“Twilight” could be the name of an Instagram filter. You can just picture it – shades of dusty pink giving any shot the ethereal magic of a pre-dusk evening, no matter where you are in the world. Decades before Instagram was a twinkle in the idea of a smartphone, Joel Meyerowitz (b. 1938) developed a penchant for this mesmerising, otherworldly palette. It was the 1970s and colour photography was in its infancy, seen by many as somehow less serious than monochrome. However, this didn’t apply to Meyerowitz who, along with William Eggleston (b. 1939) and Stephen Shore (b. 1947), was one of colour’s early pioneers.
This solo show takes its title from the French idiom “entre chien et loup”, (literally “between the dog and the wolf”) which refers to the time of day between sunset and nightfall. The artist notes: “It seemed to me that the French liken the twilight to the notion of the tame and the savage, the known and the unknown, where that special moment of the fading of the light offers us an entrance into the place where our senses might fail us slightly, making us vulnerable to the vagaries of our imagination.”
Some of the images on display have been taken from a monograph of the same name; others shot during the same period are markedly different in tone to Meyerowitz’s dynamic 35mm New York street photography. Made in Florida and using long exposures on a cumbersome large-format camera, these scenes – of swimming pools, houses and cars, and few people – have a sense of life slowed down. They reveal a true mastery of hue that phone apps, no matter how well designed, can only ever imitate.
Huxley-Parlour, London | Until 12 August
1. Joel Meyerowitz, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 1977. Courtesy: Image courtesy Huxley-Parlour, and Howard Greenberg. Copyright: Joel Meyerowitz.
2. Joel Meyerowitz, Miami Beach, Florida, 1978. Joel Meyerowitz. Image courtesy the artist, Huxley-Parlour, and Howard Greenberg. Copyright: Joel Meyerowitz.
3. Joel Meyerowitz, Florida, 1978, Joel Meyerowitz. Image courtesy the artist, Huxley-Parlour, and Howard Greenberg. Copyright: Joel Meyerowitz.