For more than thirty years, The New York Times Magazine has shaped the possibilities of magazine photography, through its commissioning and publishing of photographers’ work across the spectrum of the medium, from photojournalism to fashion photography and portraiture. In this exhibition, focusing primarily on the past fifteen years, long-time New York Times Magazine Director of Photography Kathy Ryan provides a behind-the-scenes look at the collaborative, creative processes that have made this Magazine the leading venue for photographic storytelling within contemporary news media.
The exhibition comprises eleven individual modules, each of which focuses on a notable project or series of projects that have been presented in the pages of the Magazine. While by no means comprehensive, the projects featured mirror the Magazine’s eclecticism, presenting seminal examples of reportage, portraiture, as well as fine art photography. Using visual materials drawn from different stages of the commissioning process—shot lists, work prints, contact sheets, videos, tear sheets, and framed prints—the Magazine’s collaborative methodology is revealed from initial idea to the published page, and, in some cases, continues beyond Magazine publication when an exploration that began as an assignment has become a part of a photographer’s ongoing work.
The New York Times Magazine continues to provide an increasingly rare venue for visual storytelling on the printed page, and, perhaps of equal consequence, offers a unique forum for the cross-pollination of photographic genres. As Ryan asserts, “Often the best creative work happens when there is crossover between different disciplines. A film is painterly. A photograph is sculptural. Likewise, the Magazine is often at its best when we bring photographers to projects that fall outside their usual borders. When a fine artist takes on a news story, or a documentary photographer embarks on a fashion shoot, sparks fly from the page.”
The exhibition is organized by the Aperture Foundation, New York. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Sondra Gilman and Celso Gonzalez-Falla
Marilyn and Charles Gilman III
Julie and Michael McKenny
Bank of America
Jessie Ball duPont Fund
Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville
The City of Jacksonville
Florida Division of Cultural Affairs
WJCT Public Broadcasting
Image 1: Rineke Dijkstra: Actress Cate Blanchett. Published February 11, 2007. Courtesy the artist/ Marian Goodman Gallery, New York.
Image 2: Ryan McGinley: Emily Cook, 2010 Olympic freestyle skier (aerials). From “Up!,” published February 7, 2010. Courtesy the artist/Team Gallery.
Image 3: Gregory Crewdson: Untitled. From “Dream House,” 2002. Published November 10, 2002. Courtesy the artist/Gagosian Gallery.
Image 4: Helen van Meene: Actress Gabourey Sidibe: Precious. Published February 21, 2010. Courtesy Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York.
Image 5: Lars Tunbjörk: 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue, March 23, 1997. From “Assignment: Times Square, “ published May 18, 1997. Courtesy the artist.
Image 6: Lynsey Addario: U.S. troops carry the body of Staff Sgt. Larry Rougle, who was killed when insurgents ambushed their squad in the Korengal Valley. From “Battle Company Is Out There,” published February 24, 2008. Courtesy the artist/VII NETWORK.
Image 7: Roger Ballen: Resemblance. From “The Selma Blair Witch Project: Fall’s Dark Silhouettes Have a Way of Creeping Up on You,” published October 30, 2005. Courtesy the artist /Gagosian Gallery.