The Shape of Things

Eye-opening images from MoMA’s collection

Above: I Adore You (1947) by Frederick Sommer. Gelatin silver print, 7.5625 × 9.5 inches. Home page/Photography page: Untitled from the series Desire (1990), by David Levinthal. Color instant print (Polaroid), 24 x 20.0625 inches. © 2016 David Levinthal. Images courtesy Museum of Modern Art, New York.

    BY: Sacia Friedman

    Wednesday, December 21, 2016

“The Shape of Things: Photographs From Robert B. Menschel,” a survey of classic and provocative photography that covers 150 years of the art form, is on view at the Museum of Modern Art in New York through May 7. All of the photographs in the exhibit (by artists such as Aaron Siskind and Harry Callahan) were selected from the 500 works that have entered the Museum’s collection due to the support and generosity of Menschel, a trustee and former board chairman—many donated from his personal collection. PROVOKR members can sample some of the show’s iconic images, above and below.

 

Untitled from the series Desire (1990) by David Levinthal. Color instant print (Polaroid), 24 x 20 1/16&quot. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2016 David Levinthal.
Untitled from the series Desire (1990), by David Levinthal. Color instant print (Polaroid), 24 x 20.0625 inches. Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2016 David Levinthal.

 

Photogram Michael Spano
Photogram—Michael Spano (1983), by Michael Spano. Gelatin silver print, 57.875 x 23.9375 inches. Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2016 Michael Spano.

 

The Gay Deceiver (c. 1939) by Weegee (Arthur Fellig). Gelatin silver print 13 x 10 1/4&quot.
The Gay Deceiver (c. 1939), by Weegee. Gelatin silver print, 13 x 10.25 inches. Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2016 Weegee/ICP/Getty Images.

 

A Monastic Brothel, Rue Monsieur-le- Prince, Quartier Latin (c. 1931) by Brassaï (Gyula Halász). Gelatin silver print, 9 1/8 × 6 7/8&quot. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © Estate Brassaï-RMNA Monastic Brothel, Rue
A Monastic Brothel, Rue Monsieur-le-Prince, Quartier Latin (c. 1931), by Brassaï. Gelatin silver print, 9.125 × 6.875 inches. Museum of Modern Art, New York. © Estate Brassaï-RMNA Monastic Brothel, Rue.

 

Aix-en- Provence (1957) by Harry Callahan. Gelatin silver print, 7 1/16 × 7 1/16&quot. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2016 The Estate of Harry Callahan.
Aix-en-Provence (1957), by Harry Callahan. Gelatin silver print, 7.0625 × 7.0625 inches. Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2016 Estate of Harry Callahan.

 

Exhibition of the Witch (c. 1948) by Val Telberg. Gelatin silver print, 10 15/16 x 13 3/4&quot. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2016 Estate of Val Telberg.
Exhibition of the Witch (c. 1948), by Val Telberg. Gelatin silver print, 10.9375 x 13.75 inches. Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2016 Estate of Val Telberg.

 

North Carolina 30 (1951) by Aaron Siskind Gelatin silver print 13 1/16 × 9 11/16&quot.
North Carolina 30 (1951), by Aaron Siskind. Gelatin silver print, 13.0625 × 9.6875 inches. © 2016 Estate of Aaron Siskind.

 

Rockland County, New York (1980) by Lee Friedlander. Gelatin silver print, 12 3/8 x 18 5/8&quot. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2016 Lee Friedlander.
Rockland County, New York (1980), by Lee Friedlander. Gelatin silver print, 12.375 x 18.625 inches. Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2016 Lee Friedlander.