Friday, March 29, 2013

Daido Moriyama: Now and Now

Daido Moriyama: Now and Now at Steven Kasher Gallery. "...Moriyama’s output since 1968 is legendary. He has produced over 150 books of his own photographs. His fan base is legion, and he has influenced several generations of photographers in Japan and abroad. He is as artistically potent now at the age of 75 as he was when his work began to make waves in late 1960s. His diaristic, rapid-fire, made-for quick-publication work seems particularly pertinent today in our era of social-network photography."

Luigi Ghirri: Kodachrome

Luigi Ghirri: Kodachrome at Matthew Marks Gallery. "...In 1978 Luigi Ghirri self-published his first book, Kodachrome, an avant-garde manifesto for the medium of photography and a landmark in his own remarkable oeuvre. Ghirri presents his surroundings in the book in tightly cropped images, making photographs of photographs and recording the Italian landscape through its advertisements, postcards, potted plants, walls, windows, and people. His work is deadpan, reflecting a dry wit, and continuously engages with the subject of reality and of landscape as a snapshot of our interaction with the world."

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Souzou: Outsider Art from Japan

Souzou: Outsider Art from Japan at the Wellcome Collection. "...Souzou is a word which has no direct equivalent in English but a dual meaning in Japanese: written in one way – 創造 – it means creation and in another – 想像 – imagination. Both meanings allude to a force by which new ideas are born and take shape in the world. In the context of this exhibition, Souzou refers to the practice of 46 self-taught artists living and working within social welfare facilities across Japan."

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Night Train

The Ames Brothers... Night Train (.mp3 audio 02:24) - 1960, RCA Victor - LSP 2182.

International Harvester Glass Negative Series, 1900-1939

International Harvester Glass Negative Series, 1900-1939 at the WHS. "...A century ago, the International Harvester Company was the largest farm equipment manufacturer in the world. It had 10,000 dealerships around the U.S. selling everything from tractors to baling twine. Staff in several corporate departments created photographs for many purpose, and these images flowed into a central file that eventually numbered 12,000 glass-plate negatives. Society staff have recently digitized more than 500 of them and will expand the online collection for months to come. The International Harvester glass negatives are the topic of this month's image gallery at Wisconsin Historical Images."

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Mike Brodie: A Period of Juvenile Prosperity

Mike Brodie: A Period of Juvenile Prosperity at Yossi Milo Gallery. "...A Period of Juvenile Prosperity depicts the gritty youth subculture of freight train hoppers and squatters. From 2004 - 2009, Brodie created a prolific body of work which introduces viewers to an alternative lifestyle based on the constant movement of train travel across America. The gallery will present 30 photographs from Brodie’s series. Brodie began traveling the railways in 2002 at the age of 17. Unannounced, he left his house with only a few personal belongings. Brodie returned home days later, infatuated with train-hopping culture. 'Two weeks later I was gone...this was it, I was riding my very first freight train. And soon, what would begin as mere natural curiosity and self-discovery would evolve into a casting call of sorts.'" More... Works by Mike Brodie at his personal site.

Friday, March 22, 2013


First Aid Kit... America (Flash Video 04:23). Live at the Polar Music Prize, August 2012.

Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre: The Ruins of Detroit

Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre: The Ruins of Detroit at Edwynn Houk Gallery. "...Detroit, Michigan, has become a symbol a deindustrialization, where a former industrial capital for the majority of the twentieth century has suffered an unprecedented rapid decline. Its civic halls, schools, train stations, working-class homes, and hotels have been crumbling over the past 50 years, as the manufacturing that peopled and financed the city halted. Seeing ruins as 'visible symbols and landmarks of our societies and their changes, small pieces of history in suspension,' Marchand and Meffre set out to fully document over a five year period the city center’s disintegration." More... Works by Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre at their personal site.


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Family Found: The Secret Life of Morton Bartlett

Family Found: The Secret Life of Morton Bartlett (Flash Video 09:39).

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Kenneth Josephson: In Retrospect

Kenneth Josephson... Chicago (1959, Gelatin silver print, printed later). From the exhibition Kenneth Josephson: In Retrospect at Charles A. Hartman Fine Art. "...The exhibition features important works from the first half of Josephson’s fifty years of rich photographic practice. As much exploration as experimentation, Josephson’s work layers ideas and techniques, building images that are conceptual in inspiration and formal in execution. Like a number of photographers educated at the Institute of Design in Chicago in that era, Josephson’s work starts with an understanding of light and a fascination with its rhythms and behaviors. His imagery is at once playful and serious, every photograph speaking to a fascination with both the internal and external world."

Dancing Barefoot

First Aid Kit... Dancing Barefoot (Flash Audio 04:39). Live on The Laura Leishman Project - French radio Le Mouv', February 21, 2012.

Lost Milwaukee #5... Milwaukee's 'Girl-Man' on Trial

Lost Milwaukee #5... Milwaukee's 'Girl-Man' on Trial. "...Less than 24 hours after police picked up Mr. Ralph Kerwineo as he smoked a cigarette on a downtown street corner, Milwaukee’s 'Girl-Man' was front page news. Reporters flocked around the prisoner as he calmly laid on a hard wooden bench in the woman’s holding area at the central police station. Still dressed in his sharp suit and coat, the prisoner was hardly refusing to speak. 'Why did I quit wearing skirts?' He asked aloud. 'It’s a long story.'"

