Monday, December 7, 2009
Howard Greenberg Gallery | Bruce Davidson | 1970s photography
NEW YORK, NY.- Howard Greenberg Gallery and Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery are presenting simultaneous exhibitions of the photographs of Bruce Davidson. The exhibition at Howard Greenberg Gallery, entitled East 100th Street, The MoMA Show as Curated by John Szarkowski in 1970, is a re-creation of The Museum of Modern Art’s groundbreaking 1970 exhibition of forty-two photographs by the highly regarded Bruce Davidson. The photographs in the exhibition are the actual prints, presented in the exact manner in which they were shown at MoMA in 1970. On view through 2 January, 2010.
Davidson’s East 100th Street constitutes a significant social document. During 1967 and 1968, Davidson photographed on a New York block that in the 1950’s had the reputation of being one of the worst in the city. He was first attracted to the area because of the work of the Metro North Association, a committee of residents that were actively involved in trying to improve their neighborhood. Through this association and with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, Davidson gained access to the people on the block. About this work Szarkowski wrote, “He has shown us true and specific people, photographed in these private moments of suspended action in which the complexity and ambiguity of individual lives triumph over abstraction.” In appreciation for their cooperation, Davidson gave prints of his photographs to hundreds of residents of the block. Many of these people attended the opening of the exhibition at the museum.
The exhibition at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery celebrates the fifty-year career of Bruce Davidson, with representative works from many of the artist’s well-known essays. Photographs from Time of Change (1961), Brooklyn Gang (1959), Circus (1958), Subway(1980) as well as recent images will be exhibited. For this exhibition, Davidson has produced large format prints, many for the first time. The scale and position of the new Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery provides an opportunity to re-contextualize Davidson’s work. Of his show Wolkowitz said, “Bruce Davidson has had a profound influence on contemporary photography over the last five decades. We are excited to have the opportunity to showcase this legendary photographer’s work in the heart of Chelsea’s contemporary art district and to introduce it to a much wider audience.”
Both galleries are also celebrating the Steidl publication of the three volume opus entitled Outside/Inside containing over 800 photographs that span Davidson’s entire career.
Also on exhibit at the Howard Greenberg Gallery are the recently published limited edition portfolio entitled Bruce Davidson: Central Park in Platinum. The fourteen images in the portfolio were made during many of Davidson’s explorations of the park that began in 1991 and continue to this day.
Bruce Davidson was born in Oak Park, Illinois in 1933. He attended the Rochester Institute of Technology and Yale University. When he completed military service in 1957 he worked as a photographer for Life Magazine and in 1958, became a member of Magnum Agency. He has had one-man exhibitions at The Museum of Modern Art, The Smithsonian Museum of American Art, The Walker Art Center, The International Center of Photography, The Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego, The Aperture Foundation, and The Foundation Cartier-Bresson in Paris He has received numerous grants and awards including two grants from the National Endowment of the Arts, a Guggenheim Fellowship, The Lucie Award for Outstanding Achievement in Documentary Photography in 2004 and the Gold Medal Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Arts Club in 2007. His photographs have appeared in numerous publications and his prints have been acquired by many major museums worldwide. He has also directed three films.
Davidson continues to lecture, conduct workshops and produce astounding images.