SHUTTER SPEED: Black-and-White Photographs Inspired by Robert Frank’s The Americans


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SHUTTER SPEED: Black-and-White Photographs Inspired by Robert Frank’s The Americans

Curated by Becca Hoffman

On view: April 19 – May 30, 2018 /  Reception: April 19, 6-8 p.m.

NEW YORK – Fountain House Gallery, located at 702 Ninth Avenue and representing artists living with mental illness, announces the upcoming opening of Shutter Speed, a group show of black-and-white photographs inspired by Robert Frank’s The Americans. The exhibition will open with a Reception on April 19, 2018, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., and will remain on view through May 30, 2018. 

Shutter Speed is curated by Becca Hoffman, Director of the Outsider Art Fair and herself a trained photographer. Said Hoffman, “Achieving a delicate balance between intimacy and voyeurism, the black-and-white street photograph has always held a special place in my heart. Long inspired by Robert Frank’s The Americans, I walk down the street and see in my mind’s eye snapshot after snapshot: moments captured by my memory and windows into the lives of others—ordinary people going about the ordinary matters of everyday existence, the moments that make up our rich and full lives. When I was asked to curate a show for Fountain House Gallery, I was honored by the opportunity and immediately knew that I wanted to explore this notion of a return to a simpler time when pictures were memories, souvenirs, instants captured forever on film." 

The 15 artists whose work is spotlighted in this show have embraced the challenge of slowing down yet speeding up—capturing that instantaneous pause in the noise of daily life. The purposeful absence of color throughout the exhibition grants the viewer the opportunity to step back in time, to an era when life was not impacted by a hyperconnected and digitally driven world. Whether the work under consideration is Angela Rogers’s The Urban Turban or Susan Spangenberg’s Subway portrait or Bradford Scott Stringfield’s Homeless Couple, the gaze of the subject is put on display in an intimate yet removed manner, allowing viewers to craft their own tales about the subjects. Other works in the show become anecdotal evidence of quotidian life, such as Gavin Dubblex Alleyne’s images of graffiti artists and Greg Stanger’s Mind Out of Time. Still others achieve the beautiful contradiction of a casual yet posed shot, as in Glenn Goldstein’s Coney Island Summer Scene and Jonathan Glass’s Children Reading. Shutter Speed becomes a tale of intimate vignettes; the works in the show are windows on the past, present, and future of our contemporary society. 

This program is funded, in part, by generous support from the Hearst Foundation, Inc., the Renate, Hans and Maria Hofmann Trust, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, the David Rockefeller Fund, and the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund. 

About Fountain House Gallery Fountain House Gallery and Studio provides an environment in which artists living with mental illness can express their creative visions and exhibit their work. Founded by Fountain House in 2000 as a not-for-profit exhibition space for its member-artists living and working with mental illness, the Gallery sells original artworks and collaborates with a wide network of artists, curators and cultural institutions. Embracing artists who are emerging or established, trained or self-taught, Fountain House Gallery cultivates artistic growth, makes a vital contribution to the New York arts community, and challenges the stigma surrounding mental illness.


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