Like the camera’s technical process of exposure, Frazier brings things to light that would otherwise remain obscured. “I create visibility through images and storytelling,” she says in the show’s materials, in order “to expose the violation of… human rights.” Her black-and-white photographs are unsentimental witnesses to the furloughed American dream.
Art history was born as a process of comparison: the stiffness of an early Greek kouros compared to the natural pose of a later figure; side-by-side images clicking into place from whirring lantern slide projectors; the hackneyed term “juxtaposition” that launched a thousand essays. At Pace Gallery’s “Agnes Martin, Richard Tuttle: Crossing Lines,” Tuttle, channeling Martin, introduces a different concept, which he calls “augmentation”—a relationship and exchange between two artists’ works that goes beyond simple comparison.
The photographs in Berenice Abbott’s Paris Portraits 1925-1930 document how international the community of modernists was between the wars, and are evidence of Abbott’s first experiments with lighting, angles, and equipment. The portraits’ sparseness only amplifies the ambition they contain—of both subjects and photographer. One of the pleasures of a great portrait is the unending present exposure it offers us, as if the sitter is just about to reveal something. Abbott’s client list is dizzying.