Exclusive: 31 Women in Art Photography

Chuck Close may find this year’s Armory Show “dull and ordinary,” but the great thing about Armory Week in New York is the plethora of art events happening all over the city. Right this very second. One more for the agenda is 31 Women in Art Photography, curated by crack team Charlotte Cotton and Jon Feinstein in conjunction with Humble Arts Foundation and Affirmation Arts. This is the second edition of the female-friendly group show, produced to coincide with Women’s History Month and culled from a “vast number” of open-call entries. Eclectic in subject matter, the show’s commonality is the label of emerging talent, which in this case means pearls, not swine.

Judge for yourself and view a selection of works from 31 Women in Art Photography after the jump.

CLICK THROUGH for our exclusive photo set from Humble Art Foundation’s 31 Women in Art Photography »

We’re especially enamored with the contemporary vanitas set-ups by Justine Reyes, a photographer’s take on painterly still-life that incorporates dead leaves, bananas, and lunchboxes in place of rotting meat and cheese, and the work of Erika Larsen (pictured above), whose intimate scenes put an empathetic spin on the field of photojournalism. Emily Shur — whose slick celeb portraits are more hysterical than reverential — proves that she can straddle the commercial and fine arts fields with equal precision in her large-scale landscapes with social commentary, which fits in with Feinstein’s assertion that “so much of the exhibition is about collapsing genres.” On the opposite end of the spectrum is work by Jessica Eaton, a process-oriented, technical series that explores light, color, and tonality, and how photography is used to represent these formal aspects.

Curator Jon Feinstein, who founded Humble Arts Foundation with Amani Olu in 2005, explains the show as “jiving with Humble’s existing vision. We’re generally looking for work that we feel pushes boundaries of photography, making it not stagnant, but challenging on both a visual and technical level. The trick is finding a way to create a visual relationship between what could be a disparate group.”

Co-curator Charlotte Cotton (previously head of LACMA‘s photography department and photo curator at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London) is the founding editor of Words Without Pictures. In association with his work at Humble Arts Foundation, Feinstein has curated numerous photo-based exhibitions in New York including the current show at Hendershot Gallery, Trying Them On.

The 31 Women in Art Photography exhibition is on view Saturday, March 6 – Saturday, April 10, 2010 at Affirmation Arts (523 West 37th Street, Manhattan). To attend the opening reception tomorrow from 6-9 pm, please email rsvp{at}affirmationarts.com.