Exhibitions

New York City, 1963

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JOëL MEYEROWITZ
Anthology

Joël Meyerowitz, born and grown up in New York, belongs to a generation of photographers - together with William Eggleston, Diane Arbus, Lee Friedlander, Stephen Shore, Tony Ray-Jones and Garry Winogrand - who are equipped with a unique sensitivity towards the daily, bright, hustle and bustle on the streets, who are able to grasp a human being as an individual as well as in their social context.

Starting in the early 1960s, Joel Meyerowitz went out on the streets, day in, and day out, powered by his passion and devotion to photography, in order to study people and see how photographs described what they were doing. In order to catch the vibes he ranges over the streets of New York, together with Tony Ray-Jones and later with his friend Garry Winogrand.

Different from Tony Ray-Jones and Garry Winogrand, Meyerowitz loaded his camera with color film in order to capture life realistically, which meant shooting in color for him. While his first photographs are often determined in a situational way, he starts, early on, putting the subject not only in the centre, but consciously leaving the centre of the picture space free and extending the picture-immanent parts over

the whole frame. His dealing with picture space and composition, which consciously differ from those of his idols like Robert Frank and Cartier-Besson, create a unique style. Not the framing of the picture like the perfectly designed takes of a Cartier-Besson, but the coherences within the picture are significant.

This special eye, this sensitive perception of every change in tonality, light, position or of a passing moment, signal the breakthrough of his independence as an artist.

His 12 months’ stay in Europe in 1966/67 constitutes a first turning point of his photography when he shoots in both color and in black and white while carrying a pair of Leicas and making comparisons about the different ways each film describes what it records. Then, out of the moving car, he risks making pictures of the passing landscape; a couple on a motorbike, the woman behind the man, like a goddess whose scarf flutters in the wind, the dragon-like smoke of a train, drivers in their cars, and ordinary people along the footpath. These mostly black-and-white takes are particularly appropriate to capture the fine irony of the passing moment with a cool distance, and bring him his first solo exhibition in the Museum of Modern Art in New York – curated by photography legend John Szarkowski.

From then on Meyerowitz exclusively concentrates on color photography and numerous icons of street photography result up to the middle of the 1970s. Then, in 1976, in search of greater description in color, and richness of detail, he changes from 35mm to an 8x10, wooden, Deardorff plate camera and begins working on Cape Cod. This technically retrogressive step brings the next artistic breakthrough for Meyero- witz. Besides the moment, which until then meant everything to him, this is the first time he uses time and light in order to visualise the finest color and light distinction. His achromatic light examinations around the “blue hour” seem to penetrate the picture, and the light space in particular, and generate a sense of infinity. The book “Cape Light”, published in 1979, becomes a photographic revelation, which influences coming generations of photographers until today. His sensitivity, and the questions he asks about photo- graphy makes him one of the most significant photographers in art history.

TECHNICAL DETAILS

> Contents120 B&W and colour photographs
> ConditionFramed
> TransportIn wooden crates from Paris
> Rental conditionsThe borrower will be in charge of:
- The Transport from and to Paris
- The insurance nail to nail
- Flight and Journey (3 nights) for Joël Meyerowitz from London
- Trip and Journey for the diChroma photography’s responsible from Madrid
> AvailibilityFrom December 2019

 

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