I got a bitter sweet surprise in the mail a few days ago. My friend Sharon Clarke mailed me some goodies from her recent visit to see the Street & Studio exhibit at the Tate Modern in London. Sharon knows I love and collect photo show ephemera, so she sent me the show guide and two postcards, and that is the sweet side for sure.
The bitter pill comes from knowing I will not get a chance to see this show in the flesh. If I had my way, I would go to London 3 or 4 times a year just to see the art exhibits, eat incredible Indian food at Hot Stuff, and hang out in Sharon's English garden, but until the day someone offers me a traveling photo critic job with a nice expense account, my visits to London will be few and far between.
The Street & Studio exhibit looks outstanding. It's the first exhibit to explore the urban photographic portrait through the parallel development of two venues:the street and the studio. The categories in this show include Passers-by, the encounters with anonymous passers-by on the street as in the work of Walker Evans, Philip-Lorca diCorcia and Joel Sternfeld. Classification & Storytelling explores documentary and street photography between the two world wars, and includes the work of Brassai and Henri Cartier-Bresson. Characters presents the work of Philippe Halsman's studio portraits of celebrity's jumping, as well as the street photography of Weegee and Diane Arbus.
There are over 100 photographers represented in this show, and in focusing on portraiture work across a time-line from Stieglitz and Coburn up to the contemporary works of Rineke Dijkstra and Martin Parr, the show focuses on how the behavior of both photographers and subjects has changed radically over the years.
In the photo above, the postcard on the left is a portrait of Edward Steichen from Philippe Halsman's Jump/Photographs series, and the postcard on the right is Victoria Line by Wolfgang Tillmans
Street & Studio: An Urban History of Photography
Tate Modern, London
thru August 31st
Street & Studio Details