The International Center of Photography presents David Seidner : Fragments, 1977-99, the first major survey of the photographer’s work. Known for capturing avant-garde fashion of the 1980s and 1990s by designers such as Yves Saint Laurent—with whom Seidner had an exclusive contract with at age 22— and Madame Grès, Seidner was also a prolific editorial photographer for publications such as Harper’s Bazaar, Harper’s & Queen, The New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, and international editions of Vogue.
In addition to commercial and editorial work, Seidner was committed to his own practice. The exhibition presents lesser-known highlights including his early fine art photography and fragmented portrait studies, images of groundbreaking dancers and choreographers, portraits of well-known contemporary artists and their studios, and from his final project, abstracted studies of orchids. Seidner was also a frequent contributor to BOMB Magazine as a photographer, interviewer, and guest editor and his key early role at this important publication are featured.
Though Seidner’s work has largely faded from view since his passing from AIDS-related illnesses in 1999, the exhibition will present the complexity of Seidner’s work and career, his vibrant fashion and editorial photography as well as his own artistic experimentations and his documentation of the New York art world. The work on view will be drawn predominantly from Seidner’s archive, which has been a part of ICP’s collection since 2001 but has been rarely exhibited.
“Even though he photographed with and for the leading fashion designers of his time, Seidner was an artist who made work no matter where it appeared or how it circulated,” said Elisabeth Sherman, ICP’s Senior Curator and Director of Exhibitions and Collections. “This survey introduces Seidner’s practice and represents ICP’s willingness to engage with photographers as artists whose art is not as easily categorized as others, causing it to often go under acknowledged or unappreciated. We are proud to present the first comprehensive survey of Seidner’s work.”
“Photography featured this year reinforce how photographers are the historians of their and our times. They challenge us to confront questions about who we are as individuals and as a society, and who we want to be,” Executive Director Little said. “ICP at 50 and David Seidner celebrate ICP’s commitment to the great diversity, accessibility, and complexity of image making, and how as an institution, we will continue to follow its many emerging forms and its ongoing impact on human experience. We invite the public to join us in this celebration as we continue to shape the present and future of photography and ICP together.”
David Seidner: Fragments, 1977-99 is curated by Elisabeth Sherman, ICP Senior Curator and Director of Exhibitions and Collections.
David Seidner : Fragments, 1977-99
Until May 6, 2024
International Center of Photography (ICP)
79 Essex St.
New York, NY 10002