North American photographer Garry Winogrand has been cited as the central photographer of his generation, named alongside greats such as Walker Evans and Robert Frank. For his first major retrospective in 25 years, Fundacion Mapfre combines the most iconic works and previously unseen gems from his near 70 year career.
Over 200 photographs, displaying Winograd’s characteristic centrifugal compositions and inclined horizons, document the life and landscapes of post-war America. Captured in highly contrasted black and white are fashionable women walking down city streets, children playing with toy guns, protests and hippy culture, famous actors, politicians and athletes – the bustling, fast-pace and ever changing life of America in the second half of the twentieth century unfolds.
Three sections – Down from the Bronx, A Student of America and Boom and Bust – divide the exhibition thematically. First are photographs taken in Manhattan, New York between 1950 until 1971 which include commercial photographs taken for general-interest magazines such as Life and Sports Illustrated, as well as personal works which document the most turbulent periods in US history: the recovery from the effects of the Second World War, the protests and home-front of the Vietnam War, the development of the Cold War and the Cuban missile crisis, and the Kennedy assassination.
Following this section are works made in the same period, yet depicting Winograd’s efforts to understand America and Americans at this pivotal point in history via photographs taken all over the USA, documenting the nation’s countrywide evolving social scene.
Finally, Boom and Bust explores the end of Winogrand’s career: from his move away from New York in 1971 to his death from cancer in 1984. Most of these prints were made from negatives Winogrand left behind at his death, many of which he never reviewed – the photographer having left behind more than 2,500 rolls of exposed but undeveloped film, and 4,100 rolls processed but never reviewed. Winograd had always aimed to review and archive his life’s work, but due to his untimely death was never able to do so, therefore the catalogue for the exhibition will serve as the only compendium yet of Winograd’s work.
Garry Winogrand, until 3 May, Fundacion Mapfre, Calle Bárbara de Braganza, 13, Madrid 28004. For more information visit www.fundacionmapfre.org
1. Garry Winogrand, Kennedy Airport, New York (1968). Courtesy of the artist.