Picturing New York: Photographs from The Museum of Modern Art

27 01 2010

Cindy Sherman

I was in Dublin over Christmas, and a real treat was our visit to IMMA in Kilmainham. They are currently running an exhibition of very famous photographs by very famous photographers in New York City. To see these photographs, which I had only ever seen in books, hung on the walls on three floors was just amazing. I’d definately recommend a visit if you are in Dublin. But hurry – the exhibition finishes on Feb 7th. Unless of course you will be in Madrid between March and June or in Italy during the summer – the exhibition will be moving there after Dublin!

Picturing New York comprises 145 masterworks from the photographic collection of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, covering the period from the 1880s to the present day. It celebrates the tradition of photographing New York, a tradition that frames and influences the perception of this vibrant urban centre. Including photographs by such influential photographers as Berenice Abbot, Diane Arbus, Garry Winogrand, Lisette Model, Alfred Stieglitz and Cindy Sherman, it explores both New York and its inhabitants, highlighting associations – from the vast, overwhelming architecture and bright lights, to the diversity of people that lie at the soul of the city.

The photographs reveal New York as a city of contrasts and extremes through images of towering blocks and tenements, party-goers and street-dwellers, hurried groups and solitary individuals. Picturing New York demonstrates the symbiosis between the city’s progression from past to present and the evolution of photography as a medium and as an art form. Additionally, these photographs of New York contribute significantly to the notion that the photograph, as a work of art, is capable of constructing a sense of place and a sense of self.

– Rory

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