Tuesday, August 13, 2013

"A Sense of Place" at Pier 24

I visited Pier 24 today to see the current exhibition "A Sense of Place."

As always with any photo exhibition there was a lot of work I didn't care for, but there was in this case more I did like than not.

I found even the work of Robert Adams on view interesting. Usually I consider Robert Adams' work pointless, but the images at Pier 24 represent earlier work, from the 1960s, and demonstrates a substance and sense of composition that doesn't exist in his better known work of a New Topographics style.

There is one room, gallery #15, devoted to Lee Friedlander's series "America By Car." This was my first time seeing so many of these images together in one space and I have to say this presentation is quite impressive. It's in this context of viewing a significant number of the images as a series that the project makes sense. Friedlander's vision, complex sense of composition and always present sense of humor comes through clearly in this well curated exhibit.

In contrast was the work of Stephen Shore in gallery #20. Here three photographs stand out as having meaningful content among a random arrangement of sterile, mundane, color snapshots. With the exception of those three images gallery #20 is visually numbing, the vernacular taken to the point of agonizing boredom.

The other grouping worth noting is the selection of photographs from the Sack Photographic Trust. It includes many 19th century travel images of the classic sort plus a variety of images spanning the 20th Century some of which are stunningly poignant.

The exhibitions at Pier 24 are never disappointing and "A Sense of Place" is no exception. It's on view through May 1, 2014. The catalog has yet to be printed, but is expected to to be available with in a month and should sell for around $10.00.

Photo courtesy of http://www.pier24.org/

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