Howard Greenberg Tambien

12 July – 30 September 2024

Galeria Tambien
Santa Gertrudis
Ibiza, Spain

Galeria Tambien’s curation of photographs from Howard Greenberg’s collection takes us on an aesthetic and emotional journey, from nostalgia to impertinence to introspection. The selection of works reflects the spirit of Tambien, a space where Nathalie and Jorge share their artistic palette and favorite pieces, but which also serves as a place for social, creative, and intellectual interactions.

First and foremost, each work is both unique and also capable of resonating with the others, in an infinite journey of inspirations and echoes. The veil worn by the girl posing in the street for Mary Ellen Mark Tiny Black Hat & Veil (Poster), Streetwise is reminiscent of the one worn by the model smoking a cigarette (William Klein, Smoke and Veil).

The lonely storefronts captured by Frank Gohlke almost seem like black-and-white versions of the shots of the American West taken by Wim Wenders on his study trip for Paris, Texas. The photographs also resonate with one another through a visual language that plays with colors—often contrasting in Harry Gruyaert’s work, softer, even subdued in Saul Leiter’s—, textures—which Aaron Siskind’s photographs explore—and surprising, eccentric perspectives. Although eclectic, spanning the history of twentieth-century photography as well as different styles and territories, these works deliver a vision and a relationship to the world that is creative, subjective, and of course artistic.

The selection also invites a genuine dialogue between the arts, with some works clearly evoking painting, such as the still lifes by Charles Jones. But what really stands out is their cinematic dimension, reminiscent of the way filmmakers construct captivating stories, using composition, framing, and lighting to shape a narrative.

The works in this exhibition capture moments that tell stories and evoke emotions, like still images from a film, fragments of a stylized, dramatized reality. They are inhabited by intriguing, fascinating and moving characters, who can be casual or daring, like the brazen and bold young gangs of Brooklyn captured by Bruce Davidson.

The settings are manifold—they can be intimate, interior, confidential, but also open, public, vast and even sometimes interstitial, as Joel Meyerowitz’s photographs reveal. The selected images thus represent the full diversity of possible experiences of the world. Carried by a breath of freedom, they invite us to explore reality, but also to reflect, to question our perceptions, to imagine other narratives, to bring out hidden meanings and buried feelings. To emancipate ourselves.

The selection is a visual anthology, encouraging us to look at the world differently. Each image is a privileged moment, captured by the artist’s eye, distilling, sublimating and re-enchanting reality and everyday life. It’s seeing beauty, poetry, and uniqueness in the smallest things. The extraordinary. A gift from Howard Greenberg by generously granting access to his monumental visual library.

Professor of American Studies Gustave Eiffel University of Paris, Member of the Editorial
Board of the Revue Française d’Études Américaines