November 1, 2021 - Megan N. Liberty
Allen Frame's Fever
Photographs from 1981 illustrate the artist’s archival care for his community.
...For Frame, this act of archival care carries special weight, since his own creative community’s legacy was disastrously impacted by the AIDS crisis. Curator and scholar Drew Sawyer sets the context for this body of work with his opening essay, focusing on Frame’s milieu and distinct use of color photography: “Part of the pleasure of these photographs for present-day viewers might come from recognizing well-known artists such as Robert Gober or Cady Noland. What made Frame’s psychologically imbedded pictures radical at the time was his use of color and his focus on the private lives of a queer community.” The photographs capture the moment, in the 1980s in downtown New York and Brooklyn, just before there was any awareness of AIDS, how it would remain ignored for so long, and how it would rip through the lives of those pictured. As Frame reflects in the monograph, “We were full of joy and hopefulness about our lives, about what we would accomplish creatively, about our close-knit relationships.”...