ICP's survey of the work of David Seidner (1957–1999) reintroduces this important and rarely exhibited artist of the 1980s and 1990s whose work has largely faded from view since his passing from AIDS-related illnesses in 1999. Primarily drawn from Seidner's archive, which has been a part of ICP’s collection since 2001, highlights include Seidner’s early fine art photography and fragmented portrait studies, vibrant fashion and editorial photography, images of groundbreaking dancers and choreographers, portraits of well-known contemporary artists and their studios, and works from his final project, abstracted studies of orchids.
During his life, Seidner was well-known as a fashion photographer for designers like Yves Saint Laurent--with whom he had an exclusive contract at the age of just 22—Azzedine Alaïa and Madame Grès among many others. He also was a prolific editorial photographer for publications such as Harper's Bazaar, Harper's & Queen, The New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, and international editions of Vogue. His magazine work crossed over into the art world, where Seidner was a frequent contributor to BOMB Magazine as a photographer, interviewer and guest editor.
Like Seidner himself—who now might be referred to as multi-hyphenate for his work across different fields—much of his imagemaking and subjects defy easy categorization. Similar to many young artists working today, Seidner pushed the boundaries of the photography industry, collapsing the often-unnecessary distinctions between disciplines. In addition to images made for fashion houses and editorial assignments, Seidner maintained a robust personal practice throughout his career. His interest in visual experimentation through techniques like fragmentation, reflection, and double exposures are often seen in both his personal work and his commissions.