“Limelight, 1983,” is the title of one of the prints that opens Ken Schles’ show at Howard Greenberg Gallery of gritty, grainy, high-contrast prints of downtown New York. ‘Entering The Palladium, 1985” is the title of another. “Chair 619 East 5th Street, 1984” is another. (That’s pretty damn east by the way, 619, even by today’s standards). “View From 224 Avenue B, 1983.” “Boy on East 5th Street, 1984.”
I had forgotten that Doubleday editor Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis originally commissioned the photographs from Unseen Versailles by the late Deborah Turbeville that are on view at Staley Wise in 1981. The mind at first could not, perhaps did not, want to reconcile the withdrawn, intimate vision that is Turbeville’s with the stately, public and, one imagines, rigid New York of Kennedy Onassis.
We have never shared an article that appeared in our print edition, but today is a specially dark day. The photographer Deborah Turbeville has passed away after succumbing to lung cancer. I initially approached Turbeville for a profile for our second volume two years ago. After, she became a dear friend. It is sad to see anyone go before their time, but especially her. Rest in peace, Deborah, wherever you may be.