The New Yorker

Jan 16, 2012

The American debut of this successful French photographer, who is now based in Spain, includes several large landscapes of burning and smoking terrain, but none of them are as dramatic as the portraits that dominate the show – theatrically lit heads and busts of Gypsies, farmers , and soot-faced coal miners, isolated against black backdrops and printed far larger than life size. For all their hyper realism, Gonnord’s portraits have painterly ambitions; he echoes Rembrandt, Velazquez, and Goya, and his scarred, bony “ Ali” looks like he was imagined by Picasso. The scale isn’t the only thing that’s overblown, but the work is still impressive and memorable. Through Feb. 4.  (Hasted Kraeutler, 537 W. 24th St. 212-627-0006.)