FOTOGRAFISKA OPENS IN NEW YORK
By Erika Suban
With its opening in New York City on October 18th, the Stockholm-based exhibition hub Fotografiska brings their desire to inspire “a more conscious world through the power of photography” on this side of the ocean. Fotografiska offers a diverse selection of exhibitions running simultaneously, with grand masters next to emerging talents. Visitors are encouraged to stick around, eat something, have a coffee, maybe buy a book, but mainly feel part of a community.
Fotografiska For Life
At its core, there is a program called Fotografiska For Life. This is an initiative to unite, spread awareness and create change in the world. This is attempted through a range of mediums including photography, videography and virtual reality. Its goal is also to spark discussions and partnerships with journalistic organizations, non-profits, experts and activists in order to promote debate and change. And nobody loves a discussion more than a New Yorker! Climate change, access to hygiene and water, the situation of farmers in developing countries, the refugees crisis and racism have been topics featured through images in the past.
The Flatiron District
Fotografiska New York is located in a six-floor, 45,000 square foot building in the Flatiron District. It will feature three floors of galleries, a restaurant and bar, retail offerings and an event space. The 1890s historic building is a registered landmark in an area once known as Charity Row. This is now a very sophisticated neighborhood with several Beaux-Arts and cast-iron buildings, upscale restaurants and hotels, and a park filled with public art. The exits, elevators, and floor plans had to be entirely revised and the space revamped to showcase a wide variety of photographic works and new mixed media projects. Geoffrey Newman, who visited Fotografiska Stockholm years ago, is now serving as a General Partner.
After only 9 years since its opening in the Swedish capital in 2010, Fotografiska’s founders, brothers Jan and Per Broman, can proudly count over 180 exhibitions for photographers like David LaChapelle, Annie Leibovitz, Albert Watson, Sebastião Salgado, Sally Mann, Zanele Muholi, Cooper & Gorfer, Ren Hang, and Irving Penn in their resume. Fotografiska now attracts over half a million guests per year and has become a leading photography destination. It might actually really be the largest photography museum in the world, as stated on its website.
The first exhibits at the historic 281 Park Avenue South landmark will feature the work of renowned German photographer Ellen von Unwerth, Tokyo born artist Tawny Chatmon, Swedish photographer Helene Schmitz, Israeli artist Adi Nes and English photojournalist Anastasia Taylor-Lind. It will include fashion, landscape, and more conceptual works. “Our first exhibitions will be referenced for years to come, and we want to start with a strong point of view,” explains Amanda Hajjar, Director of Exhibitions for Fotografiska and previously Artist Liaison at Gagosian Gallery. “We want to challenge both our guests’ perspectives and the traditional ideas of what can and should be shown within a museum-like setting.”
The following November exhibition will be a retrospective of the iconic Swedish photographer Lars Tunbjörk, followed by three solo exhibitions by Nick Brandt, Julie Blackmon, and Man Ray.