Untitled (Mitchell Lumber) by Susan Lynn Smith

Untitled (Mitchell Lumber) by Susan Lynn Smith

New Photography inspired by the Paul Sack Collection

Featured Artists: Filza Ahmad, Ingeborg Gerdes, Toby Kahn, Nick Lawrence, Maggie Preston and Susan Lynn Smith

Opening Reception: Friday, October 9, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
October 9- November 22, 2015

About the Exhibition

The Berkeley Art Center is proud to present the next installment of Agility Projects – New Photography inspired by the Paul Sack Collection. BAC is proud to be entering into this partnership with Paul Sack and to give an opportunity for entirely new audiences to experience the rich photography community in the Bay Area. Jurors, Janet Delaney, Aimee Le Duc and Kira Lyons, selected six photographers: Filza Ahmad, Ingeborg Gerdes, Toby Kahn, Nick Lawrence, Maggie Preston and Susan Lynn Smith. These exhibiting artists represent of range of subject matter, approaches to practice and relationships to the built environment. 

About the Paul Sack Collection

The Paul Sack Collection of Photography seeks to show the history of photography from its beginnings to about 1975 in photographs each of which contains somewhere within it an ownable or leasable building.  That does not mean that it is a collection of architectural photography or of images of buildings.  The structure in the picture could be a small dot on a large landscape or could be the wall behind a portrait.  This theme flows from Sack’s career as an investor in real estate.

The collection contains approximately 2,800 prints, all of which are black and white.  In 1998, Sack gave the approximately 1,000 prints he then owned to the Sack Trust for SFMOMA, a supporting trust which allows the museum to do everything it could do if it owned the prints—exhibit, lend, conserve them; but when the museum is not so using them, they remain with the collection in Sack’s office.

Approximately one third of the collection are prints from the 19th century, including both salt prints and albumen prints.  At least 90% of the collection is from before 1975, as photography then became largely color and art became largely conceptual.  Nothing in the collection is longer than 24 inches on its longest side except for panoramas.

A selection of photographers are represented in the collection:

From the 19th century, for instance, there is a good representation of work by such eminences as the inventor of photography William Henry Fox Talbot, Roger Fenton, Gustave Le Gray, Edouard-Denis Baldus, George Barnard, Samuel Bourne, Francis Frith, J. B. Greene, Hill & Adamson, Charles Marville, Carlton Watkins, Louis De Clercq, Alexander Gardner, John Hillers, and William Henry Jackson.

From the 20th century, there are numbers of works by Eugene Atget, Man Ray, Diane Arbus, Robert Adams, Ilse Bing, Brassai, Bill Brandt, Manuel Alvarez Bravo,  Harry Callahan, Walker Evans, Lee Friedlander, Eikoh Hosoe, Ande Kertesz, Helen Levitt, Daido Moriyama,  Alexander Rodchenko, Edward Steichen, Shomei Tomatsu, and Garry Winogrand. 

About the jurors:

Janet Delaney is a fine art photographer who focuses her attention on the urban-scape. Most recently she has been documenting the changes taking place in the SoMa district of San Francisco.

Delaney has received three National Endowment for the Arts Grants and the Phelan Award. Her photographs are in collections such as the San Francisco Museum of Art, the de Young Museum and the Pilara Foundation. Her work has been shown both nationally and internationally. In late 2013 She published South of Market with Mack of London. This work is now exhibited in a one-person show at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, January to July of 2015.

For the past fifteen years she has held the position of adjunct lecturer in Visual Studies at the University of California, Berkeley and this year she was on the faculty for both the undergraduate and graduate programs at the San Francisco Art Institute.

Kira Lyons has worked in the San Francisco arts community for more than 15 years. Lyons worked at Stephen Wirtz Gallery and John Berggruen Gallery prior to landing her current role as Director at Gallery Wendi Norris, where a diverse mix of local and international artists are represented. Lyons works with a variety of international collectors and institutional collections. Kira has an Art History degree from San Francisco State University and has special expertise in the field of fine art photography as well as a growing interest in the global arts market. Kira was one of three art professionals chosen to serve as a juror for the 2013 Murphy and Cadogan Contemporary Art Awards. Kira enjoys being a participant in the San Francisco Arts Community as an active member of Artadia’s San Francisco Council, as well as Headlands Center for the Arts and Southern Exposure.

The Agility Projects is a series of exhibitions and public programs that seeks to engage diverse audiences with new and commissioned art by outstanding emerging artists from the Bay Area. The program provides artists with time and support to create new bodies of work that will push their own artistic practices in new directions.