David Maisel’s X-rays of art objects offer glimpses of what could be the secret troubled soul of antique statues. Against a black background, glowing traces show what is normally hidden by carefully worked surfaces; twisted supports and fillings, nails, and unexpected hollows suggest the unseen interior life of these objects.
A glittering picture replaces dots of ink with rhinestones and tiny beads of shiny caviar to recreate a newspaper photo; dust swept from Madison Square Park is used as pigment in a gum bichromate print showing the destruction of Stanford White’s nearby Madison Square Garden; and tar from the La Brea Tar Pits was baked by the sun on a metal plate to make a huge heliograph of a condor skeleton found there. In Brandt’s clever experimentations, photography is a tool for depicting what is gone or disappearing fast.
Sarah Jones’s large-scale photos exist at the edge of visibility. Her C-Prints are drained of color and sometimes made from black and white negatives, occasionally disappearing into darkness. Shiny black fur defines the muscular shape of a black horse which appears with its uncanny double; thorny rose vines prick a black sky. It’s a witchy world that plays with the ways photography can deceive and flatten what it depicts.
Liebling, who died in 2011, made photographs in a variety of styles over his long career—from energetic black and white shots of children in New York City and Vermont to more placid color scenes of apple orchards and Shaker homes. Whatever his subject, Liebling uncovered grace in everyday life.
Proof: The Intersection of Science, Art and Photography
Where: L. Parker Stephenson Photographs
When: Through May 17
A lacrosse player blurs into a strange staccato shape in a strobe-lit stop action shot by Harold Edgerton. Nearby, a splitting atom makes an equally poetic shape in a tiny black and white picture made the same year, 1939. The images here were mostly made in the pursuit of science but they share a cool, graphic stylishness that cuts across decades and subjects, comparing a tiny, tarnished gelatin silver picture of the moon with a photo showing grains of sodium chloride orders of magnitude smaller.
Where: Julie Saul Gallery
When: Through April 19
How do people interact in the tight confines of city life? Three photographers offer vastly different answers to this question, but all are dependent on technology. Most unsettling are Reinier Gerritsen’s images made at the Wall Street subway stop. Commuters stand close together on crowded trains, but since the photos are composites of multiple exposures, we will never know if his subjects were studiously ignoring each other or truly alone.
In Matthew Pillsbury’s long-exposure black and white images, human subjects become a soft blur, leaving their dimly lit surroundings and glowing media to speak for them. Aperture recently showed Pillsbury’s work, but this is a more intimate set of pictures showing Pillsbury himself, often with Nathan Noland, who Pillsbury met and fell in love with when he was 30, coming out as a gay man.
The characters in Arbus’s black and white street portraits from the 1980s and ’90s seem to have invented themselves out of verve and energy. In a fur bikini or exotic hats, her subjects are specimens from a rougher but perhaps more open New York.
Where: Jack Shainman Gallery
When: Through April 26
Sidibé is well known for the stylish and exuberant studio portraits and nightlife photos he made in Mali starting in the 1960s, shortly after the country’s independence. Included here are vintage and recent prints, and rarely seen color Polaroids, all of which celebrate the excitement and hopefulness that comes with new freedom.
For years, Schorr has been looking at the construction of masculinity in her art while shooting women for slick and edgy fashion photographs. The images here, drawn in part from that work, challenge and invite with references ranging from Courbet to Jeff Wall.