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Issue No. 17 - Enigma

Neil Folberg and Builder Levy at Flomenhaft Gallery

Neil Folberg and Builder Levy at Flomenhaft Gallery

Image above: ©Neil Folberg, Rubinov House Synagogue, 1993, Edition 3 of 7, Evercolor pigment transfer print
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Image above: ©Ashley Comer, Opening Night, Artist Builder Levy

Flomenhaft's artists are from opposite sides of the globe. Neil Folberg is from Israel and Builder Levy from the United States. Both photographers have been addicted to capturing the world through a lens since their youth. Flomenhaft is exhibiting works from several of their series. Flomenhaft is excited by the fact that each personality is so different and energized by totally different ways of engaging with the world.

Neil Folberg was born in America but moved to Israel in 1979. He studied with Ansel Adams before his exodus. The beauty of his night shot landscapes looking up at the stars all over Israel have been described by critics as ravishing. He captured sites never seen before and we are proud to show several of these amazing works. They were published by Abbeville press in Celestial Nights: Visions of an Ancient Land in 2001 and republished by them in 2008. In this exhibition, we also show other of his Israel landscapes and synagogues from other projects.

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Image above: ©Neil Folberg, Lucie Roart, 2003, Edition 1 of 10, Ultrachrome print on rag paper

Additionally, Folberg was commissioned to accompany and photograph works for two books by Lin Arison, a world traveler and author. The first was Travels with Van Gogh and the Impressionists: Discovering the Connections. From this adventure we are fortunate to show The Luncheon of the Boating Party after Renoir; Portrait of Lucie Rouart, the great grand niece of Berthe Morisot, after a portrait of Morisot by Manet; and Four Dancers, after Edgar Degas. Then from the book Feast of the Senses: a Musical Odyssey in Umbria we have La Scarzuola named for the city described throughout Umbria as magical and where St. Francis of Assisi created a monastery. All the actors featured in these Umbrian photos are from the Youth World Symphony and were accompanied by the famed conductor, Michael Tilson Thomas to Umbria for this project.

Builder Levy is a social realist who is interested in people and their enduring humanity. He captures people on the streets of Brooklyn and the wonderful way he does it you would not need a caption to know the location. An avid traveler, he was equally captivated by the people of Brazil, Tanzania, India, Cuba, Bolivia and so much more. Not surprisingly, civil rights is also a particular interest of Levy’s and at the March on Washington he was there capturing some of the most moving works of that historic episode in Americans’ lives

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Image above:©Builder Levy, Toby Moore, 1970, printed 1995 - 96, Old House Branch Mine, Pike County, Kentucky, Not editioned, individually hand printed, Gelatin silver print toned with Nelson’s Gold on Forte paper backed with Stonehenge rag

Since 1968 Levy has gone to the area of the coalmines of the Central Appalachian Mountains particularly West Virginia and Eastern Kentucky. Since then he has returned many times and has made good friends with the people who live and work there. In his poignant photographs he has captured workers coming out of the mines, people on their porches, with their children, and individuals whose portraits say it all. He captures their souls.

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Image above: ©Builder Levy, March on Washington, 1963, printed 2012 Washington, DC Edition 5 of 10 Platinum Print

He has exhibited in more than 200 shows, including more than 50 solo exhibitions, the most recent one was in Sarasota at the Ringling Museum of Art. He is a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellow (2008), has an Alicia Patterson Fellowship (2004), A Puffin Foundation Grant (2001), and A National Endowment of the Arts Visual Artists Fellowship in Photography (1982). Levy’s three books are Appalachian Coalfields, forward by Cornell Capa; Builder Levy Photographer introduction by noted photo historian Naomi Rosenblum; and most recently Appalachia USA (2014).

His photos are in more than 60 collections in the US and around the world including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum of Art, the High Museum Art, The International Center of Photography, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and La Bibliotheque Nationale.

East Meets West, Photographs by Neil Folberg and Builder Levy will be on view at Flomenhaft Gallery until April 16, 2016 at 547 W 27th st, New York, NY
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