Press Release

Michael Spano: Urban Report
March 1st – April 14th, 2018
Opening Reception: Thursday March 1st, 2018

Steven Kasher Gallery is pleased to present Michael Spano: Urban Report, a survey of the artist’s recent photographic works. Urban Report extends Spano’s previous concerns, this time using color and computer processing to fuse visual incidents into large-scale compositions. Spano takes hundreds of photographs a day and combines selected exposures into a complex composite forms. Buildings, street signs, and pedestrians are arranged into a maze of interactions. All of the imagery in Urban Report was taken between 2014 and 2017 in New York City where Spano lives and works.


Spano’s compositions are utopian at times and quaint at others, but always multilayered and engaging. Much like the surveillance cameras that abound in these images, Spano’s eye spies on the public/private spaces of the city. The mundane and the magical are combined into profound and whimsical moments. Urban Report transforms photographic information into painterly renderings, using tone reversal and transparency to animate the frame. 


Michael Spano is well-known and widely collected for exploring photography’s technical limits with an audacious exuberance that recalls the European experimental art of the 1920s and 1930s. Over four decades, Spano’s experimental black and white photography focused on the city and its residents, and discontinuities of time and space. The New Yorker has written that Spano “has made some of the most inventive photographs of the urban scene since Ray K. Metzker and Lee Friedlander staked their claims to the territory.” 


Michael Spano (b. 1949) has been included in solo and group exhibitions internationally including at the Museum of Modern Art, Fogg Art Museum, Cleveland Museum of Art, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum of Art, and National Portrait Gallery. His work is represented in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, St. Louis Art Museum, Baltimore Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Art in Boston, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Princeton Museum of Art, Art Institute of Chicago, and Museum of Modern Art in New York. Spano is the former director and curator of the nonprofit Midtown Y Photography Gallery. He is the recipient of grants and fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, Camera Works, CAPS, Art Matters, and the Guggenheim Foundation. Two monographs of his work have been published: Auto Portraits (powerHouse Books, 2008) and Time Frames: City Pictures (powerHouse Books, 2002). Spano holds an MFA from Yale University and currently teaches at Sarah Lawrence College.


Michael Spano: Urban Report will be on view March 1st-April 14th, 2018. Steven Kasher Gallery is located at 515 W. 26th St., New York, NY 10001. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 AM to 6 PM. For inquiries, please contact Cassandra Johnson, 212 966 3978,