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How have you been enjoying the unrelenting, nearly incomprehensible (covfefe?!?) barrage of information accosting us daily? Like me, you may be attempting to filter the blitz, sorting out reasons to be cheerful. I found a good one! Henry Horenstein’s solo exhibit Histories offers a welcome dose of perspective, served with a zesty dollop of humor, on view at Carroll and Sons Gallery in Boston’s SoWa arts district through June 24th, 2017.
With a career-long mantra of “shoot what you love” (credited to his RISD mentor Harry Callahan), Horenstein has trained his insatiable, analytic eye on countless subcultures across America and the world, condensing narratives into singular frames that peal with infectious humor. Documentary photographers used to make a habit of attempting such nuggets in a shot, but it’s increasingly rare now, given way to lengthier series and projects. Horenstein’s approach allows viewers to take in huge spans of culture and time in an exhibit that craftily juxtaposes images with compositional or thematic parallels for maximum effect. They portray differences while describing similarities.
Unlike Horenstein’s book “Histories” (which is subtitled “Tales From the ’70’s”), this exhibit surveys his wide-ranging photographic forays over a lengthy and prolific career. To handle the sheer volume and accentuate the many clever associations between sometimes incongruent subjects, unframed prints are clustered in large groups along each of the main gallery’s enormous walls. With another photographer, this might seem overwhelming, but with Horenstein it has a marvelously additive effect. It reads rather like an inclusive celebration of mankind and our animal kingdom, with the reassuring refrain that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Histories is Horenstein’s passionate and generous photographic gift that proclaims joy to the world.
For more information about this exhibit, go to: http://carrollandsons.net/exhibitions/index.php
Feature Image: From Histories (Detail) by Henry Horenstein (courtesy of the artist and Carroll and Sons Gallery, Boston).