show itself that deals with a specific idea of identity: that it’s not a given, it’s not a whole, that we’re constantly struggling with ourselves, that we’re within the fragmented self.

Viafora-Kress: There are different ways of representing oneself through curatorial practices. Some people are interested in redemption, some in problem solving-in seeing new visions or new futures or even in seeing new pasts. Men tend to have museums about redemption. For example, Frick was really about redemption. He was a robber baron. Women tend to be more about self-expression. The heiress of the Post family, Marjorie Merriweather Post, has a private museum in Washington, DC, The Hillwood Museum. She allows for near voyeurism. You literally look at the shoes in her closet in her museum. It’s almost fetishistic in that sense of the idea of serialization. Around half of all of the private museums in this country have women founders, even though most contemporary art collectors in this country are men. Do you see self-representation in curatorial practice as something to do with the past or something to with the present or something to do strictly with the future?

ECCLES: I think that it’s about the present actually. What you’re saying about redemption is related to “Wrestle” and the fact that Marieluise is a woman and that it’s a woman’s collection. seo in philadelphia . I was struck by how many of the works have strong images of sexuality and were often very much about male sexuality.

“wrestle” (installation view), hessel museum of art, 2006-07

Viafora-Kress: Could you give us an example?

ECCLES: Marieluise was one of the earliest and most significant collectors of Robert Mapplethorpe’s work. We have in the region of eighty works by Mapplethorpe – and not flowers! We have a number of flowers, but Marieluise also bought the “Portfolio X” at a time when nobody would go near that work. And we started with that. There were also two portraits of children. Marieluise got one portrait of a girl named Rosie and one of a boy named Jessie McBride that were absolutely stunning, but also kind of taboo, and that set off the question of whether we could we show that work now. Can we read that work now? Meaning is not static. Meaning is constantly in evolution, and the curator’s role is to tease out new meanings or to suggest new readings of works and sometimes to take some risks. One of the questions in relation to Mapplethorpe becomes whether we can look at this outside the graphic sexual nature of the work.

Viafora-Kress: So it becomes form. It becomes about Modernism which equals form.

ECCLES: Absolutely. And in fact, that’s part of the argument of the show. There’s a lot of figurative work, which plays into linguistic work but also into work defined by more formalist questions. And one of the largest rooms we give over to a double asymmetrical pyramid by Sol LeWitt, which then plays against a candy piece by Felix Gonzales-Torres, For a Man in Uniform (1991), which takes on the triangle. Then we look at Valie Export, a kind of prototypical feminist work showing a woman enclosed in a landscape in Vienna in the 1970s; and then you look at Mapplethorpe’s figures enclosed in boxes, and then you go back to LeWitt, and we have a piece of open cubes. So each of the works … takes something from the surrounding works.

Viafora-Kress: Sounds very athletic.

ECCLES: It’s very athletic.

Viafora-Kress: Visually, intellectually, aesthetically. Often when you bring aesthetics into art, you get into the realm of churches. That type of architecture, those types of ideas. But you’re bringing in the physical as well as the aesthetic; maybe there is a new principle that can be found in that curatorial practice.

ECCLES: We have two central issues that we deal with: one is that we’re at Bard. We’re not in the center of the city, so people have to have a reason to come here. And the second is that we’re a school. So we try things that might not be able to be done in other places.

Viafora-Kress: Absolutely… and there may not be answers. They are open-ended questions. There is even the question of whether contemporary art is compatible with a museum. Contemporary art is by living artists, and museums are institutions. They historically have been about comparing old and new like cabinets of wonder from the Renaissance. Museums are only two hundred years old in our culture. They’re a very new experience.

ECCLES: It’s something which I’m very conscious of from my experience with the Public Art Fund. We did collaborate with museums. We did a number of projects with the Whitney Biennial, and we worked with MoMA on a piece called Modern Procession with Francis Alÿs. Now as museum director, I’m saying, okay can you also work with artists and get artists to challenge the notion of the museum.

. . .