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Deborah Bell Photographs : Marcia Resnick : Ahead of Her Time


Deborah Bell Photographs present Ahead of Her Time: Marcia Resnick, the gallery’s fifth exhibition of photographs by the artist.

As the writer Nick Paumgarten opined last year in The New Yorker, the Resnick retrospective and accompanying catalogue “brings out of the attic of cultural oversight a wild record of her largely unheralded contributions to the evolution of photography as a fine art, and of her mostly unacknowledged place among the so-called Pictures Generation, to go with her better-known perch as a chronicler of the Blank Generation.”

Many of the photographs featured in the retrospective will be exhibited in this gallery show, including ones Resnick made as early as 1968 as a student at Cooper Union. Also on view will be work from four series created soon after her graduation from Cal Arts: See; See Changes; Landscape; and Landscape/Loftscape, in which she pursued a wide-ranging exploration of the inherent, often humorous, contradictions between art and reality.

Engaging with the idea of the artist’s book, Resnick embarked in 1974 upon a series of photographs called See — “photographs of people photographing places.”

In her 1974 series See Changes, Resnick portrays her Cal Arts classmate James Welling perched on the edge of the Grand Canyon in an intriguing series of photographs manipulated and altered with pencil, all produced from a single negative. Resnick dove further into the nature of landscape photography and photographic “reality” in her next two projects.

Landscape (1975) melds an “incredible elaboration of nothing…my statement about Minimalist art” with a sardonic take on the cliché of the beautifully photographed landscape.

Resnick was included in 1975, along with John Baldessari, Thomas Barrow, Michael Bishop, Richard Schaeffer, and William Wegman, in the ground-breaking exhibition The Extended Document: An Investigation of Information and Evidence in Photographs at The George Eastman House.

Most people familiar with the art of Marcia Resnick know it through her landmark book Re-visions, released in 1978 to critical acclaim from her artistic and literary peers, among them William Burroughs, Andy Warhol, and Allen Ginsberg. This series of smart and very funny photographs with text tracks the passage of a pre-adolescent girl into young womanhood. Along with her friend William Wegman, Resnick was a precursor to a broad range of artists, including Cindy Sherman, engaged in photographic storytelling.


Ahead of Her Time: Marcia Resnick
September 14 – November 4, 2023
Deborah Bell Photographs
526 West 26th Street, Room 411
New York, NY.

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