Louisiana Museum of Modern Art: Diane Arbus: Photographs, 1956-1971
Louisiana presents the first large-scale retrospective in Scandinavia of the legendary American photographer Diane Arbus (1923-1971). In a career that spanned just over fifteen years, Arbus produced work whose style and content earned him a place among the most important artists of the 20th century. The direct, even conflicting gaze of the individuals in his photographs remains invigorating to our eyes even today – provoking recognition, empathy and unease.
The striking black and white photographs of Diane Arbus revolutionized the art of portraiture, with their variety of subjects and their style. Primarily shot in and around New York, Arbus has selected its subjects – couples, children, nudists, suburban families, circus performers and celebrities, among others – for their uniqueness. “I would like to photograph everyone,” she said in a letter to a friend in 1960. Arbus aims to depict, in vivid detail, a range of human differences, at a time when visual culture is striving rather to emphasize uniformity.
“I really believe there are things that no one would see if I didn’t photograph them.” Diane Arbus
Highlighting her evolution as an artist over fifteen years, the exhibition “Diane Arbus: Photographs, 1956-1971” presents 150 photographs drawn from the collection of the Art Gallery of Ontario and representing the complete chronological arc of the work of Arbus. From the first intimate prints in 35mm format to the very sharp square format she adopted after 1962, these photographs allow us to trace the evolution of the artist’s vision within the framework of a changing social landscape. While early works reveal an artist gripped by the scope of humanity and life as it unfolded on the streets, later works – created using a larger format – mark her emergence as a mature and compelling artist.
‘Diane Arbus: Photographs, 1956–1971’ is organized in collaboration with AGO – Art Gallery of Ontario
Curator: Anders Kold