Larry Fink: The Democrats
July 4–August 15, 2008
32 East 57th Street, 9th Floor, New York, NY
Pace/MacGill Gallery is pleased to present Larry Fink: The Democrats, on view July 4 through August 15, 2008. This exhibition marks Fink's first show at the gallery and is comprised of over 20 photographs that follow Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination. Spanning a period of two and a half months, the series is a continuation of Fink's assignment for Vanity Fair where he is a contributing photographer. Fink's photographs capture political history in the making and offer a candid look into this monumental race as it unfolds.
Best known for his documentary photography and photojournalist aesthetic, Fink (b. 1941) explores both the obvious and subtle dramas embedded in day-to-day life. Whether depicting black-tie events in Manhattan, birthday parties in blue-collar Pennsylvania, boxing ring brutality or fashion runway glamour, Fink's photographs are social snapshots. Seen in contrast to the staged, polished and public relations savvy images frequently circulated by the media, Fink's portraits of Clinton and Obama are refreshingly candid complements to that approach. He draws attention to Clinton's first steps off an airplane and the casual placement of Obama's hand on the back an airline seat, which becomes a portrait of the man more than just a picture of his hand. Fink catches both presidential hopefuls off guard and reveals the subtle gestures and casual glances that, when cumulatively viewed, become symbolic of victory, defeat or personal reflection. Additionally, the photographs are significant meditations on the life of the campaign itself and the crowds of supporters, political handlers, and reporters attendant throughout this closely followed and electrified campaign for the presidency.
Fink's work has regularly appeared in a variety of publications,including GQ, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, and Vanity Fair. He is the recipient of two Guggenheim Fellowships and two National Endowment for the Arts grants, and his photographs have been exhibited internationally at venues such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Monographs of his work include: Social Graces (1984), Boxing (1997), and Runway (2000). A professor of photography at Bard College since 1988, Fink has also taught at Yale University, Cooper Union, and Parsons School of Design.