Posts Tagged ‘Deborah Bell’

Preview: Stone Walls, Mariana Cook, Deborah Bell Photography, NYC

In Gallery on August 3, 2018 at 10:45 am

Our friends at Deborah Bell Photography have yet another superb exhibition on their hands, this time kicking off fall with the works of Mariana Cook.

In her series STONE WALLS, Cook examines one of man’s earliest and most
enduring methods of defining territories: the stone wall. Sculptural and
practical, majestic and humble, Cook’s photographs of dry stone walls capture a fundamental relationship between human beings and the landscape.
STONE WALLS was conceived by Mariana Cook, the last protégé of Ansel
Adams, at her home on Martha’s Vineyard on the day before Thanksgiving 2002.
After 56 cows strayed through a crumbling section of the stone wall she shares with her neighbor, Cook studied the tumbled wall and was struck by its beauty.
With that inspiration, Cook spent the next eight years traveling to farms, towns,
and temples in Peru, Great Britain, Ireland, the Mediterranean, New England,
and Kentucky in pursuit of dry stone walls.

The striking black-and-white photographs on view portray the wall in landscape, the wall in abstract form, and the return of rocks to nature. Cook is fascinated with the juxtaposition of stones and geometric composition, as well as with the resonance among walls of different cultures. The walls were photographed by Cook between 2002 and 2010 and were built as early as 3600 B.C. Dry stone walls—those constructed without the use of mortar with stones skillfully selected and placed to ensure strength and durability—are slowly falling into disrepair or being removed from the landscape. Cook writes, “The walls collapse and are replaced by concrete blocks, wire or wooden fences…. The self sufficient family life and closeness bred by the farm is disappearing with its walls.”

The exhibit will have an opening reception on Wednesday, Sept. 5th, from 6-8 pm, while officially running from September 6th until October 27th, 2018.

For More Information: Deborah Bell Photographs

Preview: Rose Mandel, A Sense of Abstraction, Deborah Bell Photographs

In Exhibits, Gallery on November 13, 2017 at 11:00 am

Rose Mandel, William Theophilus Brown,The Errand of the Eye, plate 26, ca. 1953, vintage gelatin silver contact print on original mount, Image via Deborah Bell Photographs

Deborah Bell Photographs will soon kick off their exhibition Rose Mandel: A Sense of Abstraction with a reception on Tuesday, November 14 from 6-8pm. The solo exhibition will feature rare and unique works by American photographer Rose Mandel produced during her prolific career.

Deborah Bell Photographs is honored to present the first solo exhibition in a New York gallery of work by the American photographer Rose Mandel (1910-2002). Comprising some 30 rare, and often unique, vintage prints from her archive, the exhibition will feature portraits, close-up abstracted views of nature, and dynamic seascapes made between 1946 and 1972. The exhibition’s title, A Sense of Abstraction, refers to the primary visual and psychological currents of Mandel’s work: symbolism, surrealism and abstract expressionism. Although Mandel’s photographs were published and exhibited in her lifetime, and her work received renewed appreciation in the 1990s, she rarely sold her prints.

Mandel is closely associated with the well-established modernist tradition in Northern California photography as represented by Edward Weston, Ansel Adams and Imogen Cunningham, yet her nature studies and abstract landscapes also belong to the broader American landscape tradition exemplified by Minor White, Walter Chappell, Harry Callahan, Ralph Eugene Meatyard, and others who explored complex symbolic meanings in their images of the natural world.

The exhibition will run November 15, 2017 through January 13, 2018 with a reception on November 14. Gallery hours for the exhibition are Tuesday-Saturday 11-6. For further information contact Deborah Bell Photographs.

Preview: The Lines and The Andean Desert Survey, Edward Ranney, Deborah Bell Photographs, NYC

In Black and White Photography, Gallery on September 13, 2017 at 4:41 pm

Nazca Pampa, 1985, by Edward Ranney

Now open at Deborah Bell Photographs, experience the desolate beauty captured by Edward Ranney in Peru.

