NOW ON VIEW: PAOLA FERRARIO: SIGNS & REMAINS

November 16 – January 12, 2013 (NOW EXTENDED THROUGH FEBRUARY 2, 2013)

Everyone has a camera today. Pencils and paper, once the tools used to jot down reminders and memories have been supplanted by the cellphone camera. Language is evolving from the written word to the impromptu snapshot. Twitter, Instagram and Facebook reach hundreds, thousands, millions, in a flash. The work of Paola Ferrario trades our conceit for the formal expectations of art photographs for a uniquely personal impression of the world.

Upcoming Exhibition: Laurie LAMBRECHT: China, 2009

September 20 – November 3, 2012

Rick Wester Fine Art opens the fall season with a survey of Laurie Lambrecht’s photographs from China created in 2009. Well known for her artists’ portrait studies, these Asian works are revelatory, but they shouldn’t be. Long attuned to landscape imagery, Ms. Lambrecht photographed at the edge of Lake Zurich, Switzerland, from 2004 to 2008 resulting in the autumnal Lake Trees, a series of images seemingly predicting the Asian work...

Joni Sternbach

Joni Sternbach

Kassia #5, (10.02.11), 2010

Rick Wester Fine Art is very pleased to announce our first exhibition of photographs by Joni Sternbach, selected from her series SurfLand, a project started in 2006 and punctuated by the PhotoLucida publication of the same name in 2009. SurfLand, Revisited, 2006-2011 is its first showing in New York City and brings together images from the monograph with more recent works...

Upcoming Exhibition: Christian Vogt

Rick Wester Fine Art is very pleased to announce the gallery's first exhibition of work by Christian Vogt, marking the Swiss photographer's return to New York after almost 25 years. Well known in his home country and throughout Europe, Vogt has had a successful career working as an editorial photographer and on commission. He forged his reputation in the 1970s and 80s with a reductive and elegant yet subversive approach to the formal aspects of photography.

Upcoming Exhibition: Laurie Lambrecht

Upcoming Exhibition: Laurie Lambrecht

Rick Wester Fine Art is very pleased to announce Laurie Lambrecht in Roy Lichtenstein's Studio: The First and The Unseen, an exhibition of photographs created while the photographer worked as a studio assistant to the Pop Art master. Included are many of the first prints made of images featured in her soon to be released monograph, In Roy Lichtenstein's Studio (Monacelli, 2011). These are the prints she showed Lichtenstein during her tenure with him. Also shown are images not included in the book, which have never before been shown in public.

Sandi Haber Fifield reviewed in The New Yorker

Sandi Haber Fifield reviewed in The New Yorker

The color photographs that Haber Fifield took at American family farms in the past two years are ingratiatingly modest — much like the farms themselves, some of which don't appear to be much bigger than several suburban back yards. There are a few broad vistas of planted fields and orchards, but most of the pictures are closer looks at garden plots, greenhouse debris, and tools at the ready...

Jeff Mermelstein on The New Yorker's Blog

The New Yorker
Photo Booth Blog
May 26, 2011
Jeff Mermelstein: Street Couture
By Elissa Curtis

You can take Jeff Mermelstein out of the street, but you can't take the street out of Jeff Mermelstein. That's what comes to mind when looking at the photographs in Mermelstein's current exhibition, Work Oeuvre Opera, at Rick Wester Fine Art through June 25th. While the subject — Fashion Week — might seem a departure from the street photography most think of when they hear his name, it is merely an extension of the terrain in which Mermelstein espouses his witty and often wry style of photography. "I was able to create this work because I am an outsider," he told me. "These pictures are not about fashion but rather my way of seeing and responding."

Read the original article online here

Upcoming Exhibition: Hail Traveler!

Hail Traveler!
The Photographer as Tourist, and the Tourist as Subject
July 7 - August 12, 2011

Being a tourist meant being an outsider, and inexperienced member of the public. Isolated from the commonplace world by tour buses and guides, the modern tourist is protected from foreign-ness, but in the old days we wanted to pass as natives, if only to avoid being overcharged by street vendors and taxi drivers."
— J.B. Jackson, The Necessity for Ruins

Inspired by the writings of the late J. B. Jackson, Hail Traveler! The Photographer as Tourist, and the Tourist as Subject at Rick Wester Fine Art features photographs focusing on the itinerant essence of photography. Works included speak to Jackson's definition by exposing the tourist that resides in every photographer, and the tourist as a perennial target for the lens.

J.B. Jackson (1909-1996), a professor of landscape theory at Harvard in the 1970's and 80's developed many concepts related to human interaction and the landscape during his tenure of teaching. One in particular was his approach towards the education of his students, stating in his essay, Learning about Landscapes, "I taught them how to be alert and enthusiastic tourists." Jackson believed tourism was largely the desire to know more about the world in order to know more about ourselves. His ideology parallels the careers of many photographers, and the concept of finding one's vision through the exploration of the unfamiliar.

