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Michael Eastman: Havana 2010

Barry Friedman Ltd.
515 West 26th Street, 212-239-8600
March 4 - April 30, 2011
Reception: Friday, March 4, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

NEW YORK- Barry Friedman Ltd. is pleased to present Havana 2010, Michael Eastman’s most recent series of large-scale digital C-prints taken during his 2010 trip to Havana. This marks the internationally acclaimed American photographer’s 4th trip to Cuba since the late 1990s. The exhibition will open with a reception for the artist on Friday, March 4, from 6 – 8pm.

Cuba has historically been one of Michael Eastman’s most successful series. Faded aristocratic mansions and architectural facades carry an atmosphere of neglect and decay, while maintaining the vibrant tones of the Caribbean. Eastman’s photographs maintain a painterly quality with rich colors, dramatic lighting, and lavish details. He has been referred to as a contemporary urban alchemist magically transforming everyday common objects and surfaces into precious and profound photographs.

A purist to his 4×5 camera, negative film, and natural light, Eastman does not believe in digitally altering his photographs. Doing so, he claims, would alter the historical significance of the finished product. Vivid and jewel-like tones come from long exposure and natural light, not RGB or CMYK, and far reaching visual clarity comes from a wide-angle lens and depth of field, not digital manipulation.

In a feature article in ARTnews (summer 2010), critic Ivy Cooper writes, “Eastman’s interiors whether shot in New Orleans, Italy, Memphis, or Cuba, combine a strong formal composition with a distinctly poetic sensibility and carry the echoes of human present.” [Eastman explains] “Someone once said to me, ‘I like your interiors because they feel like someone just entered, or just left,’ … I look for that, that trace of humanity.”

Michael Eastman’s photographs have been published in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Life Magazine, the Chicago Tribune, and on five covers of Time Magazine.

Los Angeles Times Art Critic, Leah Ollman, writes, “Walker Evans’ legacy is evident throughout Eastman’s work: a love of the vernacular, a consistent, frontal approach, and a fondness for…time and neglect. Photographs keep a subject alive and at the same time mark its passing. The friction between a photograph’s perpetual now and its memorial then can saturate an image with poignancy…This dynamic plays out powerfully in Michael Eastman’s photographs.”

His photographs are included in numerous public and private collections including the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois; David and Peggy Rockefeller Collection, New York; The George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, New York; The International Center of Photography, New York; Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Missouri; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum Of Fine Arts Boston, Massachusetts; Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California; and The White House Art Collection, Washington D.C.

Michael Eastman is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin. He has been a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Grant, and currently lives and works in St. Louis, Missouri.

Running concurrently in an adjacent gallery will be a solo exhibition of glass and metal sculptures by the Australian artist Brian Hirst.

For visuals or more information please contact Carole Hochman or Karen Gilbert at 212-239-8600.
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