Biography

Gail Albert Halaban takes photographs that peer through the windows of apartments and reveal the sometimes mundane, intimate, moments occurring in private life. Her urban exploration lies at the intersection of architectural photography and portraiture, presenting a holistic perspective of city life. Stylistically, Albert Halaban’s images go beyond realism, allowing the viewer to take in a full scene in focus unlike the natural ability of the human eye. This formal device emphasizes both public and private realms, balancing details of personal life with broader contexts.

After moving to New York City from Los Angeles in 2007, Albert Halaban anticipated feelings of isolation and loneliness, yet instead found an unlikely sense of community. In particular, the artist recognized the millions of windows throughout the city as a key bridge between strangers. On the day of her daughter’s first birthday party, she recalls receiving flowers and balloons — from someone she had never met, but who lived in the neighborhood and had observed the day’s celebration through her windows. This kind gesture led to Albert Halaban’s curiosity about the anonymous proximity in which strangers coexist, prompting her to develop the series Out My Window (2007). This body of work transcends image making as the artist works with her subjects as collaborators and establishes connections that deeply impact her work. Albert Halaban has described windows as metaphors for both boundaries and gateways. Albert Halaban awakens her viewers to consider the story behind each window, inserting humanity and compassion often overlooked in everyday life in dense metropolises.

Out My Window indulges in the beauty of urban skylines and architecture. Although this series was inspired by Albert Halaban’s experiences in New York City, she expanded this work to several other locations beginning with a project called Paris Views (2012) commissioned by Le Monde. Albert Halaban’s approach to this series shifts to capture the essence of each unique city she is photographing. Just as the New York City series explores the distinctive neighborhoods and sights of Manhattan, Paris Views examines the quaint streets, romantic architecture, and quintessential views of Paris. Albert Halaban chose to further develop this project, creating series in Buenos Aires, Istanbul, Venice, and other cities in Europe and the United States. 

In addition to this ongoing series, Albert Halaban has also created Hopper Redux (2010), inspired by the paintings of Edward Hopper. Albert Halaban photographs the same locations and buildings in Gloucester that appear in Hopper’s paintings. Each photograph in this series retains a dream-like glow, presenting something eerily familiar in a new way. Albert Halaban has an affinity for accentuating the vibrancy and character of both the personal and architectural elements she captures.

Gail Albert Halaban received her BA from Brown University and earned her MFA in Photography from Yale University. The artist has three monographs of her work, including Out My Window (PowerHouse, 2012), Paris Views (Aperture, 2014) and Italian Views (Aperture, 2019). In 2018, The George Eastman Museum in Rochester, NY presented a solo exhibition including Out My Window images taken all over the world. In the summer of 2019, Edwynn Houk Gallery will also present a solo exhibition of Albert Halaban’s works. The artist currently lives and works in New York City.