Quite a different mode of documentary is to be found in the exhibition of portrait photographs by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders called ''New York Artists of the 50's in the 80's,'' on view at the Pfeifer Gallery, 825 Madison Avenue at 69th Street (through April 24). Mr. Greenfield-Sanders, a recent graduate of Columbia College, has tracked down most of the surviving members of the New York School, persuaded them to sit (for what must have seemed an eternity) before the lens of his 75-year-old view camera, and produced a series of stunning pictures that at times recall us to the high-style portraiture of the Victorian masters.
The Annenberg Space for Photography is expected to announce Wednesday that it will show work from Timothy Greenfield-Sanders’ “The List” portrait and lm series. The display, running from Sept. 24 to Feb. 26, will consist of more than 150 portraits that have not been exhibited together before.
From rock stars to presidents, literary figures to actors, not to mention pretty much everyone of consequence in the blue-chip art world, Timothy Greenfield-Sanders has for some three decades now photographed celebrities, in the process institutionalizing himself as one. Ever a fan of the big negative’s capacity for crisply rendering minutiae larger than life, Greenfield-Sanders has made a formidable career out of satisfying the public’s desire to scrutinize ordinary aspects of extraordinary people, at once acknowledging and confirming their iconic status.
When Timothy Greenfield-Sanders was a film student in the 70's, he got advice from some people whose pictures he snapped. ''Are you crazy, photographing me from below?'' was Bette Davis's contribution to his education. A quarter-century later, he is the photographer of choice for celebrities like Monica Lewinsky -- and the celebritizer of the New York art world. Starting Oct. 29, Mary Boone's gallery in Manhattan will be covered floor to ceiling with 700 of Greenfield-Sanders's portraits: every picture he has taken, over 20 years, of an artist, dealer, curator, museum director or art critic (excluding this one but including the Mayor of New York).
The art of still photography and the art of filmmaking have always been closely related: Think of Stanley Kubrick, whose experience as a photographer no doubt influenced his stylized films, or revolutionary photographers such as Robert Frank and William Klein who also shook things up with their experimental films. Today, however, the distinction between filmmakers and imagemakers is practically nonexistent.
Toni Morrison at Annenberg Space for Photography Renowned photographer and documentary filmmaker Timothy Greenfield-Sanders has made a career out of probing identity through portraiture, photographing cultural icons, world leaders, and five U.S. presidents. Over the last decade, Greenfield-Sanders has been at work on The List series, an interlinked portfolio of extraordinary, large-scale [...]
What I like about Timothy Greenfield-Sanders' photographs is that they do two things at once. They present one as one wants to be presented, but they also show what it is about oneself that one's friends secretly find ludicrous. That is what one wants from portraits. All the best portraiture captures what it is about the subject that he or she knows to be absurd but expects the world to tolerate, or doesn't care if it doesn't. Ingres' painting of the Comtesse d'Hausonville (1845) exemplifies this, and Rembrandt does it to himself in the late self-portraits, especially the one where he's wearing a white turban. There must, I feel, have been close friends of Baudelaire who burst into laughter on seeing Nadar's photograph of him for the first time.