Opening 26 May and on view until 9 June at OFR, a gallery and bookshop in Paris, is Patricia Schwoerer’s exhibition ‘Lake Baikal’. Shot during her journey in Russia last year while temperatures were below -25°C (-13°F), the photographs reflect the intense experience of such harsh conditions. Schwoerer describes being totally disconnected, ‘as if in another world’, as she tried to focus on the ever changing landscape. There is something awe-inspiring about the ice as it turns into a new graphic sculpture every winter, creating abstract forms under the lakes surface.
Writer: Sophie Gladstone
‘Playing for Keeps’, an exhibition of works by American photographers Molly Matalon and Caroline Tompkins, is now on show at Micamera in Milan until 29 June. Curated by Jamie Allen, their individual works convey a contemporary female perspective of romanticised America. Tompkins (pictured) reforms the masculine experience of American landscape and the open road, exploring a female-shifted form of freedom. Meanwhile, Matalon communicates a domestic gaze, one heavy with enigmatic temptation and sexuality. A dialogue forms between their images as they contemporise and expand the narrative of Americana, addressing power dynamics and ownership.
For Antwerp-based Katrien de Blauwer, collage is an all-encompassing method that allows her to stretch broadly across imagery as she forms unexpected connections. Composed from images taken from old magazines, her photographs reveal a narrative, while remaining open to interpretation through de Blauwer’s exclusion of faces or gazes. On view from 18 May until 15 June at Galerie Les filles du Calvaire in Paris, her solo exhibition ‘Love me tender’ marks the launch of de Blauwer’s new photobooks – Why I Hate Cars, and Dirty Scenes (both published with Libraryman).
Pictured, Love me tender 74, 2018, by Katrien de Blauwer. Courtesy of Galerie Les filles du Calvaire
Writer: Sophie Gladstone
A lucky few will recognise their own experience in School of Art, Matthew Finn’s latest book published by Stanley Barker. Shot in 1997, the images convey a sense of hope and excitement that emerged under the new Labour government to a soundtrack of Brit pop. Remembering the freedom he experienced, Finn says, ‘It was last decade before cell phones and social media, we discussed, argued and tried things out, not because we were told to but be cause we wanted to. Everything seemed possible.’
School of Art, £30, published by Stanley Barker
As part of Peckham 24, an exciting photography festival showcasing over 25 international contemporary artists, Baud Postma will be exhibiting Photographic Memory (pictured). Drawing a link between the desert landscape’s constant state of flux and the fluidity of memory, the series touches upon construction, authenticity and artifice. Images of the Sahara from Postma’s personal archive, film stills from Lawrence of Arabia and long exposures of time-lapse footage form a multi-dimensional experience. Another highlight of Peckham 24 is For Those Who Could See Beyond The Surface, an exploration of history, ritual, and the strangeness of the everyday curated by Emma Bowkett. The festival opens Friday 17 May at Copeland Park, London, and runs until Sunday 19 May.
Following a competition that attracted over 400 submissions, three talented artists are being published in the Paper Journal Annual 2019, a photobook series selected by Paper Journal’s founding editor-in-chief Patricia Karallis and editor Giada De Agostinis. Rodrigo Sombra’s project Insular Night: Invisible Gardens explores Cuba’s insularity, and the way in which Cubans perceive and experience margins. Cherry Ave by Kovi Konowiecki is a poetic look at the part of California he grew up in, combining portraiture and still life to document home. While Eleonora Agostini’s A Blurry Aftertaste (pictured) utilises photography, sculpture and performance to consider the domestic space and it’s power dynamics.
Jack Davison’s monograph Photographs is an emotive, experimental sequence of both staged and spontaneous images. The self-taught photographer works with a painterly method – one that’s dense with tension and mystery, enhanced by the recurring motifs of hands and eyes. Here, the boundary between perception and imagination blurs and shifts, just as his image-making switches between defining and dissolving. Published and designed by Loose Joints, the book tells a cinematic story of Davidson’s excavations into photography. Read our profile on Davison here.
Photographs, £40, published by Loose Joints
Curated by Carrie Scott and opening on 14 May at London’s The Store X, ‘Found: A Harold Feinstein Exhibition’ brings to light previously under-appreciated works by the late American photographer. What sets Feinstein’s work apart was his direct presence and involvement; in keeping with his close empathetic connection was his physical proximity, creating images that celebrated humanity in all it’s vivid forms. The exhibition brings together vintage and contemporary silver gelatin prints, while visitors may listen to audio of Feinstein’s voice and watch exclusive footage from the documentary Last Stop Coney Island: The Life and Photography of Harold Feinstein. ‘Found: A Harold Feinstein Exhibition’ is on view until 19 May.
Pictured, Smooch Baby Face, 1987, by Harold Feinstein. Courtesy of Harold Feinstein Trust and Carrie Scott
In Property by British artist Felicity Hammond, digital renderings of ostensibly perfect contemporary living environments are sculpturally merged with images of the chaotic and polluted reality of urban life. Although in book form, the collaged and cut-out pages exist as sculptural objects; revealing the gap between an ideal future realm on screen, and the actual multi dimensional environment of now. Hammond communicates a sense of constant growth, a powerful vision for living in times to come and the consequential conflict with our current urban realm.
