Americans Looking In

McDonalds, Ashok Sinha (2014)

On view at the Center for Book Arts Main Gallery October 9 through December 12, 2020.

The Americans, by Robert Frank, was a highly influential book in post-war American photography. The photographs were notable for their distanced view of both high and low strata of American society and the book as a whole created a complicated portrait of the period, interpreted as skeptical of contemporary values and evocative of ubiquitous loneliness. 

Both curators of this exhibition have reflected on what it means to be “American.” Having multicultural backgrounds and being raised in the States has given them both moments of confusion and frustration, and has led them to wonder what this country has to do with personal identity. When forming this exhibition, the curators presented themselves, artists, editors, leaders and everyday-people with the question – “What is American culture today, and what does an American look like?”

They ask the viewer to consider the question with them starting through the eyes of the artists in this exhibition, leading to self reflection upon exiting the space.

Thomas Allen, Uriel Cidor, Ana Paula Cordeiro, Daneila Deeg + Cynthia Delaney Lollis, Ke Francis, Jon Feinstein, Kris Graves, Iris Grimm, Amos Kennedy, Paul Kessel, Shane Lavalette, Jamie Martinez, Greg Miller, Andrea Modica, Tammy Nguyen, Iviva Olenick, Eric Pickersgill, Religious Leaders, E. Brady Robinson, Arlene Rush, Anastasia Samoylova, Ashok Sinha, Esther Smith, Brian Taylor, treat america project

Curated by Emilie Ahern and Sherri Littlefield

Opening Reception: October 8, 6:30pm

Support for the Center for Book Arts’ Visual Arts Program is provided, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.