1 March 2013
Eliot Porter's Photographs of Birds
I was in New York City a couple of weeks ago and happened upon these photographs of birds at the MoMA (in a gallery curated by the artist Trisha Donnelly). I also saw Charlotte Dumas' Anima series, photographs of the burial horses of Arlington National Cemetery, at Julie Saul Gallery. Both photographers treat the animals they are photographing with a reverence and respect, without trying to make them look extra cute or overly beautiful. Porter's tiny birds are violent and thrilling; Dumas' horses tired and soft. "Nature" photography if very often the most boring kind of photography out there. These particular series transcend the category, and I haven't stopped thinking about them since I left the city. The Dumas photographs come down on March 9th, Porter's Birds on April 8th. Both shows should be seen.