Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2005/01/12

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Subject: [Leica] For those in Holland and/or visiting Amsterdam during 14 Jan thru 30 March
From: hugos1st at (H vG)
Date: Wed Jan 12 07:46:48 2005

just in case u haven't seen it:

Fotografie Museum Amsterdam:

Gary Winogrand
and american street photographers Mitch Epstein, Lee
Friedlander, Joel Meyerowitz, Henry Wessel.

14 January ? 30 March

Foam presents Garry Winogrand and the american street
photographers, from 14 January to 30 March 2005.
Besides showing Winogrand's principal works, the
exhibition also features work by Lee Friedlander,
Mitch Epstein, Joel Meyerowitz and Henry Wessel. The
presentation provides a unique overview of one of the
most influential movements in postwar photography,
that of American street photography in the 1960s and
'70s. Winogrand was beyond doubt the leading proponent
of this movement, and one of the greatest
photographers of the second half of the twentieth
century. Averse to traditions and conventions he and
his generation brought a new sense of visual order to
the chaos of street life in the big city. New York
City was their natural biotope, the place where they
could record modern American culture. Intractable,
radical, confrontational and innovative.

Works by Winogrand are featured from his famous series
'Women are Beautiful', from 'The Animals' and
individual pictures each of which has itself become an
icon in photographic history. Unique works by
Winogrand?s close friends Friedlander and Wessel are
shown, many of which have never appeared in the
Netherlands before, including work from Friedlander?s
influential first series Self Portraits. Unique colour
prints by Epstein and Meyerowitz from the same period
are also shown, including exceptional vintage dye
transfers. Garry Winogrand (1928-1989) has been hailed
the ultimate chronicler of modern Amercian life since
the early 1960s. Working exclusively with 35-mm film
and natural light, Winogrand wandered the streets of
New York every day photographing the people he
encountered in his inimitable apparently accidental
and unaffected way. He was obsessive, searching for
his prey like a hunter, giving new meaning to the term
?snapshot?. His reply, when asked why he photographed,
is famous: because he wanted to know what things
looked like when they were photographed. For him, a
photo was not a representation of something; it
encapsulated in a simplified form an entire world.
Beauty was never his aim: in many of his photos the
horizon is crooked, the images are sharply cropped and
the compositions are bizarre. Yet they capture life in
the metropolis like never before. Many of his photos
are simultaneously satirical, humorous and disturbing.

Lee Friedlander (b. 1934) was one of Winogrand's
closest friends and a photographer of comparable
stature. He also earned his spurs in the early 1960s
as a leading photographer of modern America. His
complex, multi-layered images combine commentary on
American society with a critical approach to the
two-dimensional character of the photographic surface,
thereby undermining contemporary visual conventions.
Typical of his work is his ability to show objects and
people in puzzling, even surrealist arrangements. Even
more than Winogrand, Friedlander plays an intellectual
game with the viewer. A highlight is his Self Portrait
series, taken in 1970.

Henry Wessel (b. 1942) was another friend of
Winogrand. In 1973 he held his first solo exhibition
at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. His work is
less rough and coarse than Winogrand?s. His photos are
more like considered observations of life in the
United States. Whereas Winogrand and Friedlander
focused specifically on real people and relationships,
Wessel?s subjects are often the typical American
settings themselves.

Joel Meyerowitz (b. 1938) is another of the original
street photographers. In the 1960s he wandered the
streets of New York together with his hero Winogrand.
Above all, Meyerowitz championed the use of colour
photography. Unique items include the so-called dye
transfers he made in the ?60s and ?70s. A number of
authentic prints from this period are shown in the
exhibition. Meyerowitz has also written several books,
including Bystander: A History of Street Photography.

Mitch Epstein (b. 1952) represents a slightly later
generation of American street photographers. In the
1970s he took lessons from Winogrand, who became a
major influence on his work. After a long journey
through the United States he returned to the East
Coast in 1974. This exhibition features colour prints
from Epstein's early years.

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