The Lines and The Andean Desert Survey will feature 17 photographs taken in Peru, where Ranney began photographing over 50 years ago. Included will be selections from his recently published book, “The Lines,” which depict markings in the Peruvian desert made by the ancient Nazcas, a relatively small culture that flourished on Peru’s southern coast from around the beginning of the Christian era until 600 AD. The purpose and meanings of these ancient geoglyphs, made by clearing the surface of the desert floor, or by creating paths of stones, remain mysterious and open to different interpretations by scholars. As Ranney explains in a preface to The Lines (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014):

“Just south of Peru’s Ingenio River Valley there is a low hill alongside the Pan-American highway. Here one can overlook the vast, confounding space of the Nazca Pampa and make out some of the lines, or geoglyphs, etched on it by the Nazca culture some fifteen hundred years ago. The lines on the pampa, particularly the figural geoglyphs, have been documented in detail over the last sixty years by aerial photographs, which have given us a broader understanding of their unique qualities. Yet in spite of the information provided by aerial views, it seems to me there is still much to be gained by seeing and experiencing the lines on ground level, as their creators did. … In addition to their perceptual qualities, the lines can be seen as a form of mapping, marking reference points and connections within the landscape, thereby transforming a harsh natural environment into an understandable, even intimate cultural space. … Important ceremonies undoubtedly took place along and within these lines. … It was also thought that the lines, trapezoids, and swept gathering places were sites of ceremonial processions and pilgrimages, and were renewed and reconfigured over many generations. It is unlikely we will ever know definitively what the geoglyphs meant to their creators. But what is clear is that they mark places – and times – of significance. This minimal landscape continues to reveal to us a fragile record of its human occupation. It is a record of elusive meaning, a unique evocation of the inalterable connection between humans and nature.”

The exhibit is now open and will be available for viewing between 11am-6pm, Tuesday through Saturday. Its conclusion will come November 4th.

For More Information: Deborah Bell Photographs

Preview: Portraits of the US Congress: 1986-1987, Judith Joy Ross, Deborah Bell Photographs, New York, NY

In Black and White Photography, Exhibits, Gallery, Photo Print Collector, Photographer on January 26, 2017 at 11:14 am
Senator Robert C. Byrd, Democrat, West Virginia (Minority Leader), 1987, by Judith Joy Ross

Senator Robert C. Byrd, Democrat, West Virginia (Minority Leader), 1987, by Judith Joy Ross

A picture can catch a person at their most vulnerable. This is the last situation that most politicians want to be in. But Judith Joy Ross managed to do just that over a period of several years.

Ingeniously, Ross proposed an exhibition of portraits of members of Congress to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia even before she made the pictures, suggesting that the show could be held in celebration of the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution.  This plan also helped her gain access to the politicians she wished to photograph.  With the financial support from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship she had received in 1985, Ross embarked upon the project and proceeded to set up appointments with 117 members of Congress and their aides.  The resulting exhibition, Portraits of the United States Congress, was held at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 1987 and travelled to the Lehigh University Art Galleries in Bethlehem, PA in 1989.  Twenty of the photographs were shown last fall at Tops Gallery in Memphis.  The photographs have not been shown as a group in New York since they were exhibited at James Danziger Gallery in 1991.

“I made Portraits of the United States Congress, 1986-87 to deal with authority figures on my own terms. When I was photographing at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in 1983-84, the Capitol was visible in the distance.  I wanted to know who these people were who were in our government, the people who were running our lives.  They didn’t look real to me in the media except for on the MacNeil/Lehrer show (now PBS NewsHour), where the masks were off.

I figured out who to photograph with the help of the wonderful Almanac of American Politics published by the National Journal.  It is a 1,591-page compendium of information about the Members of the House and the Senate, with detailed information on exactly how they voted and who they represent.  I picked people I disagreed with and people I agreed with.  This was very inspiring.”   – Judith Joy Ross

Deborah Bell Photographs will be opening the exhibit to the public on February 1st. The exhibit is sure to be one of the more thought-provoking displays this winter, so for those in the NY Metro area, make sure to visit before it concludes on April 29th, 2017.

For More Information: Deborah Bell Photographs

Preview: Deborah Turbeville, Deborah Bell Photographs

In Black and White Photography, Exhibits, Gallery, Photo Print Collector, Photographer on November 26, 2016 at 12:18 am


In 2013, the world lost one of its most keen eyes and talented people behind the lens in Deborah Turbeville. She was a savant in the world of fashion photography and influenced countless people the followed. Deborah Bell Photographs will celebrate the holidays with a retrospective of Turbeville’s work.

