Photos courtesy of The Capa Space
Named for famed Westchester photographer Robert Capa, the Ossining gallery showcases artistic activism by local William Abranowicz.
While on assignment in Los Angeles in 2017, photographer William Abranowicz was inspired by seemingly ordinary modern-day places that had significance during the civil rights movement. His subsequent journey through the American South produced a series of works that formed the ideal foundation for The Capa Space’s inaugural show, “This Far and No Further.”
The longtime Bedford resident, now relocated to the Catskills, upholds the artistic and educational goals of the fledgling nonprofit. According to Capa Space Co-Founder Elise Graham, Abranowicz’s photographs reflect the arts center’s mission of “using the power of photography to achieve goals of social justice, peace, and change.”
The Capa Space is named for legendary war photographer Robert Capa, whose work precedes and parallels that of Abranowicz. The 20th-century photographer began by documenting the Spanish Civil War and capturing scenes at Normandy in a style known as “concerned photography,” a term coined by Capa’s brother, Cornell.
“He put himself in the middle of conflicts,” says Graham. Following Capa’s death from stepping on a landmine in Vietnam, he was buried in Yorktown, where he continues to serve as inspiration to the local art community.
Space for the show has been provided by the Bethany Arts Community of Ossining, as the nonprofit Capa Space has yet to settle into a physical location. Graham, herself an artist of 30 years, cites her interest in attracting cultural attention to her native Yorktown as the driving force behind the origination of the Capa Space. “Our mission is to inspire community, to get people to believe that the camera in their back pocket has power,” says Graham.
Such power is evident in Abranowicz’s work. One impactful image from the show is “Malden Bros. Barbershop, Montgomery, Alabama, 2017.” The location played an important role in the Montgomery Bus Boycott and was frequented by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Aside from Abranowicz’s study of interiors, the exhibition also showcases several portraits, including one of actor and longtime civil rights activist Harry Belafonte. Approximately 30 works will be presented with accompanying text to clue viewers into the historical significance of the contemporary images.
“The photos themselves are very quiet, but strangely powerful,” says Graham. “You wouldn’t understand their significance without looking at the text.” The photographs themselves are for sale, and prints will be available to order onsite. All proceeds will be donated to organizations of Abranowicz’s choosing.
“We want as many people as possible to come out to see the show,” says Graham.
“This Far and No Further” runs from January 7 through the end of the month and spotlights a discussion with the photographer on the January 12, moderated by Ossining historian Joyce Sharrock Cole. Further activities through The Capa Space are in the works for February and March.