Contacts Sheets of Bruce Davidson’s Most Famous Series
An exhibition at Howard Greenberg Gallery in New York presents until June 15 several contact sheets in context with vintage prints from Bruce Davidson’s four seminal projects from the 1950s and ‘60s: “Circus”, “Brooklyn Gang”, “Time of Change”, and “East 100th Street”. Together, they illustrate Davidson’s connection to some of the 20th century’s most important social, cultural, and political moments.
Poetic and profound, powerful and tender, Davidson’s work derives its strength from the unique and long-lasting relationships he developed with his subjects, first gaining their trust, then allowing them to open up to him and his camera, before documenting their lives. “I stand to the side respectfully until I am invited in,” Davidson has said. “There is a lot of patience and stillness in the making of a photograph.”
Providing a rare glimpse into the photographer’s immersive process, Davidson’s contact sheets from each series will be presented together with a selection of related vintage prints, allowing viewers to see the connection between images in sequence as a work in progress and how the photographer made his final selections.
Davidson’s deep personal engagement with his subjects sets his work apart. Through close proximity, he captured more than just an image; his contact sheets suggest something much more emotive about the connections he made.
“Subject: Contact” bridges the divide between the personal and the professional: between Davidson’s heart, his eye, the camera lens and the film. In revealing more of Davidson’s creative process, the exhibition expands the viewer’s appreciation of how his aesthetic and technical mastery resulted in the creation of some of the most powerful, personal images of his time.