Henry Wessel is a photographer of talent whose work is not seen often enough in exhibitions or in print. So it is most welcome that now on view at Pace/MacGill Gallery in New York City is "Henry Wessel, Vintage Photographs" through July 8, 2011. Wessel, who has been photographing primarily in the American West since the 1960's, has the rare quality of being able to make pictures which perfectly blend both visual beauty and wry social commentary. No matter how diverse his subject matter, Wessel's work maintains a stylistic cohesion that marks the work as uniquely his own. Garry Winogrand once stated that the contention of content threatening to overwhelm form in his own pictures was what created their tension. The obverse is true in Wessel's photographs; it is the form which threatens to overpower the content. The art of Wessel's pictures is the delicate balance between these elements, teetering on the edge of formalism, yet always managing to draw us back to the significance of their meaning. They are simultaneously a celebration of the joys of seeing and and a commentary on the strange world which surrounds us.
Click image to play video of a Henry Wessel interview.
Pace/MacGill Gallery is located at 32 East 57th Street, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10022, and can be contacted at 212-759-7599 or at email@example.com. Summer hours are Monday-Thursday 9:30 am-5:30 pm and Friday 9:30 am-4:00pm.
I took my first real photo when I was eight years old of my father and brother-in-law making pancakes. The fact that they hated each other came through in the frame and I guessed I was onto something so I stayed with it. I am available to take pictures at any event but I can never guarantee you will like them because the truth often hurts.
It is derived from a quote by Garry Winogrand on the art of photography: "This process is Perception (seeing) and Description (operating the camera to make a record) of the seeing." With his razor sharp insight, he created this deceptively simple aphorism which encapsulates what we should strive for in our photographs.