FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
IN THE ZONE, a century gathering of black & white photographs
by past and present masters
HENRY GREGG GALLERY in DUMBO
May 13 – June 27, 2010
Opening Night Reception Thursday June 3 from 6-9pm
“All will be yesterday,” as the young Hungarian photographer Balazs Turay has observed. Therefore, “nothing has changed, and nothing needs to change, the photo itself will tell its own tale to generations to come.” adds curator/gallerist Henry Andre' Martinez-Reed. “All the photographs in this show, dating from as far back as the 1920s, exemplify the single most important quality to me in a work of art, what the Italians call sprezzatura, an apparent nonchalance, the ability to conceal the careful, conscious effort behind a difficult achievement.” Also a musician, Martinez- adds, “In assembling this show, I wanted to have the feeling Duke Ellington must have had when he assembled his orchestra, mixing the ages and styles of his players to generate the tension and passion that guarantees a knock-out performance.”
HGG’s new show deftly mingles iconic photographs by Robert Frank, Gordon Parks and Russian avant-gardist Aleksandr Rodchenko with sepia-tone masterworks by Georgi Zelma (1906-84), the pioneering Russian photojournalist of the “Eastern Front” school alongside dramatic contemporary Roman cityscapes with crackled surfaces by Balazs Turay. and classic Americana views through the lens of Jim Megargee, professor, author, master printer and documentarian; portraits of New York visual artists from Peter Bellamy’s monograph, The Artist Project (1981-1990) and of the city’s street life by Brooklyn’s Anthony Almeida. New Yorker Robert Herman also focuses on the city’s streets. His digital prints, particularly of a near-empty 70s-era subway car, stripped and striped in colored light as it crosses a bridge, are as bravura an achievement as Professor Doug Schwab’s gum bichromate nudes and Cornelia Van der Lin’s pinhole nudes in their evocation of eternity. Czech scientist turned poet and fine art photographer, Igor Malijevsky, focuses on city life across Europe while North Carolina’s Bryce Lankard combines old and new photo technologies in photographs of New Orleans. The photomontagist Mark Blanchette conjures surreal visions layering multiple negatives. Of particular note are photographs by the father and son, both known only as Istvan Soltesz: The father was self-taught and never exhibited, much less celebrated, until his son, by then a professional photographer, assembled a posthumous show of his father’s loving pictures of daily life in their Hungarian village. The renowned freelance photojournalist Peter Essick braves impossible conditions the world over, often for National Geographic, to illustrate immediate challenges facing humankind.
“The camera heals us of our separateness,” says co-exhibitor Carole Elchert, native of Ohio and longtime chronicler of village life in the Himalayan Mountains. IN THE ZONE endeavors to prove her point.
Istvan Soltesz Jr.
Brooklyn Back in the Day
The Henry Gregg Gallery is proud to present “Brooklyn Back in the Day,” an exhibition of documentary photographs by six important photographers whose careers began and first flourished in Brooklyn.
The exhibition features work by Anthony Almeida, Peter Sumner Walton Bellamy, Peter Essick, Tony Velez, Charles Denson, and Tom Callan.
“Brooklyn Back in The Day” is a wide-ranging exhibition which forms a composite portrait of Brooklyn and its neighborhoods from the 70s through the 90s and moves easily from early work by Peter Essick, then preparing a graduate thesis, and who since has completed over 30 features for National Geographic, to those of Charles Denson, a lifelong resident of Coney Island whose documentary photography culminated in the book, “Coney Island Lost and Found.”
While much of the photographs on exhibition have not been shown in decades, they constitute an important and even an unprecedented collective document of growth and change.
One story is telling: prior to his participation, Peter Sumner Walton Bellamy, author of 'The Artist Project" and "Artist Damn", kept his early work in storage where they were rediscovered for the exhibition in a dozen boxes of large format negatives. Back in the 1970s, Peter roamed the streets of Brooklyn shooting portraits on a 4x5 view camera and sending prints to his subjects as thanks, so creating a body of work that captures a side of Brooklyn so often romanticized, but rarely seen in the unsentimental light of Peter’s lively and wonderful photographs.
Anthony Almeida spent over thirty years as a high school photography teacher at Prospect Heights High School. During that time he photographed the surrounding Crown Heights neighborhood documenting its diversity and vibrancy. Presently Anthony is engaged in his Everglades global warming project and fine art photography.
Tony Velez is a photography professor at Keen University in New Jersey. A recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and New York Foundation for the Arts, his work documents the growth of the Hispanic population in Brooklyn.
Tom Callan has spent the better part of thirty years working as a staff photographer for the Brooklyn Paper. The exhibition’s two curators represent divergent but complimentary approaches to the present photographic work.
