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Common Ground: Photographers on the Street
October 17 – December 14, 2003
Slater Concourse Gallery

Photographers on the Street brings together twenty-two photographs that inventively examine and record commonplace events, people, and objects.

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.

The first section of the exhibition captures the streets of New York City, from the 1960s and 1970s, in the black and white photographs of Garry Winogrand, Joel Meyerowitz and Lee Friedlander. Each illustrates the flux of public life, its subtleties as well as its theatrics. Images, taken quickly and seemingly randomly, contain biting social commentary, humor, incoherence, and sometimes unexpected clarity. Compositions often bordering on the chaotic introduce multiple points of interest that at once disorient and compel 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. They look to the street for inspiration, extracting the unreal from reality and beauty from the dismal.

Curated by Naomi Blumberg, this exhibition was organized by the McMullen Museum of Art with loans from the Tufts University Gallery and the photographers: Roswell Angier, Alice Attie, Melanie Einzig, Travis Huggett, Constantine Manos, Sylvia Plachy, Gus Powell, and Alex Webb.

— by Curator Naomi Blumberg, McMullen Museum of Art

Image: Melanie Einzig
September 14, 2001
Courtesy of the photographer