Property, £40, published by SPBH Editions
As part of the resistance against Nazi occupation in Italy, explosives were placed at the Venetian headquarters of the National Republican Guard, killing 13. In retaliation to those responsible, the German military shot 13 Italian prisoners the next day. Recently published with Gnomic Book, photographer Jason Koxvold’s book Calle Tredici Martiri (Alley of the Thirteen Martyrs) is a reimagining of his grandfather Aldo Varisco’s role in the resistance. Combining Koxvold’s atmospheric photographs with Varisco’s memoirs and archival imagery, the project probes the futility of photography as fact during tenuous times – present and past – of capitalism, fascism and consumerism.
Calle Tredici Martiri, $42, published by Gnomic Book
Referring to a rhyming scheme in which words fit closely but not exactly in sound, Slant could not be a more apt title for Aaron Schuman’s recently published book with MACK. It communicates the slight skew between the book’s humorous newspaper clippings of police reports in Amherst, Massachusetts, and Schuman’s curiously uneasy photographs taken in the same small town. Connected with the image pictured is ‘3:06 a.m. – Police located four men near a home under construction at the intersection of Mill and State streets, with one of the men holding a wooden stake. The men told police ‘they were trying to find adventure’. They were sent on their way.’
Slant, £30, published by MACK
Reaching from London to New York, East represents an exciting roster of creative artists. Now, to celebrate the work of ten of its photographers, the agency has curated ‘Closer’, an exhibition at its new Stoke Newington location in London. Artists included are David Abrahams, Francesca Allen, Linda Brownlee, David Brandon Geeting, Emma Hardy, Agnes Lloyd-Platt, Ryan Lowry, Cait Oppermann, Ilaria Orsini and Benjamin Vnuk. Together the artists cover a spectrum of the concept of closeness, from the more tangible physical proximities to a subject to more abstract themes of relationships, emotional intimacy, integration and loss. ‘Closer’ is on view by appointment only from 9-11 May.
Pictured, Ha Ha Happiness, by Ryan Lowry
London’s Michael Hoppen Gallery is bringing together four bodies of work by Irish photographer Eamonn Doyle, from 1 May – 15 June. Featured works range from black and white depictions of Dubliners roaming the city as dynamic giants in ON, to colourful capturings of its elderly inhabitants with a flattened focus on their poise and clothing in i. Also shot in Dublin, State Visit catalogues the graphic markings made by security prior to Queen Elizabeth II’s visit to the city. Meanwhile in K, Doyle’s latest work, otherworldly landscapes are intervened with by inserting a fluid figure of fabric into the scene. Concurrent to this is a solo exhibition of Doyle’s work at the RHA in Dublin.
Pictured, K12, 2018, by Eamonn Doyle. © The artist. Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Gallery
After first moving to New York as a model, Ethan James Green soon found himself more drawn to photography and was subsequently mentored by the late photographer David Armstrong. In Young New York (recently published by Aperture), models, artists, nightlife icons, queer youth, and gender binary are portrayed in a way only possible through Green’s sensitivity and connection. The black-and-white portraits are simple in their composition but complex in their character, working as a redefinition of beauty that does not subscribe to fads or trends.
Ethan James Green: Young New York, $45, published by Aperture. Pictured, Dara, 2017, by Ethan James Green. © The artist
The 26-year-old Spanish artist Coco Capitán is taking her first major museum exhibition in Europe in stride. Spanning six years of her image-making, ‘Busy Living’ challenges fashion and commercial photography norms through Capitán’s statuesque studies of Olympic swimmers and personal visual diaries told through trips across America and China. The project – which has been published as a book by artist-run publisher Loose Joints, and with an essay by director Simon Baker – showcases Capitán’s multifaceted approach to her practice as she incorporates writing, painting and installation in an attempt to decipher the codes of our everyday. ‘Busy Living’ is on view from 6 March – 25 May at Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris.
Busy Living, £35, published by Loose Joints
Writer: Jessica Klingelfuss
The Brooks Press was established in September 1898 by FW Brooks in Wirksworth, a small quarry town on the edge of the Peak District. Passed down through the Brooks family for three generations, the imprint published a wide range of material from travel guides to poetry and self-improvement books. Now, some 40 years after it ceased trading, Chris Brooks is reviving the family business with his first publication. For over a decade, the photographer has been returning to his childhood home in Derbyshire to retrace the provenance of his family’s printing press through a series of evocative large-format portraits and landscapes that he has combined with archival material and pages of letterpress in The Brooks Press of Wirksworth.
The Brooks Press of Wirksworth, £40, published by The Brooks Press
American photographer Mimi Plumb was nine years old when her mother, during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1963, told her of a possible impending nuclear war. Plumb recalls the period of anxiety that followed: ‘I would wake up in the middle of the night to repeatedly look at the hallway clock, and worried about not sleeping. At school, my classmates and I practiced getting under our desks.’ It’s this sense of foreboding that resonates in her series Landfall of black and white images from the 1980s. From peculiar landscapes to video arcades, dioramas and flashbulb portraits of friends and strangers, Plumb’s ominous photographs form a dystopian narrative that is both unsettling and mesmerising at once. ‘Landfall’ is on view from 20 April – 29 June at San Francisco’s Robert Koch Gallery; a reception for the artist will take place on the evening of Thursday 2 May.
