Two Must-see photography shows here in Midcoast Maine

This weekend I saw two shows that I highly recommend.  First (and hurry on this one) is the Yousuf Karsh show at the Haynes Gallery in Thomaston.  The exhibit features about 16 large format prints of Karsh’s iconic portraits.  Karsh shot with an 8×10 view camera and these silver gelatin prints are absolutely spectacular.  Most are 20×24 prints and are exquisite in their printing and detail.  Even if you don’t know his work you’ll likely recognize many of these portraits as many have become THE iconic portrait of their subject (esp. the Churchill and Hemingway shots).  The exhibit is on view until Oct. 23.  (note – I was particularly taken with the portrait of Pablo Casals)

One interesting aspect of this show is that they have the beautifully printed recent monograph of Karsh’s work available right there in the gallery (under Winston), meaning you can compare the print to the book.  Well, there is no bigger fan than photography books than I, but there is certainly no comparison in this case – the depth and presence of these prints can’t be matched by the monograph.  Interestingly, it appears that the prints were printed darker and with more contrast than those in the book – the book has more shadow detail but the darker look of the prints is quite powerful.

The other show I saw is at the Farnsworth – one of their many shows right now (and until January) is that of Emily Schiffer, the first Arnold Newman Memorial Prize winner.  Schiffer’s square format, black & white work on the Cheyenne River Reservation of the Lakota Sioux is simply amazing.  Heather Frederick also posted about this if you are interested in more details…but I highly recommend this exhibit.

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