Abbott and Marville: The City in Transition, a new photography exhibit at the Howard Greenberg Gallery in New York, gives viewers a privileged look at a ghostly past, showcasing photography that documents lost urban landscapes in New York and Paris. The images provide a telling look at the constant evolution of urban environments.
Berenice Abbott, a former assistant to Man Ray, captured images of New Yorkers' daily lives as part of the Federal Art Project of the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s. Her Changing New York project was a definitive statement about Depression-era New York, giving witness to the way that 19th-century structures made way for massive skyscrapers. In a similar fashion, Parisian photographer Charles Marville captures 19th-century Paris in transition, as the ideas of urban planner George-Eugène Haussmann were transforming medieval structures into a glistening, modern metropolis.
Abbott and Marville: The City in Transition, at Howard Greenberg Gallery (41 East 57th Street, Suite 1406, New York) through April 11, coincides with an exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York entitled Charles Marville: Photographer of Paris on view January 29-May 4, 2014.