Pictured, KIM, 1987, by Mimi Plumb
Tyler Mitchell’s trajectory has been nothing short of stratospheric. At just 23 years old, the Brooklyn-based photographer was thrust into the limelight virtually overnight after shooting Beyoncé for the cover of Vogue – the first African-American photographer make the cover in the magazine’s 126-year history. Less than a year later, Mitchell is opening his first solo exhibition – at Amsterdam’s Foam museum no less. Serene candy colour palettes and natural light give way to Mitchell’s holistic vision of ‘a black utopia’, capturing his subjects in gardens and parks, or in front of idyllic studio backdrops. ‘I Can Make You Feel Good’ is on view from 19 April – 5 June at Foam.
Pictured, Untitled (Hat), 2018, by Tyler Mitchell. Courtesy of the artist
South African artist Nico Krijno defies categorisation: his bricolage works can read like photographs, sculpture, painting and collage all at once. He reworks found objects – scraps of granite or wood, veneer, plastic stacks, and cardboard cutouts – into captivating compositions, first by hand, later by pixel. They’re perspective-bending, certainly; take Composition with Painted Wood (pictured), that recalls the cubist paintings of George Braque, or Veneer Wood Wood, a tromp l’oeil of sorts that nods to Barbara Kasten and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy. ‘Leave Your Body Behind’ is on view 10 April – 25 May at New York’s Elizabeth Houston Gallery.
Pictured, Composition with Painted Wood, 2018, by Nico Krijno. Courtesy of the artist and Elizabeth Houston Gallery
After long days spent working in his studio, Burkina Faso photographer Sanlé Sory would often hit the town, capturing the vibrant nightlife of Bobo-Dioulasso and the surrounding areas over the course of several decades. Sanlé, too, was fascinated by the region’s ‘unique energy and passion’, and would stage his own bals poussière (dustball parties) in remote villages which often lasted until well after dawn – at which point the farmers and herders would head straight back to tend their fields and cattle. These photographs – part of Sory’s remarkable oeuvre that remained undiscovered until the artist was in his 70s – are being exhibited for the first time at David Hill Gallery in London. ‘Sanlé Sory: Peuple de la Nuit’ is on view 5 April – 31 May, coinciding with a book of the same name published by Stanley/Barker. See more of Sory Sanlé’s portraits of West African youth culture here.
Peuple de la Nuit, £35, published by Stanley/Barker. Pictured, L’équilibriste, 1972, by Sanlé Sory
Paris-based photographer Osma Harvilahti has built a name for himself in the fashion world, counting the likes of Hermès and Issey Miyake among his clients. Now, the artist is getting a homecoming of sorts at Helsinki’s Design Museum with his first solo exhibition in his native Finland. ‘Although the pictures are often completely constructed, they have the appearance of natural twists of everyday existence,’ notes Design Museum chief curator Suvi Saloniemi. Alongside commercial and personal work, Harvilahti will debut a brand new series commissioned by Louis Vuitton. His ongoing collaboration with the French fashion house is one to watch: in autumn, it will publish a book of photographs by Harvilahti exploring Saint-Tropez. ‘Osma Harvilahti: New Colour’ is on view from 5 April – 26 May.
Pictured, One White Sock, Cape Town, 2017, by Osma Harvilahti, from the series Cape Town Dance Company
Opened at London gallery Seen Fifteen, ‘Intro:spective’ (5-7 April) explores notions of the self through diverse techniques, from medical imaging, to smartphones, sculpture, installation and performance. The Revolve Collective worked closely with gallery director Vivienne Gamble to shed light on fabricated and established notions of the self. The exhibition includes works by Krasimira Butseva, Lina Ivanova, Ibrahim Azab, Lucas Gabellini-Fava, Tom Lovelace, Josh Moseley, Elena Helfrecht, Victoria Louise Doyle, Katy Hundertmark and Niamh Treacy.
Pictured, Tobacco meeting again for the first time, 2019, by Krasimira Butseva. © The artist
Photographer Alys Tomlinson has captured the stillness of spiritual life for Ex-Voto, published by GOST Books. Over five years, Tomlinson journeyed to Catholic pilgrimage sites in Ballyvourney (Ireland), Mount Grabarka (Poland), and Lourdes (France). Narratives of miracle cures and visions experienced by visiting pilgrims date back to the sixth century. Distancing her portraits, landscapes and still lifes from present-day agitations, Tomlinson’s monochromatic gaze will surely draw in modern-day believers with her serene and contemplative outlook. Coinciding with the publication of the book, the series will be exhibited across the UK including London’s HackelBury Fine Art (7 March – 18 April), Chichester Cathedral (2 March – 23 April) and Newcastle’s SIDE Gallery (6 April – 9 June).
