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Exclusive opportunity for UAL students: show your photographs @Hayward.Gallery

Published date
13 Dec 2018

UAL has partnered with Hayward Gallery to celebrate: diane arbus: in the beginning – 13 February – 6 May 2019.

Photographer Diane Arbus is one of the most prominent and influential artists of the 20th century – the American master developed the direct, psychologically acute style for which she later became so widely celebrated.  Arbus discovered the majority of her subjects in New York City, from Fifth Avenue to the Lower East Side, from Times Square to Coney Island. Creating some of the most compelling photographs in the history of post-war photography, she depicted a cross-section of urban life, including portraits of couples and children, solitary city dwellers, carnival performers, strippers, and transvestites.

UAL students have been exclusively invited to respond to the work, themes and spirit of Diane Arbus.

CALL OUT: Does your photography capture the zeitgeist of London and its population in our post Trump/post Brexit society? Do you love capturing up close and personal images of your sujects, revealing hidden truths? Are you inspired by the stories behind people’s faces?

Submitted works will be judged by @Hayward.Gallery, with selected photographers given an instagram-feature on @Hayward.Gallery during the exhibition. A selection of work will also be displayed on digital screens at Southbank Centre. You will also be given a private exhibition preview/tour.

Deadline: Monday 14 January 2019
Submit to:
Max file size: 2MG/ 10 images max

You MUST include: Name; Course; College; your Instagram handle and a brief description of the inspiration behind your work.

(L-R: Stripper with bare breasts sitting in her dressing room, Atlantic City, N.J. 1961 . Jack Dracula at a bar, New London, Conn. 1961 . Kid in a hooded jacket aiming a gun, N.Y.C. 1957 . All images: Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Copyright © The Estate of Diane Arbus, LLC. All Rights Reserved.)

The exhibition includes nearly 100 photographs that redefine the achievement of one of the most prominent and influential artists of the 20th century.

Presented across the upper floor of the Hayward Gallery, this solo show includes some 50 photographs which have never been shown in Europe, all vintage prints from the Diane Arbus Archive at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

The exhibition traces Arbus’ growth from her early work with a 35mm camera to the distinctive square format she began using in 1962. Nearly half the photographs that Arbus printed during her lifetime were produced during these years, yet much of this early work remains little known. diane arbus: in the beginning brings to light many haunting, yet lesser-known, works such as Boy stepping off the curb, N.Y.C . 1957–58; The Backwards Man in his hotel room, N.Y.C. 1961 ; and Jack Dracula at a bar, New London, Conn. 1961 .

© The Guardian

Along with a prescient series of images featuring movies projected on theatre screens, these rarely seen pictures illuminate the profound and continuing impact of Arbus’ photographs on contemporary art. Arbus first began making photographs in the early 1940s when she received a camera as a gift from her husband, Allan.

Whilst working as a stylist in their fashion photography business for 15 years Arbus created her own pictures only intermittently, but in 1956 she numbered a roll of 35mm film #1, as if to symbolise the definitive beginning of her career as an artist. Over the course of the next seven years Arbus’ photographic style evolved as she documented individuals and interacted closely with her chosen subjects.

© The Guardian

Whereas many other photographers working at the time, such as Walker Evans, Garry Winogrand and Lee Friedlander, would often play the role of passive observer or even conceal their cameras, Arbus’ images are fuelled by the intensity of direct personal encounters with her subjects. This exchange on both sides of the camera — between seeing and being seen — raises existential questions that ultimately transmit themselves onto the viewer.

Arbus always believed she had something special to offer the world, a glimpse of its many secrets:

“I do feel I have some slight corner on something about the quality of things. I mean it’s very subtle and a little embarrassing to me but I really believe there are things which nobody would see unless I photographed them.”

diane arbus: in the beginning is organised by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and curated by Jeff L. Rosenheim, curator in Charge of the Department of Photographs. The special exhibition design was devised for the first presentation at The Met Breuer in 2016 and has been adapted for Hayward Gallery. Each photograph is presented on an individual free-standing wall and visitors are encouraged to navigate their own individual routes through the exhibition,experiencing one-on-one encounters with these intimate works. This innovative approach provides a glimpse into the way Arbus navigated the world in which she photographed.

Among the many outstanding works in this exhibition that have not been shown previously in Europe are Jack Dracula at a bar, New London, Conn. 1961, Taxicab driver at the wheel with two passengers, N.Y.C. 1956, Female impersonator holding long gloves, Hempstead, L.I. 1959, and Man in hat, trunks, socks and shoes, Coney Island, N.Y. 1960.

© The Guardian

Find out more about UAL’s photography courses here.