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Jay DeFeo: A Retrospective

Jay DeFeo: A Retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art. "...At the outset of her career in the 1950s, DeFeo was at the center of a vibrant community of Beat artists, poets, and musicians in San Francisco. Although she is best known for her monumental painting The Rose (1958–66, now in the Whitney’s collection), which she spent eight years making and which later languished hidden behind a wall for two decades, DeFeo created an astoundingly diverse range of works spanning four decades. Her unconventional approach to materials and intensive, physical process make DeFeo a unique figure in postwar American art who defies easy categorization." Earlier... Bruce Conner: The White Rose (1967, Flash Video 07:29). "...documents the removal of fellow artist Jay DeFeo's magnum opus from her San Francisco apartment, with Miles Davis' 'Sketches of Spain' as the soundtrack."

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Remembering Donald Richie (1924 – 2013)

Midnight Eye... Remembering Donald Richie (1924 – 2013). "...In Paul Schrader’s words, 'Whatever we in the West know about Japanese film, and how we know it, we most likely owe to Donald Richie'. If Richie spearheaded – or, more accurately, constituted – the first generation of Western writers on Japanese cinema, then the makers of this website could be said to represent a third. A generation that, unlike the second wave of Tony Rayns, Mark Schilling, Ian Buruma, Max Tessier et al, received their Richie influence in arguably more indirect ways. His passing is not only an occasion for Midnight Eye to pay tribute to Donald Richie, but also to investigate that influence and how it has resonated through the decades – and will doubtlessly continue to resonate for many decades to come."

Pentti Sammallahti: Here Far Away

Pentti Sammallahti: Here Far Away at Nailya Alexander Gallery in New York. "...Although the exhibition presents both iconic and lesser known gelatin silver and archival pigment prints made in different periods and sizes, it is not a retrospective per se; instead, it is a reflection of 'the restless Finnish photographer’s craftsmanship, who finds the same odd, melancholic poetry in locations across the globe,' as Sean O’Hagan comments in his Guardian review. 'Looking at the photograph, you feel on the threshold of another, more mysterious world that is indeed here and far away.' Last summer, the artist received rave reviews by the European press for his retrospective at the Arles International Festival, including Francis Hodgson of the Financial Times statement that “his original prints make up the stand-out exhibition among the 50-plus this year."

Jindřich Štyrský: Dreams

Jindřich Štyrský: Dreams at Ubu Gallery in New York. "...Beginning in the 1920s, Štyrský (1899–1942), who was closely allied with the Parisian Surrealists, began recording his dreams. In the 1930s, he revisited earlier dreams and added visual representations to accompany them. Sometimes the images were direct illustrations, while others were simply “loose” depictions of the dream themes or events. Although Freudian psychoanalytics and the unconscious were exalted by the Surrealists, Štyrský kept this body of work private until nearly the end of his life, when he published a personal edition of Dreams in 1941."

Akeno Gekijo Strip Club

Akeno Gekijo Strip Club at Haikyo - Urban Exploration in Japan. "...It is said that this abandoned strip club was destroyed in a fire in the 1990s. Back then what would it be like? The main stage is still there, stretching out from the further end, occupying most area in the room; audiences’ seats are like those found in old cinemas; 10 big stage lights must have been casting a bewitching sort of ambiance."

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Merle Travis - Dark As A Dungeon

Merle Travis - Dark as a Dungeon - solo guitar, 1951 (Flash Video 03:10). Opens the song with a stanza that is rarely performed.

Beat Memories: The Photographs of Allen Ginsberg

Beat Memories: The Photographs of Allen Ginsberg at the Grey Art Gallery, NYU. "...One of the most visionary writers of his generation,Allen Ginsberg (1926–1997) was also a photographer. He began photographing actively in New York City in 1953, having his film developed and printed at a drugstore near his apartment on the Lower East Side. After looking through the snapshots and perhaps giving a few to friends, he tossed them to the back of a drawer or the bottom of a closet. Ginsberg later said that these photographs were 'meant more for a public in heaven than one here on earth—and that’s why they’re charming.' Between 1953 and 1963 he took numerous, often exuberant portraits of himself and his close-knit group of friends—such as Beat writers William S. Burroughs, Neal Cassady, Gregory Corso, and Jack Kerouac. He viewed these prints as casual and unselfconscious 'keepsakes' that recorded 'certain moments in eternity,' and he did not initially exhibit them."

Craig Norton: Dropping Mom Off At The Old Folks Home

Craig Norton: Dropping Mom Off At The Old Folks Home at Carl Hammer Gallery in Chicago, IL. "...Hailing from St. Louis, the self-taught Norton uses his art as a call for social activism using three-dimensional depictions of the realities of war, prejudice, aging, street conflict, physical and verbal abuse, family discord, etc. Uniquely, his socially minded constructions are a combination of drawings and collages layered on top of wood cut-outs, built into complex, panoramic wall sculptures. The human figure(s) serves as the focal point of each large installation. Hands and faces, images of which are taken from newspaper stories, history books and from Norton's own picture-taking, are drawn with expressive, almost photographic realism, and the figures themselves are clothed, paper-doll like, in garments fashioned from collaged wallpaper."

Friday, March 01, 2013

Neighborhood House: Madison's Settlement House

Neighborhood House: Madison's Settlement House at the WHS. "...Established in 1916, Madison's only settlement house served the predominantly Italian immigrant population of the Greenbush neighborhood a few blocks south of the University of Wisconsin campus. Its records fill more than four boxes and include hundreds of photographs about the organization's activities. These provide a rich visual record not just of Neighborhood House but of a diverse ethnic community that was obliterated by 'urban renewal' during the 1960s."