vrijdag 29 juni 2007

Colour before Color, curated by Martin Parr Jun 7 - Jul 20, 2007

Keld Helmer-PetersenUntitled #21, circa 1945
John HindeButlin's Ayr: Lounge Bar and Indoor Heated Pool (Ground Level), circa 1970
Carlos Pérez SiquierMuñeca, 1974-2007

HASTED HUNT is pleased to announce a very special exhibition, COLOUR BEFORE COLOR, curated byMARTIN PARR. The show will be on view from June 7 to July 20, 2007.

For COLOUR BEFORE COLOR, Martin Parr has selected a group of European photographers who were working with color photography in the early 1970’s. These artists were producing work before or contemporaneous with William Eggleston in the US.

The six artists in COLOUR BEFORE COLOR include Luigi Ghirri (Italian, 1943–1992), Keld Helmer-Peterson (Danish, b.1920), John Hinde (British, studio with Edmund Nägele, Elmar Ludwig, David Noble), Peter Mitchell (British), Carlos Pérez Siquier (Spanish, b. 1930), and Ed van der Elsken (Dutch, 1925-1990).

Martin Parr writes:
In the rather dysfunctional history of colour photography, the seminal exhibition by William Eggleston in 1976 at MOMA New York is often cited as the start of serious colour photography. This statement often riles and confuses many people, as colour photography had been around for 90 years. However, previous to Eggleston’s exhibition and book, colour work had predominately been associated with commercial or even snapshot photography. His show gave colour practice the status in the museum world that had previously eluded it.

It is quite significant that the American photography had become so institutionalized as it was this world, especially with the all-powerful John Szarkowski, that fueled the acceptance of colour work. We should also mention the work of Stephen Shore, Joel Sternfeld and Joel Meyerowitz who all contributed to the establishment and acceptance of colour photography in the 70s.
The purpose of the current exhibition is to demonstrate that an equally lively colour photography culture in Europe was operating both before and during the 70s. This work had been largely overlooked as it was not put together as a movement, nor was it promoted by high profile institutions.

The American colorists who became known in the 70s are now enjoying a renaissance, while the European pioneer equivalents remain relatively obscure.

In 1947, KELD HELMER-PETERSEN self published a book entitled 122 Colour Photographs. It was perhaps the first intelligent book featuring only colour photographs and was distinctively Modernist in its look. Helmer-Petersen enjoyed a brief moment of recognition when Life Magazine published a folio. For a short period he taught photography at the Art Institute of Chicago, before returning to his native Denmark to pursue a career as an architectural photographer.

LUIGI GHIRRI, who died in 1992, was perhaps the colour photographer whose work overlapped most with an American sensitivity. A real spirit of adventure propelled this brilliant Italian artist to explore so many ideas well ahead of their time. Aperture will publish a book and mount an exhibition by Ghirri in 2008.

ED VAN DER ELSKEN, the maverick Dutch photojournalist switched effortlessly between colour and black and white without considering the status of colour in the art world for one moment. His long-term project to shoot on the streets of cities produced many iconic colour images.

CARLOS PEREZ SIQUIER, like many colour photographers started his career in black and white and moved to colour in the 1960s. He photographed in his native Almeria, in Spain and finally took to the nearby beach with a medium format camera in the 1970s and produced a remarkable body of work during this decade.

JOHN HINDE was an English photographer who was a pioneer of colour work. He started a hugely successful post card company and in the late 1960s picked up a commission to photograph Butlins holiday camps. By that time he was employing other photographers to continue this and other assignments. The images of the camp interiors are in luscious colour, and are packed with information about dress and décor of this period.

PETER MITCHELL, also an English photographer, had the first landmark colour exhibition in the UK entitled "A New Refutation of Viking 4 Space Mission" at the Impressions Gallery, York in 1979. Mitchell photographed the factories, owners of small shops and other features of Leeds, the city in Yorkshire where he lives .He does this in a very formal style, with the aid of a stepladder. The idea being this is how Leeds may be viewed when the Mission from Mars finally lands on this unsuspecting city.

More than 30 years after these images were produced, the language of colour photography that these photographers have employed is now very familiar. This exhibition gives a unique opportunity to re-assess the short and confused history of recent colour photography by showing the work of European pioneers who have been overlooked and eclipsed by their American counterparts.

- Martin Parr, January 2007

See for Ed van der Elsken : Eye Love You & Hallo! ...in color...

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