The artists shown range in both age and technique. From Robert Adams to Michael Wolf, the show will encompass photographs by Richard Avedon, Jehsong Baak, Harry Callahan, Louis Faurer, Brad Farwell, Sandi Haber Fifield, Robert Frank, John Goodman, Sharon Harper, Sarah Hotchkiss, Laurie Lambrecht, Tony Maine, Lilly McElroy, Jeff Mermelstein, Dana Mueller, Bea Nettles, Jonathan Smith, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Garry Winogrand, and others.

Richard Avedon's Juan Patricio Lobato, Rocky Ford, Colorado, 8/23/80 from In the American West will be shown. Avedon travelled throughout the U.S. in search of the extraordinary subject among those sitters he met, rather than photograph the stereotypical view most American's had of the image of the West. In a completely different direction alongside Avedon's monumental portrait will be a video piece by Lilly McElroy titled "The Square - After Roberto Lopardo," a thirty minute video piece documenting a 2004 performance in Chicago. McElroy was contained in a square drawn on the sidewalk of a busy city street preventing passerby's from entering the space. She obstructs the outsider from inhabiting this "public" space, occupied daily by locals and tourists alike.

Highlights include work from Jonathan Smith's ongoing series, East/West, an exploration of America's coastlines. Work by emerging artist Brad Farwell, titled Fourth, The Tourists exposes the many tourists who flock to New York's Times Square everyday in search of that perfect snapshot. The timeless work by the likes of Louis Faurer, Robert Frank, Harry Callahan and Garry Winogrand will also be paired with the emerging viewpoints on display.

Upcoming Exhibition: Jeff Mermelstein

Jeff Mermelstein
Work Ouevre Opera
May 5 - June 25, 2011

A PHOTOGRAPHER'S JOURNEY THROUGH THE WORLD OF STYLE
JEFF MERMELSTEIN IN NEW YORK, PARIS AND MILAN

Rick Wester Fine Art is pleased to announce our second exhibition featuring the work of renowned New York street photographer Jeff Mermelstein; and the first to feature his editorial work for the fashion industry. As one would expect from Mermelstein, this group of pictures is hardly based on beauty, society, style or runways but rather, it is part of the photographer's ongoing investigation into the collision of the camera, human behavior and street interaction. Mermelstein, in his inimitable way, creates photographs that simultaneously describe the surface of the world and the intricacies of picture making with a psychological complexity only a New York street-savvy photographer could accomplish.

The photographs on exhibit were taken on assignment for New York Magazine over a six-week period with a significant portfolio of images published in the Spring Fashion Issue (Feb. 21-28, 2011).

Mermelstein has combined commercial, editorial and fine art photography as well as teaching and lecturing for over two decades and is no stranger to the intersection of art and commerce. In this case, his pictures function smoothly in both realms, although the edit offered here reflects the photographer's own idiosyncratic vision.

Mermelstein followed the taste making elite from New York to Paris to Milan, photographing runway shows, behind the scenes and in the streets surrounding the intricate and often ostentatious presentations. Not in the category of paparazzi, he had privileged access to all of fashion's leading figures, from the designers to the models to the audience. In New York he photographed designers' collections from Calvin Klein to Proenza Schouler. The Parisian collections ranged from Chanel to Alexander McQueen and in Milan, from Gucci to Prada.

Here, Mermelstein is on a journey through a world that is often both idealized and criticized. Originally commissioned as editorial work, the images elicit an anthropological response only an outsider interested only in the discovery of rituals and costumes unavailable to others could describe. Mermelstein's attention is focused on the culture surrounding the fashion industry rather than the fashion itself. Despite any familiarity with his subjects, whether it's the avenues of Manhattan, his neighborhood in Brooklyn or backstage at Paris' Grand Palais, Mermelstein is consistently caught in foreign territory, resorting to what he does best, merging an intense streetwise sensibility with all its grittiness, humor, humanity and rough grace with the glossy, cosmetic world of fashion's facade.

The exhibition opens on May 5 and runs through June 25, 2011. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Friday, 10-6pm, and Saturday, 11-6pm. For further information and images, please contact Tracie Davis at +1 (212) 255-5560 or rwfa@rickwesterfineart.com.

Jeff Mermelstein in New York Magazine

JEFF MERMELSTEIN PORTFOLIO IN NEW YORK MAGAZINE

ON NEWSSTANDS FEBRUARY 21-28, 2011

Be sure not to miss the 20-page portfolio of Jeff Mermelstein's photographs in

The Spring Fashion Issue of New York magazine, on newsstands February 21-28, 2011.

Jeff Mermelstein, the quintessential New York street photographer, was hired by New York to capture fashion month in New York, Milan, and Paris by the newly appointed photo editor Jennifer Miller. Mermelstein gives us many new perspectives - as only he can - into the exclusive world of fashion in his commanding spread in this week's double issue. Be sure to check it out before it goes off the stands.