André Martínez Reed, an artist, photographer, musician and owner of the Henry Gregg Gallery , is a Brooklyn native who brings to the exhibition a particular and enriching sense of place and time.
Joshua Wolfe, a native of Washington, D.C. who moved in 2001 to Brooklyn to pursue a career in photography.
Thus, Andre sees the world represented in these photographs through the prism of his childhood and growing up, while Joshua seeks to showcase a group of Brooklyn photographers whose career path resembles the one on which he now embarks.
Peter Sumner Walton Bellamy Peter Sumner Walton Bellamy, a portrait photographer, refined his artistic craft under such greats as Orson Welles, Elliott Erwitt, Arnold Newman and Louise Bourgeois. His work is published, exhibited and collected worldwide. He is a graduate of Pratt Institute and lives in Brooklyn, NY. He has published two photography books: The Artist Project (Portraits of the Real Art World ; New York Artist 1981-1990) and "Addict's Damn . Two additional book projects are in progress: a collection of contemporary American playwright portraits and a study in black and white wilderness photography. Between 1976 and 1979 he shot portraits in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island neighborhoods, including Bensonhurst, South Brooklyn and Greenpoint. These black and white photographs were taken with a view camera.
Peter Essick Peter Essick grew up in Burbank, California and learned the basics of photography from his father. In 1985, Peter enrolled in the photojournalism program at the University of Missouri. That year he was selected as a photo intern at the National Geographic Society and completed a story for the magazine that summer. After earning his graduate degree in photojournalism, Peter began working as a freelance photojournalist. He relocated to Brooklyn, New York and worked for the African-American newspaper, The City Sun, from 1989-1991. For the last 10 years he has lived in Atlanta, Georgia, still working as a freelance photojournalist. Peter's by-line has been in National Geographic magazine more than 30 times for stories from around the world as well as in many other international magazines. He has travelled to all seven continents and all of the 50 United States in search of compelling pictures. In recent years, he has specialized in stories about nature and the environment. He has illustrated stories on global warming, the carbon cycle, the global freshwater crisis and nuclear waste.
Anthony Almeida Anthony Almeida's photographic work was in many ways fueled by his childhood experiences in Brazil, his father's homeland. When he arrived there at the age of six, he was confronted by family, friends, and outsiders who derived from different racial, religious, and cultural groups. Despite initial bewilderment, he quickly felt quite comfortable. Their "differences" seemed to present few barriers. "I just remember having good feelings about people who looked different. I try to draw from those feelings of connectedness when I approach my photography and my life." Anthony is a fine arts photographer, educator and photo-documentarian, who studied with Lisette Modell. He spent many years teaching English and photography in a high school in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. His photographic work is extremely diversified, and he has been the recipient of numerous awards. His work has been shown in national and international shows, and is in private, personal and educational collections. More recently he has devoted most of his creative energy to his documentary and fine art photography. One of Anthony's greatest photographic passions is "street photography," and he described the street to be "the greatest stage of all, wherein position, juxtaposition and sensitivity sometimes conspire to make the fleeting moment eternal."
Tony Velez Tony Velez has been photographing for more than 40 years. Velez was born in the South Bronx in 1946, the first of three brothers to Puerto Rican Immigrants. In 1954 his family moved to the Cyprus Hills Public Housing Project in Brooklyn's East New York community, and lived there until he volunteered for the U.S. Army in 1966. He served in Viet Nam (1966-67) with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. A graduate of the High School of Art and Design (1964), he has a B.A. (1976) and MFA (1981) from Brooklyn College, where he studied photography with Walter Rosenblum and Barney Cole. He is a professor in the Fine Arts Department the last 21 years at Kean University, New Jersey. He resided in New York City, Brooklyn until the fall of 2007 The recipient of numerous awards include a New York State Creative Arts Program in Service fellowship in 1983, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in 1984, and a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship in 1990. He has also been awarded numerous grants and commissions that include; the Brooklyn Historical Society for their "Brooklyn Hispanic Communities Documentary Project in 1988; the New Jersey Historical Commission in 1990 for his own work on Latino New Jersey; the Fund for the Borough of Brooklyn now BRIC for "This is Brooklyn: It's Historical Districts and Landmarks" in 1990; and several New Jersey Historical Society projects, "Urban Oasis: Newark's Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in 1994, and their "Caribbean Folk Artists" project in 1995, "Dining In/Dining Out" in 1998. Most recently Rutgers commissioned him in 2004 to create a new body of work on religious communities for their "New Jersey Transcultural Project". Velez's earliest experiences of violence in his home, in the streets of the city, and the war in Viet Nam have shaped his vision as an artist and photographer. A war veteran at twenty years old, he slowly developed an attitude of resistance and became an activist against the war, as he saw his younger brothers, family members, and friends go off to war. Some did not come back; some came back hurt. Philosophically and emotionally his work is an expression of his ongoing struggle that attempts to separate with his past. His earlier political activism and his optimism have helped him with his own anger as he expresses a humanist point of view that rejects the racism, and brutality of our society, and seeks a more dignified view of our world in his work. Currently Velez is working on a new project with the East Harlem based group Community Voices Heard. Photographs from his Vietnam series (1966 - 1970) can be viewed along with oral history in the exhibit "In Their Own Words; Portraits of Brooklyn Vietnam Veterans" at the Brooklyn Historical Society. He will be panelist there on June 11.
