March 10, 2011
New York Means Business
March 26 – May 7, 2011
Opening reception for the artist: Saturday, March 26, from 4 to 6 pm
Higher Pictures is pleased to show New York Means Business, an exhibition of color photographs from 1977 to 1984 by Max Kozloff. In images that mark the beginning of his career, Kozloff explored low rent storefronts in southern Manhattan. Active in the surge of new American color photography, he was particularly influenced by the Parisian Eugène Atget.
Photographs have been known to age well, after years pass. In 1979, I took a picture of a Third Avenue pawnshop in whose window the subject of time itself was displayed. It exhibited hundreds of second hand, windup watches, accompanied by decorative price tags. Previous owners were of course not mentioned and the shop is probably gone. Wandering Manhattan's streets, one could find many similar windows, loaded with toys and old clothes, drapes, zippers, or twines. They represented holdouts for small trades swamped along newly gentrified and corporate avenues. “New York Means Business” is a pertinent title for this body of early work, involved with consumerism, but also a sardonic take because the retail described was in bad straits. What at first looked like inconsequent still lives had changed into little theaters of disused or cast off wares, begging for an afterlife. I wanted to do justice to them by means of color, which for me is tenderness. Later I turned, and still turn, to photograph my fellow creatures passing by. -Max Kozloff
Max Kozloff was born in Chicago in 1933 and currently lives in New York City. Kozloff was schooled as an art historian at the University of Chicago and the Institute of Fine Arts New York University. He wrote the Art Column for The Nation during the 1960s, was Contributing Editor of Art International and Artforum from 1963 to 1974, and was Executive Editor of Artforum from 1974 to 1976. He published a monograph on Jasper Johns, and the books Renderings, and Cultivated Impasses. In 1976, he switched his attention to writing on photography. His work in that medium includes three collections of essays, a monograph on Duane Michals, New York: Capital of Photography (a catalogue for the show he curated at the Jewish Museum in 2002), and the book The Theatre of the Face: Portrait Photography Since 1900. Kozloff began showing his own color photographs at the Holly Solomon Gallery in 1977 and has exhibited at the Marlborough and P.P.O.W galleries in New York, as well as institutions in Buenos Aires, Bombay, Mexico City and London.
For press inquiries please contact Kim Bourus at 212-249-6100.
Always the Young Strangers: May – June, 2011