Home Madrid scholarships The High Museum of Art presents the first major museum exhibition of Evelyn Hofer’s city photographs

The High Museum of Art presents the first major museum exhibition of Evelyn Hofer’s city photographs

0

Premiering at the High Museum of Art this spring and curated in collaboration with the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, “Evelyn Hofer: Eyes on the City” is the first major museum exhibition in the United States in more than 50 years devoted to to Hofer, a highly innovative photographer whose pioneering work spanned five decades but remained under-recognized during his lifetime.

The exhibition focuses on his series of widely distributed photobooks of European and American cities, published throughout the 1960s, and will feature over 100 vintage black-and-white and color prints from these publications. The works come exclusively from the artist’s estate and the collections of the High and the Nelson-Atkins. Following its presentation at the High (March 24-August 13, 2023), the exhibit will travel to the Nelson-Atkins, where it will be on view from September 16, 2023 through February 13, 2023. 11, 2024.

Premiering at the High Museum of Art this spring and curated in collaboration with the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, “Evelyn Hofer: Eyes on the City” is the first major museum exhibition in the United States in more than 50 years devoted to to Hofer, a highly innovative photographer whose pioneering work spanned five decades but remained under-recognized during his lifetime. The exhibition focuses on his series of widely distributed photobooks of European and American cities, published throughout the 1960s, and will feature over 100 vintage black-and-white and color prints from these publications. The works come exclusively from the artist’s estate and the collections of the High and the Nelson-Atkins. Following its presentation at the High (March 24-August 13, 2023), the exhibit will travel to the Nelson-Atkins, where it will be on view from September 16, 2023 through February 13, 2023. 11, 2024.

“The High has one of the leading photography programs in the country, featuring an extraordinary collection of 20th century documentary photography and significant collections of Hofer’s work,” said Rand Suffolk, director of High’s Nancy and Holcombe T Green, Jr.. “We are delighted to have the opportunity to present these photographs together for the first time in our galleries and to highlight Hofer’s significant artistic contributions, particularly as a pioneer of color photography. “

Born in Germany in 1922, Hofer left with her family for Switzerland in 1933 in response to the rise of fascism, settling first in Geneva where, as a teenager, she studied photography with Hans Finsler, a pioneer of the ” new objectivity”. After a stay in Madrid, the family moved to Mexico, where Hofer worked briefly as a professional photographer. In 1946, she arrived in New York, where she worked with art director Alexey Brodovitch to produce photographic essays for Harper’s Bazaar. She quickly expanded her practice and became a recognized editorial photographer.

Although celebrated for her editorial work, Hofer was never acclaimed, in part because of her unique style and methods. New York Times art critic Hilton Kramer called her “America’s most famous unknown photographer.”

“At a time when spontaneous black-and-white images were the hallmark of avant-garde photography, Hofer favored bulky large-format cameras and embraced color materials,” said Greg Harris, curator of photography and co-curator of the Donald and Marilyn Keough family of High. of the exhibition. “Subtle and rigorous, his photographs possess a captivating stillness, accuracy and sobriety that run counter to the dominant aesthetic of the time and the frenetic energy of his fellow post-Secondary street photographers. World War, such as Garry Winogrand and Lee Friedlander. . As a result, she has never achieved recognition commensurate with the quality and originality of her work.”

Hofer ultimately had his greatest impact through the photobooks featured in “Eyes on the City”, which include “The Stones of Florence” (1959), “London Perceived” (1962), “New York Proclaimed” (1965), “The Evidence of Washington” (1966) and “Dublin: A Portrait” (1967). Produced in collaboration with acclaimed writers Mary McCarthy, VS Pritchett and William Walton, the books combine landscapes and architectural views with portraits to convey the uniqueness and personality of these urban capitals during a time of structural, social and economic transformations. intense after the World War. II. The photographs also reveal Hofer’s exquisite sensitivity to the impact of place, environment, and situation (including class, race, gender, and generation) on the lives of individuals from all walks of life. “Eyes on the City” will include prints from each of his city photo books as well as selected works from “The Presence of Spain” (1964), produced in collaboration with Jan Morris, and an unpublished publication on Paris (1967) , as well as manuscripts and archival documents.

The exhibition and accompanying catalog offer new insights into Hofer’s understudied practice, tracing early developments in his career; the exchanges between his editorial and his fine arts, his mastery of color, his contribution to the history of 20th century photographic portraiture, the nature of his intense collaborations with writers and the way in which his photographs intersected with emerging discourses and practices around post-war urban planning. In addition to essays by Harris and co-curator April Watson, curator of photography at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the catalog will feature a contribution from Brandi Thompson Summers, associate professor of geography at UC Berkeley.

The exhibit will be on display in the Lucinda Weil Bunnen Photography Galleries on the lower level of the high school’s Wieland Pavilion.

“Evelyn Hofer: Eyes on the City” is co-organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri.