CLAMP presents “Meryl Meisler : Simply Scintillating – A Retrospective”, the artist’s second solo exhibition with CLAMP and the first retrospective of the artist’s five-decade career as a photographer, which began in 1973.
The work in “Simply Scintillating” spans from Meisler’s early pictures of suburban Long Island to the frenetic clubs of 1970s Manhattan, to slices of daily life in pre gentrification Bushwick, to the present,where Meryl has found herself back in the nightlife world documenting the contemporary party landscape through a lens informed by decades spent watching New York and its inhabitants evolve.Regardless of whether her subject is a stranger on the Bowery, Grace Jones at a club opening, or a child in Bushwick putting on roller skates, Meisler maintains a perspective and voice as a photographer who does not shy away from the absurd and joyful. As the artist puts it, she has a “queer, quirky eye.”
Mixing pictures from different eras and contexts is not a new strategy for Meisler, who once had an epiphany below a disco ball in a dance club in Bushwick. In that moment, she realized that her pictures of glamorous nightclubs and humble street corners in Bushwick made sense together—telling a wider and more complex story of the city. The clubs are no longer just downtown; they are now out in the neighborhood where Meisler used to teach.
A public school teacher for 31 years, Meisler only revealed her vast photographic archive upon retiring in 2010.
Then the work emerged like a bat out of hell! This exhibition offers a peek into the archive, including vintage and contemporary prints surveying the artist’s entire collection of images.
Simply Scintillating : A Retrospective
Five Decades of Photographs by Meryl Meisler
September 14—November 4, 2023
247 West 29th Street
New York, NY USA