racing forms |
by p.c. smith
a gallery tip sheet
Jan. 26-Mar. 8, 1997
Like James Taylor's music, I've always
associated Nicholas Nixon's photographs
with the bland `70s. Nixon is known for
well-crafted black-and-white pictures of
fairly ordinary people, taken with an 8 x
10 view camera and usually contact-printed.
These have included a few "unusual"
subjects, notably a recent series of AIDS
patients harrowingly near death. In this
show, though, titled "Here and There," are
contact prints of his wife and children
("Here") and 20 x 24 in. enlargements of
students at the Boston Latin School
("There"). The candid groupings of students
are ostentatiously unremarkable, as if
Nixon believes that in time, the most
important characteristics of a moment will
be the ones we take most for granted. It is
Nixon's family photos that really bring
this point home with the force of
sentiment. One sees him treasuring his
children's normality, particularly in
intimate details like a close-up of his
son's hair. Some photographs even swoon
blissfully out of focus.
P.C. SMITH is a painter who writes on art.