Common Ground: Photographers on the Street

June 11–September 7, 2003 illustration
Melanie Einzig, Tourists, 2002

This exhibition focuses on the photographer’s fascination with the street. From the medium’s inception in the nineteenth century, photographers have looked to this public venue as a source of inexhaustible visual material. Common Ground: Photographers on the Street brings together twenty-two photographs that inventively examine and record commonplace events, people, and objects.

The beginning of the exhibition captures the streets of New York City, from the 1960s and ‘70s, in black and white photographs by Garry Winogrand, Joel Meyerowitz and Lee Friedlander. Each photographer illustrates in a different way the flux of public life—its subtleties as well as its theatrics. Images, taken quickly and sometimes randomly, are filled with biting social commentary, humorous scenes, incoherence and, sometimes, unexpected clarity. Compositions often border on the chaotic, introducing multiple vignettes that at once disorient and invite a closer look.

The second section of the exhibition is devoted to contemporary street photographers, a group less often examined in the museum setting. Although aesthetically rooted in the classic street tradition, these photographers take provocative and insightful detours. Cameras always in hand, they look to the street for inspiration, extracting beauty from the ordinary.
illustration
Constantine Manos, Los Angeles, CA, 2001, courtesy of the artist

Curated by Naomi Blumberg, this exhibition was organized by the McMullen Museum of Art with loans from the Tufts University Gallery and eight contemporary photographers.

Photographers: Roswell Angier, Alice Attie, Melanie Einzig, Travis Huggett, Constantine Manos, Sylvia Plachy, Gus Powell, and Alex Webb.

Common Ground will be exhibited at theTufts University Gallery 17 - December 14, 2003.


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