Ki Smith Gallery is honored to host A Love Poem for New York, a memorial exhibition to celebrate the work and life of photographer Jill Freedman, who passed away last month.
This collection, curated by her longtime friend and neighbor Sade Akin Boyewa El, focuses on Freedman’s time in New York City and Washington D.C., pulling from three of her most renowned series: Resurrection City, Street Cops, and Firehouse. These documentary photographs are a powerful expression of the tumultuous decades from the from the 1960s to 80s. Freedman directly tackled the political circumstances that surrounded her, embedding herself amongst the people she would present in her work. Freedman’s commitment to experiencing the vibrancy, unrest, and noise of the city led her to create iconic works that have shaped our understanding of the era.
A Love Poem for New York displays, above all, heartbeats of intimacy that withstand the changing weather of time. A young boy pivots on his skateboard behind a cop embracing his girlfriend on the sidewalk. A family stands together on their stoop in Harlem beside portraits of Martin Luther King Jr. shortly after his assassination. Handwritten messages adorn makeshift walls and protest signs.
Freedman’s innumerable variations of love entwine this collection of photographs, offering an emotional perspective on her most ambitious bodies of work.