Friday, May 21, 2010


This afternoon I spent way more time than I had originally allotted to check out the Fraenkel Gallery's 30th anniversary exhibit, titled Furthermore. There is no unifying idea other than the curator's discriminating taste. The show opens with a disturbing trompe l'oeil picture of a suicide note & encompasses a wide variety of genres & aesthetic purposes. Found photographs by unknown photographers are next to works by famous names.

Many of the photos are stunning objects in & of themselves. I was fascinated by Adam Fuss's For Allegra (2009), a daguerreotype of the Taj Mahal, perhaps 4 feet wide. Since daguerreotypes are printed on mirrors, dark clothing is a requirement for being able to discern the image. Richard Misrach's picture of the ashen aftermath of the Oakland fire, Untitled #12-91 (1991), is so large that I could stand close up to it & feel immersed in its landscape of devastation.

Images are grouped by theme, creating provocative contexts. Military photos of an aerial bombing of Yugoslavia in 1944 hang above a wonderful NASA photo collage of the Moon's surface. An anonymous 1971 polaroid of 5 tough-looking men sits above another anonymous snapshot of 4 smiling ladies in furs & hats. Both are right next to Diane Arbus's droll portrait of kids in monster masks. Juxtapositions like this made me spend more time examining the images themselves, & I found something of interest in every photo. The exhibit is up through June 26th, so I will have more chances to visit.

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