On February 24, 2018, the Galerie Bene Taschen will open its first group exhibition of the year presenting the work of New York photographers, Arlene Gottfried and Jamel Shabazz, German photographer, Miron Zownir, and the German painter Charlotte Trossbach, whose work is being exhibited and represented for the first time by the gallery.
The selection of photographs by Gottfried, Shabazz and Zownir, focus on the theme of New York in the 1980s. Through black and white, as well as colored photographs, the three photographers provide viewers with insights to the different milieus of the city. Each with their own perspectives on the Big Apple, they document the fast-paced energy of the city, its inhabitants and everyday situations. Accompanying these photographic works are the paintings of Charlotte Trossbach, whose work is characterized by a photorealistic style. Transparency and transience is the main focus in Charlotte Trossbach’s paintings, as she transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary with elegant and irreplicable snapshots of consumerism and everyday objects.
Arlene Gottfried († 2017) took her first photographs in 1969 at the legendary Woodstock Festival; capturing unusual and striking moments would become her trademark. Always drawn to the diverse communities she knew while growing up, Gottfried went on to document the vast diversity of New York City. Beginning with Coney Island and Crown Heights, she expanded her radius to the Lower East Side, Spanish Harlem, and then to other regions of the United States. Exclusively vintage cibachrome works by Arlene Gottfried from the series "Bacalaitos & Fireworks" are shown in the exhibition, which originated in the 1980s in the Lower East Side. In addition, one silver gelatin print from the 70s is shown.
Museum Folkwang, Essen; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Maison Europeene de la Photographie, Paris; Brooklyn Museum, New York; Musee Arthur Batut, Labruguière; Southeast Museum of Photography, Daytona Beach; Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris; The Jewish Museum, New York; The New York Public Library, New York; Maison Valdotaine de La Photographie di Aosta, Aosta
Jamel Shabazz (* 1960) grew up in the streets of Red Hook in Brooklyn. Violent rival street gangs, drugs, and arrests were part of the city’s dark fabric yet gave rise to Shabazz’s deep sense of empathy with these people and the desire to document New York City from a different perspective. Driven to help people in his community to stay out of trouble, he spent his free time as a proactive street photographer searching for and spreading hope. His iconic images capture the lifestyle, culture and vibrant energy of the 80s and 90s like no other. His works will be exhibited this spring in a major retrospective at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C..
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington D.C.; The Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York; Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York; Brooklyn Public Library, New York; Fashion Institute of Technology - Fine Art, New York
Miron Zownir (*1953) has been regarded as one of the most radical contemporary photographers of the past 40 years. He took up photography during the heyday of punk in West Berlin and London, and later moved to the USA to focus on capturing the hidden subcultures of New York. When travelling to Moscow in 1995, he documented the homeless crisis in the city – a public tragedy he felt couldn’t be ignored. His highly visual and often heartbreakingly dark images have been exhibited in galleries and museums around the world. Indeed, his title, “the Poet of Radical Photography” (given to him by Terry Southern, the renowned American writer) feels completely apt even today. In 2016 he was nominated for the LEAD AWARD, the second time in succession.
Deichtorhallen, Hamburg; Fotomuseum Winterthur, Winterthur; Museum für Fotografie, Braunschweig; Centre de Cultura Contemporania, Barcelona; Akademie der Künste, Berlin
Charlotte Trossbach (* 1985) creates photorealistic images that seek beauty in the superficial and fleeting. Her paintings show everyday objects, such as gourmet products or consumer goods, which are painstakingly replicated on canvas with elaborate photographic aesthetics. Topics include light and the exposed, the moving and the transparent. Trossbach’s selected objects are transferred to the canvas in elegant and powerful displays of glossiness, liquids, reflections, and refractions, creating the illusion of plasticity and the material. The act of painting as a plea for the original ; pictures as pictures, detached from their functionality.