Alfred González: A long-Time Gallery Owner Unveils His Own Photographic ArtNot only does Alfred capture a sense of Paris with the same sensitivity of the master French photographers of the past, but he adds a unique edge; as evident in the way he juxtaposes the image of delicate painting with a steel iron girder. Though his photographic talents may be new to me, it's obvious that we're seeing works captured by a seasoned eye.
New York, NY—The exquisitely selective eye that has made Alfred Gonzalez's Gallery 71 an Upper East Side landmark as an oasis for prints and paintings by realists ranging from the great 19th century Ashcan School master John Sloan to the contemporary watercolorist Marion Welch, is everywhere evident in the first exhibition of Gonzalez's own photography.
Although Gonzalez, who grew up in Spanish Harlem and was educated at Manhattanville College and Pratt Institute, has been been taking pictures since childhood, his photography has been a well kept secret up to now. This selection, featuring austere black and white images of Paris notable for their formal beauty and contemplative content, will doubtless add a hyphen and the word "artist" to this respected gallery director's job description.
One standout among the several archival pigment prints on view was "Homage to Harold Altman, in which Gonzalez pays tribute to one of his gallery artists with an atmospheric image of a lone figure on a bench in a public park, viewed from a certain distance, the chiaroscuro of the surrounding foliage suggesting the subtly stippled surfaces of Altman's own paintings and prints. Another was "Amalia," an engaging rear view of a little girl sitting on a curb, her thick black pigtails dangling down the back of her white dress as she gazes dreamily across a picturesquely cobblestoned street. Yet another, "Love on the Seine," captures the public contortions of a couple on a stone bench near the fabled river of that romantic city.
This exemplary debut exhibition firmly establishes Alfred Gonzalez as a colleague in vision of the fine artists he has exhibited and championed for going on two decades.
–– Ed McCormack
Gallery & Studio magazine