"They were … pure and unadulterated photographs, and sometimes they hinted at the existence of visual truths that had escaped all other systems of detection."—John Szarkowski
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has recently opened, for the first time in 25 years, a major retrospective of the singular American photographer, Garry Winogrand. This is a big deal. The exhibit, organized and curated in conjunction with the National Gallery of Art, will later travel to DC and then on to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York this summer. Given Winogrand's importance in the history of 20th Century photography, this will be one of the major shows of 2013.
Professional photographers, long before the days of digital, have always burned through rolls of film, snapping thousands and thousands of images. Winogrand was no exception. When he passed in 1984, he left behind dozens of marked-up proof sheets and more than 6,500 rolls of undeveloped film containing more than 250,000 images. What makes this retrospective particularly important is that nearly a third of the images in the show have never been printed or exhibited, creating a renewed and exciting opportunity to take a greater in-depth look at Winogrand's legacy.
The forthcoming monograph to accompany the exhibit will also provide scholars and enthusiasts with a comprehensive resource for examining his importance and lasting influence on photography. Winogrand forever changed how photographers see, but it’s also worth noting that he expanded the possibilities of what happens in the frame. —Lane Nevares