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Jennifer's Group: Gallery Visit, Lauren Glatstein

In the Company of Artists: Photographs from the DIA Collection

In the Company of Artists was an exhibit at the Detroit Institute of Art from November 19th to February 15th of this year. It was a large collection of photographs from thirty photographers including André Kertész, Man Ray, Yousuf Karsh, Arnold Newman and Robert Mapplethorpe capturing the lives of famous creative individuals. It is by far my favorite photography exhibit of all time. The exhibit consisted of ninety photographs of some of the most important creative individuals of all time. The subjects include artists, authors, photographers, performing artists, songwriters, models and others from artistic and bohemian circles from the late 1890s to the present. The portraits are informal and intimate capturing a rarely seen perspective. The exhibit was displayed in a small basement gallery with several individual sections. The photographs are small and posted simply in unremarkable frames.

Though the photographs are from many different artists and subject matter spans ninety subjects the exhibit has a unified feel. The images, primarily black and white, portray their various subjects in a personal way. Images of studios, family members, and homes are often included in the photograph giving viewers a unique view. The exhibit was cleverly designed to show you the art within the artist rather than the art they create. Year after year museums display to products of these remarkable people but for once audiences get a deeper look at what’s behind the art.

The exhibit includes images of Andy Warhol, Georgia O’Keefe, Richard Serra, Kiki Smith, Jean Michel Basquiat, and Jeff Koons. The list goes on with more names just like these. I only wish I could see this exhibit again. It closed the day after I saw it and I don’t think it traveled. I feel unbelievably privileged to have seen this exhibit and I would recommend it to anyone who has the opportunity to see it to go. If you ever find it please give me a call!

Garry Winogrand, Diane Arbus, “Love-In”, Central Park, New York City, 1969
(printed in 1982–83); gelatin silver print