Ex-Voto, £35, published by GOST Books. Pictured, Untitled (#16), 2016-2018, by Alys Tomlinson
Just as Alexandria Coe and Kirk Truman – the creative duo behind Body – are partners in life, the charcoal drawings (by Coe) and photographs (Truman) go hand in hand. The self-published book delves into the relationship between image-making and the body, providing a perspective that the nude is more than a naked form: it is a vessel through which a creative collaboration is expressed. Mirroring the nature of the work, a poetic introduction by writer Olivia Sudjic accompanies the monochromatic art.
Body, £55, published by Alexandria Coe
The common denominator among photographers Erica Deeman, Mark McKnight, Eva O’Leary and Larry Sultan is a deep engagement with social and political structures that draws on their personal histories. Brown by Deeman is a moving yet direct look at black male portraiture. McKnight, meanwhile, creates a dialogue between queer bodily forms and scenes of architecture, urban spaces and landscape. Merging fact and fiction in suburban life, Sultan presents surreal yet familiar narratives. O’Leary’s photographs, produced around Happy Valley, highlight gendered power dynamics for those coming of age in the college town. ‘Close to Home’ is on view from 2 March – 6 April at Shulamit Nazarian in Los Angeles.
Pictured, Paris on my Parents’ Bed, 2007, by Larry Sultan
Stemming from fashion-themed workshops led by Charlotte James and photographer Clémentine Schneidermann in youth centres across the South Wales Valleys, ‘It’s Called Ffasiwn’ brings together social documentary, fashion, portraiture, performance and landscape photography. The workshop participants, aged between 8-14, learned fashion-focused skills such as customising clothes, sewing and styling. These local children channelled their newfound creative abilities to get into character against a backdrop of mountains, working men’s clubs and pebbledash houses. There’s something surreal and affecting about the weight of documentary, combined with childhood playfulness and the allure of fashion. On view at the Martin Parr Foundation in Bristol from 27 March – 25 May, the exhibition successfully subverts the stereotypes typical of the Welsh valleys and its working-class residents.
Pictured, Rio, Labour Club, Merthyr Tydfil, 2017. © Clémentine Schneidermann and Charlotte James
As Laura Coulson’s observations have a soothing serendipity, ‘Pleasing’ is a fitting title for her exhibition at London’s Webber Gallery (29 March – 28 April) and photobook with Paris-based publisher Libraryman. With an eye for curious moments, the British artist photographs intuitively, this body of work drawn from five years of traveling on assignment. Interaction with surface appears as a theme; bodies pressed against steamy beauty salon windows, a dust coated windshield, petals floating on a puddle, colour bursting through a plastic bag, and light falling upon carpet.
Pleasing, €35, published by Libraryman. Pictured, Untitled, from the series Pleasing, 2019, by Laura Coulson, C-Type, edition of 3
Alec Soth is celebrated for the rich narratives he provides of overlooked pockets of America, from Mississippi to Niagra. His new monograph, I Know How Furiously Your Heart is Beating, focuses on the individual, exploring what is revealed through the dynamic between subject and photographer. Soth explains, ‘This project isn’t about geography, nationality, or other ways we conceptually try to understand each other. It’s simply about walking into another person’s room and beholding the fragile, enigmatic beauty of another person’s life.’ The book launch coincides with four exhibitions in San Francisco (Fraenkel Gallery), New York (Sean Kelly), Minneapolis (Weinstein Hammons) and Berlin (Loock Gallery).
I Know How Furiously Your Heart is Beating, £50, published by MACK. Pictured, Galina. Odessa, 2018, by Alec Soth. © Alec Soth. Courtesy of Sean Kelly, New York
On view from 22-24 March at London’s AMP Studios, the group exhibition ‘Construction’ features works by established and emerging photographers. Parisian photographer Marguerite Bornhauser’s 8 (pictured) is a story of luck inspired by the writing of the late French author Françoise Sagan; the life of the lucky number is visually interpreted through hotels, beaches and casinos. Elsewhere, British photographer Suzie Howell ilso showing her poetic exploration of the rugged terrain of Sardinia. With constructed forms and elements of nature, the multimedia piece serves as a sketchbook for the study of an unfamiliar environment. Curated by Hannah Gedes and Max Ferguson, the exhibition is raising money for Protection Approaches, a charity working to end identity-based mass violence.
One of the UK’s most acclaimed photographers, Martin Parr has long conveyed his wry affection for the country’s national identity and its uniquely British quirks through his intimate portraits of modern life. Supported by Gucci and the Bern Schartz Family Foundation, an exhibition of new and previously unseen images by Parr have gone on display at London’s National Portrait Gallery. With Brexit on the horizon, this spotlight on British identity couldn’t be timelier. But it’s not so serious – it never is with Parr, thankfully. His witty self-portraits lighten the mood, exhibited along his celebrated images of food and characterful photos of artists Tracey Emin and Grayson Perry. ‘For Only Human: Martin Parr’ is on view until 27 May.
