Exhibit Information

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Address 1000 Fifth Avenue @82nd Street
New York, NY 10028

Click here for quick directions
Phone Number 212-535-7710

Website http://www.metmuseum.org/

NIGHT-VISION: Photography After Dark

Opening: 26 APRIL 2011 - Closing: 18 SEPTEMBER 2011



For more than 100 years, Photographers have been drawn to the Challenge of making images After-Dark, capturing the Aesthetic-Effects of Nighttime-Rain, Early-Morning-Fog, Shining-Street-Lamps, & Dimly-Lit-Rooms.

 

Modern Camera-Artists have been captivated by Glowing-Skyscrapers, Dazzling-Neon-Signs, Glittering-Nightlife, & the Shadowy-Realm of the Nocturnal-Underworld.

 

Highlights of the Metropolitan Museum’s new exhibition include Classic-Night-Photography of the 1930s-1950s by Berenice Abbott, Bill Brandt, Brassaï, Robert Frank, André Kertész, William Klein, Weegee, & Garry Winogrand.

 

Also on-view are three early photographs by Diane Arbus that have never been shown or published before, & recently-acquired photographs by Peter Hujar & Kohei Yoshiyuki.

 

Night Vision presents 40 black-&-white photographs dating from 1898 to 2000—all drawn from the Museum’s Collection.

 

These feature early Night-Photography by Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, Frances S. Allen & Mary E. Allen, Alvin Langdon Coburn, & Lewis Hine.

 

The Camera-Gems from the 1920s-1930s include photos by Giuseppe Albergamo, Marcel Bovis, Gordon H. Coster, Knud Lonberg-Holm, & Werner Mantz—plus mid-20th-century photographs by John Cohen, Louis Faurer, Sid Grossman, Otto Steinert, Josef Sudek, & Pim Van Os.

 

Photographs from the latter-part of the Last-Century are by Robert Adams, David Deutsch, Patrick Faigenbaum, Daido Moriyama, Hiroshi Sugimoto, & Stephen Tourlentes.

 

By the early 20th century, Night-Photography came into its own as an Artistic-Genre as the Technical-Innovations of smaller Handheld-Cameras, faster Photographic-Film, & Commercial-Flashbulbs freed Artists to explore-further the Nocturnal-Universe of Shimmering-Light & Velvety-Darkness.

 

Brassaï made his name as a Chronicler of Paris-After-Dark with the publication of his book Paris by Night in 1932. The Dreamy-Atmosphere of Brassaï’s photographs is intensified by his preference for shooting on Misty-Nights.

 

"Fog and rain…tend to soften contrasts,” he wrote. "Steam, as well as wet ground, act as reflectors & diffuse the light of the lamps in all directions. Therefore, it is necessary to photograph certain subjects in the rain, since it is the rain that makes them ‘photogenic.’”

 

Another pioneer of Night-Photography, Bill Brandt, portrayed the lives of all levels of British-Society in both Staged & Documentary Photographs from the 1930s and 1940s.

 

Brandt made Night-Views of London during the Blitz, when the city imposed Blackouts. He later wrote: "The darkened town, lit only by moonlight, looked more beautiful than before or since.”

 

Inspired by Brassaï & Brandt, other photographers began to turn their attention to the Social-Life of the City at night, from the convivial hubbub of Little-Italy’s Feast of San Gennaro—as seen in works by Diane Arbus & Sid Grossman—to the Top-Hatted-Elegance of Opening-Night at the Metropolitan-Opera, in a 1955 photograph by Garry Winogrand. [From Calzone to Carmen?]

 

Night-Photographers have been drawn to Outlaws & Lone-Figures on the Margins, picturing the dark-hours as a Shadowy-Realm of Transgression. [Dark-Deeds best done in the Daylight?]

 

Peter Hujar spent many nights wandering the streets of Downtown-Manhattan—with his camera—creating images that exude a Sense of Expectation & Desire. [On the Prowl, eh?]

 

Hujar’s 1981 photograph Man in Park is one of three photographs he made of Men Cruising in Stuyvesant-Square-Park. [Watch-Out for AIDS!]

 

More recently, Artists have adapted techniques of Police & Military-Surveillance to pry into Hidden-Corners of the Night. [The CIA is on your Case!]

 

In the early 1970s, Kohei Yoshiyuki used Infrared-Film to capture night-time images of Clandestine-Sexual-Encounters in Tokyo’s Public-Parks He lensed Amorous-Young-Couples, as well as the Peeping-Toms who gathered in the bushes to watch them. [Earthquakes & Tsunamis can put a stop to that!]

 

For his Night Sun series [2000], David Deutsch shot Overhead-Views of Los-Angeles-Suburbs at night from a Helicopter, illuminating the houses below with a Police-Search-light. [Hasn’t LAPD anything better to do with Angelenos’ Tax-Money?]

<- Back