BRUCE DAVIDSON

4 MAY - 28 MAY 2011

At 77, Bruce Davidson remains one of the world's great photographers. A member of the prestigious Magnum Photos agency since 1958, he took inspiration from his friend and mentor, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and went on to redefine the genre of photojournalism with his singular style and methods.

Davidson, unlike other photographers before him, embedded himself in the world of his subjects for extended periods, he even joined a circus in 1958 in order to get the right pictures, the results of which formed themselves into series of powerful photo-essays. "Brooklyn Gang" and "East 100th Street" are perhaps his two most famous, and are the results of months and months living with both a gang of youths on Coney Island, and the inhabitants of a run-down tenement block in Harlem, New York. Through a combination of familiarity and his own visual poetry, Davidson brought these, and other subjects, to life in the many books and exhibitions that resulted from these projects.

Opening in May 2011, our exhibition will focus on several of these key photo-essays, namely, The Circus, Brooklyn Gang, Civil Rights Movement, East 100th Street, England/Scotland/Wales - 1960, and Central Park.

Davidson is mainly interested in documenting the struggles and triumphs of people as they go through their lives - the American Dream laid bare. His photographs are powerful, truthful, sometimes brutal, and often breathtaking. Through this honesty Davidson gives his subjects a voice and a platform to be remembered by, but he also finds the process personally satisfying. As he once said:

"My pictures are not escapes from reality, but a contemplation of reality, so that I can experience life in a deeper way."

Davidson has been the recipient of numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, and two grants from the USA's National Endowment for the Arts. He has had solo exhibitions at many major institutions including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Tate Modern, London; and the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington DC. He currently lives and works in New York.

"So I have done what I wanted to do, I have seen everything, misery, celebrity, the beautiful people, the wicked ones, generosity and hatred. But I think I have gone beyond my vision ... In the heart of my own life, in the heart of other people's lives. Perhaps that is the most important thing I have done."

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