Eastman House formally opened its latest exhibition last night at the 1285 Avenue of the Americas Gallery. 60 from the 60s: Selections from George Eastman House features 10 of the most significant photographers from the 1960s. Dr. Alison Nordström, curator of photographs for Eastman House and of this exhibition, led media and invited guests on a tour of the exhibition.
The exhibition also celebrates the 50th anniversary of the 42-story building at 1285 Avenue of the Americas. The Skidmore, Owings & Merrill-designed building, constructed in 1960, sits on Sixth Avenue between 51st and 52nd streets in Manhattan— right across from Radio City Music Hall.
DISSENTERS, 1967, by Benedict J. Fernandez. George Eastman House collections
That same decade also saw many new photography styles come to life— collage, street photography, photojournalism coverage of riots. The 60-print exhibit from the Eastman House archive explores each of these styles through photographers who were just beginning to create a name for themselves as well as established artists then in the midst of successful careers. They include Harry Callahan, Benedict J. Fernandez, Hollis Frampton, Betty Hahn, Robert Heinecken, Mary Ellen Mark, Roger Mertin, Arnold Newman, Aaron Siskind, and Garry Winogrand.
The selection reveals high modernism at its apogee happily co-existing side by side with burgeoning postmodernism: Arnold Newman was well-known for his commercial and art photographs, while Harry Callahan’s street portraits and beautifully framed architectural views had enormous influence on his students and contemporaries. Robert Heinecken appropriated photographs to create his collage-like works, while Benedict J. Fernandez was embedded in the protest movement, creating powerful reportage that presented both sides of some of the most volatile issues of the time. Street photographer Garry Winogrand captured the essence of the period with his surreal images at a time when Aaron Siskind had shifted away from his documentary style of the 1930s toward abstractions of graffiti and images that flatten the photographic plane.
60 from the 60s is on view through Feb. 18, 2011.
Dresden Engle is the Public Relations Manager for George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film.