Delpire & Co in New York

The Aperture Foundation’s description of their newly opened exhibition, “Delpire & Co”, is that it “showcases [Robert] Delpire’s rise to prominence in the world of photography through his pioneering and seminal work in magazine and book publishing, films, curatorship, and advertising for the past fifty years.”

This it certainly does — in a herculean installation that will span four venues and two supporting gallery shows. But, beyond the stated goal, it may ultimately showcase photography’s rise to prominence in the world. When the elevator takes you back down from the show to the sidewalk below, it is worth reflecting that what you have just seen represents a world of images that not only predates the Internet and the hellish proliferation of images that marks our time but an epoch in which it was possible to ask with a straight face whether photography matters.