7 Exhibitions to See in October

Seven photography exhibitions to see this month in New York and Los Angeles.

The Atlas Group/ Walid Raad, Hostage: The Bachar tapes (English version), 2001; Video (color, sound), 16:17 min, The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2015 Walid Raad

Walid Raad at the Museum of Modern Art (through January 31):

The Museum of Modern Art is staging the first comprehensive American survey of the Lebanese artist Walid Raad. The displayed work includes photography, film, sculpture and performance made during last twenty-five years for two long-term projects The Atlas Group and Scratching on things I could disavow. The exhibition focuses on Waad’s use of fiction and narrative, while also exploring the political tensions of the Middle East. The photographs imagine as much as they inform. They are both poetic retellings of history and troubling documents of conflict.


Still from Dziga Vertov, Man with a Movie Camera, 1929, black-and-white film, 68 min. Image provided by Deutsche Kinemathek

The Power of Pictures at the Jewish Museum (through February 7):

It’s no secret that photography has an ugly, propagandistic side: the camera was even once declared just as important as the gun for “class struggle” by Lenin. And, in Russia, from the time after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 through the 1930s, artists worked for and caused great social change. The Power of Pictures, on view at the Jewish Museum, explores how thirteen Soviet photographers as well as ten filmmakers from this period of history used photographs to spread Communist ideologies. In addition to the photographs and cinematic works, film posters, vintage books, and newspapers also showcase examples of art working in hand with politics.

Yu Lik Wai: It’s A Bright Guilty World at WhiteBox gallery (through November 8):

The Hong Kong-born, Beijing-based artist Yu Lik Wai has his first solo U.S. exhibition at Whitebox gallery. A renowned filmmaker and cinematographer, Wai is known for depicting scenes of contemporary urban life in China, often of existential despair. His images of empty built environments, already symbolic of neglect, signal alienation more absurdly when shot in flourishes of color. Alongside his richly chromatic photographs, a three-channel video holographic installation entitled Flux is also on view.


Ishiuchi Miyako, 1·9·4·7 #61, 1988 – 1989; Courtesy of The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles © Ishiuchi Miyako

Ishiuchi Miyako: Postwar Shadows at J. Paul Getty Museum (through February 21):

Ishiuchi Miyako, interviewed in this fall’s  “Interview Issue” of Aperture magazine, has a solo exhibition of photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum, in Los Angeles. With the last forty years, Ishiuchi Miyako: Postwar Shadows spans nearly Miyako’s entire career. From her stunning early work through to her most recent series, “???/hiroshima,” the retrospective presents thirty-eight photographs that give a satisfying taste of her evocative and haunting output.


Kadir van Lohuizen, Via PanAm, Panama; © Kadir van Lohuizen

Via PanAm at the Bronx Documentary Center (through December 13):

After stops in Chile, Costa Rica, and Luxembourg, the award-winning exhibition Via PanAm visits New York at the Bronx Documentary Center. Combining audio-visual installations and photographs, the exhibition showcases the photographer Kadir van Lohuizen’s journey from southernmost Chile to the top of Alaska, as he documents stories of historic and contemporary migration to the United States. Shot with personal intimacy, the videos and photographs bluntly depict the 40, 000 kilometer path to reflect the complex stories behind migration.


Graciela Iturbide, Cementerio / Cemetery, Juchitán, Oaxaca, 1988; Courtesy of Throckmorton Fine Art © Graciela Iturbide.

Women Pioneers: Mexican Photography I at Throckmorton Fine Art (through November 14):

The first gallery to exhibit artwork by Frida Kahlo anywhere in Mexico was run by Lola Álavarez Bravo. Years later it was Graciela Iturbide who elevated Mexican photography to the top of the world. Both women were photographers in a field dominated by men.Women Pioneers:  Mexican Photography I, on view at Throckmorton Fine Art, presents their work, as well as seven other women working in Mexico, from the early 20th century to today, including Tina Modotti, Kati Horna, and contemporary artists such as Cristina Kahlo. Together the exhibition highlights the storytelling, humanity, and spirit present in the work of these trailblazing women.


Andy Goldsworthy, Kelp thrown into a grey, overcast sky, Drakes Beach, California, 14 July 2013; Courtesy of Galerie Lelong, New York © Andy Goldsworthy

Andy Goldsworthy: Leaning into the Wind at Galerie Lelong (through December 5):

Andy Goldsworthy’s extensive selection of vintage works will be on at Galerie Lelong. The exhibition of photography and films includes recent work made in the last three years, some never before seen, and vintage work made in the 70s and 80s. Uninterested in outcome or planning, Goldsworthy, in both his new and early work, shows his body in various states of action—whether throwing, spitting, or jumping—to engage the photographic frame with movement and energy.