New Visions: Black and White Photography in Contemporary Art

In Art Museum, Books, Exhibits on December 29, 2009 at 12:37 pm

Allentown Art visions of BW.pdf - Adobe Acrobat Standard

Susan Derges, British b. 1955.

The Observer and the

Observed #6

, 1992, gelatin silver print. Lent by the

Zimmerli Art Museum. Collection of Anne and Arthur



Just a few days left (January 12) to visit the last remaining gallery of this multi–location, milestone show lent by the Zimmerli Art Museum to the Allentown Art Museum. A survey of the contemporary black and white prints collected by Anne and Arthur Goldstein over recent decades, the show is somewhat of a “greatest hits” approach with a very personal touch.

Highlights of the entire show included surreal images by Robert ParkeHarrison and Laurent Millet; portraits by Sally Mann (those famous children) and Diane Arbus; humor with Elliott Erwitt and Les Krims. Add to the list Adams, Sherman, Friedlander, Uelsmann, Crewdson, Gowin, Goldin, Clark, Ruscha, Avedon, Warhol … well, you get the “picture.”

There are also some special prints by lower profile but talented domestic and international artists. Only a few examples in the exhibit fall short, but given the range of work here, that is hardly an issue.

Our “take away” photo is the Susan Derges gelatin silver print shown above. A masterful manipulation of strobe, depth of field and shutter, the print isolates the viewing plane to capture a distorted  image of the face in each drop.

When we last checked there was an unelaborate but interesting catalog available that displays with acceptable quality each of the works in the exhibit.

It is worth the time to take advantage of the Goldstein’s taste and largesse. The Allentown Art Museum is within 90 minutes travel from New York and Philadelphia. For further details check Allentown Art Museum.


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