Droll, witty, and tensely erotic, Smalley’s work takes place in an invented time and space, like one you dreamed of when you were young.
APRIL 11 2015 4:00 AM ET
There is something so enjoyable and likable about Luke Smalley’s work, that it only emphasizes the early loss of his talent. Inspired by school athletics and high school yearbook photos, Smalley takes the gay male gaze past the closet-y subterfuges of Bruce Weber and into a more analytic perception of youth, male ritual, and sexuality.
After Smalley died unexpectedly in 2009 at the age of 53, the Smalley Partnership was formed for the purpose of continuing Luke Smalley’s photographic legacy. The art gallery ClampArt, in the Chelsea district of New York City, currently represents the efforts of the Smalley Partnership.
ClampArt is currently presenting a retrospective exhibition of photographs by Luke Smalley ongoing until May 9. The show includes examples from Smalley’s first black-and-white series, “Gymnasium,” in addition to his two color collections—“Exercise at Home” and “Sunday Drive.”
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Indian Club I, 1997