New York from the Yards
Harper's Books is pleased to present Peter Spaans: New York from the Yards, an exhibition of black and white photographs shot in and around the city's subway yards in the mid-eighties. On Saturday, October 15, we will host an opening reception with the photographer, who will travel from Amsterdam for this event.
Our exhibition is the first public appearance of these photographs, which are highlights from Spaans' project, New York from the Yards, published in 1986 in the Netherlands. While relatively unknown due to its small edition size, this remarkable artist's book has become highly sought after by collectors. The individual photographs are themselves no less revelatory, first as aesthetic objects depicting the forlorn beauty and intensity one encounters at the edges of the city, but also as a slice of history, capturing a time and place associated more with graffiti art, abandoned buildings, and vague unease. In addition to the photographs, we will offer several copies of the original version of New York from the Yards, as well as a new limited edition published to coincide with this exhibition.
Over the course of several visits in 1984-1985, Peter Spaans was granted access by the MTA to photograph inside eight of New York City's subway storage and transfer yards. Whether in the Bronx, Jamaica, or Coney Island, the resulting images of empty trains, housing projects, and vast swaths of urban decay represent snapshots usually glimpsed from grimy elevated subway windows in the outer boroughs, or from cars while being whisked to an airport, a beach, or a ball game. They are not places one ordinarily stops to admire the scenery.
Similar to the Becher's Düsseldorf School, Spaans' photographs have a feeling on the surface of detachment and cold documentation. There are few people and few signs of life. New York from the Yards could easily be seen as a topographical study of an anonymous city, employing a similar philosophy as the German photographers. Yet Spaans' images are quintessentially New York. His focus on the marginalia of a city still firmly rooted in the pre-Giuliani era exudes a strange romance, almost a spell, that only this city can provide.
For further information, please contact the gallery at 631-324-1131 or email@example.com.
Hours: Monday – Friday, 10:00 – 6:00; Saturday, 10:00 – 8:00; Sunday, 11:00 - 5:00, or by appointment.
Harper’s Books is located at 87 Newtown Lane in East Hampton, New York.
- October 24, 2018 - November 24, 2018
Nicasio Fernandez: Working Through It
- September 12, 2018 - October 20, 2018
Marcus Brutus: The Uhmericans
- August 17, 2018 - October 10, 2018
- July 21, 2018 - August 15, 2018
Simphiwe Ndzube: Dancing into Form
- July 21, 2018 - August 15, 2018
Cassi Namoda: We Killed Mangy Dog
- June 23, 2018 - July 18, 2018
- May 26, 2018 - June 20, 2018
Maryam Eisler: The Sublime Feminine
- May 1, 2018 - June 16, 2018
Susumu Kamijo: I'll Walk You Tomorrow | Harper's Apartment
- March 22, 2018 - April 28, 2018
Nick Weber: Night Turns | Harper's Apartment
- January 17, 2018 - March 14, 2018
Joel Mesler: Most of it is my money, F-J | Harper's Apartment
- September 14, 2017 - October 26, 2017
Margo Wolowiec: Rose Garden | Harper's Apartment
- August 19, 2017 - October 15, 2017
Enoc Perez: Nudes
- see all exhibitions