Ansel Adams: A Photographer’s Evolution
June 23–September 16, 2018 | Fifth Third Gallery
Ansel Adams’s breathtaking black-and-white photographs have become synonymous with the American wilderness. His best-known works express his experience in the heroic landscapes of the West: granite peaks rise triumphantly, light illuminates distant mountain ranges, rivers coil through vast expanses, and clouds swirl over the plains. Ansel Adams: A Photographer’s Evolution traces the photographer’s path to his signature style, beginning with rare early works and ending with prints Adams made late in life. In his earliest photographs, made in the 1920s, Adams embraced the prevailing Pictorialist style with intimately sized, soft-focused images. He shifted to sweeping, sharply focused views in the 1930s and ‘40s and to larger images with dramatic contrast after World War II. The exhibition concludes with a selection of late prints Adams made from earlier negatives that he considered some of his greatest works. Through iconic views and lesser-known subjects, Ansel Adams: A Photographer’s Evolution reveals Adams as a poet of light both in the field and in the darkroom.
Ansel Adams: A Photographer’s Evolution is organized by art2art Circulating Exhibitions, LLC, and the Taft Museum of Art. The exhibition features 42 photographs from the private collection of Michael Mattis and Judith Hochberg, and 10 additional works selected from other collections, both public and private.
Paris to New York: Berenice Abbott and Eugène Atget
October 6, 2018–January 20, 2019 | Fifth Third Gallery
In Paris in the 1920s, the young American photographer Berenice Abbott (1898–1991) encountered the elderly French photographer Eugène Atget (1857–1927). Their contact would have profound and lasting effects on the careers and legacies of both artists. Through a sequence of riveting and often iconic images, the exhibition elaborates the relationship between Abbott’s and Atget’s photography. We see Atget’s antique Paris, its medieval streets and old houses and quirky residents, and also Abbott’s New York, with its remnants of history but also its newest soaring skyscrapers of the 1930s. While the Surrealists acclaimed Atget’s eerie views of mannequins and carnivals, Abbott particularly admired his objective documentation of Paris, which shaped her own similarly extended project of systematically depicting New York. Just as Atget influenced her, she in turn had a great impact on the older man’s place in history: she acquired a significant portion of Atget’s estate and promoted his work in both France and the United States. Having succeeded in boosting his fame, she eventually sold her entire Atget collection to The Museum of Modern Art in New York, which ensured his lasting place in the history of photography.