New York Photo Review
NYPR Archives - 2010

A Summer of Photography
Reviewer #1
Carrie Mae Weems

The summer group show at Flomenhaft has one of the richer selections of photographs to be seen this season.

Some of the most stunning imagery is the landscape work by Neil Folberg taken in Israel and Palestine. These black and white prints (both silver gelatin and inkjet) show brilliant night skies above ancient structures and trees. A single, equally intriguing print from his very recent color work finds in the same landscapes traces of the Garden of Eden.

By far the most well-known artist in the show is Carrie Mae Weems. On view are four important works from two early sequences (1988-92). Three from the “Colored People” series show her cool, almost ironic approach to that most hot of American subjects, their simplicity belying their place in the discourse of serious photography. (And sporting– perhaps rightly- hefty price-tags of $50K each!)

Builder Levy, a photographer who has been photographing Appalachian coal miners and their struggles for 40 years, exhibits a selection of portraits and landscapes, emblematic of the genre.

More challenging are portraits by the team of Rimma Gerlovina & Valeriy Gerlovin, all focusing on the haunting, Renaissance face of Rimma Gerlovina. The couple uses various strategies to engage the face with the picture surface. Early pieces paint Ms. Gelovina’s face in patterns that relate as much to the surface and edges of the picture as they do to the model, while later ones introduce various scrims, from braids of hair to seemingly digitally introduced layers. The results are smart, engaging explorations of the meaning of portraiture.

 by unidentified photographer.
Keliy Anderson-Staley

No less engaging or smart are the wet-plate collodion tintype portraits of Keliy Anderson-Staley. By using this early photographic process, which requires relatively long exposures to directly produce unique images (there are no negatives involved), the portraits have a physical, tactile quality with a nearly magical life force. Presented are some two dozen portraits from a gargantuan project to photograph the diversity of “Americans.” But as in any overarching series of this type, it is the individuals themselves, and the stories in their faces, that ultimately hold our attention.

With a nice range of both established names and emerging artists, each given enough space to show a satisfying number of prints, the Floemenhaf show is a pleasant summer outing worthy of a visit.

A Summer of Photography

Flomenhaft Gallery
547 W 27th St. 2nd Fl
Chelsea         Map

212 268 4952

Thursday, July 8 to
Friday, August 20, 2010
Hours: Tues-Sat, 10:30 to 5