Joel Meyerowitz

American, b. 1938

Looking South [#581], c. 1980s

Chromogenic print on paper

Gift from the collection of Steven E. and Phyllis Gross


Aftermath is a series of harrowing photographs depicting the post 9/11 fallout in New York City. Meyerowitz was the only photographer allowed to document Ground Zero. These images were collected in 2015 and first exhibited at the Berman Museum that same year. Despite the horror of the reality, Meyerowitz depicts the wreckage with artistic grace and poignancy. Streams of light reveal dust particles filtering down onto collapsed buildings, rubble, concrete, and metal. These photographs are a window into the pain inflicted on our nation’s history.

The haunting landscapes that Meyerowitz captures, when observed nineteen years removed from their creation, speak to the beginning of a memory held collectively in the American consciousness. These photographs, like the memories themselves, carry a heavy spirit when placed in a space. They remind their viewers of what we all too often wish to forget and push into sharp focus the ways that societal trauma lingers and manifests—always reinventing itself and never quite dissipating.

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