Harn exhibition captures pivotal time for photography
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Starting Oct. 9, the Harn Museum of Art will present an exhibition that reflects a transformative moment in photographic history during the tumultuous interwar years.
On view through Jan. 6, “The Modern Impulse: Photography from Europe and America Between the Wars” will explore how the newly portable 35 mm camera was celebrated as an instrument of poetry, analysis and social change.
Covering the years between 1918 and 1945, the exhibition will highlight more than 40 artists who expanded the new medium and changed the way we perceive the world. Celebrating technology while embracing spontaneity and improvisation, these artists captured the spirit, vitality and invention of a new age.
“The Modern Impulse” showcases more than 135 photographs, books, illustrated magazines and films drawn from four regions that were among the era’s most prominent centers of photographic innovation — France and the Czech Republic in Europe, and New York and California in the United States. Featured artists include innovative talents such as Berenice Abbott, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Imogen Cunningham, František Drtikol, Walker Evans, André Kertész, Helen Levitt, Josef Sudek and Jaroslav Rössler.
Photographers from both sides of the Atlantic caught the fleeting moments of everyday life, focusing on cities, street life and the contours of industrial and natural forms. Their work incorporated a multitude of unconventional forms and techniques such as unusual cropping and camera angles, high contrast and photomontage in both experimental and straight photography.
“ ‘The Modern Impulse’ offers a window into one of the most artistically fertile periods in the history of photography, and this exhibition contributes to a greater understanding of 20th-century visual culture,” said Rebecca Nagy, Harn Museum director.
Learn more about the exhibition by attending gallery talks offered at 3 p.m. Oct. 21 and Nov. 11. Visit www.harn.ufl.edu for additional programming information. Admission is free.