A trio of photography exhibits around Manhattan offer a wide spectrum of interest. Master portraiture and fashion photographer Richard Avedon’s career is showcased this fall at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where about 180 works will be on display. Some photos reach as far back as the 1940s and several large murals will also be on view. Subjects include key artistic, intellectual and political figures from the late Fifties through the early Seventies. Also featured are portraits of Avedon’s father shortly before his death. John Cheever, Roy Lichtenstein and Harold Bloom are other noteworthy subjects. Richard Avedon: Portraits, Sept. 26 — Jan. 5, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue, (212) 535-7710.
Marking her second solo exhibition in New York, two new films and a group of photographs taken over two years by British photographer Sam Taylor-Wood will be at the Matthew Marks Gallery in Chelsea. Among the new photographs is Sleep, a life-size image of a male lying face-up nude with his eyes closed on a white bed inspired by Holbein’s painting “The Dead Body of Christ in the Tomb.” The exhibition also features Taylor-Wood’s new series dubbed The Passion Cycle — over 20, 4 by 5 inch photographs inspired by erotic Japanese woodcuts called Shunga prints. But they’re not photos of woodcuts. Instead, Taylor-Wood shot a young couple in a committed relationship having sex. Sam Taylor-Wood: The Passion, Sept. 21-Nov. 2, Matthew Marks Gallery, 523 West 24th St., (212) 243-0200
Former Dutch magazine editor in chief and Giorgio Armani creative director Matthias Vriens is known in the fashion industry for creating provocative images seen in avant-garde magazines like The Face, as well as ad campaigns for high-profile brands such as Gucci. But in his latest photography exhibition, held at New York gallery The Project, Vriens explores the racier side behind the manufactured images of fashion, advertising and pornography by erecting eight photographs measuring 6 feet high by 4 feet wide. Somewhat sculpture-like and surely sexual, the photographs leave either a little or a lot for the imagination. Matthias Vriens, Sept. 8-29, The Project, 427 West 126th St., (212) 662-8610.