8 Great Photography Exhibitions to See July 2018

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Crowd #3 (Pelican Beach), 2013 © Alex Prager Studio and Lehmann Maupin

Alex Prager: Silver Lake Drive

Silver Lake Drive is a major new exhibition marking the first mid-career survey of American photographer and filmmaker, Alex Prager (b.1979).

Tracing Prager’s remarkably rich career over the last ten years and taking place over two gallery floors, the exhibition encompasses over 40 photographs including her trademark, large-scale Technicolor photographs alongside her complete film works.

Prager’s distinctive works cross the worlds of art, fashion, photography and film, exposing the human melodrama and dark unsettling undercurrents that are threaded through her subject matter. Referencing the aesthetic principals of mid twentieth century Hollywood cinema and fashion photography, as well as such photographers as William Eggleston, Diane Arbus and Cindy Sherman, each of her images is packed with a multitude of emotional layers and narrative possibilities.

Her early photographs were predominantly shot on sets in Los Angeles, with carefully staged scenes further heightened by hyper-styled costumes, makeup, lighting and the use of a richly saturated colour palette, lending the images a particular dramatic intensity.

In her celebrated Crowd series, each figure is presented in sharp focus drawing attention to individual characters and stories and hinting at interior lives, separate from outward appearances. Prager often depicts spaces where people find themselves, sometimes unwillingly, in close proximity to others: streets, beaches, airport lounges, theatres. Favouring an aeriel perspective, she purposefully pushes the viewer into a position of surveillance, offering an optimal viewpoint to observe the characters in her frames. Occasionally, a single figure – usually a blond ingénue that seems lifted out of a Hitchcock film, or Douglas Sirk melodrama – looks directly up at the camera revealing the theatricality of the set-up.

This comprehensive exhibition presents over 40 photographs and her complete filmic oeuvre, all of which capture the banal and the fantastic, the everyday and the theatrical in Prager’s heightened reality.

The Photographer’s Gallery, 16 – 18 Ramillies Street, London, W1F 7LW

15th  June 2018 – 14th  October 2018

 

© Ken Grant

New Brighton Revisited

This group show brings together for the first time the New Brighton pictures of internationally renowned British photographers Martin Parr, Ken Grant and Tom Wood. Showing in the town from which the pictures stemmed, this innovative exhibition records 3 decades of New Brighton through the eyes of the 3 photographers as they lived and worked in the town.

Parr, Grant and Wood found themselves basing their early lives and careers within the New Brighton area. All three discovered a fascination and beauty in the town – within its streets, its seafront, its visitors and its residents. Each photographer captured, in their individual styles, moments of the town’s life from the late 1970s to the end of the 1990’s.

Martin Parr is one of the world’s most iconic photographers, his ability to capture the essence of Britishness within contemporary photography is unrivalled. The series, which first propelled him to success –The Last Resort, captures a period in New Brighton history and is a time capsule of the working-class family holiday during that time. The pictures look at working class reality over three consecutive summers and capture not only the chip shop wrappers and cigarettes but also the warmth and real honesty of the area. This exhibition combines work from The Last Resort but also includes Parr’s lesser known work in a series of beautifully captured black and white shots of the seafront.

Ken Grant’s photographs of New Brighton were taken in the 1980s and 1990’s during his time living and working in the area and document the humdrum realities of everyday working-class life. Having worked as a carpenter in his early days he understood the realities of the working-class world at that time and which he was systematically capturing in New Brighton. Instinctively and with empathy Grant photographs the ordinary of New Brighton in an extraordinary way and captures moments experienced in the town by his contemporaries. This will be the first time Grants work from New Brighton is shown together.

Tom Wood exhibited alongside Martin Parr in the original Last Resort exhibition in Liverpool in 1985. He lived in New Brighton between 1978 and 2003 and photographing at every opportunity was a daily routine for him. Over time he became a recognisable figure on the streets, especially in the neighbourhood where the kids came to call him “Photie-Man”. Photographs from this period are gathered together in several acclaimed publications.  Looking For Love his most famous work, and now regarded as a classic of the time, depicts the drinking, dancing, revelling crowds at the Chelsea Reach—a now-defunct nightspot in the town. This show will revisit this famous series alongside that of his other works. 

The Sailing School, Marine Point, New Brighton

14th July 2018 – 25th August 2018

 

© Judith Weik

Because We Can

Shutter Hub take Because We Can to Festival Pil’ours Festival international de la photographie pour les femmes photographes professionnels, in Saint Gilles Croix de Vie, France.