Tom Callan "Street Photography" is how Brooklyn Heights photographer Tom Callan describes his work. Before moving to New York, Tom studied with Fred Ritchin, former editor of the New York Times Magazine, at the Maine Photographic Workshop. His photos have appeared on the front page of the New York Times as well as the New York Daily News, New York Post, Newsday, Village Voice, Spy Magazine, and many other publications. A native of Massachusetts, Tom worked as a stringer for United Press International and the Associated Press. He graduated in 1974 from Boston State College with a degree in Political Science. Tom's photos regularly appear in Brooklyn Paper Publications.
Charles Denson Charles Denson is the author of the award-winning book, Coney Island: Lost and Found,and director of the Coney Island History Project, a nonprofit oral history organization that sponsors exhibits, organizes lectures and performances, and involves the community in preserving and appreciating Coney Island's past. Denson studied photography at the School of Visual Arts. He grew up in Coney Island and has documented the neighborhood since 1965. Recent photography exhibits include "Coney Island Dreamers," Main Library, Grand Army Plaza, 2006, and "Secrets of Coney Island Creek," Brooklyn College Archives and Special Collections, 2007.
Cornell Capa often stated that a photographer who was passionately dedicated to doing work that contributed to the understanding and well-being of humanity and who produced "images in which genuine human feeling predominates over commercial cynicism or disinterested formalism," is the work of " The Concerned Photographer ".
We dedicate this show in his memory.
The Artist Project
Peter Sumner Walton Bellamy
An extraordinary collection of rarely-seen, classical portraits of leading figures from New York’s art world, taken from 1981 to 1990, will be exhibited in DUMBO, Brooklyn September 18 – October 26, 2008.
Photographed by Peter Sumner Walton Bellamy during his ongoing, 25-year project of photographing creative artists from the visual and literary worlds, the images will be shown at Henry Gregg Gallery at 111 Front Street, Suite 226, in DUMBO.
Artists whose portraits will be on view include: Vito Acconci, Richard Artschwager, Robert Blackburn, David Budd, Louise Bourgeois, John Cage, Alphaeus Cole, William Eggleston, “Fab 5 Freddy”, Eric Fischl, Leon Golub & Nancy Spero, Charles Gwathmey, Keith Haring, James Harrison, Alex Katz, Jeff Koons, Barbara Kruger, Robert Manigold, Brice Marden, Melissa Meyers, Elizabeth Murray, Rubin Nakian, Luigi Otani, Richard Prince, Susan Rothenberg, Richard Serra, Joel Shapiro, Cindy Sherman, Lorna Simpson, Raphael Soyer, Kiki Smith, Vincent D. Smith, Estaban Vincente, Andy Warhol, James Wellings and Terry Winters.
Many were captured by Bellamy before their careers skyrocketed to fame.
Every black and white image has a backstory, like the now-famous artist he loaned $5 for cab fare after the shoot. In 1991, the images were published in "The Artist Project / Portraits of the Real Art World / New York Artists 1981 -1990.” Copies will be available at the gallery.
Peter Sumner Walton Bellamy began The Artist Project in 1981 at the suggestion of gallerist Jack Tilton. He started with the portraits of a handful of artists whom Tilton put him in touch with. Asking each artist to suggest five others that he might photograph, Bellamy then proceeded to photograph over 600 artists living in New York City.
Part of the project was taken while he worked as Louise Bourgeois’ personal photographer documenting her sculpture during much of the eighties and the first half of the nineties. Bellamy grew up on New York City’s Upper East Side and attended Choate and, later, Pratt Institute. He learned to refine his craft from Orson Welles, Elliott Erwitt and Arnold Newman.