Turbeville is known for her iconoclastic fashion photographs, elaborate tableaux that depict brooding, introspective models wearing haute-couture clothing and posed in barren, desolate settings. Her pictures were widely published in the editorial pages of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Essence, Nova, Mirabella, The New York Times Magazine, and other major publications. Advertising clients included Comme des Garçons, Ralph Lauren, Valentino and Calvin Klein; and department stores such as Barney’s, Bloomingdale’s and Saks Fifth Avenue. A former fashion editor for the The Ladies Home Journal, Harper’s Bazaar and Mademoiselle, Turbeville began taking photographs in the 1960s; however, she had no formal training until 1966 when she enrolled in a six-month photography workshop given by Richard Avedon and the art director Marvin Israel. As Turbeville told The New York Times in 1981, “If it hadn’t been for the two of them, I wouldn’t have taken my photography seriously.” Another mentor was Gösta Peterson whose free-form approach with animated models greatly inspired Turbeville. She also acknowledged the influence of European films of the 1970s, especially those by Bertolucci and Antonioni.

Turbeville was not only prolific and internationally published as an image-maker, but was also a maverick printmaker. She used unusual papers, experimented with toning and alternative processes, and intentionally scratched her negatives. Never in search of the pristine object, she strove instead for imperfection and a sense of timelessness. She often constructed collages of photographs that are either pinned or taped to hand-made paper, imbuing the works with a sense of decay and enabling their deterioration. Throughout her career Turbeville traveled widely and concentrated on many themes in addition to fashion. The many books she published from her œuvre include Wallflower (1978); Women on Women (1979); Unseen Versailles (1982); Les amoureuses du temps passé (1987); Newport Remembered with Louis Auchincloss (1994); Studio St. Petersburg (1997); Le passé imparfait (2009); Casa No Name (2009); and Deborah Turbeville: The Fashion Pictures (2011).

The exhibit will  conclude on January 28th, 2017.

For More Information: Deborah Bell Photographs

Preview: Conceptions, Marcia Resnick, Deborah Bell Photographs, New York, NY

In Black and White Photography, Exhibits, Gallery, Photo Print Collector, Photographer on September 22, 2016 at 11:45 pm
Landscape/Loftscape #14, 1976, Marcia Resnick

Landscape/Loftscape #14, 1976, Marcia Resnick

Deborah Bell Photographs brings in the end of the year with an examination of Marcia Resnick’s beginning. Before Resnick’s more famous works, she was graduating from Cal Arts and still finding her style. Conceptions: Vintage Photographs 1974-1976, focuses on this period.

Engaging with the idea of the artist’s book, she embarked in 1974 on a series of photographs called See – “photographs of people photographing places.” In an interview with Alex Sweetman at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1978, published in Exposure (16:2), she said:

I found that when I went to tourist spots, there would be people looking at places and they’d always get in the way and I’d always see them from behind. That was the whole [Maurice] Merleau-Ponty kind of philosophical thing: being in front and being behind – like being inside yourself. I was interested also at that time in the iconography of body gestures. How you could read, from the way a person’s body was from the back, almost as much, or as much, as you could from looking at a face in a portrait.

In her now-classic 1974 series See Changes, using one photograph from See, Resnick shows her Cal Arts classmate James Welling perched on the edge of the Grand Canyon and, by manipulating and altering the photograph with paint, pencil and collage in numerous variations, continues to explore her earliest interest in the nature and presence of the photographic print.

Marcia Resnick was born in Brooklyn in 1950. She received her BFA from The Cooper Union, New York City, in 1972, and an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, CA, in 1973. Resnick’s photographs can be found in numerous institutional collections, including the George Eastman Museum, Rochester; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; The Jewish Museum, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Morgan Library & Museum, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO; The New York Public Library; Ryerson Image Center, Toronto, ON; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

The exhibit is now open for viewing until November 5th.

For More Information: Deborah Bell Photographs

Preview: Lower Manhattan: Vintage Photographs 1975-77, Bevan Davies, Deborah Bell Photographs, New York, NY

In Black and White Photography, Exhibits, Gallerist, Photo Print Collector, Photographer on December 29, 2015 at 11:51 am
480 Broadway, New York, 1979, Bevan Davies

480 Broadway, New York, 1979, Bevan Davies

New York City has served as inspiration for many, and Bevan Davies can certainly agree. His works from the mid-seventies celebrated the architecture of Lower Manhattan, and along with works from Los Angeles in 1976, will be on display next year at Deborah Bell Photographs.

Bevan Davies (American, b. 1941) studied photography with Bruce Davidson at the University of Chicago in the early 1960s and benefited greatly through mentoring from Diane Arbus later in that decade.  After a period of photographing people on the street, especially those at odds with society, in both daylight and evening hours with a hand-held camera, Davies changed his working methodology to describe the physical character of the city: the building façades, and the alleys and streets, with a tripod-mounted 5 x 7-inch view camera.

