The new show “Projects: Ming Smith” at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) celebrates light and love in the photographer’s work.
To see a Ming Smith photograph means to follow the light. Light as it swims over Alvin Ailey dancers, light as it illuminates a waitress in a diner, light as it traces a family on the street in Harlem. Indeed, this is what Smith herself does when she makes an image.
“That’s what dictated the compositions, the way the light played out in them,” she says in the exhibition text of the new show “Projects: Ming Smith” at the Museum of Modern Art until May 29, a collaboration with The Studio Museum in Harlem. “I follow the light–in the movement, in the flight, in the sun streaming, in the darkness pulsing.”
Smith’s painterly and abstract images in the show–which she makes clear is not a retrospective but an introduction; or rather, a reintroduction as the museum says–are from the first half of her career in New York, from her arrival in the 1970s through to the late 1990s.
To read more : With Light and Love: Looking at Ming Smith