Ten photo exhibitions you shouldn’t miss

These must-see shows are worth the visit.

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  • Photograph: © Henry Wessel

    “Henry Wessel: Incidents” at Pace/MacGill (57th Street), through June 15
    Wessel’s black-and-white photos capture ordinary people doing unremarkable things, but often at a distance which makes their actions seem pregnant with meaning.

  • Photogrpah: Courtesy the artist

    ”A Different Kind of Order: The ICP Triennial” at the International Center for Photography, through Sept 8
    This year’s edition of ICP’s survey of contemporary photography focuses on the impact of digital technology, a trend that’s been developing for quite awhile, but one whose impact is being felt more directly since a generation of artists who have grown up with the internet has come of age.

  • Photograph: Courtesy Skarstedt Gallery

    Robert Mapplethorpe, “Self Portraits” at Skarstedt Gallery, through June 15
    Mapplethorpe appears in these black-and-white photos in various tongue-in-cheek guises (drag queen, Red Brigade terrorist and transgender Pan figure, to name a few), as a way, perhaps, of sending up the idea of the artist as complicated figure.

  • Photograph: Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery

    “Scenes from the South 1936–2012” at Howard Greenberg Gallery, through June 1
    William Eggleston, Walker Evans and Dorothea Lange are just a few of the names offering images of Dixie in this show, where you can practically feel the heat and humidity.

  • Photograph: Courtesy Danziger Gallery

    “American Darkness: O. Winston Link and Gregory Crewdson” at Danziger Gallery, through June 14
    Link, whose uncanny documents of steam locomotives in their waning days collapse the boundary between artifice and reality, is paired here with Crewdson, who has cited Link as a major influence for his own stagy photographs.

  • Photograph: Courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery

    Lalla Essaydi at Edwynn Houk Gallery, through June 22
    A Moroccan photographer who lives and works in the United States, Essaydi relies on her experience as a woman and a Muslim to give her vivid harem scenes (which combine studio techniques worthy of Vogue with Orientalist fantasies worthy of Ingres, Delacroix and Gérôme) a postfeminist twist.

  • Photograph: Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery

    Takuma Nakahira, “Circulation: Date, Place, Events” at Yossi Milo Gallery, May 23–July 12
    This series by the noted Japanese photographer was originally created for the Seventh Paris Biennale in 1971, and involved shooting, developing and installing 100 photos a day for a period of seven days. The images themselves were random views of Paris presented without cropping or editing, resulting in a kind of radical blend of photography, performance and process art.

  • Photograph: © 2013 Allan Sekula

    “XL: 19 New Acquisitions in Photography” at the Museum of Modern Art, through Jan 6
    MoMA unwraps its latest photographic holdings, which include photos by Robert Frank, Lynn Hershman Leeson and Stephen Shore, among many others.

  • Photograph: Courtesy Gagosian Gallery; © Dennis Hopper; courtesy of The Dennis Hopper Art Trust

    Dennis Hopper, “The Lost Album” at Gagosian Gallery (980 Madison Ave), through June 22
    On view are the actor, cult director and sometime artist’s photos taken during the 1960s, which were last exhibited in 1970 and presumed missing until their rediscovery after Hopper’s 2010 death. In their own way, the images capture the panoply of the decade, from civil-rights marches to gatherings of outlaw bikers.

  • Photograph: Courtesy Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects

    Laurel Nakadate, “Strangers and Relations” at Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, through June 29
    Nakadate made her name with photos in which she posed in various states of undress alongside older men; she would loan other pictures, which depicted her alone, to male strangers for a brief perusal, provided they left fingerprints with ink-stained hands. Whether these works represent a feminist indictment of male privilege or just a mockery of pathetic subjects who happened to be far less attractive than the artist herself, Nakadate’s latest works take a less provocative approach to documenting her encounters with people she’s never met before. Using Facebook, Craigslist and even DNA (to locate distant cousins), Nakadate tracked down numerous subjects, convincing them to meet her at night in remote locations around the country. She then took their portraits, using long exposures with only a flashlight and available starlight as illumination. The results look like crime-scene photos from before the crime is committed.

Photograph: © Henry Wessel

“Henry Wessel: Incidents” at Pace/MacGill (57th Street), through June 15
Wessel’s black-and-white photos capture ordinary people doing unremarkable things, but often at a distance which makes their actions seem pregnant with meaning.


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