Festival Pil’ours is an annual international festival of photography showcasing the work of ten female-identifying photographers from around the world. This year, a first for the festival (and for us!) Shutter Hub have been invited to bring a group exhibition of female-identifying photoraphers work to the festival.

The outdoor exhibition sites are spread throughout the Pays de St Gilles Croix de Vie and attract thousands of visitors day and night throughout the festival. Organised tours, conferences with photographers and of course, the private view, make the exhibition accessible to all.

100 years ago the Representation of the People Act gave some women in Britain the right to vote.  Throughout the years we’ve all benefited enormously from the revolutionary courage of those women. The inspiring and tireless work of many women and men, for women’s rights continues to this day.

At Shutter Hub we welcome the opportunity to reflect on this and to take pause to celebrate contemporary work by female photographers today.

Festival Pil’ours, Festival international de la photographie pour les femmes photographes professionnels, in Saint Gilles Croix de Vie, France

8th July 2018 – 31st August 2018

 

© Gina Glover

The Metabolic Landscape

Jessica Rayner and Gina Glover

The exhibition shares its title with an accompanying book. Metabolism refers to the physiochemical process that underpins all life. Just as a metabolic disease refers to an energy-sourced disorder of the body, so too the planet is revealing signs of metabolic distress. The cause is the massive change in energy use by society. What is called the Energy Transition – the shift from a low to high-energy use society – has been seen as enormously beneficial (food production, transport, heating, etc.) but our increasing use of energy, particularly fossil energy, is now identified as a cause of climate change and ecosystem harm.

This exhibition attempts to engage with the dynamics of the world about us by addressing energy in the landscape, energy extraction, energy transmission, energy ‘substances’ – coal, oil, minerals, gas, and the Sun, the source of most of our energy.

Gina Glover’s photographs exploit atmospheric and ambient light conditions to construct images, which draw attention to the place of energy and changes in the landscape. Her project builds upon visits to coal mines in the Arctic and geothermal energy plants in Iceland, where the heat from volcanoes is used to generate electricity. Realising how both nature and human history had irrevocably changed by energy her recent work includes nuclear reactors in France, hydroelectric power stations in Wales, opencast coal mines in Germany, oil wells and hydraulic fracturing sites in the USA and glacier loss in Greenland.

In contrast, Jessica Rayner examines the energy of ‘things’ within the landscape. She uses a range of media, including photography, video, printmaking and three-dimensional sculpture to explore the idea of energy through objects, materials, substances and processes. She describes objects and processes as ‘affordances’, because they offer value to us. Delving into the histories of these objects, she offers up their stories of origination, discovery and scientific analysis. In constructing these artworks she provides a further ‘story’, the question of whether an artwork can express within it the artist’s own sense of knowledge and perception of an object.

ART at the ARB, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DT

5th July 2018 – 28th September 2018

 

Post Soviet visions ©  Andrew Miksys

Athens Photo Festival 2018

After 30th anniversary festivities last year, the festival now enters its fourth decade with the aim to challenge the boundaries and experience of a traditional festival of photography. Exploring critical issues relevant to our times, the festival functions as a dynamic platform where the social impact of the ever-changing visual culture can be raised and discussed. Athens Photo Festival 2018 brings together over 120 emerging and established international artists from 32 countries with the aim to reflect the diversity of contemporary photography, and to create opportunities for exchange of ideas, artistic expression and international engagement. The 2018 main exhibitions take place from 6 June to 29 July 2018, at the Benaki Museum (Pireos St. Annexe). At the core of the festival is a range of events, including portfolio reviews, screenings, talks and discussions, workshops, and various community and participatory projects. In addition to the main venue-based programme, the festival encourages community involvement through satellite exhibitions in various locations in the city.

Benaki Museum (Pireos St. Annexe), Athens

6th June 2018 – 29th July 2018

 

The Island of the Colorblind © Sanne De Wilde (BE)

Islands & Myths

Sanne De Wilde, Nicholas Muellner, Jon Tonks

Belfast Exposed is delighted to announce its major summer group exhibition Islands & Myths. This fresh, immersive show brings together three international rising stars of contemporary photography: Sanne De Wilde, Nicholas Muellner and Jon Tonks – each using the medium to present stories and investigations into unique and remote communities on far away islands. Each of the three bodies of work on display tread the lines between fact and fiction, with the lines at times being deliberately blurred. The exhibition emphasises the power of photography as a compelling tool for imaginative and creative storytelling, through compelling and immersive installations.

