Saturday, September 12, 2009

Tracey Baran- Pictures of Tracey @ Leslie Tonkonow 9/12/09

Tracey Baran- Today I'm 30, 2005

Tracey Baran -No Looking Back 2005

The show is opening this coming Thursday but, I will be in Boston so, going right now. Don't miss it!


Photographs by Tracey Baran (1975–2008)

September 12– October 17, 2009

The exhibition celebrates the life and work of Tracey Baran who died after a brief illness in November 2008 at the age of 33.

Tracey Baran was born in 1975 in Bath, a small rural town in western New York State. In 1993, when she arrived in New York City to attend the School of Visual Arts, she began to define and record the story of her life in pictures of herself, her family, and friends, and the rustic landscape of her childhood. Possessing an unusual blend of candor and empathy, her photographs intermingle spontaneously-recorded moments with posed and directed depictions that resonate with intense feeling, a painterly sensibility and her consummate skill as a color printer.

In her essay written for Tracey Baran’s solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, curator Karen Irvine compared Baran’s photographs to those of William Eggleston, writing that, “like Eggleston, Baran is fluent in the expressive capacity of color photography and she often counterbalances the formal beauty of her pictures with a certain unsettling ambiguity.”

The exhibition, our third solo presentation of works by the artist, will include seventeen large-scale prints made by the artist between 1998 and 2008. A selection of smaller, unfinished “work prints” will also be displayed.

In the introduction to his interview with Tracey Baran for Uovo Magazine (2006), the critic and poet Barry Schwabsky wrote:

From the moment I first saw Tracey Baran’s work, back in 1998, it’s haunted me. Tracey was just 23 then, but already there was something preternaturally self-aware in her photographic gaze. Turning her camera on her family, her friends and herself, she was making pictures with a rare combination of empathy and frankness – producing images somehow at once oblique and confrontational, emotionally raw and formally self-possessed. I wondered how someone so young could look at things so knowingly. Eight years later, having watched her work steadily deepening, I’m even more nonplussed. Why should images – especially ones of what is after all a most ordinary American life – be so physically compelling?

Tracey Baran’s first one-person exhibition took place in 1998 at the Liebman Magnan Gallery in New York. She had six additional solo shows, including a 2002 exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, and participated in more than thirty group shows at galleries and museums throughout the world, including, among others, the Guggenheim Museum (New York and Bilbao), the Folkwang Museum, Essen; P.S. 1/MoMA, New York; The Milwaukee Art Museum; and the Pusan Metropolitan Art Museum, Korea.

She was the recipient of several grants and awards including the Henry Buhl Foundation Grant (first prize) in 2002, the Aaron Siskind Foundation Individual Photographer’s Fellowship in 2005, and the Santa Fe Center for Photography Juror’s Choice Grant in 2006. Her work is included in the collections of the Hessel Museum of Art at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY; the Milwaukee Art Museum; the Miami Art Museum, and other institutions.

The Tracey Baran Memorial Auction in support of The Tracey Baran Award, an annual grant for an emerging female photographer established by the artist’s family and friends, will take place from September 15 through September 30 at

An online exhibition of works by Tracey Baran, curated by Amy Elkins and Cara Phillips, may be viewed from September 22 through October 5 at Women in Photography (

The gallery is located at 535 West 22nd Street, between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues, on the sixth floor. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.

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