Jonathan Smith: Untold Stories

JONATHAN SMITH

UNTOLD STORIES

September 16 - November 13, 2010

 

Opening September 16th, Rick Wester Fine Art will present an exhibition of recent color photographs by Jonathan Smith, a British photographer living and working in New York for ten years. Saturated with an intense palette and dramatically cinematic, Smith's images are redolent of the mysteries of Raymond Chandler and the visual impact of contemporary film-noir sensibilities. Each picture evokes a tale of its own. One view shows an alarming orange interior seen through a living room window, echoing the drop of a blood red lamp, faint through a thick fog in a long shot of a midtown apartment building at night. Like the chapters of a novel, the photographs form a composite of grit and elegance with characters conveying a disassociated expectation, quiet but ready for life. Emerging from shadows, the sitters are interwoven in an elusive narrative with hidden identities and concealed motives, unknown to the viewer. The exhibition is a mosaic of motel rooms, roadsides, streets and cityscapes. The passions of the sitters are more implied than documented, sensual, but never explicitly carnal. Smith's use of lighting and décor emotionally augment his true subjects - the colors of night air and the abandonment that floats in it.

Jonathan Smith studied in the United Kingdom at the Kent Institute of Design (KIAD) and the International Center for Photography in New York. He has participated in group exhibitions at the Ariel Meyerowitz Gallery and PowerHouse Arena as well as having a one-person exhibition at The International Center for Tolerance Education of "The Bridge Project," a series of photographs of New York. He has been the recipient of a number of awards for his work including The Magenta Foundation, Flash Forward award (May 2010), the PDN Annual Awards in the Personal Category (May 2010) and the Photography Book Now Blurb award (September 2008).

From 2000 until 2009 Smith worked in the studio of the renowned New York photographer, Joel Meyerowitz. In 2001 he assisted in Meyerowitz's archive, advancing to Archive Manager in 2003 and becoming heavily involved in the photographer's World Trade Center and Parks Department archives, both of which are now part of the Museum of the City of New York. Additionally, Smith printed for the studio and was involved in the curatorial and production sides as well. His work has appeared in Metropolis and View magazines, PDN, Art and Architecture and The Royal Photographic Society Magazine.

The exhibition opens on September 16 and runs through November 13, 2010. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Friday, 10-6pm, and Saturday, 11-6pm. For further information and images, please contact Kendra Eberts at +1 (212) 255-5560 or rwfa@rickwesterfineart.com. 

Big Girls: Large Format Photographs by Women Photographers

BIG GIRLS

LARGE FORMAT PHOTOGRAPHS BY WOMEN PHOTOGRAPHERS

May 20 - July 30, 2010

 

Big Girls: Large Format Photographs by Women Photographers at Rick Wester Fine Art (RWFA) features a variety of compelling large-format photographs by women artists. On view from May 20 to July 30, 2010, the exhibition encompasses a host of themes within the theme, including portraiture, figure studies, abstraction, autobiography, and fantasy.Ranging in age from their early 20s to their 60s, the artists are Meghan Boody (US), Sandi Haber Fifield (US), Sharon Harper (US), Mona Kuhn (Brazil), Jocelyn Lee (US), Bea Nettles (US), Heli Rekula (Finland), Melanie Schiff (US), Erin Wahed (Canada) and Pinar Yolaçan (Turkey/US).

"The impetus for the exhibition was to create a showcase around several works collected by the gallery and my personal collection," says owner Rick Wester. "The concept had its genesis in 2002 with the acquisition of Jocelyn Lee's Untitled (girl with long hair standing in water), and continued to grow over the years."

Works on view range from a site-specific grid installation of 21 photographs by Sandi Haber Fifield, Looking Inward / Looking Out, 2 (2010) that will be situated in odd places near the gallery's ceiling in diagonally opposite corners, to a handmade accordion book, Hair Loss (2007) by Bea Nettles — the longtime doyenne of alternative photographic processes — that documents the loss and eventual regrowth of her hair due to chemotherapy treatments.

Photographs that look to the female figure as symbol and allegory include; Heli Rekula's Overflow (2004) from the performance series Desire, where the artist photographs herself being showered in a white milk-like liquid that forms a second skin over her muscular physique; Pinar Yolaçan will debut two works from her ongoing project, Mother Goddess. Yolaçan looks back in time and creates nearly life size odalisques of large women dressed in skintight, full-length body suits. Based on prehistoric mother goddess figurines excavated in the Hacilar region of Turkey, Yolaçan's figures are uncomfortable and shocking in the way the body suit both constrains and reveals the model.

Other highlights include Sharon Harper's large-scale minimalist compositions of the night sky from her Moon Studies and Star Scratches series (2003-2009), and from the youngest contributor to the exhibition, Erin Wahed, saturated prints of otherworldly abstract landscapes.

The exhibition opens on May 20 and runs through July 30, 2010. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Friday, 10-6pm, and Saturday, 11-6pm. For further information and images, please contact Sarah Stout at +1 (212) 255-5560 or rwfa@rickwesterfineart.com.