Currently he is working on a series of portraits of playwrights and has photographed Edward Albee, Horton Foote, Tony Kushner, Sarah Ruhl and John Patrick Shanley, among others. He is also preparing a book of his wilderness images. Bellamy is widely known for his evocative commissioned portraits. His work is published, exhibited and collected worldwide. “Artist portraits reflect my reverence for creativity,” he says. “In them, I try to capture what it means to be an artist; to give viewers a direct experience into the phenomenon and higher calling that making art is. It is on a higher plateau of existence like making love, a sort of proof that art is one of those things that God gave to man to make them special.”
November 24, 2010
Dear Mr. Bernard,
I am extremely proud to represent Robert Herman and have exhibited his work several times over the past six years. His images are serene, soothing to both soul and eye, and have delighted visitors from Brooklyn and around the globe on many occasions. The photos exhibit a heady mix of superior craftsmanship, wonderful use of color and timelessness in choice of subject matter: He masterfully captures moments that would please Bresson himself. His timing is perhaps the wonderful by-product of having been raised in his father's movie theater, gazing at the cinematic frame. He brings a real New York attitude to his work, a simultaneous deference and compassion, which can only be achieved by one who has lived here. This I know!
His storefront shots immediately called to mind Eugene Atget’s photos, one of my favorite photographers, in their evocation of the human spirit and the incandescence of the historical moment, all in shades of grey. To see Robert's photos, is to be reminded how beautiful life and the world can be, which is why his work easily connects with the viewer despite his sophistication. His work is for everyone’s delight, beyond contemplation and reflection.
There is no doubt that his work will bring great honor to the Guggenheim. I consider his photos to be a major contribution to the art form and, even more, a statement on behalf of humanity. Most people measure success only by sales. I measure it by commitment to art, craftsmanship and contribution to society, contemporary and to come. That is what matters to me and I stand by Robert Herman for an eternity. Let the future be our judge. For those who give to the universe, the universe will remember.
Andre’ Martínez Reed
The Work Of Photographer Ed Leveckis
In The Shadows - November 5 -December 20
Works on Paper by Master Print Maker Raphael Fodde'
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
IN THE SHADOWS, featuring works in black & white by contemporary photographer ED LEVECKIS and master printmaker RAPHAEL FODDE at HENRY GREGG GALLERY November 5-Dec. 20, 2009. Opening Night Reception Thursday November 5th, 6-9 pm.
The Nioka Workman Trio will perform at this event. (Nioka Workman is daughter of Reggie Workman the legendary bassist for John Coltrane)
Photographer Edmund Leveckis is a photographer living and working in New York. “In The Shadows” is the first major show of his illuminating photographs taken in New York.
In the tradition of most street photographers Leveckis carries a camera at all times photographing the nuances of daily life in the city.
In this exhibit through the use of strong shadows Leveckis explores New York City’s mosaic of sidewalks and streets to explore and examine the smaller and indecisive moments that go unnoticed.
Rarely setting out to shoot a specific subject or event, he focuses on capturing life as it is experienced.
Without any pre-visualization in mind this path is also followed throughout the post process work creating and evoking a profound aesthetic consciousness.
Later this year Leveckis will also be participating in the exhibition, BIOSPHERE, at the MORA Gallery in Santiago, Chile.
BIOSPHERE includes 172 photographs, 16 videos and 10 audio pieces made by 35 artists from around the world. The artists capture vital areas and vestiges of humanity, and the interaction of people with their environment, from a poetic/experimental point of view.
In addition Edmund Leveckis has exhibited in North America and Europe, including exhibitions at Visual Leader, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, Germany, Four Arts Gallery, Waltham, MA and Artra Gallery New York, NY.
His work has been published in various publications including Private Magazine, Issue 38: Stories from the USA (2007), Lodown, Issue 51: Tales from the Underground (2006) and JPG Magazine, Issue 5: Photography is Not a Crime (2006).
In 2007 he was awarded the Gold Medal, for "Reportage Photography of the Year," by the Lead Academy in Germany.
Forty years ago, printmaker Raphael Fodde, a native of Sardinia, apprenticed to the Milanese master printmaker Giorgio Upiglio in Milan, a period during which he came to know and printed the works of Joan Miro, Man Ray, and Marcel Duchamp.
Fodde emigrated to the United States in 1982 where he founded the Pardes Rimonim Press, the first to publish deluxe editions of contemporary poetry and avant-grade literature in Hebrew for the art market. For a quarter century, Fodde lent his expertise to the publication of esoteric prints and portfolios by vanguard contemporary artists before closing the press in 2004.
In a recent interview for the blog at brooklynink.com, Fodde spoke of his wide-open approach to his own visual art, that he "never plans a stroke beforehand"... and never makes a mistake. "I start in the corner and just go," he said. "Making art is my peace, spirituality, mediation."