NEW HAVEN.- Continuing a new breakthrough tradition of hosting sharp, serious, and exploratory exhibitions organized by student curatorial teams, the Yale University Art Gallery is excited to announce two photography shows that delve into the heart of what a photograph can mean. "From Any Angle: Photographs from the Collection of Doris Bry" is a stunning selection of seventy works from a collection of nearly three hundred that Doris Bry has lent on a long-term basis to the Gallery. The concurrent exhibition, "Everyday Monuments: The Photographs of Jerome Liebling," explores the many facets of one artist's practice. Active since the late 1940s, American artist Jerome Liebling has explored a variety of photographic themes including social-documentary photographs of people and places.
Pamela Franks, Deputy Director for Collections and Education and Nolen Curator of Academic Affairs, who oversees the student-curated exhibition program, comments: "Student-curated projects create the opportunity for students from diverse fields to come together around art; they spend hours upon hours with the original works of art, coming to terms with its significance and considering together how best to communicate their ideas and responses in the form of an exhibition. The collaborative nature of the undertaking is essential to its success."
Jock Reynolds, the Henry J. Heinz II Director of the Gallery, states: "Creating constant opportunities for students to directly encounter original works of art, and to often be involved with many aspects of curatorial and scholarly practice, is what this teaching museum is all about. Both Doris Bry's Inadvertent Collection and the Gallery's great new cache of Jerome Liebling's photographs are major resources for active learning and enjoyment."
From Any Angle: Photographs from the Collection of Doris Bry
"From Any Angle: Photographs from the Collection of Doris Bry" celebrates the remarkable collection of nearly three hundred photographs brought together by Doris Bry that is currently on long-term loan to the Yale University Art Gallery. The exhibition highlights how the meaning of a photograph can be inseparable from the physical print, with its particular texture, surface, sheen, color, and density. Featured artists include Berenice Abbott, Ansel Adams, Eugène Atget, Walker Evans, Laura Gilpin, Eliot Porter, and Garry Winogrand, among others.
A noted scholar of eminent American photographer Alfred Stieglitz, Bry is perhaps best known as the agent and confidant of Stieglitz's wife, the painter Georgia O'Keeffe. Bry's collection includes photographs by renowned masters, as well as intriguing works by lesser-known artists, and features examples of a wide range of styles and photographic media. Bry describes her collection as inadvertent, reflecting an emphasis on each individual photograph, rather than on any kind of overarching thematic relationship among the works. The student curators have made selections that allow connections to be made but also highlight the diversity of the images and the autonomy of each individual picture. For example, Irving Penn's Nude No. 106 (1949-50), with its intentionally overdeveloped brightness, effects a dissolving presence. Lying horizontal, the great folds of the model's flesh
read as landscape, but there is tension between these forms and the effacement of the individual's identity (her head has been cut off by the edge of the paper). In contrast, Otto Steinert's Schwarzwalddach (Black Forest Roof) (1956) carries a kind of geometry at the service of pure abstraction. During the development process, Steinert pushed tonalities to extremes, from deep black to pure white, to remove recognition of content. The image, which presumably began as a picture of rooftop shingles, is now left completely open to the viewer's interpretation.
"From Any Angle: Photographs from the Collection of Doris Bry," on view May 23 through September 7, is organized by Yale students, under the direction of Ash Anderson, ph.d. candidate in the History of Art and Graduate Research Assistant, and Pamela Franks, Deputy Director for Collections and Education and Nolen Curator of Academic Affairs, both of the Yale University Art Gallery. This exhibition is supported by the John F. Wieland, Jr., b.a. 1988, Fund for Student Exhibitions, and The Nolen-Bradley Family and Jane and Gerald Katcher Funds for Education.
Everyday Monuments: The Photographs of Jerome Liebling
Jerome Liebling's practice as a photographer spans nearly sixty years. Over the course of this long career, he has tackled numerous and varied subjects, from social-documentary photographs of the people of Minnesota, to poetic images of the relics of literary figures such as Emily Dickinson and Herman Melville. While diverse in his practice, each image possesses a remarkable claritya stark note of laying the truth barethat ³makes a Liebling a Liebling, as the student curators like to note. The Gallery has recently acquired nearly forty of Liebling¹s images, bringing the total number of works by Liebling in the collection to fifty-one. Within the group, a majority of Liebling¹s most substantial bodies of work is represented, providing an invaluable resource for looking at an artist's oeuvre over time.
Liebling was raised in Brooklyn, New York by his parents, who had emigrated from Eastern Europe. Following his service during World War II, he returned to study photography, and in the 1940s he began a series of photographs of New York City. Included in the exhibition are works from this time, such as Butterfly Boy, New York City (1949); the intense, questioning gaze of the child is confounded by his small size and playful flap of his coat. In 1949 Liebling moved to Minneapolis and pioneered one of the country's first photography departments at the University of Minnesota. Liebling¹s images of mannequins and corpses provide a haunting counterpoint to his images of regular people in cities such as Brooklyn and Minneapolis, as well as other locales. In Manikin (1962), Liebling juxtaposes the mannequin's idealized features with its stactic plasticity. Liebling is well known as an inspiring and influential teacher of photography as well. He was the first Walker
Evans Visiting Professor of Photography at the Yale School of Art in 1976-77. He is now professor emeritus at Hampshire College, in Amherst, Massachusetts, where he taught for more than three decades, after nearly twenty years of teaching at the University of Minnesota. His former student and longtime collaborator Alan Trachtenberg, the Neil Gray, Jr., Professor Emeritus of English and American Studies at Yale University, is one of the great photography writers of the past thirty years. Both Liebling and Trachtenberg worked with the student team to prepare the exhibition.
"Everyday Monuments: The Photographs of Jerome Liebling," on view May 23September 7, was organized by Yale students, under the direction of Aja Armey, Museum Educator, and Pamela Franks, Deputy Director for Collections and Education and Nolen Curator of Academic Affairs, both of the Yale University Art Gallery. This exhibition is supported by the Janet and Simeon Braguin Fund, and The Nolen-Bradley Family and Jane and Gerald Katcher Funds for Education.