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Jefferson Hayman, New York

Allen Gallery
547 West 27th Street, 5th Floor, 917-202-3206
September 25 - October 14, 2008
Reception: Thursday, September 25, 6 - 8:30 PM
Web Site

The Allen Gallery is pleased to present an exhibit of Jefferson Hayman’s photographs on the subject of New York City. Some of the photographs displayed will be from the same series recently purchased by The Museum of Modern Art, NYC.

Whether it is through their boundless depth of tone and shadow, the personalities of their distinctive frames, or their employ of archaic languages- both visual and verbal- the images of Jefferson Hayman seem imported to us from another age. Hayman likens his work to a time capsule, or short story. Drawing upon indicators and associations from a variety of histories- of art, of photography, of New York City- he plays upon our preconceptions and quietly introduces his own techniques and symbols to the lexicon.

Titles such as New Amsterdam and The New Pyramids point to a fully developed, almost European sense of the expanse of history. In a city, country, and culture which can seem ever preoccupied with the new, the modern, and the reinvention of itself- Hayman manages to surprise us with simple details and omissions: an intruding modern billboard, a missing Chrysler pinnacle. Others, such as Avenue speak to his transforming and poetic sensibility.

Jefferson Hayman’s selection of photographs of the skyline evoke an era of the city’s existence during which New York was solidifying its reputation as the cultural capital of the world. The black and white prints and the atmospheric conditions of the photos suggest scenes out of film noir. It is a world of rain and trench coats, of cigarettes and Pollock. Hayman reinforces this appearance of age through his use of antique or self-designed frames, which act as time capsules through which we can step into the world of the photographs.

Hayman captures a New York that is deeply personal. Indeed, at times it appears that he is the only man on the streets. However, in his dreamy city, the street is not the focus. Instead we are directed to the ideas of what New York City was, what it is today and what it will continue to be.
Have photos of this show? Tag them with artcal-7919 to see them here.