Opening Reception March 7, 6-8 PM
We are pleased to announce Brian Rose’s first exhibition at Dillon Gallery, presenting 26 iconic images from
the Time and Space on the Lower East Side: 1980 + 2010. This exhibition represents both the early work
done in 1980 with Edward Fausty and the more recent photographs made by Rose on his own.
In 1980, Brian Rose, in collaboration with Edward Fausty, photographed the Lower East Side of Manhattan
with a 4x5 view camera. It was the neighborhood’s darkest, but most creative moment. While buildings
crumbled and burned, artists and musicians came to explore and express the edgy quality of the place. For
more than two decades that work sat unseen in Rose’s archive as he went on to other projects, most notably
his long-term documentation of the landscape of the Iron Curtain and the Berlin Wall.
After the wrenching events of 9/11, Rose was drawn back to New York as a subject for his camera. He began
thinking about making a response to what had happened to the city, one that would take a longer view of the
impact on New York and beyond. Eventually he decided to return to where he had begun— the Lower East
Side— the place where so many Americans traced their roots. The old neighborhood tucked beneath the
bridges, lying at the feet of the pinnacles of power, would serve as a barometer of change and continuity.
From the outset it was clear that this would not be a simple before/after take on the place. While keeping an
eye on the earlier photographs made with Fausty in 1980, Rose sought to rediscover the place with fresh eyes,
with the perspective of time, change, and history.
The result, Time and Space on the Lower East Side, is a book and a set of images that looks backward and
forward, that posits the idea that places are not simply “then and now,” but exist in a continuum of decay and
In the photograph East 4th Street, 1980, a stickball game is played under colorful fluttering bits of cloth hung
between looming tenement walls receding into the distance of the city's unending grid. It is an image
expressive of freedom and the timelessness of youth constrained by the dense architectural space of New
Suzanne Vega writes in the foreword to Time and Space that Rose's work "records the bones of the times we
have lived in, by which I mean that spirits have passed through the streets and worn away some of the
edifices. Some of the shapes against the sky have changed, especially since 9/11. And the fashions of
clothing, the graffiti, the expressions of the spirit are fluid and they change. But beneath all of this, is the
structure, the architecture, the unyielding scaffolding of this vibrant and dirty corner of New York City."
Brian Rose came to New York in 1977 to attend The Cooper Union where he studied with photographers Joel
Meyerowitz and the filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker. His book, The Lost Border, The Landscape of the Iron
Curtain, was published by Princeton Architectural Press in 2004. Rose’s photographs have been collected by
the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He lives and works in New York City with
urban planner Renée Schoonbeek and his 14-year-old son Brendan.