In keeping with the gallery program of rediscovering forgotten artists and photographers, curator James Cavello of the Westwood Gallery in New York City is presenting Roy Schatt: James Dean and the Actors Studio, Photographs From the Estate. The exhibition includes over 50 vintage and modern prints, some never before seen, others exhibited in the 1950s.
Schatt's legendary photos depict a man who was both his friend and his photography student. The images encompass the iconic "Torn Sweater" series as well as Dean in personal moments playing the bongos and pretending to steal candy from a newsstand. The exhibition also includes photos by Dean as he practiced the art of photography using Schatt and actor friends as his subject.
"I knew James Dean from February 1954 until he died in September 1955," Schatt noted. "I knew him as a friend and as a student. He was a disrupter of norms, a bender of rules, a disquieter of calm. Through the following pictures and vignettes, I hope to transmit a glimpse of his most insistent, and perhaps eternal, presence."
The exhibition also contains rare photographs of actors, writers, directors, and playwrights associated with the Actors Studio, where Roy Schatt was the official photographer, and many other images of personalities active in New York theater in the 1950s and '60s are on exhibit. The vintage photos include Actors Studio alumni such as Elia Kazan, Lee Strasberg, Paul Newman, Marilyn Monroe, Geraldine Page, Tennessee Williams, Steve McQueen, Rod Steiger, Sidney Poitier, Joanne Woodward, Martin Landau, Arthur Miller, Jerry Stiller, Anne Meara, Ben Gazzara, Maureen Stapleton, and many other creative individuals — John Cassavetes, Dorothy Parker, Brendan Behan, Lillian Hellman, William Saroyan, Lorne Greene, Andy Griffith, Budd Schulberg, and Marlene Dietrich.
Extended, now through Juuly 25 at Westwood Gallery, 568 Broadway, Suite 501, New York City.
photograph 1954 (printed later), gelatin silver print, signed 20 x 16 inches, © Photo Roy Schatt CMG / Courtesy Westwood Gallery NYC
Fifteen of the James Dean photographs on exhibit are part of an exclusive limited edition, printed and signed by Roy Schatt in the early 1990s and offered for sale by the gallery.