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NYC Photographer Sid Kerner Explores the Human Side of Objects: at Art Center through October


Phyllis Cohen Stevens
Deputy Director of News Services

(718) 997-5597

Maria Matteo
News Assistant
(718) 997-5593


-- New York City Photographer Uncovers the Human Side of Familiar City Objects--

Exhibition Dates: Monday, August 27 – Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Where: The Queens College Art Center
(part of the Kupferberg Center for the Arts)
6th floor, Benjamin S. Rosenthal Library
Queens College
65-30 Kissena Boulevard, Flushing, NY
Gallery Talk and Reception: Tuesday, September 11, 2007, 5 - 6 pm
Reception, 6 - 8 pm

Gallery Hours: Mondays - Thursdays, 9 am - 8 pm
Fridays, 9 am - 5 pm
(Closed Labor Day; Columbus Day; open September 12, 13
and 18 from 9 am -5 pm)
Gallery Contacts: For more info: (718) 997-3770
Fee: Free and open to the public

FLUSHING, NY, August 13, 2007 – Face to Face, a series of color images in which New York City photographer Sid Kerner gives the viewer an opportunity to experience the human side of familiar, everyday objects, will be on display at the Queens College Art Center from Monday, August 27 through Wednesday, October 31. On Tuesday, September 11, the public is invited to a free gallery talk by the artist from 5 to 6 pm. A reception will follow until 8 pm. For more information, please visit:

Kerner began observing New York City through the eye of the camera in 1937, when he joined the Photo League at age 17. “[My] basic impulse was to create images – what came later was a desire to combine my love of photography with a need to say something about life around me,” explains the Brooklyn native.

Through the Photo League, Kerner became part of a group of photographers who believed that their work should reflect the times they live in, recording what was disturbing as well as what was hopeful about their world. “My camera became my ‘raison d’être,’” he said. “It allowed me to photograph many facets of life around me. To paraphrase Lewis Hine: to document what was wrong in society so that it may be corrected – and the beautiful, so that it may be appreciated.”

During World War II, Kerner served with the 28th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron, seeing duty in Okinawa. When the war ended, he freelanced as a film cameraman before becoming a television lighting director, first with NBC and then for three decades with ABC.

In his spare time, he continued taking photographs. His first show at the Queens College Art Center, Sidney Kerner: New York City Photographs, 1937–1990, a retrospective presented 17 years ago, reflected his long-term involvement with the city and its people.

As he walks the streets of his city, open to chance encounters, Kerner finds ephemeral moments and collects unexpected fragments of common things that evoke portrait-like appearances, and with the aid of his camera, he preserves their visual surprise, beauty, poetry and wit. “I’ve been photographing faces that don’t reflect the times in which they exist, but are part of the present physical environment,” he notes. “Walker Evans once remarked that the street is ‘his museum.’ It’s not only my museum, but also the place I visit to discover and create my faces. They exist in the streets, but only come to life when I put a ‘frame’ around them. For me, the excitement always starts in the street – and sometimes, underfoot.”

The images in Face to Face fuse Kerner’s lifelong love of photography and concern for people. Captured by his camera, stray bits of our everyday surroundings take on a life of their own, drawing our attention to what we look at every day but do not always see. In effect, these very personal pictures invite us to participate in the creative process of a unique artist who is currently working on a series of abstract and surreal photos. “As I live, I photograph, and as I photograph, I live,” he says.

Kerner’s photographs are represented in the New York Public Library, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the New York Historical Society, the Museum of the City of New York, the Archives of the Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas, the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, Bibliothèque Historique de la Ville De Paris, Arquivo Fotografico, Camara Municipal de Lisboa, Portugal, and in many private collections. His published works include Family of Woman (Ridge Press, 1979), Lisbon Pictures, 1967 (Lisbon, Câmara Municipal de Lisboa), and coverage in Camera (“Portfolio: New York City, 1937-1939”), Modern Photography, and Time-Life’s Photography Year 1979.

Photographs as well as biographical and sales information are available upon request.

Visitors to the Sid Kerner exhibition may also want to see the Spirit and Power in African Art exhibition at the Godwin-Ternbach Museum on campus (October 1 – December 15, 2007). For information, please visit

For directions to Queens College, go to


 Office Information

Deputy Director of News Services
(Position vacant)

(718) 997- 5597

Maria Matteo
Assistant Director of News Services
Queens Hall, Room 270B
(718) 997-5593

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