Exhibition - Sidney Mishkin Gallery

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Photography: Technology + Art

November 16 – December 14, 2016

Photography: Technology + Art exhibit

Cindy Sherman
Untitled, from the portfolio For Joseph Beuys, 1986

With iPhone photographs, Instagram filters, and Photoshop, it is easy to forget the time-consuming processes that were once required for photography. From the earliest moments of photography’s invention in the nineteenth century up until the present day, photographers have developed both techniques and aesthetics. The lenses, the cameras, and the processes for printing have been continually modified. Many practitioners blurred the line between artists and inventors, and the spheres of commerce and art. This show will highlight a variety of photographic processes that reveal the medium’s many facets as technology and art. The technical artistry on display will also reveal a hidden history of the photograph and its uses beyond the walls of the museum or gallery.

This exhibition, curated by Emily Ackerman, includes works from the nineteenth century into the twenty-first.  Since physical processes often affect the subjects upon which photographers focus, the exhibition will show how photographs change depending on a photographer’s role, type of camera, and printing process.

Technology frequently influences the artistic composition and subject matter of the finished photograph. For example, a daguerreotype such as (Untitled) exhibits the stiff formality that results from the studio setting and the necessarily long exposure times. With the invention of hand-held cameras and faster or instantaneous exposures, photographers could go out on the streets and capture subjects candidly. Garry Winogrand’s 1979 Venice, California (1979) is the quintessential street photograph: spontaneous and informal. These two opposing views of portraiture reveal the influence that the process and materials have on the composition and appearance of a photograph.

Cindy Sherman’s photographs challenge viewers’ assumptions about the role of photographers and subjects. She literally transforms herself by donning costumes and theatrical makeup, and varies the lighting and composition depending on her character. Her work Untitled (1986) reveals the transformation not only of the photographer, but also of the photographic process. Here she becomes a gorilla wearing a trench coat, framing the photograph as if she is a wildlife photographer stalking her subject.

A number of Andy Warhol’s Polaroids and silkscreen prints are also featured prominently in the show. The photographic process was important to Warhol’s finished products, as the silkscreen print Sitting Bull (1986) clearly demonstrates. Like many of Warhol’s Pop portraits, the silkscreen print appropriates another image, in this case a photographic portrait of the chief taken by nineteenth-century photographer Orlando Scott Goff. This work expands the definition of photography to include “prints from photographs.”

This exhibition will feature twenty-six artists, including Walker Evans, Edward Steichen, Cindy Sherman, Nadar, Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Sarah Charlesworth, Lucien Clergue, and Garry Winogrand.

Opening Reception:
Tuessday, November 15, from 6 – 8 p.m.

The Sidney Mishkin Gallery is located at:
Baruch College
135 East 22nd Street at Lexington
New York City

Gallery hours are:
Monday – Friday, 12 noon – 5 p.m.
Thursdays, 12 noon – 7 p.m.
All exhibitions at the gallery are free and open to the public.

© 2016 Sidney Mishkin Gallery, Baruch College

For questions about the Gallery

Sandra Kraskin - Curator
Gallery (646) 660-6652

Media Contacts

Manny Romero - Director of Public Relations
(646) 660-6141

Mercedes Sanchez

(646) 660-6112

The City University of New York