Monday, February 24, 2014

Southern Photographers in London

The photography scene in London is far too rich for anyone to get one's head around, even in a lifetime, but here are some items I noticed on a recent visit.

Harry Callahan at the Tate Modern

Harry Callahan spent most of his distinguished career outside the South, but toward the end of it he moved to Atlanta and made some fine work, including the image Georgia Mountains, above.

I saw an impressive show of this work in Atlanta several years ago, and regard Callahan as an Honorary Southern Photographer on the strength of it.

There is a fine retrospective exhibition of Callahan's work up now at the Tate Modern, through May 31st, 2014.

William Eggleston at the Tate Modern

The William Eggleston exhibition we mentioned last fall, also at the Tate Modern is still up, through May 11th, 2014.

The Photographers' Gallery

The Photographers' Gallery is a major center for photographers, combining exhibition space with a great book store and other facilities. It is well worth a visit anytime one is in London.

One annual activity of the Photographers' Gallery is to host the exhibition that concludes the international Deutsche Börse Photography Prize competition.

This year one of the four finalists for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize is Lorna Simpson, a NYC-based photographer.

Although Not From Around Here, Simpson is worth attending to because her work consistently addresses concerns central to our experience in the American South.

This aspect of her work has been recognized on this side of the Mason-Dixon line by her being given an Award in the Arts in 1989 by the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, and a solo show at the Gibbes Museum in Charleston, SC, in 2006-2007.

Simpson defines her work as seeking to "confront and challenge narrow, conventional views of gender, identity, culture, history and memory."

"With the African-American woman as a visual point of departure, Simpson uses the figure to examine the ways in which gender and culture shape the interactions, relationships and experiences of our lives in contemporary multi-racial America."

We wish Simpson well in this competition and will attend to the results later this year.

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