One of America’s great 20th century photographers, Paul Strand, will be getting the first major British retrospective of his work in photography and film since his death in 1976 with the upcoming exhibition at the V&A in spring 2016. This will bring a wide selection of his back catalogue to the iconic London museum as a part of the exhibition’s international tour, which has been organised by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Fundación MAPFRE and the Terra Foundation for American Art.
It will be opening its doors to the public on the 19th March 2016, running throughout spring and into summer before closing up shop on the 3rd July 2016, giving photography fans a little over a month to see the exhibition. There are no details on the cost of entry to the exhibition at the moment, which either means that it’s one of the V&A’s free 2016 gigs or tickets haven’t been released as of yet, but if it does turn out to be a ticketed exhibition then it will probably be around £14 for entry. We’ll update with more information when the Victoria & Albert Museum release it.
For anyone not up on the photography history, but keen to start somewhere, Paul Strand is as good a place as any, being one of a few big name modernist photographers who helped to turn photography into an art form in its own right. Alongside Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Weston, he became one of the century’s great photographers, taking in everything from abstraction and street photography to films and still photography.
His work spans a huge period of time, considering the fact that he was born in 1890, lived to be an impressive 85 and picked up photography as a hobby while he was still in his teens. The exhibition will feature in the region of 200 items of Strand’s work, spanning his long and illustrious career, which started out in New York City and went on to cover France, Italy, Scotland, Africa and South America and Eastern Europe.
In addition to his own portrait style, Paul Strand also honed in on imagery depicting natural and mechanical forms with cylindrical shapes being a particular focus. He was also a political activist, using photography to promote social and political reform as a founding member of both the Photo League and Frontier Films.
There should be a hell of a lot to see at the exhibition and the Victoria And Albert Museum will be a great venue to take it all in at. If you’re looking to add a bit more artistic intent to your own photography or just want to learn more about its great origins then it’s a must-see retrospective.
Image credit: Paul Strand, American, 1890-1976, Couple, Rucăr, Romania, 1967, Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Paul Strand Retrospective, Collection, 1915-1975, gift of the estate of Paul Strand, 1980 © Paul Strand Archive/Aperture Foundation.