Belfast Exposed Photography, 23 Donegall Street, Belfast BT1 2FF

29th June 2018 – 18th August 2018 

 

Association of Polish Teachers Union ZNP, Warsaw, Poland © Noel Bowler

Union

Noel Bowler

Made over a 5-year period, Noel Bowler’s Union reveals the boardrooms and private offices of trade union buildings across the globe. The exhibition offers a rare glimpse into places where decisions and policies that affect so many are made.

Bowler’s photographs show how the institutions of organised labour, designed to protect workers from exploitation in the nineteenth century, are responding to today’s economic uncertainty. Incorporating images from Russia, the USA, Poland and the UK, Union offers unprecedented access to rarely seen spaces, combining photographs of momentarily silent interiors of trade union offices alongside portraits of union leaders.

Bowler invites us to walk the well-trodden carpets and parquet floors, and to gaze at the utilitarian desks beneath strip lights and false ceilings. Each space offers clues to its inhabitants; flags, emblems and political posters allow the viewer’s imagination to populate each dormant scene.

There is a dry humour to Bowler’s work, the sparse setting of the Union of Polish Teachers in Warsaw is fittingly dominated by a large blackboard, whilst a cluttered desk at the Maritime Trades Department at the AFL-CIO in Washington DC demonstrates its inhabitant’s political leanings and sporting preferences. The ordinariness of many of these workspaces is undercut by the knowledge that these are sites where important contemporary battles around workers’ rights are taking place.

Bowler offers a unique insight into the pressures and challenges facing unions in this era of political and economic uncertainty, radical changes in traditional work practices and increased worker insecurity. This timely exhibition continues Bowler’s ongoing consideration of the political forces that shape our world, reflected through the organisation of social space.

Impressions Gallery, Aldermanbury, Bradford BD1 1SD

5th July 2018 – 22nd Sep 2018

 

Joan, Florette, Palanpur, “Gribouille”, Sharon Lee, Juan-les-Pins, 1949 © Ministère de la Culture – France / A.A.J.H.L

Jacques Henri Lartigue … C’est chic!

Two exhibitions curated by Paul Smith highlighting a lesser known facet of Lartigue’s magical eye: the 50s, 60s and 70s.

“In 1998, I asked Paul Smith, to write a small introduction to our very first exhibition of Jacques Henri Lartigue. He very kindly agreed. It was a seminal moment for the gallery as we were showing my favourite 20th century artist and his work was affirmed by a man who I had such huge respect for and whose style was only matched by Jacques’ own.

Twenty years later, I decided to approach Paul again, this time with the idea that he would look at and curate an area of Lartigue’s archive that has rarely been examined – the 50’s, 60’s and early 1970’s, and was delighted when he accepted.

The Jacques Henri Lartigue Archives are still maintained carefully by the Ministère de la Culture in France and it was there that Paul and I sat down and discovered, to our delight, that Lartigue’s ability at revealing the joy and essence of the people he had photographed was still very much intact during the later part of his life, and that the images had been virtually unseen by his fans world-wide.

Lartigue brings so much pleasure to all who encounter his sublime pictures of the Belle Époque. And who can also deny his wonderful observation of the gorgeous people he photographed in New York in the 1970’s when he was working with the likes of Ruth Ansell at Harper’s bazaar.

Jacques Henri Lartigue captured it all, and Paul Smith has selected a unique and never before seen group of his photographs that will entertain and delight those who encounter them.” – Michael Hoppen

“My father was an amateur photographer and his way was always the ‘caught moment’. I’ve always admired Henri Lartigue as the master of the caught moment, so many of his best photos are about a spontaneous moment. And of course, his work is all on film so he’d never know until he was back in the dark-room what would appear! It was an honour and a privilege when Michael invited me to look through Lartigue’s huge archive, go through all the thousands of photographs and scrap-books and narrow the selection down to these few. The exhibitions could’ve been twenty times the size they are.” – Paul Smith

There will be two exhibitions which will be held simultaneously at Paul Smith, Albemarle Street and at Michael Hoppen Gallery, Jubilee Place. Both shows will highlight this lesser known facet of Lartigue’s magical eye.

Michael Hoppen Gallery, 3 Jubilee Place, London, SW3 3TDT
31st May 2018 – 27th July 2018

&

Paul Smith, 9 Albemarle Street, London, W1S 4HH
2nd June 2018 – 28th July 2018