Pictured, Preparing lobster pots, Newlyn Harbour, Cornwall, England, 2018, by Martin Parr. © Martin Parr / Magnum
Amsterdam’s Huis Marseille is exhibiting the work of four female Dutch photographers hailing from diverse backgrounds, who share a kinship in their remarkable abilities to engage with their subjects. Céline van Balen and Esther Kroon’s promising careers both met an untimely end (the latter was brutally murdered while on assignment in Guatemala in 1992). Poland-born German photographer Helga Paris, meanwhile, only found recognition later in life due to the Cold War. And recent Central St Martins graduate Julie Greve – who is just starting out in her career – has already developed a distinctive style. The portrait work by this powerful quartet in ‘Futures Past & Present’ (9 March – 2 June) is full of personality and dignity, likely a consequence of the close connections they all had a fluency for.
Pictured, Grunder, Amsterdam, 1989, by Esther Kroon. Courtesy of Nederlands, Fotomuseum, Rotterdam
Part of FORMAT19, the UK’s largest photography festival, ‘Mutable, Multiple’ (15 March – 14 April) is a query into narrative, history, memory and myth. Six artists – including Max Pinckers, Edgar Martins, Stefanie Moshammer, Amani Willet, Anne Golaz and Virginie Rebetez – subvert photography’s ability to convey complex realities through widely different approaches. Subject matter ranges from an unsolicited fantasy, absence through enforced separation, a folkloric hermit, the drama and demise of a farm, and an unsolved disappearance of a child. An exploration of time, the festival’s wider theme of ‘FOREVER/NOW’ bears witness to our ever-changing world.
Pictured, Margins of Excess, 2018, by Max Pinckers. Courtesy of FORMAT19
For her first solo exhibition in the UK at London’s Tate Britain, Polish photographer Joanna Piotrowska navigates the intricate power dynamics in human relationships through gestural photographs and 16mm films. The show combines two bodies of works reconfigured in a new installation. Shelters depicts locals from Lisbon, Warsaw, London and Rio de Janeiro in makeshift domestic structures. Self Defense, meanwhile, captures young women performing actions from self-defence manuals in a series of images that both implies female empowerment and violence against them. In both, the movements are carefuly staged and directed, serving as documents of performance for the camera. ‘All Our False Devices’ is on view until 9 June.
Pictured, Untitled, 2016, by Joanna Piotrowska. Courtesy of Madragoa and Southard Reid
Paris-based fashion photographer Suffo Moncloa has released his first book, Evidences, containing a mysterious series of genre-spanning images. Abstract choreographies of light and form are interjected with scenes alluding to cryptic narratives, and otherworldly landscapes. Moncloa’s tactic of decontextualisation simultaneously holds thesm together and disconnects them from reality. Taken over five years, 79 photographs from France, Spain, Iceland and the US merge into a non-linear, poetic language that includes hints of the artist’s darkroom process.
Evidences, €67.75, self published, available from Idea Books and twelvebooks. Pictured, Late Night Tale, 2016, by Suffo Moncloa, chromogenic colour print
Running throughout Darren Sylvester’s art is a fascination with consumption, the banal, love and mortality. These potent themes are explored through hyper-stylised scenes, such as smiling teenagers tucking into a spread of KFC, a woman wearing a facemask on the phone, or a collapsed model on the catwalk. On show at The National Gallery of Victoria’s Ian Potter Centre in Australia until 30 June 30, ‘Carve A Future, Devour Everything’ features meticulously constructed photographs that comment on advertising and branding’s influence on our lives. Accompanying the images are sculptures, music and large-scale installations.
Pictured, The object of social acceptance is to forfeit individual dreams, 2003, by Darren Sylvester, digital type C print. Collection of the artist, Melbourne. © Darren Sylvester
On view at London’s Hayward Gallery until 6 May, ‘Diane Arbus: In the Beginning’ chronicles the formative first half of the photographer’s career. Crossing social barriers, Diane Arbus’ images reflected those who fit the norms of American society and those who were considered the ‘other’ – with paralleling intensity. Alongside Arbus’ iconic portraits, there are haunting photographs of movie theatre projections, shop windows and Disneyland. ‘I do feel I have some slight corner on something about the quality of things,’ Arbus once explained. ‘I mean it’s very subtle and a little embarrassing to me but I really believe there are things which nobody would see unless I photographed them.’ Of the nearly 100 photographs on show – largely printed by Arbus herself – around half have never before been exhibited in Europe before.
Pictured, Boy stepping off the curb, N.Y.C. 1957–58, by Diane Arbus. © The Estate of Diane, Arbus, LLC
An examination Turkey’s soap opera and film industry in the context of its volatile political situation, Guy Martin’s The Parallel State, blurs the line between truth and fiction. Having lived and worked in The Middle East for most of his career, Martin is familiar with the region’s many complexities. Instability and entertainment are merged, emphasising the difficulty of capturing an authentic moment. ‘Turkey is a model for the ways in which authoritarianism might be sewn almost imperceptibly into the fabric of a society,’ explains Martin, ‘The deliberate shattering of citizens’ sense of security, community, and ability to distinguish between fact and fiction ensures only one state-approved narrative prevails.’
