Mary Ellen Mark | Falkland Road

November 17 - December 23, 2005

Marianne Boesky Gallery and Yancey Richardson Gallery are pleased to present a joint exhibition of Mary Ellen Mark’s legendary Falkland Road project, on view in its entirety for the first time since 1981 and including eleven previously unseen images.  Mark’s intimate and shocking photographs of the brothels of Falkland Road, Bombay, form a fascinating portrait of an exotic and hermetic world.  Photographed in 1978 and 1979, this extraordinary project was exhibited only once in the United States at Castelli Graphics.  The current exhibition is presented in conjunction with the release of a new edition of the monograph Falkland Road by Steidl Books. 


Mark visited Falkland Road over a period of ten years before she was able to earn the trust of some of the prostitutes and gain entry to the cloistered world of the brothels.  In extremely close quarters Mark photographed the prostitutes in the rituals and realities of their world: waiting for business, applying makeup, having sex with customers, smoking in the café, napping, bathing, crying. 

The resulting painterly tableaux of prostitutes, madams and clients are remarkable for their intimacy and emotional power and for the visceral brilliance of their jewel-like color. 


One of America's foremost documentary photographers, Mary Ellen Mark has published fourteen books.  She is the recipient of many awards including a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, three fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Walter Annenberg Grant and the Hasselblad Foundation Grant among others.  Photographs by Mark have been exhibited in museums internationally and her work is held in the collections of over forty major museums worldwide including the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, the Ludwig Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the National Gallery of Australia.