Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Silverstein Photography Annual

I was glad I caught the last day of the first Silverstein Photography Annual at Bruce Silverstein's gallery. He had a marvelous idea: invite ten curators to each nominate one less-well-known artist to be shown in the gallery. This is such a fresh idea and one that makes me smile. New York galleries are not strangers to the idea of inviting up and comers, recent MFAs, or newly hot artists to exhibit. But this had a different feel. I really felt that this was an opportunity to be introduced to some work that I ordinarily wouldn't see and that wouldn't easily get so much wall space in Chelsea. Of course, Mr. Silverstein is in business, and the work was for sale, but overall the show had a generous feel. It was almost irrelevant whether one liked the art, it was just good to be there. I also liked that the gallery devoted space for multiple works by each artist. One had at least a clue if the artist was on to a good idea or just made one pretty photo.

The list of curators/nominators was:

Philip Brookman, Corcoran Gallery
Joshua Chuang, Yale University Art Gallery
Julian Cox, High Museum of Art
Jeffrey Hoone, Light Work
Lisa Hostetler, Milwaukee Art Museum
Carol McCusker, Museum of Photographic Arts
Miriam Romais, En Foco
Britt Salvesen, Center for Creative Photography
Rod Slemmons, Museum of Contemporary Photography
Anne Tucker, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

The photographers were:

Noelle Tan
Phillip Pisciotta
Barret Oliver
Zoë Sheehan Saldaña
Sonja Thomsen
Lisa Robinson
Lola Flash
Michael Lundgren
Curtis Mann
Will Michels

I was especially taken by Noelle Tan and Michael Lundgren's work, but, as I said, picking or rating this one or that one would be beside the point. The spirit of this group show took the day. Mr. Silverstein calls it the first SPA. I hope he's right and we can look forward to a second.

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