The New York Public Gallery presents the exhibition Alen MacWeeney : New York Subways 1977.
In 1977, photographer Alen MacWeeney captured a melancholy, painterly series of images of people on New York’s subways. Born in Dublin, MacWeeney began his photographic career in Paris as an assistant to Richard Avedon. After moving to New York, he became captivated by the challenge of making images of people sitting and standing in the bright confines of subway cars. He drew particular inspiration from the works of Reginald Marsh, a social realist painter who was known for his depictions of crowded life in the city. But it was not until he began sorting through work prints that the project took on its unique voice. As the prints lay strewn about, partially on top of one another, MacWeeney found that the combined images told more than a single picture alone. Diptychs became the key to his subway photos. He created pairings that at first glance may appear to be a single image. The subtle groupings generate feelings of surprise, humor, imbalance and menace.
Alex Q. Arbuckle
Alen MacWeeney : New York Subways 1977
Through January 7, 2024
New York Public Gallery
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
476 5th Ave.
New York, NY 10018