The Man in the Crowd: The Uneasy Streets of Garry Winogrand
Garry Winogrand, American Legion Convention, Dallas, 1964.
Most people who walk through a city ignore it - or, more precisely, ignore the other people in it. Garry Winogrand did the absolute opposite: he spent most of his walking life hunting down his fellow citizens, watching, looking, and photographing: thousands upon thousands of photographs. He also made pictures at museum openings, at the zoo, at airports and rodeos, but it was the streets of Manhatten which provided the central metaphor of his work. This is the first exhibition to focus in depth on Winogrand's photographs of the street. It includes conic Winogrand pictures such as Park Avenue, New York, 1959, in which a couple in a convertible cruise down Park Avenue accompanied by their pet monkey, as well as numerous images which have not been exhibited before.
Winogrand's photography defines an American decade, the 1960s, in a way comparable to Robert Frank in the 1950s and Walker Evans in the 1930s. Winogrand himself - large, energetic, voyeuristic, obsessively curious about the world around him - represents, for many, the archetypal street photographer. The formal turbulence of his images with their dynamic tilted viewpoints, their grainy immediacy, their frenetic crowds and their temporarily isolated strangers, matches the political turbulence of the Vietnam years and provides a defining portrait of a society caught unawares
Winogrand 's work synthesizes the documentary and photojournalist
traditions. Influenced by Robert Frank's The Americans, he
employed a wide angle lens on a handheld camera, and shot from
an intimate distance. This enabled him to incorporate more of
his subjects, and gave his images an unfamiliar, compositional
complexity. He took shots, he said, "to see how things would
look as photographs". The medium of still photography he
described as "the illusion of a literal description of how
a camera saw a piece of time and space".
Born in New York City 1928, Winogrand had a solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 1963. He was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship in Photography three times, and showed his work extensively throughout the United States. He died in 1984, and in 1988 the Museum of Modern Art, New York held a major retrospective of his work.
All works are from: The Estate of Garry Winogrand, Courtesy Fraenkel, San Francisco.
Garry Winogrand, Los Angeles, 1964.