Information and discussion on all aspects of British photographic history
As part of the National Museum Cardiff's Photography Season 2019-20 three new exhibitions have opened presenting work by four of the most influential artists/photographers in the history of the medium: August Sander, Bernd and Hilla Becher and Martin Parr. The exhibitions predominantly comprise loaned photographs, a number of which have never been exhibited before, and all of which will be displayed for the first time in Wales. They continue to 1 March 2020.
ARTIST ROOMS: August Sander presents over eighty photographs by August Sander (1876-1964), one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century. The photographs are drawn from Sander’s monumental project People of the Twentieth Century, which classifies individuals and groups of people according to profession and social class. The exhibition is drawn from a major collection of over 170 modern prints, produced from the original plates by August Sander’s grandson, Gerd Sander and placed on long loan to ARTIST ROOMS.
Bernd and Hilla Becher: Industrial Visions brings together 225 photographs by two of the most significant artists of the twentieth century. For over 50 years the Becher’s collaborated on a project to document industrial structures across Europe and the USA. Their photographic inventory included winding towers, blast furnaces, cooling towers, gasometers, grain elevators, water towers and lime kilns. In 1965 the Becher’s made their first visit to Wales and returned in 1966 after receiving a British Council Fellowship. Based at a campsite in Glynneath, they explored the south Wales valleys and made an extensive series of photographs that now stand as monuments to a lost world of labour that were once central to the social fabric of industrial communities.
Martin Parr in Wales. Martin Parr is one of the most influential and prolific photographers working today. He has always been drawn to Wales, having lived just over the border in nearby Bristol for thirty years. Throughout that time, he has undertaken several editorial and cultural commissions, covering subjects from working men’s clubs to coal mining. This exhibition brings together, for the first time, works that explore different aspects of Welsh life and culture, from male voice choirs and national sports to food, festivals and the seaside.
Image: Bernd and Hilla Becher: Blaenserchan Colliery, Pontypool, South Wales, GB, 1966
© Estate Bernd & Hilla Becher, represented by Max Becher, courtesy Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur – Bernd und Hilla Becher Archive, Cologne, 2019
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