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, Keni. New Orleans, 2018, by Alec Soth, archival pigment print. © Alec Soth. Courtesy of Sean Kelly, New York
Writer: Sophie Gladstone
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.
Writer: Jessica Klingelfuss
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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