James Karales

Howard Greenberg Gallery
41 East 57 Street
Suite 1406
New York, NY 10022

November 8 – December 14

James Karales’ photographs of the Civil Rights movement put him on the photo world map, but some of his other major themes will be the focus of an exhibition at Howard Greenberg Gallery from November 8 – December 14, 2013. While his iconic image of the Selma to Montgomery march will be on view, the exhibition will also delve deeper into his lesser-known surveys of the integrated mining community of Rendville, Ohio; logging in Oregon; and the aftermath of the Andrea Doria disaster. Many of the images were taken for LOOK magazine and are on public view for the first time. The exhibition, which includes work from 1956 to 1969, will be held in HGG Two, located next to the main gallery at 41 East 57th Street in New York City. An opening will be held on Thursday, November 7, from 6-8 p.m.

The exhibition of work by James Karales (1930-2002) coincides with the publication of a new book by Steidl, with text by Vicki Goldberg, Howard Greenberg, and Sam Stephenson. The book, James Karales, aims to show that Karales’ stature as a photojournalist and social documentary photographer par excellence is based on much more than one image from Selma.

Another book published earlier this year, Controversy and Hope: The Civil Rights Photographs of James Karales (The University of South Carolina Press, April 2013), includes a forward by Civil Rights leader Andrew Young, who was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s aide. He writes, Karales’ images reveal “the complexity of emotions intertwined with the hopes and hardships of the struggle.”

In 1956, a young Karales set out to document Rendville, Ohio, a coal-mining town that had fallen on hard times. Immersing himself in the small town, he elevated and dignified its residents with his lens. The work attracted the attention of Helen Gee at the famed Limelight photography gallery in Greenwich Village who gave him a show in 1958. Among the highlights of the exhibition at Howard Greenberg Gallery are the photographer’s touching portrayals of everyday moments, a girl with a life-like doll in her lap and a woman clapping in church.

Also in 1956, the SS Andrea Doria, an Italian ocean liner bound for New York City, sunk off the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts, killing 52 people. Karales documented families awaiting news of survivors in New York City. In one photograph, two women embrace as a policeman stands over them seemingly oblivious to their plight.

In 1965, Karales traveled to Vietnam to photograph the U.S. Special Forces, where he told the story of the war though faces of the people. A 1963 image shows a young Vietnamese boy carrying a baby on his back in a cloth sling.

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