VIDEO: Joel Meyerowitz on ‘Cape Light’

To launch his first exhibition at Beetles+Huxley gallery, Joel Meyerowitz discussses his incredible body of work, Cape Light, at the Royal Institution in January 2016.

Having diverted into photography after a career in advertising, Joel Meyerowitz went to Cape Cod, Massachusetts, with a vintage 8 x 10 inch Deardoff view camera seeking a different kind of photography to the type he had become accustomed to making with his Leica in New York. The resulting book of photographs, Cape Light, first published in 1978, is now regarded as one of the most significant photobooks of the twentieth century. Republished by the Aperture Foundation in 2015, it has sold over 100,000 copies. Over the course of two summers Meyerowitz photographed the coast, small towns and inhabitants of the Cape with great sensitivity to the scale and colour of the landscape. The large format camera required him to step back from his usual proximity to his subjects on the streets of New York and take in his larger surroundings. The expansive skies and crystalline colours produced a new kind of photography – slow, meditative and experiential.

 

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