Garry Winogrand, Untitled (Houston, Texas), 1964
By now, you’ve most likely heard about Garry Winogrand’s exhibition of his color work at the Brooklyn Museum in New York City. But the exhibition is only up until this Sunday, December 8. So if you haven’t gone to see it yet, I highly recommend that you do.
It’s an exceptionally designed exhibition, so incredibly easy and pleasant to take in. His color photographs will not only transport you to a very different time, they are fundamental studies in his eye and in the history of color photography as a whole.
Winogrand (1928-1984) became famous for pioneering the “snapshot aesthetic” in contemporary art with his black-and-white photographs, but he also produced over 45,000 color slides in the 1950s and 1960s. Viewers enter an expansive rectangular room, devoid of light except for the seventeen large projection screens that slowly turn out more than 450 rarely or never-before seen color photographs.
The Brooklyn Museum, together with the Garry Winogrand Archive, spent hours scanning thousands of slides and reviewing the physical objects and the digitized images. Viewers receive the fruits of this massive undertaking in thematic sections that display Winogrand’s diverse subjects and approaches to color image-making: Coney Island in the 1950s, New York City streets, portraits and still lifes, everyday life on a 1960s road trip, and gender roles in postwar America.
Another gem for viewers is a peek back in time to the legendary exhibition New Documents at the Museum of Modern Art in 1967. Alongside photographs by Lee Friedlander and Diane Arbus, Winogrand displayed 80 color Kodachrome slides, but the projector swiftly malfunctioned, and the installation was removed. As a result, very little is known about its content. In hopes of shedding some light on the 1967 landmark exhibition, the curators duplicated 83 color slides made by Winogrand between November 1966 and February 1967, which quite possibly could have been what his slide show comprised, and included them in this show, Garry Winogrand: Color.
Brooklyn Museum curator Drew Sawyer says, “Upon his sudden death at the age of 56, Winogrand left behind a prodigious and unresolved estate that is only beginning to be fully explored, as is evident from the numerous exhibitions, books and even a documentary film on him in recent years. Predicting photographic practices of today, he photographed nearly everything, often leaving the editing of his pictures to others. Building on recent scholarship, this exhibition provides a long-overdue examination of another aspect of Winogrand’s ‘unfinished’ work, which in addition to the 45,000 color slides includes more than 6,000 rolls of unedited black-and-white film.”
The Brooklyn Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday, 11am to 6pm, except for Thursdays, when it stays open until 10pm. It is located at 200 Eastern Parkway, in Brooklyn, New York.