21.5 – 23.6 2017
Joel Meyerowitz:Towards Colour 1962-1978
21.05 – 23.06.2017
Huxley-Parlour Gallery is delighted to present a new exhibition of work by Joel Meyerowitz, including rarely seen black and white photographs from Meyerowitz’s early career. The exhibition highlights the photographer’s seminal street photography – tracing his gradual move from using both black and white and colour film to a focus on pure colour, over the course of two decades.
The exhibition features bodies of work made by Meyerowitz between 1963 and 1978, from his very early days shooting in black and white on the streets of New York alongside Garry Winogrand and Tony Ray-Jones, to the year he published his first book, Cape Light. This period was vital for Meyerowitz as he began to question the medium of photography itself, engaging in an aesthetic exploration of both form and composition. He moved away from what he describes as the ‘caught moment’ toward a more non-hierarchical image in which everything in the image, including the colour, plays an equal, vital role. These intricately structured images, which Meyerowitz calls ‘field photographs’, marked a seismic shift in the history of photography.
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.