The Parallel State, £50, published by GOST Books. Pictured, Untitled, by Guy Martin. © The artist
After dipping into Dadaism early in his career, German-born photographer Erwin Blumenfeld (1897-1969) mastered the art of fashion photography in Paris and moved to the US just a few laters. Experimentation with techniques such as double exposure, distortion and solarisation set him apart from other photographers of the time. On view at Foam in Amsterdam until 14 April is a selection of Blumenfeld’s iconic colour photography, shot in New York during the years he gained worldwide recognition.
Pictured, Pat Blake for Vogue NY, 1954, by Erwin Blumenfeld. Courtesy of The Estate of Erwin Blumenfeld
Silicone and flesh come together for ‘Surrogati. Un amore ideale’, on view at Milan’s Fondazione Prada until 22 July. Exploring romantic and sexual love, the exhibited works by American photographers Jamie Diamond and Elena Dorfman offer a nonjudgmental look at the complex emotional connection between humans and lifelike surrogates. On the one hand, Dorfman’s images focus on the domestic relationships of those who devote themselves to sex dolls. Diamond, meanwhile, plays the role of a ‘perfect’ mother in her analysis of cultural conventions, explored through artists who handmake hyperrealistic dolls, fulfilling their maternal needs.
Pictured, CJ 3, 2002, by Elena Dorfman. Courtesy of the artist
A continuation of his response to emotional and physical impacts on the body, Italian photographer Alessio Bolzoni’s book Abuse II, The Uncanny creates a disconcerting study of the human form. Contorting bodies lay sprawled on the floor, twisted to the point of anonymity: it becomes difficult to read their gender, nationality or age. Not least the question of whether Bolzoni’s subjects are in ecstasy or pain. This unnerving approach is enhanced by photographs of clothing worn by refugees during the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, creating a reflection of the threshold between life and death.
Pictured, Abuse II, The Uncanny, 2018, by Alessio Bolzoni. © the artist
Fractured TV screens as well as computer and laptop monitors found for sale online find a new lease of life in Penelope Umbirico’s book Out Of Order: Bad Display III. Layered together, the corrupted displays are an expression of the materiality often absent when interacting with them. With each book a unique edition of sorts (the artist purposely over-inked the press during printing), there is something heartfelt about the transformation of obsolete technology into tangible objects with individual identities. Published by RVB Books in an edition of 100, each copy also contains a polarising film from a disassembled laptop screen.
Out Of Order: Bad Display III, €80, published by RVB Books
As a black photographer living under apartheid in South Africa, Johannesburg-born Santu Mofokeng is more familiar than most with living in unjust – and often dangerous – times. Responding to the violence and inequality of this era with an equivocal eye, Mofokeng resisted the sensationalism that dominated the media. Open at Amsterdam’s Foam museum, ‘Stories’ (15 February – 28 April) brings together 11 visual narratives by the photographer that sheds light on the turbulent reality for South Africa’s rural sharecroppers and labourers.
Pictured, still from the series Politics. © Santu Mofokeng Foundation. Courtesy of Lunetta Bartz, MAKER, Johanesburg and Steel and GmbH
Artists have long been drawn to the unique quality of light in Hastings, UK. Tom Hunter is the latest to find himself enthralled with the English coastal town, collaborating with local taxi drivers to capture a series during the atmospheric blue and golden hours that surround dawn and dusk. Drivers chose the painterly settings to be photographed in, creating scenes that are meaningful to the town’s current inhabitants and also connected to artists of Hasting’s past, such as William Turner. Curated by Lucy Bell and David Rhodes, ‘A Journey Home’ is on view at Hastings Museum & Art Gallery until 2 June.
Pictured, Kasim – Summerfield, by Tom Hunter
Recently published by Wschód Gallery and the Łódź Film School, Futerał by Anna Orlowska highlights the transformative potential of architecture and what it may reveal during times of political change. Following a campaign of forced nationalisation in Poland after the Second World War, authorities claimed ownership of castles and palaces, subsequently adapting them to fit new purposes. However, vestiges of the buildings’ previously ostentatious lives remained, with post-war authorities appropriating what they didn’t manage to exploit or destroy.
Futerał, £32, available from Palm Studios
With three winners selected from the Free Range graduate exhibitions, the third edition of FR Awards returns to London’s Truman Brewery for a showcase of emerging photography and fine art talen, running from 7-14 February. Each winner has been granted a solo exhibition: Cole Flynn Quirke’s series A Bird Flies Backwards (pictured) is a moving look at human existence following his grandmother’s passing. Meanwhile, Zimbabwe-born Jasper Pedyo will show large-scale works from Lost In the Sauce, breaking the boundaries between sculpture and painting. Presented by Polly Evans, No Man is a Island is a biting examination of social and political problems in Britain today through video, sound and spoken word.
Graciela Iturbide’s poetic depiction of her native Mexico is on view at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston until 12 May. Drawn from her five-decade-long career, Itubide’s black and white images show a country in a fluid state of harmony and tension, oscillating between urban and rural, tradition and evolution. For all Mexico’s exotic mysticism, Iturbide’s photographs resist any stereotypical sense of the ‘other’. It is more an expression of the pluralities that exist within the country’s political, cultural, economic and social landscape.
