How does a city change, and how does the visual record of that city change with it? In the Museum’s Herzfeld Center for Photography and Media Arts, two artists take on the shifting nature of New York City, in Helen Levitt: In the Street and James Nares: In the City (both on view until April 16).
James Nares (English, b. 1953) came to the city in 1974 in search of its legendary art scene. Moving into a loft in TriBeCa, an industrial area that was all but abandoned at the time, Nares says that “The whole neighborhood became kind of an open studio.” Since then, he’s seen the city transform into a diverse metropolis, and the two works currently on view in the Herzfeld Center, Pendulum (1976) and STREET (2011), nearly bookend his experience.
Our Curator of Photography and Media Arts, Lisa Sutcliffe, recently sat down with James Nares to discuss the evolution of New York, and the influence of the city on his work. Listen to James and Lisa talk about the inspiration behind these works in the Milwaukee Art Museum podcast downloadable here.
Also on view in the Herzfeld Center for Photography and Media Arts is Helen Levitt: In the Street, which offers a look at the career of photographer Helen Levitt (American, 1913–2009). Levitt was a born-and-bred New Yorker who captured the lively streets and neighborhoods of New York from the 1930s to the 1980s. Using a light-weight 35 mm Leica camera, she roamed the working class neighborhoods of the city, finding her subjects in children at play, Garment District workers, or neighbors gossiping on their front stoops.
Be sure to come by to see James Nares: In the City and Helen Levitt: In the Street before they close on April 16th!
Image caption: James Nares, still from PENDULUM, 1976. 8 mm film transfer to HD video, black and white, sound; 18 min. Courtesy the artist and Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York. © James Nares.