Mark Cohen, Headless Horseman, 1967. Gelatin silver print 16 x 20 inch
Mark Cohen, Headless Horseman, 1967. Gelatin silver print 16 x 20 inch

Online Exhibitions. On Photographs. Robert Klein Gallery


BOSTON—Robert Klein Gallery will present On Photographs, an online exhibition from November 10 through December 31, 2020. The exhibition takes its name from a new book by David Campany, a curator and writer based in London and New York.
David Campany was an undergraduate student when he met Susan Sontag. During a friendly discussion about her groundbreaking and influential book On Photography, Campany asked about her assessment of photography without including specific photographs. “My book is more about photography as a phenomenon, social and artistic,” she replied. “Perhaps one day you will write a book titled On Photographs.” Campany has accomplished the goal Susan Sontag set out for him with On Photographs, published this fall by MIT Press.
In the spirit of the book—exploring the meaning of photography and its history by focusing on specific images—the exhibition On Photographs surveys 20 images from 18 leading 20th century photographers including Eugene Atget, Ilse Bing, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Mark Cohen, Walker Evans, Mario Giacomelli, Ralph Gibson, Bill Jacobson, György Kepes, Andre Kertesz, Helen Levitt, Man Ray, Aaron Siskind, Jerry Uelsmann, Edward Weston, Francesca Woodman, and Masao Yamamoto. The exhibition presents an opportunity to commemorate Robert Klein Gallery’s 40th anniversary as most of the photographers in On Photographs have been in multiple exhibitions at the gallery.
Together, the photographs in On Photographs, be they landscapes, portraits or still lifes, all ask more questions than they answer. Eugene Atget’s Fete du Trone, 1925, shows the poetic and haunting aftermath of a Parisian carnival. Pensive and contemplative moments are evident in Ralph Gibson’s M.J. in Little Mirror, 1980, and Bill Jacobson’s Thought Series #2580, 1998. Themes of alienation can be seen in Helen Levitt’s c.1940 image of a figure standing next to a tree and Francesca Woodman’s 1977-78 self-portrait that shows her body angled into a corner.
One of the most iconic images in the exhibition is Andre Kertesz’s Meudon, 1928/1970s, which presents a dynamic street scene: a man with a mysterious package is crossing a street as a train speeds by on an elevated aqueduct. Like Kertesz, each photographer in the exhibition has the uncanny ability to notice commonplace scenes that are often overlooked, encouraging the viewer to train their eye on both the real and surreal of the everyday.
Robert Klein Gallery ranks among the world’s most prestigious showrooms of fine art photography. Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, the gallery has developed an extensive and ever-changing inventory of 19th century, 20th century, and contemporary photographs. Participating in art fairs such as Art Basel, The Armory Show, Paris Photo, The Photography Show presented by AIPAD, Photo London, Intersect Aspen, and Photo LA, Robert Klein Gallery provides its contemporary artists with national and international exposure while exhibiting works by recognized masters such as Sebastião Salgado, Man Ray, Diane Arbus and Francesca Woodman. With decades of experience and a profound knowledge base, the gallery staff is committed to serving as a resource for both novice and seasoned collectors. Located at 38 Newbury Street in Boston, Robert Klein Gallery is currently open by appointment only.
Established in 1962, the MIT Press is one of the largest and most distinguished university presses in the world and a leading publisher of books and journals at the intersection of science, technology, art, social science, and design. MIT Press books and journals are known for their intellectual daring, scholarly standards, interdisciplinary focus, and distinctive design. Information on the book On Photographs is here:

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