A Tender Light represents Philadelphia-based photographer will Brown’s first solo exhibition in New York. The show features 29 intimate black and white photographs taken in the early seventies in Queen Village, an old mercantile area in south Philadelphia.
Storefronts, old cars and neighborhood residents are the primary focus here. In Fitzwater Street Caddie, from 1972, we see a bedraggled Cadillac in front of a wall scrawled with graffiti, looking like the bones of a dinosaur that once proudly roamed here. Shop windows were often shot in the early morning when the streets were empty, their dusty windows glowing in the light and criss-crossed with long shadows. Brown’s prints capture a very tender light, similar in feeling to the light in Eugene Atget’s early morning vistas of Paris and the surrounding parks.
Will Brown’s photographs were featured in 2009 in Common Ground: Eight Philadelphia Photographers in the 1960’s and 1970’s at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and in a solo show this past summer at The Fabric Workshop Museum in Philadelphia. His works are held in the collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library of Yale University, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and many private collections.