As we all know, the fall has brought along a ton of great shows and stuff to do in the city! There are two shows in particular worth seeing but for two very different reasons.
First off, you must must must swing by the Metropolitan Museum and see Looking In: Robert Frank's The Americans. This is an amazing exhibition organized by The National Gallery of Art and if you are in New York, you cannot miss this. Robert Frank's The Americans is the single most important book of photographs published since WWII. This exhibition celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of The Americans and it takes an in-depth look into this iconic body of work. Frank traveled across the United States in 1955-56 recording American life, and although his book was heavily criticized at first, eventually it changed the course of 20th century photography. This is the first time this work is exhibited in the United States and all 83 photographs are on view alongside contact sheets and previous work from Peru, London and Paris.
To be honest, I went on Sunday and there were so many people that I was barely able to see the work. So I won't write a review until I actually see it. But I did buy the exhibition publication and have started reading it already.
The second exhibition that you must visit is Jeff Wall at Marian Goodman. Now this is a show that you must see not because it's good... but rather because it's so underwhelming that it's almost comical. I don't like writing negative reviews so I'm going to keep this short but I'm just blown away by this.
Jeff Wall reminds me of those kids in art school who tried to compensate for their mediocre photos by making them 10 times larger than they needed to be. Jeff Wall's pictures are bad, there I said it. The work makes absolutely no sense together, they are a snooze fest, some of them are not even in focus, and yes, they are huge for no reason at all. Almost as if he had tried really hard to make bad pictures. I know that I'm not going to like every show out there, but the reason I don't like this work is not because I can't connect with it, but rather because Jeff Wall is a world renowned artist who has had numerous museum shows and whose work sells for A LOT of money. So when I see a show like this it really disappoints me that an artist of this stature falls short on execution.
How do these images relate to each other? I don't know. Why are some color and some black and white? I don't know. And why is that picture 75x92 inches? I don't know.