The Eternal Feminine

May 1 – June 20, 2009

Photographs By:

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The Eternal Feminine Press Release

Scheinbaum & Russek Ltd. is pleased  to present an exhibition in celebration of the feminine. (women)   The classic definition of femininity refers to qualities and behaviors such as gentleness, patience, kindness, selflessness, and nurturing.  Today’s definitions are more far reaching and less stereotypical.  Along with the intrinisic beauty of all people, we know ourselves in many different ways and roles; we are daughter, sister, girlfriend, wife, mother, grandmother, care giver, poet, artist, model, mentor, teacher, ….

While not all conclusive, this exhibition celebrates many facets of the feminine.  The exhibition begins with a haunting image, titled The Only Flowers of Her Youth, by the Polish photographer, Roman Vishniac, of a young girl photographed in 1939 in the Warsaw Ghetto where she and her father were hiding from the Nazis.  Roman Vishiac was able to return to his homeland in 1939 and photographed with a hidden camera.  These poignant images are published in his book, “ A Vanished World”.  This compelling portrait, although documenting the Holocaust, represents all people who are faced with hardship, starvation and hatred. It stands alongside Margaret Bourke Whites “ Migrant Mother”, and Edie Adams image of an execution of a Viet Cong, these images that have defined the 20th Century.  The exhibit ends with a smiling straight backed Georgia O’Keeffe cooking stew by Todd Webb.

In between the young and old are images that ebb and flow between documentary, landscape, and abstraction.  The nude is captured in various forms; elegantly by Edward Weston and Kenro Izu; in abstraction by Andre Kertész; and straight on by Diane Arbus.  From the nude the photographs move into a document of life, work, and memory.  Srinagar, Kashmir, Henri Cartier-Bresson’s perfectly timed image of women praising the light mirror’s the movements of Erykah Badu alone in the spotlight by David Scheinbaum.  While Martha Graham dancing in Barbara Morgan’s Letter to the World – Kick is a stunning parallel to Kertész’s twisted Satiric Dancer.  Each photograph moves into the next creating a new interpretation of the feminine.

The diversity of time period and subject capture our cultural perceptions of what femininity was and the possibility of what it can be.  This exhibition is devoted to that concept, as well as the feminine spirit within us all, both male and female, photographer and subject.  

Other works in the exhibition include Manuel Alvarez Bravo’s Retrato de lo Eterno, Flor Garduño’s Basket of Light, Sumpango, Guatemala, Luis González Palma’s Frame Included, Ruth Bernhard’s Veiled Black, Janet Russek’s Folded Hands, and a number of Camera Work photogravures. 

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