1. General Picture News, Churches Warning to Girls, c. 1920
2. Beuford Smith, Harlem, NY, n.d.
3. Todd Webb, Rockefeller Center, New York City. Shops on Sixth Avenue near Rockefeller Center, 1947
4. Jan Lukas, Untitled, 1964
5. Caio Garrubba, Untitled, 1960
6. David Attie, Times Square, 1958
7. Simpson Kalisher, Untitled, 1962
8. LeRoy Henderson, Central Park Anti-Vietnam War Rally, 1968
9. LeRoy Henderson, Washington, D.C. Poor People's Campaign, 1968
10. LeRoy Henderson, Cafe Wha! Greenwich Village, N.Y. (MacDougal Street), c. 1965
11. Simpson Kalisher, Untitled, c. 1960
12. Arthur Rothstein, Unemployed Musicians, New York City, c. 1935
13. Weegee, Untitled, c. 1945
14. Bedrich Grunzweig, Times Square at Night, New York City, c. 1959
15. Marvin E. Newman, Chicago, 1950
16. Cecil Beaton, New York, c. 1935
17. Gordon Coster, Untitled, n.d.
18. Gordon Coster, Untitled, c. 1938
19. Gordon Coster, W.P.A. Parade, Chicago, 1939
20. Gordon Coster, Untitled, 1944
21. Gordon Coster, Untitled, c. 1942
22. Gordon Coster, Let's All Back the Attack, c. 1943
23. Loomis Dean, Untitled, c. 1942
24. Ed Clark, Mickey Cohen, Gangster, 1949
25. Simpson Kalisher, Untitled, 1949
26. David Attie, Untitled (for Pageant Magazine), n.d.
27. Simpson Kalisher, Untitled, c. 1960
28. Howard Sochurek, Communist in Malaya, 1952
29. Simpson Kalisher, Untitled, 1949
30. Simpson Kalisher, Untitled, 1960
31. Simpson Kalisher, Untitled, n.d.
32. Gordon Coster, Preach the Word, c. 1940
33. Howard Sochurek, Richard Nixon Campaign, 1968
34. LeRoy Henderson, 1st Anti-Vietnam War Rally, Marchers on Madison Avenue, April 15, 1967
35. Flip Schulke, I Am a Man/Union Justice Now, Martin Luther King Memorial March for Union Justice and to End Racism, Memphis, Tennessee, 1968
36. James Karales, "Get Right with God" sign on Highway 80 on the Selma to Montgomery March, 1964
37. Flip Schulke, March on Washington, August 28, 1963
38. Bill Brandt, Religious Demonstration, Epsom Derby Day, c. 1933
39. United Press, Every Fourth Year..., May 30, 1952
40. Southeast Air Corps Training Center, The human side of America's well-known defense challenge is shown here by Flying Cadets in the Southeast Air Corps Training Center, who have arranged themselves on the apron in front of a Maxwell Field hanger..., August 11, 1941
41. International News Photos, An aerial photo of Manhattan..., February 18, 1939
42. Jan Lukas, New York World Fair, 1964
43. Acme Photo, "Kiss the Plumber" - A Business, Not a Pastime, February 1, 1946
44. Associated Press, Endurance Fliers Aim for New Record, September 21, 1949
45. Sun Wire Photo, Sun Wire Photo Trailer, October 7, 1937
46. Simpson Kalisher, Untitled, 1952
47. UPI Photo, "In Fright," New York, April 18, 1967
48. Anonymous, Marilyn Monroe, in her first public appearance since returning from England, joins forces with Perle Mesta to launch the sale of tickets for Warner Bros' gala Actors' Studio benefit premiere of Elia Kazan's "Baby Doll" on December 18 at the Victoria Theatre..., December 19, 1956
49. Photo Gratis, New York: Entertainer Barbra Streisand, August 5, 1966
50. Anonymous, Untitled, 1965
51. Cleveland Press, A Pressing Assignment...is undertaken by Mrs. Ohio, April 26, 1954
52. Howard Sochurek, General Norstad, NATO Paris, 1958
52. Beuford Smith, Love, NYC, 1975
Keith de Lellis Gallery explores the relationship between text and image in its latest exhibition, Picture the Word. When photography incorporates the written word, which is the stronger element? Does the scene contradict or confirm the written message? Is the photographer's intent made clearer or obscured by the text? The viewer is invited to consider these questions as they explore the photographs on display in Picture the Word.
This exhibition features works by such greats as Weegee, Bill Brandt, and Simpson Kalisher, as well as anonymous press photographers and well-known photojournalists. Text is provided in the form of handmade protest signs, newspaper headlines, advertisements, graffiti, and more. Immediately, the viewer is drawn to these verbal clues, and allows the text to guide their visual navigation of the photograph.
Rod Slemmons, former director of the Museum of Contemporary Photography, explained the various considerations the photographer must take into account in combining text and image: "First, the words have accepted, coded meanings and contexts that affect what we see in the adjacent images. Second, the words invoke mental images that might also conflict with what we see. Third, images have meanings and contexts that may alter our engagement with the adjacent words. Fourth, images can call up words in the mind of the viewer."
While most images feature found instances of type within a scene, a select few have been constructed or posed. In either case, the text shifts the viewers' perception of the photograph, and vice versa. Ed Clark photographs gangster Mickey Cohen, a man whose notoriety is made clear by countless newspapers, making up the backdrop for his portrait, with his name in every headline. Simpson Kalisher captures a pair of men in military uniforms from behind, the view of what holds their attention is obscured; the sign above them reads "Peep Show". What would we assume about these well-dressed men without the words featured in each image? With only the text, how would we picture the subjects of these photographs?
The images gathered in Picture the Word demonstrate the strengths and limitations of the written word and the photographic image, and how they can be used in tandem to convey a strong message.
This exhibition will be on view at the Keith de Lellis Gallery through June 23, 2017.