May 1998: Exterior/Interior; The Way I See It: Five Photographers will be presented at the Brooklyn Museum of Art from May 24 to August 16, 1998. Peter Garfield, Anne Mandelbaum, Susan Daboll, Martin Dixon, and Michael Spano are the photographers in this latest installment of an ongoing series of exhibitions featuring artists living or working in Brooklyn. The exhibition will be in the Lobby Gallery on the first floor.
The twenty-five black-and-white photographs in Exterior/Interior reflect the artists’ vastly different ways of working. The exhibition examines the differences and similarities between voyeuristic photographs of the exterior world and images created to evoke the imagination and memory of the artist.
Peter Garfield has produced several series of large-format photographs that deal with defying natural laws. In the four pieces from Annunciation that make up the series in the exhibition, the artist creates mythological imagery to communicate his belief that “humans can only strive to touch the infinite.”
Ann Mandelbaum isolates parts of the human body in her photographs and adds layers of texture and a sense of thickness to the work by developing shades of gray on a velvety matte surface. This process distorts and transforms ordinary subjects into extraordinary and often unrecognizable images.
Susan Daboll creates a dreamlike quality in the mural series Mother’s Closet. Four works taken from the series portray headless female bodies fashioned in the satiny style of the 1950s. The images represent a time warp of female iconography: a glamorous mother dresses for a night out; her daughter is captivated as she hides in the closet, her view partially obscured. The child grows into the artist, who uses the camera to create a photograph of herself that captures the formative memory.
Martin Dixon records both the everyday and special occasions in his working-class, predominately African-American neighborhood in Flatbush. Included in the exhibition are Easter Sunday, Brooklyn and Waiting on the Bus to Heaven. Dixon’s finely composed photographs seem invested with an honest and open appreciation of the lives lived around him.
Michael Spano is an established photographer and teacher whose career spans more than twenty years. His work is in over thirty museum collections in the United States, Canada, Israel, and Europe and has been seen in countless publications. In his series in the exhibition, several years in the making and shown at the Museum for the first time, Spano presents his ongoing investigation of life on the street through solarized images that transmit a glowing quality.
Brooklyn has a diverse community of artists, each with a different approach and style, many of whom have already achieved recognition outside the borough and in some cases outside the state and country.
Exterior/Interior continues Working in Brooklyn, the Museum’s renowned exhibition series of 1985-90, which was resumed with the exhibitions Glenn Ligon: Evidence of Things Not Seen (September 21, 1996–February 9, 1997), Current Undercurrents (July 25, 1997–January 25, 1998), Scattered Petals, Fallen Leaves, Shards of Glass: The Work of Bing Hu (February 14, 1998–May 10, 1998), and Joan Snyder (March 8, 1998–June 14, 1998). The series is planned to continue through the end of the century.
Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1995 - 2003. 01-06/1998, 137-139.