The striking black and white photographs of legendary American photographer Diane Arbus (1923-1971) revolutionized portraiture, through their range of subjects and their style. These photographs were primarily made in and around New York City, where Arbus selected her subjects for their singularity.
Highlighting the artist’s evolution over 15 years, Diane Arbus: Photographs, 1956-1971 presents a sweeping chronological account of Arbus’s career. The exhibition opens with an arresting self‐portrait from 1945 and follows with images from 1956, the year Arbus decided to seriously pursue photography. Early works in 35 mm reveal an artist fascinated by the range of humanity and life as it unfolded on the street, while later works created using a larger format mark her emergence as a mature and compelling artist. Arbus created many of her most iconic works in this direct, sharply focused signature style. Interspersed with the prints are quotes from Arbus herself, revealing observations on her choices, intentions, technical challenges, and even her serendipitous discoveries and encounters.
Credits and curatorial team
An exhibition organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) in collaboration with the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. The exhibition is curated by Sophie Hackett, Curator of Photography, AGO. Mary-Dailey Desmarais, Chief Curator, MMFA, is the curator for the Montreal presentation.