Wall Street Journal


Jul 30, 2011

by: William Meyers

Aha! It turns out that many gallery owners are themselves frustrated photographers. Hasted Kraeutler is showing work by 19 owners that by and large demonstrate a sound understanding of photographic technique, but somehow fall just short of the quality of the professional work they have for sale in their own shops. However, San Francisco's Jeffrey Fraenkel was tinkering with conceptual art as early as 1977. Laurence Miller, a longtime presence in midtown, uses harsh contrast to emphasize the intense sunlight in his 1973 black-and-white pictures of vernacular architecture in Albuquerque, N.M. Deborah Bell, whose just-closed Chelsea gallery will be missed, demonstrates a talent for portraits in her pictures from 1975.
Sarah Hasted and Joseph Kraeutler have their own work hanging on the walls, and Steven Kasher, whose gallery is one block over, is represented by six very ambitious montages from 1988. Angeleno Peter Fahey has been taking pictures of photographers for three decades. My favorites are "Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Coyoacán, Mexico City, January 1982" and "Garry Winogrand I, Ivar Theater, Hollywood, May 1981."
In the latter, a naked blond lies on the stage exposing herself to the audience. The audience, all men, look sheepish, except for Mr. Winogrand, who stands with his Leica at the ready, his expression showing him concentrated on getting the best shot. That's professional.