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Ten photo exhibitions you should see

Put these shows on your list of must-see art.

 (Photograph: Courtesy Danziger Gallery)
Photograph: Courtesy Danziger Gallery

Thierry Cohen at Danziger Gallery, through May 4
The French photographer presents images from his ongoing series “Darkened Cities,” which depicts blacked-out skylines from around the globe against the night sky, as they would appear if light pollution were completely absent.

 (Photograph: © 2013 Chuck Close courtesy Pace Gallery)
Photograph: © 2013 Chuck Close courtesy Pace Gallery

“Chuck Close: Photo Maquettes” at Eykyn Maclean, through May 24
A kind of retrospective in miniature, this show features the large-format photos and polaroids that Close used throughout his career to paint his signature portrait heads. Crop marks, overlaid grids and even the artist’s fingerprints are all clearly visible on these artifactual remains of the creative process.

 (Photograph: Courtesy Edywnn Houk Gallery)
Photograph: Courtesy Edywnn Houk Gallery

“Bill Brandt: Early Prints from the Collection of the Family” at Edwynn Houk Gallery, through May 11
If you were planning to go to MoMA just to see the Bill Brandt retrospective, save the admission and check out this show instead. You can see many of the same images, representing the earliest prints struck from the photographer’s original negatives.

 (Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery)
Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery

Charles Fréger, “Wilder Mann” at Yossi Milo Gallery, through May 18
Fréger traveled to 18 European countries for this series on revelers at various local festivals, who are dressed as regional variations on the Wild Man, a folk figure associated with the seasons, holidays, rites of passage, life and death.

 (Photograph: Courtesy David Zwirner)
Photograph: Courtesy David Zwirner

Thomas Ruff, “photograms and ma.r.s.” at David Zwirner, through Apr 27
The cosmic feel of the artist’s abstract large-scale photograms is perfectly complemented by 3D images from space-agency sources, showing the martian surface as seen from orbiting spacecraft.

 (Photograph: © Estate of Peter Hujar)
Photograph: © Estate of Peter Hujar

Peter Hujar at Pace MacGill, through Apr 20
The gallery celebrates its representation of the estate of the legendary downtown artist, who introduced queer aesthetics to classic street photography and portraiture, before succumbing to AIDS in 1987.

 (Photograph: Collection of Philip and Jennifer Maritz)
Photograph: Collection of Philip and Jennifer Maritz

“Photography and the American Civil War” at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, through Sept 2
The Met drew on its collection of archival photography for this exhibit, which features more than 200 images taken during the Civil War.

 (Photograph: Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery)
Photograph: Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery

“Luigi Ghirri: Kodachrome” at Matthew Marks Gallery, through Apr 20
Luigi Ghirri’s work represents the European analog to the 1970s color-film experimentation by such American fine-art photographers as William Eggleston. Ghirri’s approach to picture taking, however, was much more formal and Conceptual in nature, as it often commented ironically on the conventions and technical nature of photography itself. This thread tied together his otherwise varied portfolio of subject matter. The images here were all part of Ghirri’s first book, self-published in 1978, and titled simply Kodachrome.

 (Photograph: Courtesy Julie Saul Gallery)
Photograph: Courtesy Julie Saul Gallery

Sally Gall, “Unbound” at Julie Saul Gallery, through May 4
Views of sky and water are the focus of these photos by Gall, who takes a cleanly classical approach to capturing the natural world.

 (Photograph: Courtesy Janet Borden)
Photograph: Courtesy Janet Borden

Hanno Otten, “Boulevard” at Janet Borden, Inc., through May 10
On view are the German artist’s vividly chromatic abstract photographs and photograms, which he calls lichtbilder (light pictures). From a distance, the images could be easily mistaken for paintings.