26.1 – 20.2 2016
Joel Meyerowitz:Cape Light
26.01 – 20.02.2016
An exhibition of Joel Meyerowitz’ seminal series Cape Light. The subject of 350 exhibitions in museums and galleries worldwide and two-time Guggenheim Fellow, Meyerowitz is one of the most highly regarded photographers of the second half of the twentieth century.
Alongside William Eggleston and Stephen Shore, he drove the repositioning of colour photography from the margins to the mainstream. Timed to coincide with the recent re-release of Cape Light by the Aperture Foundation, the exhibition will be the first time an extensive selection of the series has been shown in London.
Meyerowitz’s first book of photographs, originally published in 1978 depicts the coast and small towns of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Taken with Meyerowitz’s vintage 8 x 10 Deardoff view camera, the photographs meditate on the colour, light and scale of the landscape. In contrast to the chaotic scenes of his famous street photography, Cape Light features serene, luminous landscapes that consider colour as a sensorial, evocative experience.
B. United States1938
Joel Meyerowitz began his career in the 1960s, photographing the streets of New York. He began using black and white film, before transitioning to using colour film to record his fleeting and surreal moments. He has stated that colour ‘describes more things…when I say description, I don’t mean mere fact and the cold accounting of things in the frame. I really mean the sensation I get from things, their surface and colour, my memory of them in other conditions as well as their connotative qualities. Colour plays itself out along a richer band of feelings, more wavelengths, more radiance, more sensation.”
Meyerowitz formulated what he calls field photographs. He moved towards a more non-hierarchical image in which everything in the image, including the colour, played an equal, vital role. His 1976 series, Cape Light is one of the most celebrated bodies of photographic work of the twentieth century. Taken using a large-format camera, Meyerowitz’ images of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, document the coast, small towns and their inhabitants with a great sensitivity to the scale and colour of the landscape. The expansive skies and crystalline colours produced a new kind of photography – slow, meditative and experiential. Meyerowitz is also known for photographing the aftermath of the September 11 2001 terror attacks on the World Trade Centre, being one of the only photographers allowed access to the site. His most recent work has turned to still life and led him to photograph the studios of Cézanne and Giorgio Morandi.
Joel Meyerowitz was born in 1938 in New York. He studied art and medical illustration at Ohio State University. Meyerowitz has published twenty-two books, including a two volume retrospective publication, Taking My Time (2013) and is the recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities awards and a two-time Guggenheim Fellow. His work is held in collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Boston Museum of Fine Art and the Art Institute of Chicago.