Fotografiska New York, a new photography museum and cultural space, has opened in the Flatiron District of New York City. It opens with five solo exhibitions by photographers Ellen von Unwerth, Tawny Chatmon, Adi Nes, Helene Schmitz, and, through a partnership with TIME magazine, Anastasia Taylor-Lind.
Even before you see the great photography on display, your eye has something to enjoy. The building itself is special: a glorious Renaissance Revival–style former church mission house, taking up 45,000 square feet and spread across six floors.
Fotografiska, of course, already comes with a built-in reputation in the photo industry. Founded in 2010 in Stockholm, it is guided by the principle of inspiring a more conscious world through photography. To date, the Fotografiska museum in Sweden has hosted over 200 exhibitions, including David LaChapelle, Annie Leibovitz, Albert Watson, Sally Mann, Cooper & Gorfer, Ren Hang, and Christian Tagliavini. Their exhibition model—which is mirrored in the new space in New York City—is to show several rotating exhibitions at once, which are developed directly with photographers, galleries, estates and private collectors. At any time, the exhibitions on display range from easily accessible to hardcore conceptual. Rising stars are exhibited next to legendary photographers, and styles range across abstract, landscape, portrait, documentary and more.
The five exhibits marking the opening of the New York City museum are all new. Celebrated fashion photographer Ellen von Unwerth will open “Devotion! 30 Years of Photographing Women,” a career retrospective. Self-taught talent Tawny Chatmon’s dreamy, intimate portraits of children of color, are woven through with elements of digital collage, gold leaf, and painting, and shine with Klimt-ian beauty.
Landscape photographer Helene Schmitz’s recent work showcases the large-scale impact of humans on nature. Anastasia Taylor-Lind illuminates the lives of women in New York and the childcare networks that they depend on to survive. Israeli photographer Adi Nes’s work explores identity politics through carefully staged scenes.
The gallery space itself is a (welcome) departure from the traditional “white box” model. Rich, dark wall colors and dramatic, highly focused lighting give the exhibition spaces a warm, almost domestic feeling. Large windows on the third to fifth floors allow ample lighting.
Fotografiska New York will also house a restaurant called Verōnika. The name is a nod to Veronica, the patron saint of photography.