‘I Scream, You Scream’ at Robert Mann Gallery

Art Scene

‘I Scream, You Scream’ at Robert Mann Gallery

One of this summer’s most fun and carefree exhibitions must be Robert Mann Gallery’s, I Scream, You Scream. The title is not meant to scare you; instead, it’s a play on one of summer’s most coveted treats – ice cream. Although Haagen Dazs and Ben & Jerry’s are not included, the exhibition serves up a group of fun and flavorful photographs featuring soft serve, sundaes, sugar cones, popsicles and ice cream trucks alongside documentary and still life work.

Andre Kertesz

New York (boy with ice cream), Oct. 12, 1944

© Andre Kertesz, courtesy Robert Mann Gallery

The group show features old staples of Americana, like a black and white image of the Good Humor ice cream man with an image caption that locates him outside the Guggenheim Museum. A handful of additional black and white images feature a variety of urban ice cream scenes that capture children from Harlem to Coney Island. One image by Andre Kertesz, taken in 1944, captures a boy eating a chocolate covered vanilla ice cream on a stick. He is seated in front of a building on the ground with what appear to be windblown newspapers strewn all around him. Deeply engaged in reading the funny pages from one of the newspapers and almost halfway done with his ice cream, he encapsulates pure youthful satisfaction.


#2 Popsicles, 2012

© PUTPUT, courtesy Robert Mann Gallery

A humorous set of small scale images by PUTPUT substitutes ice cream with colorful sponges and scouring pads on popsicle sticks. The images set oval and rectangular textured sponges against bright solid color backdrops, offering a potent reminder of how ingrained and familiar the experience of ice cream on a stick is in our collective psyche.

Jill Freedman

Christ Loved Men Only, London, 1967

© Jill Freedman, courtesy Robert Mann Gallery

Snow cones and grown-ups are also included in the exhibition. A couple of images capture buttoned-up adults managing the tricky timing of eating ice cream on a cone before it melts as they walk through city streets. One by Gary Winogrand from 1968 features a young woman laughing with her mouth open to the sky, eyes closed, and a half eaten sugar cone perfectly posed in her right hand.

Jim Dow

The Sno-House, US 11, Moselle, MS, 1981

© Jim Dow, courtesy Robert Mann Gallery

A clever snow cone hut that one might see on the side of a country road features all manner of flavors including grape, cherry, bubblegum, pink lady and popeye. Painted a rich mint green with hand drawn images of snow cones at eight different sizes, the photograph of the roadside stand shot by Jim Dow in Minnesota in 1981 shows the ever evolving possibilities of ice cream and its offshoots.

I Scream, You Scream is on view at Robert Mann Gallery through August 18, 2017.