Show review

Daido Moriyama

February 13 – March 13
Luhring Augustine Gallery
531 W 24th St., New York, NY 10011
Phone: 212-206-910

Moriyama made his name photographing the changing face of post WW II Japanese cities.  His graphic, surreal images are partly a processing of personal memory and his relationship to the outside world, yet echo the conflict and dichotomy of values faced in urban life. Hawaii, shot over a three year period, is his most recent body of work.  The images pulse with the same loose and dynamic viability indicative of his earlier work, but also posit a quiet, careful consideration. Each of the large, grainy, one of a kind, prints demonstrate excellent tonal range and adequate detail in the highlights and shadows. Moriyama says in a recent essay that he’s not “extracting a vision of the world or beauty”, however these images are beautiful.  In some pictures his lowered perspective is close to the subject and yet other times he maintains slight distance, but in either case the sense of intimacy is sustained. One of the great things about his work is his ability to sequence awkward and out of focus images with those that are sharp and squarely framed. Hawaii’s narrative speaks of conscientious wandering in a strange paradise and the images themselves are both current and enduring.

One thought on “Show review

  1. I wandered into the show last Saturday and was completely overwhelmed by the formal beauty of the work. He is not only a master printer but observer as well. I particularly loved how it was displaced with limited space, almost one photograph up on the other, i found it really intimate and seductive. Some of the work seemed to be paralleled between the sublime and the uneasy.

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