Work from the collection of Vince AlettiFebruary 22–March 30, 2008 320 West 13th Street
White Columns is proud to present “Male” an exhibition of portrait works drawn from the personal collection of curator, writer and The New Yorker photography critic Vince Aletti. Eschewing any hierarchical distinctions, and featuring more than 100 photographs, drawings, sculptures, and paintings, the exhibition juxtaposes works by celebrated figures with works by emerging artists, alongside anonymously authored images and flea market finds.
As art historian Richard Brilliant has asserted – in his 1991 study Portraiture – portraits embody a “representation of the structuring of human relationships,” a scenario which the San Francisco-based writer Kevin Killian has defined as a “social contract.” Exploring these entanglements, and united by subject – each work in Aletti’s collection depicts images of men, either individually or in groups – “Male” presents a complex history of portraiture, and the acts of depiction and representation. Aletti’s eclectic approach to collecting, which conflates both historical and vernacular material, reveals a highly idiosyncratic and fiercely independent articulation of visual culture.
Vince Aletti reviews photography exhibitions for The New Yorker’s Goings on About Town section and writes a regular column about photo books for Photograph. He contributes occasional features and reviews to Aperture, Art + Auction, Art & Antiques, and Photoworks. He was the art editor of the Village Voice from 1994 to 2005, and the paper’s photo critic for 20 years. He is the winner of the International Center of Photography’s 2005 Infinity Award in writing. Aletti wrote half of the 101 brief descriptive essays that form the backbone of Andrew Roth’s “The Book of 101 Books: Seminal Photographic Books of the Twentieth Century” (2001) and has written introductions to books by Michael Thompson and Ingar Krauss (both 2005) and Marc Cohen and Kohei Yoshiyuki (both 2007). In March of 2002, he co-curated a show of Steven Klein’s fashion photography for the Musee de L’Elysee in Lausanne, Switzerland. He worked as a consultant and key contributor to an exhibition about the rise and fall of disco that opened in November 2002 at Seattle’s Experience Music Project. “Flesh Tones: 100 Years of the Nude,” a show of photographs he organized, was at New York’s Robert Mann Gallery in 2003, and he was the curator of a show of work by the art director and photographer Henry Wolf at the Howard Greenberg Gallery in 2005. Aletti is currently working with Andrew Roth on “Male,” a book of photographs from his collection.
Parallel to the exhibition “Male” White Columns will publish a compilation of Aletti’s 1970s column on disco music (‘Disco File’ – originally published on a weekly basis in Record World magazine.) For further information about this publication, please contact the gallery.