Pictured, Our Lady of the Iguanas, Juchitán, México / Nuestra Señora de las Iguanas, 1979, by Graciela Iturbide
Commercial work has its constraints: artists must navigate this territory’s structural expectations, something very familiar to photographer Benjamin Swanson and set designer Imogen Frost. Looking to flex their creativity, the pair have collaborated for a new exhibition ‘Subversive Syndication’ on view at London Gallery West from 31 January until 13 February. Focus stacking software is disrupted by Swanson’s input of inaccurate images, automating sculptural errors that query the digital form. The installation itself follows this, with a range of image sizes displayed on varying mounts creating a curious ‘depth map’ within the space.
Pictured, Subversive Syndication, 2019, by Benjamin Swanson. Courtesy of the artist
It’s been called the ‘Olympics for nomads’: the World Nomad Games is among one of the world’s most unusual sporting events. Swiss-born photographer René Habermacher – whose work normally graces the glossy pages of fashion publications – trekked to the shores of lake Issyk-Kul and the Kyrchyn gorge in Kyrgyzstan to capture a revealing look at this celebration of nomadic heritage. Chances are you won’t have heard of dalba (hunting with a falcon) or toguz korgool (a traditional Kyrgyz game of intellect) before, but they certainly make for compelling viewing. Habermarcher’s Nomadland centres on his endlessly fascinating portraits of the Games’ participants, who hail from 75 different countries. Take the Mongolian archers in their deel (pictured), the traditional dress of their culture, or the competitor from the Republic of Bashkortostan, five months pregnant with her first child. Nomadsland is being exhibited at 0fr Gallery Paris from 29 January onwards, where a limited-edition newspaper of the project is also available to buy.
Family, teenage friends, lovers, self-portraits, still lifes, street photographs and even staged murder scenes: Talia Chetrit’s first book, Showcaller, is all-embracing. The title references the performative dynamic present in the images that calls into question the social, conceptual, and technical facets of photography. Spanning 24 years with early works from Chetrit’s adolescence, there is a potent tenderness throughout the seamlessly edited series. Chetrit successfully merges the roles of photographer, spectator, actor and object – a powerful act in a culture that is contentious in its depictions of women’s bodies.
Showcaller, £30, published by MACK. Pictured, Face #1, 1994/2017, by Talia Chetrit. Courtesy of the artist and MACK
At the heart of Eva Vermandel’s work is a fine-tuned awareness of the effect that technological progress has had on our experience of time and how we relate to one another. With works that show us a freedom from the performative perfection encouraged by commodification, there is a shift created in the viewer: an uncomfortable realisation that the serenity and intimacy in Vermandel’s photographs does not reassure, but rather unnerves. Presented by Die Plek, ‘The Trespasser’ is on view at Antwerp gallery Rossaert from 13 January – 10 February.
Pictured, The acrobat, Sydney, 2016, by Eva Vermandel. © The artist
History, class, race, identity, and memory are drawn upon for ‘Who’s looking at the family, now?’, on view at London Art Fair for Photo50 (16–20 January). Curated by Tim Clarke, the exhibition provides the opportunity to reflect on how both photography and the family have evolved in the 25 years since curator Val Williams’ renowned Barbican show exploring the breadth of familial complexities. Photographers include Matt Finn, Léonie Hampton, Louis Quail, Mar Sáez, Trish Morrissey, Erik Kessels, Mariela Sancari, Alba Zari, Poulomi Basu and Jonny Briggs.
Pictured, from the series Big Brother, by Louis Quail. © The artist
Social, political and environmental concerns are explored amid identity and personal representations in Foam Next Door, a temporary venue established by Amsterdam museum Foam inside a former office building. In a thrilling presentation of the 20 emerging photographers selected for Foam Talent 2019, classic two-dimensional images are shown alongside object installations and unusual uses of archival materials. Winners from all across the globe include Carmen Winant, Eric Gyamfi, Maisie Cousins and Daniel Shea. The exhibition is on view at Keizersgracht 617 from 12 January – 3 March, and will travel to New York, London and Frankfurt for further showings.
Pictured, Untitled, by Salvatore Vitale, from the series How to Secure a Country, 2015-2018. © The artist
Known for her compelling insights into society’s contemporary power structures and beauty ideals, Eva O’Leary is showing her award-winning series Spitting Image at Butler Gallery in Ireland, on view 12 January – 3 March. Portraits of female-identifying adolescents taken through a two-way mirror highlight the impact of coming of age in a world where your looks are a significant decider of your worth. The portraits’ impact is intensified by a video projection of the girls analysing their reflections. Their self-conscious discomfort isn’t easy to digest, but that is exactly why we should be paying attention.
Pictured, Sadie, by Eva O’Leary
For Arno Schidlowski’s series Inner Skies, photography becomes a tool through which nature’s ability to convey a state of mind is harnessed. Literary and artistic romantic traditions have inspired the luminous images taken in European mountains and woodlands. The repetitive nature and technical process of photography is of great importance to Schidlowski: shooting on film and hand-printing gives him a very particular kind of control, one that produces ethereal yet weighty images. ‘Inner Skies’ is on view at the Photographers’ Gallery in London from 10 January – 3 March.
