The Gallery at The Sheen Center for Thought and Culture Presents ENTANGLEMENTS BY ALEX HARSLEY
The Gallery at The Sheen Center for Thought & Culture (18 Bleecker Street, NYC) presents "Entanglements by Alex Harsley."
The photo exhibition launches with an opening reception in the Gallery and a talkback with the artist on the stage of the Loreto Theater on Thursday, July 11 at 6PM. The exhibition is free and open to the public through August 4.
All photos on exhibition are available for purchase.The Gallery at The Sheen Center is open daily from 9AM to 11PM. www.sheencenter.org/exhibits/entanglements.
Marking the 81st birthday of this legendary East Village artist (on July 15), "Entanglements" is a photographic essay set in Harsley's beloved East Village community that documents the intergenerational journey of local resident families, including his own, at a time of exceptional creative momentum in New York City. The exhibit is co-curated by his daughter, Kendra Harsley.
Alex Harsley has curated The 4th Street Photo Gallery and The Minority Photographers non-profit since the early 1970's. Minority Photographers, Inc. has long been one of the most important non-profit community of artists on the New York gallery scene for talented photographers. Harsley's own reportage style of photography started in 1958 as the first black photographer for the New York City District Attorney. Since that time he has continued to capture the true intimate moments and personality of New York City. His collection contains the historical lineage of musicians (including John Coltrane, Charles Mingus and Nina Simone); politicians, activists and public figures (including Muhammad Ali, Harry Belafonte, Shirley Chisholm, Angela Davis, Coretta Scott King, Paul Robeson Jr, and Al Sharpton), street folk, landscapes and neighbors from the 1950's through present day. His documentary medium consists of film, digital photography, and digital sound and video.
"New York City saved me. And I'm always paying back New York City by photographing it," says Harsley. "I've been a time traveler, and I've been documenting these time zones with my photos. What keeps coming to mind is succession, or concatenation, owing to the overlapping that takes place throughout history. With this upcoming exhibition at The Sheen Center, I will present a history of the Lower East Side and the generations of families - including my family - that I documented over a span of 40 years ...the human energy that came and went through the door of the gallery."
"There's an interesting mix of grief and joy that's emerged for me as I've delved deeper into the entanglements of my father's work and the history of our community," says Kendra Harsley. "Joy, because of the sheer amount of hilarious and beautiful synchronicity that emerge between his unending body of work and the stories that both new and old visitors dole out. All this in the same gallery that I grew up in. The grief comes because it's complex. ...Nevertheless, we keep showing up, opening the door, sharing stories, and celebrating the magic that emerges from the mixing of our complexities."
"When I met Alex I met an unassuming, kind and incredibly insightful artist whose observations of a changing New York not only make for stunning photographs but are an invaluable record of the cultural history of the city," says Fr. Frank Sabatté, CSP, Senior Curator, The Gallery at the Sheen Center. "Alex's work tells us not only where we have been but where we are going. So pay attention!"
"You can't view Alex's work without feeling like your perspective on the world has been elevated," says Kelley Girod of The Sheen Center for Thought & Culture. "Alex has watched the world change through his glass doors on East 4th Street for nearly six decades, inspiring the likes of Jean Michel Basquiat, Dawoud Bey, David Hammons, Barbara Rosenthal, to name just a few. In New York's ever-changing cultural landscape, both Alex Harsley and his beloved 4th Street Photo Gallery are two of the most important and influential cultural institutions that the Lower East Side still has. It's an honor to exhibit his photos at The Gallery at The Sheen Center."
The Sheen Center for Thought & Culture (www.sheencenter.org) is a New York City arts center located in NoHo that presents a vibrant mix of theater, film, music, art and talk events. A project of the Archdiocese of New York, The Sheen Center serves all New Yorkers by presenting performances and artists that reflect the true, the good, and the beautiful. Named for the late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, best remembered as an inspirational author, radio host and two-time Emmy Award-winning television personality, The Sheen Center reflects his modern-day approach to contemporary topics. The Sheen Center is a state-of-the-art theater complex that includes the 270-seat off-Broadway Loreto Theater, equipped with five-camera high-definition TV and live-stream capability and a multi-track recording studio; the 80-seat off-off-Broadway Black Box Theater; four rehearsal studios; and an art gallery.