Garry Winogrand: A Retrospective in Color

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The renowned street photographer Garry Winogrand is more recognized for his black-and-white urban escapades in the Big Apple, portraying life and social issues of New Yorkers. The Brooklyn Museum is currently about to expand everyone else's perspective about the artist with the display Garry Winogrand: Color.

Garry Winogrand (American, 1928-1984). Untitled (New York), 1960. 35mm color slide. Collection of the Center for Creative Photography, The University of Arizona. © The Estate of Garry Winogrand, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco

This is the first exhibition dedicated to the rarely seen and almost forgotten color photographs of Winogrand. His interest with the use of color film began during the rise of color photography post-World War II consumer culture in the United States. According to Drew Sawyer, curator at the Brooklyn Museum, the mid-20th-century had photographers who would sensationalize color or approached color in a purely formal concern.

Winogrand's own use stands out in such a way he treated it as something normal. While Winogrand didn't write much or talk about his color photography, the photographer was in full support of the medium as it popularized in the 1960s and early 1970 through his teaching and mentoring. His own color photographs are already a testament to how he perceived and treated color. Color is a part of daily life:

"Winogrand often treated color as just any other element other the picture. In doing so, he pushed the limits of what a recognizable fine art photograph looked like during the 1960s. Like Pop artists, he freely drew upon the aesthetics of commercial and everyday images, like amateur snapshots, where the use of color film was more common."
Garry Winogrand (American, 1928-1984). Untitled (Texas State Fair), 1964. 35mm color slide. Collection of the Center for Creative Photography, The University of Arizona. © The Estate of Garry Winogrand, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco; Garry Winogrand (American, 1928-1984). Untitled (New York), circa 1965. 35mm color slide. Collection of the Center for Creative Photography, The University of Arizona. © The Estate of Garry Winogrand, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco; Garry Winogrand (American, 1928-1984). Untitled (New York), circa 1965. 35mm color slide. Collection of the Center for Creative Photography, The University of Arizona. © The Estate of Garry Winogrand, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco

The show features over 400 rarely or never-before-seen photographs by Winogrand. Taken with his signature snapshot style, Winogrand eases in the element of color into his pictures, making the captured scenes raw and tangible. Sawyer added that Winogrand was more interested in the act of taking a photograph than viewing or editing them, quite similar as to how contemporary photographers now approach the medium. It can be said that Winogrand has been ahead of the times. Sawyer elaborated:

"Winogrand's approach to photography forecasted our own current moment and continues to be relevant n numerous ways. He shot millions of photographs, but didn't or even couldn't always look at all of his images--meaning he was more interested in the act of making a photograph than viewing or editing his pictures. One could argue that, with the introduction of cell phone cameras, hard drives, and clouds, this is the way many people approach photography today. Winogrand was interested in how photography can change and shape our relationship to the world around us. He often spoke about the ways in which a photograph, even a seemingly straight forward snapshot, is a constructed and mediated image, different from the thing it pictures and unable to tell us the full story."
Garry Winogrand (American, 1928-1984). Untitled (Cape Cod), 1966. 35mm color slide. Collection of the Center for Creative Photography, The University of Arizona. © The Estate of Garry Winogrand, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco; Garry Winogrand (American, 1928-1984). Untitled (Coney Island), 1952-58. 35mm color slide. Collection of the Center for Creative Photography, The University of Arizona. © The Estate of Garry Winogrand, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco; Garry Winogrand (American, 1928-1984). Untitled (New York), 1960. 35mm color slide. Collection of the Center for Creative Photography, The University of Arizona. © The Estate of Garry Winogrand, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco; Garry Winogrand (American, 1928-1984). Untitled (New York), circa 1965. 35mm color slide. Collection of the Center for Creative Photography, The University of Arizona. © The Estate of Garry Winogrand, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco

Visit the Brooklyn Museum now and get inspired once more by Winogrand's influential work. Mark your attendance by using the official exhibition hashtag #winograndcolor, throughout the grid! The exhibition will run through 3 December.


Images are with permission from the museum.

written by cielsan on 2019-05-09

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