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Fred McDarrah
Vintage Print Silver Gelatin Signed Photograph Sidney Janis, Conrad Janis, NYC

1972

$1,200

About

signed in ink and with photographer stamp verso and hand written title. Sidney Janis (July 8, 1896 – November 23, 1989) was a wealthy clothing manufacturer and art collector who opened an art gallery in New York in 1948. His gallery quickly gained prominence, for he not only exhibited the work of most of the emerging leaders of Abstract Expressionism, but also that of such important European artists as Pierre Bonnard, Paul Klee, Joan Miró, and Piet Mondrian. As the critic Clement Greenberg explained in a 1958 tribute to the dealer, Janis' exhibition practices had helped to establish the legitimacy of the Americans, for his policy "not only implied, it declared, that Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, Phillip Guston, Mark Rothko, and Robert Motherwell were to be judged by the same standards as Matisse and Picasso, without condescension, without making allowances." Greenberg observed that in the late 1940s "the real issue was whether ambitious artists could live in this country by what they did ambitiously. Sidney Janis helped as much as anyone to see that it was decided affirmatively." He collaborated with his wife Harriet on books such as Abstract and Surrealist Art in America in which he explores the burgeoning styles of art rarely before discussed in America. The work exhibits a wide array of artists who were successful in conveying the surrealist and abstract styles such as Georgia O'Keeffe, Arthur B. Carles, Man Ray, Leon Kelly, Mark Rothko, and Ray Eames. Over a 50-year span, McDarrah documented the rise of the Beat Generation, the city’s postmodern art movement, its off-off-Broadway actors, troubadours, politicians, agitators and social protests. Fred captured Jack Kerouac frolicking with women at a New Year’s bash in 1958, Andy Warhol adjusting a movie-camera lens in his silver-covered factory, and Bob Dylan offering a salute of recognition outside Sheridan Square near the Village Voice Greenwich Village old office. Not just a social chronicler, McDarrah was a great photo-journalist. For years, McDarrah was the Voice's only photographer and, for decades, he ran the Voice’s photo department, where he helped train dozens of young photographers, including James Hamilton, Sylvia Plachy, Robin Holland and Marc Asnin. His mailbox was simply marked "McPhoto." An exhibit of McDarrah’s photos of artists presented by the Steven Kasher Gallery in Chelsea was hailed by The New York Times as “a visual encyclopedia of the era’s cultural scene.” artists in their studios, (Alice Neel, Philip Guston, Stuart Davis, Robert Smithson, Jasper Johns, Franz Kline), actors (Dustin Hoffman, Robert De Niro on the set of “Taxi Driver”), musicians (Janis Joplin, Alice Cooper, Bob Dylan) and documentary images of early happenings and performances (Yayoi Kusama, Charlotte Moorman, Al Hansen, Jim Dine, Nam June Paik). The many images of Andy Warhol include the well-known one with his Brillo boxes at the Stable Gallery in 1964. Woody Allen, Diane Arbus, W. H. Auden, Francis Bacon, Joan Baez, Louise Bourgeois, David Bowie, Jimmy Breslin, William Burroughs, John Cage, Leo Castelli, Christo, Leonard Cohen, Merce Cunningham, William de Kooning, Jim Dine, Mark di Suvero, Marcel Duchamp, Bob Dylan, Federico Fellini, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Indiana, Mick Jagger, Jasper Johns, Kusama, John Lennon, Sol Lewitt, Roy Lichtenstein, Nam June Paik, Elvis Presley, Claes Oldenburg, Yoko Ono, Robert Rauschenberg, Lou Reed, James Rosenquist, Mark Rothko, Ed Ruscha, Robert Smithson, Susan Sontag, Andy Warhol, and others have all been shot by him. McDarrah’s prints have been collected in depth by the J. Paul Getty Museum and the National Portrait Gallery, Washington. His work is in numerous public and private collections.

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