Saturday, August 24, 2013

Alchemical @ Steven Kasher Gallery

Man, what, the what? So it took me a second to realize the show was curated by Kevin Moore who wrote the awesome takedown of John Szarkowski in his book on Lartigue and not the Moore who does abandon porn. And for a group show at Steven Kasher, abandon porn Moore makes a lot of sense. But man, it is shocking to see such a good contemporary photography show at Kasher. This could be the best survey of contemporary photography I’ve seen in a quite a while. Roe Ethridge, Anne Collier, David Benjamin Sherry, an excellent Ryan McGinley shot of the night sky that in my mind is just a stand-in for Trevor Paglen, James Welling and some nice abstract work by Philip Chang. Even a really smart inclusion of a Minor White who in the context of Roe Ethridge rightfully becomes instantaneously relevant. Even some surprising work that I hadn’t seen before like Melissa Dubbin and Aaron S. Davidson’s pictures of the treetop horizons with clouds of colored smoke rising up like they use in Nam movies when helicopters are landing in the jungle. I just can’t get over how good this show is. I’ve always appreciated Kasher’s dedication to vintage and vernacular photography, but man, they should let contemporary folks in to curate their space more often.

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