Diane Arbus: 1971–1956

Fraenkel Gallery is pleased to announce the exhibition Diane Arbus 1971–1956, to be​ p​resented October 31–December 28, 2013.​

Two ladies at the automat, N.Y.C. 1966, 1966
gelatin silver print, 20 x 16 inches (sheet) [50.8 x 40.6 cm]

Given the magnitude of the impact her photographs left in their wake, Diane Arbus’s career​ was brief—a mere fifteen years. Yet from the moment in 1956 when at the age of 33 she started​ numbering her negatives, beginning with #1, Arbus’s preoccupations appear to have been clear. Even her earliest photographs evidence an acute interest in singular people, the private place​s ​​they inhabit, and the mysteries that bring human beings together or keep them apart.

Two girls on the beach, Coney Island, N.Y. 1958, 1958
gelatin silver print, 11 x 14 inches (sheet) [27.9 x 35.6 cm]
Elderly couple on a park bench, N.Y.C. 1969, 1969
gelatin silver print, 20 x 16 inches (sheet) [50.8 x 40.6 cm]

Diane Arbus 1971–1956 examines the artist’s evolution through one picture per year, from the​ ​​perspective of a rear-view mirror. Tracing five threads of interest with approximately sixty​ ​photographs, the exhibition starts with images made shortly before her death in 1971 and​ ​progresses, in reverse order, toward their beginnings. By interweaving well-known images with many​ l​ess familiar ones (among them Woman in a fur stole, N.Y.C. 1971; An empty room, N.Y.C. 1968; Masked​ ​man in white, N.Y.C. 1967; and Person Unknown, City Morgue, N.Y.C. 1960), Diane Arbus 1971–1956​ ​offers an unconventional perspective on the artist’s oeuvre, and sheds light on the enigmatic process​ ​by which one work informs another.

Veteran with a flag, N.Y.C. 1971, 1971
gelatin silver print, 20 x 16 inches (sheet) [50.8 x 40.6 cm]

Diane Arbus Revelations, a major retrospective (and publication) organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 2003, travelled to seven institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Victoria and ​Albert Museum, London; and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. Diane Arbus: A Chronology was published by Aperture in 2011, containing many of her writings.

Works on View

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