WESTWOOD GALLERY NYC presented a premiere New York City exhibition of photographs by Bob Adelman and curated by James Cavello. The exhibition highlights forty photographs of four influential artists who changed 20th century art, whom Adelman began photographing in the 1960s: Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, James Rosenquist, and Tom Wesselmann. This is the first New York exhibition of the photographs, in keeping with the gallery program of focusing on undiscovered bodies of work. The Estate of Mr. Adelman includes a very limited selection of signed prints, and the gallery is pleased to provide this exclusive opportunity for collectors.
Bob Adelman was compelled to photograph New York artists in the 1960s when he became interested in understanding the inner workings of the creative mind. The photographs on view provide an intimate, sometimes playful view of legendary artists and Adelman’s own ingenious sense in capturing their persona in the studio. They include scenes from Andy Warhol’s daily life at the Factory: Warhol on the infamous red couch, shopping at a nearby Gristedes for Brillo Boxes and Campbell Soup cans, socializing with his glamorous inner-circle at parties, filming, and posing with his flower paintings as well as the ‘The American Man’ suite. The photographs of Roy Lichtenstein span several decades and document the artist in his studio with his paintings and completing his iconic murals, such as: the fleeting 1963 “Greene Street Mural,” the permanent 1989 “Tel Aviv Museum of Art Mural,” and the collage for “Times Square Mural”. James Rosenquist is documented with his paintings and murals, showing a completed “Big Bo” and the stages toward his 1980 “Star Thief” mural. Rosenquist is also captured in an iconic image: looking through a magnifying glass into Adelman’s camera. The photographs of Tom Wesselmann in 1966 portray his early years and illustrate the beginning of his career-defining artwork in his first studio at 54 Bond Street, as well as in Sidney Janis Gallery. Other photos of Wesselmann, 20 years later, depict the artist holding a steel-cut nude outline of his long-time model and studio assistant, Monica Serra, in 1988 at his later studio at 231 Bowery.
During Adelman’s time in New York, his portfolio matured to document over fifty years of prominent and pioneering New York artists. This vast archive includes photographs of Larry Rivers, Donald Judd, Jasper Johns, Marisol Escobar, Red Grooms, Jeff Koons, Adolph Gottlieb, Barnett Newman, Robert Rauschenberg, Dick Bellamy, Lucas Samaras, Jim Dine, and David Hockney as well as influential art dealers who shifted the perception of how to sell art, such as Leo Castelli.
As his friend and mentor Ralph Ellison stated, “Adelman has moved beyond the familiar clichés of most documentary photography into that rare sphere wherein technical ability and social vision combine to create a work of art.”
An internationally-recognized photojournalist, Bob Adelman worked for LIFE, The New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, TIME, Esquire, Vanity Fair, London's Sunday Times Magazine, Paris Match, and other major publications. He was a Guggenheim Fellow and National Endowment for the Arts Grantee. He is primarily known for his photographs of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, when he volunteered his services as a photographer to the Congress of Racial Equality and captured the transformative events that re-shaped modern American history. Adelman’s images were exhibited worldwide during his lifetime, in institutions including: Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian, Getty Museum, High Museum, The Nelson-Atkins Museum, Boca Raton Museum of Art, Tate Modern, and many others. Acquired by the Library of Congress in 2017, the Adelman archive is regarded as the foremost documentation of crucial periods in modern US history.
Photographs © Bob Adelman Estate
Estate prints are available for select photographs (archival pigment prints on Kodak paper, edition of 50, stamped by the Bob Adelman Estate, paper size > 16 x 20 inches).