This change in subject and approach resulted in Davies’ most celebrated work.  When created in the mid-1970s, Bevan Davies’ architectural photographs situated themselves wholly within the dictum laid forth by William Jenkins as “New Topographics,” the title of the legendary exhibition Jenkins organized in 1975 at the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York.  Davies himself writes of his own approach as “an effort being made to let the camera almost see by itself.”  This notion was carried further by the late photographer Lewis Baltz who, in 1976, referred to Davies’ photographs as “rigorously contemporary, while acknowledging a use of the camera which dates from the inception of the medium.”  The images of New York façades, photographed in the early morning hours and devoid of people, describe spaces and shapes defined by light and shadow.  They depict a specific time and place, as evidenced by the window dressings and signage, and they portray a formal grace among the buildings’ details that are included within Davies’ ground glass.  The resulting 16 x 20-inch prints, with their glossy, ferrotyped surfaces and brilliant definition, are at once objective images and seductive objects.

The exhibit, which is being held in cooperation with Joseph Bellows Gallery of La Jolla, CA, will open on January 7th and conclude February 27th.

For More Information: Deborah Bell Photographs

On Site: Susan Paulsen, Deborah Bell Photographs, NYC

In Black and White Photography, Exhibits, Gallery, Photo Print Collector, Photographer on April 23, 2011 at 7:01 pm

Pawnal, 2005<br>gelatin silver print<br>14 x 11 inches<br>edition of 25

Susan Paulsen, “Pawnal”

While we picked this particular shot, the exhibit is predominantly color with some nice portrait work. The overall positive impression is derived from the honesty of the artist in trying to connect with the viewer.

Vicki Goldberg writes:

Life’s major moments and cataclysms generally arrive with fanfare, but existence tends to be daily, and days fill up with insignificant matters that mean more than they say. Paulsen’s life is replete with family, a house, a kitchen, a laundry line, a bed, several dogs, the sea, fruit, sunlight that steals a march on expectations, colors that reverberate, shadows that venture into the avant-garde, and a model who is perfectly comfortable doffing her clothes – Sarah, whose name rhymes with Paulsen’s grandmother’s and who stands in for the photographer.

Now through April 30.



Ana Barrado/Rockets, Starting May 6

For more information: Deborah Bell

On Site: In The Street With Andy Warhol, Deborah Bell Photographs, NYC

In Black and White Photography, Exhibits, Gallery, Photographer on October 5, 2010 at 7:52 am


Andy Warhol, Jewelry Store Window

A potpourri of Atget like storefront images, garbage cans, street fairs, furniture and more, make up the subject matter of “Andy Warhol’s Street Diary” from the early 80’s.

The photos border in appearance on the vernacular street images we are very familiar with but knowing that the master of “pop” observation is behind the lens leads the viewer down an interesting path of free association with this artist. This exercise makes a visit to this exhibit rewarding, indeed.

So he walks the streets of New York and snaps, snaps, snaps. I have always argued with the people who have talked about Andy as a voyeur. No, Andy was not a voyeur; Andy was a gazer. He gazed at things, at people, at reality. A very special gaze. There was no pathological obsession in it. It was a very natural state of gazing. Andy was an open eye. He was a looker. You see it in all aspects of his work, in his art. Maybe he was also the most democratic artist at the same time. The diaristic form in art is both the most personal and the most democratic.

Now through November 13.

For more information: Deborah Bell

On Site: America Illustrated – George W. Gardner, Deborah Bell Photographs, NYC

In Black and White Photography, Exhibits, Gallery, Photographer on June 8, 2010 at 7:44 am


George W. Gardner, “Ozark Mountains”

Still time to visit Deborah Bell Photographs to see an impressive collection of images by George W. Gardner. In the vein of “road” pictures reflecting a particular place and time, the photographs are also standalone art works in their composition and print quality.

Titled for his 1982 monograph, AMERICA ILLUSTRATED: PHOTOGRAPHS
BY GEORGE W. GARDNER, the exhibition  features early prints of images
from this highly acclaimed, exquisitely printed book. The black-and-white
photographs, made by Gardner with his 35mm cameras on road trips throughout
the mainland United States from 1960-1980, reveal a nation of contradictions. Its
people are obsessed with guns, Bibles, the Vietnam war, the cold war and
partying at Mardi Gras, in a nation still beset by issues of racial segregation.

Make time to see this slice of history. Now through June 30.

For more information: Deborah Bell