Pictured, JASMUND #3, by Arno Schidlowski
Drawn from her ongoing Street Errands project, Kanghee Kim’s new book Golden Hour transforms everyday encounters into something beyond reality. Through collaged photographs Kim recreates the magical window of time that occurs around sunrise and sunset. This ethereal form of escapism is especially poignant for the Korean-born photographer, who has been unable to leave the US for ten years due to visa restrictions. The freedom that Kim seeks is echoed in sunlit puddles and otherworldly skies viewed through train windows.
Golden Hour, edition of 666, published by Same Paper
Flowers Gallery is showing works across a broad range of themes from its high-caliber stable of artists in its New York gallery (19 January – 23 March) and both London locations (9 January – 9 February) in ‘Flowers Contemporary I, II and III’. Simon Roberts will be exhibiting The Brexit Lexicon, which is a language-centred enquiry into the current relationships between politics, media and truth. Also on show will be Edmund Clark’s thoughtful photographs taken at HMP Grendon, the only therapeutic prison in Europe. Other artists include Edward Burtynksy, Scarlett Hooft Graafland and John MacLean.
Pictured, My Shadow’s Reflection – Architecture 1, 2017, by Edmund Clark. © Edmund Clark. Courtesy of Ikon and Flowers Gallery
With a foreword written by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Australian photographer Tobi Wilkinson’s book Gyuto offers a graceful and sensitive insight into life within a Tibetan monastery. Produced over nine years, the series goes into depth to illustrate the spiritual journey of the monks and their monumental dedication to traditions unbroken for 600 years. Galerie Thierry Bigaignon in Paris will host a book launch and exhibition (5 January – 2 February) as part of its new programme focusing on meaningful documentary subjects.
Pictured, Repletion, by Tobi Wilkinson. Courtesy of Galerie Thierry Bigaignon
An unnerving beauty is present in Michael Lundgren’s Geomancy, shot in the American Southwest and Mexico. On view at San Francisco’s Euqinom Gallery from 5 January – 23 March, the series delves into photography’s somewhat contradictory ability to both reflect and reconstruct nature. This enigma is perpetuated by Lundgren’s focus on spaces and objects that reference the history of an occupied land. Aiming to intervene with our conceptions of the world, the sculptural and symbolic nature of the objects is enhanced by Lundgren’s process of image manipulation within the camera, darkroom and computer.
Pictured, Impact, 2017, by Michael Lundgren. © Michael Lundgren, Courtesy of Euqinom Gallery
Photographer and video artist Ka-Man Tse – winner of Aperture’s 2018 Portfolio Prize – offers a revealing look at Asian Pacific Islander and LGBTQ communities in her latest series. Each meticulously composed frame offers a quiet moments of introspection, from the tender embrace of two men against Hong Kong’s commanding skyline to a gender-nonconforming person looking upon their reflection in a mirror. ‘In the contested and contingent spaces in the home, in the public realm, holding a space and a conversation is an act,’ explains the photographer in her project statement. ‘Ka-Man Tse: narrow distances’ is on view at New York’s Aperture Foundation until 2 February.
Pictured, Untitled, 2017, by Ka-Man Tse. Courtesy of the artist
Writer: Jessica Klingelfuss
In her newest series, Amy Finkelstein manipulates India ink on drafting film, backlighting her organic compositions and then capturing the results on a film camera. The South Carolina-born artist’s seeks to capture ‘unpredictable evidence of force and noise’ in her chromogenic prints, alluding to natural systems dictated by a systematic chaos. The hand-crafted, entropic quality of her images recall the works of sculptor Eva Hesse and abstract painter Agnes Martin, eschewing ‘industrial sterility’. ‘If Only’ is on view at New York’s Elizabeth Houston Gallery until 26 January.
Whether’s it’s urban architecture or colourful characters, New York has long fascinated photographers. A new exhibition ‘City Metro’ – on view until 2 February at Cologne’s Galerie Bene Taschen – reveals a different side of the Big Apple through the lens of Jamel Shabazz. The Brooklyn-born photographer captures passengers on New York’s transit system through his ‘unclouded gaze’, weaving a visual tapestry of the city’s social fabric and his subjects’ fashion and moods.
Pictured, Fly Girl, SoHo, NYC, 2004, by Jamel Shabazz. © Jamel Shabazz. Courtesy of Galerie Bene Taschen
‘Neither a “lost generation” nor a “futureless generation”, they are the generation of the in-between,’ explains project creator and curator Klavdij Sluban of the 18 photographers he has brought together for ‘If Slovenia Were’. Realised as a limited-edition book and exhibition at Brestanica’s Rajhenburg Castle (on view until 21 April), the project presents a photographic vision of Slovenia through the eyes of Ciril Jazbec, Irena Jurca (whose Endless Dream is pictured here), Katja Goljat and more. Each photographer developed a body of work specifically for ‘If Slovenia Were’, mining their own personal experiences, and subjects ranging from globalised suburbia to immigration and Slovenia’s own fraught history.
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