British photographic history

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Exhibition: Seduced by Art: Photography Past and Present

At a special colloquium yesterday invited attendees previewed the National Gallery's new exhibition Seduced by Art and explored some of the images and the links between photography and art. The exhibition is the Gallery's first major photography show, despite a relationship with photography which goes back to the Gallery's Keeper and first Director Sir Charles Eastlake who was the first President of the Photographic Society of London. It hopes to attract 50,000 people to the exhibition. 

This exhibition explores early photography from the thirty years from photography's announcement in 1839 to 1870 and the its most recent thirty years to 2012. Showing photographs from the mid-19th century and the most exciting contemporary photographs, alongside historical painting. It takes a provocative look at how photographers use fine art traditions, including Old Master painting, to explore and justify the possibilities of their art.

Work by leading photographers such as Martin Parr, Craigie Horsfield, Tom Hunter, Sam Taylor-Wood, Richard Billingham, Julia Margaret Cameron and Gustave Le Gray will be on display beside key paintings from the National Gallery collection.

The exhibition has been co-curated by Hope Kingsley from the WIlson Centre of Photography and Christopher Riopelle from the Gallery. As one delegate commented 'Hope is the only person with the knowledge and background to make such an exhibition, and to make it work so well'. The exhibition's thesis is explored in a coherent way and accessible way with appropriately chosen images from both mediums. The selected photographs and works of art help the curators make their points and the physical exhibition space is well used with the hanging and lighting used to give balance to the photography and paintings.Excellent use is made made of the doorways of the exhibition space to frame works beyond. The exhibition is a triumph in its conception and execution and, will be seen as a landmark exhibition. A catalogue is available at £19.95 (softback) or £30 (hardback). 

The exhibition opens on 31 October until 20 January 2013. More information is here: http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/whats-on/exhibitions/seduced-by-a...

 

About the exhibition

Paintings and early and contemporary photographs are presented together according to traditional genres such as portraiture, still life, nudes and landscape, highlighting the universality of the themes and influences across all the works, both past and present.


Drawing attention to one particular and rich strand of photography’s history – that of the influence and inspiration of historical painting – the exhibition features pictures by the greatest British and French photographers alongside work by an international array of contemporary artists. It includes new photography and video specially commissioned for the exhibition and on public display for the first time, plus works rarely seen in the UK.

Exceptionally, three ‘interventions’ of contemporary photographs by Richard Billingham, Craigie Horsfield and Richard Learoyd will be displayed within the Gallery’s collection, juxtaposed with great 19th-century paintings by Constable,Degas and Ingres.

 

Works on display

The show includes almost 90 photographs alongside selected paintings from the National Gallery’s collection. Key photographs will come from the Wilson Centre for Photography, Tate, Victoria and Albert Museum, National Media Museum in Bradford, Fundació La Caixa in Spain, and direct from the photographers themselves.

 

Travelling exhibition

The exhibition will travel to CaixaForum Barcelona (21 February 2013 – 19 May 2013) and CaixaForum Madrid (19 June 2013 – 15 September 2013).

Paintings and early and contemporary photographs are presented together according to traditional genres such as portraiture, still life, nudes and landscape, highlighting the universality of the themes and influences across all the works, both past and present.

Drawing attention to one particular and rich strand of photography’s history – that of the influence and inspiration of historical painting – the exhibition features pictures by the greatest British and French photographers alongside work by an international array of contemporary artists. It includes new photography and video specially commissioned for the exhibition and on public display for the first time, plus works rarely seen in the UK.

Exceptionally, three ‘interventions’ of contemporary photographs by Richard Billingham, Craigie Horsfield and Richard Learoy are displayed within the Gallery’s collection, juxtaposed with great 19th-century paintings by Constable,Degas and Ingres.

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