Contacts Sheets of Bruce Davidson’s Most Famous Series

May 29, 2019


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.

© Bruce Davidson, Brooklyn Gang, 1959

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.”

Brooklyn Gang, 1959 © Bruce Davidson, Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery/Magnum Photos

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.

© Bruce Davidson, Time of Change, (Viola La Rusa's Car, Selma March, Birmingham Alabama), 1965

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.

East 100th Street, 1966-68 © Bruce Davidson, Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery/Magnum Photos

“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.

© Bruce Davidson, East 100th Street, 1966

Bruce Davidson – Subject: Contact

May 2 – June 15, 2019
Howard Greenberg Gallery
41 E 57th St.
New York, NY 10022


Recent posts
Unpublished 1970s–1980s images by John Goodman
Comprised of brilliant color photographs, the majority of which have never before been exhibited, the exhibition “John Goodman: not recent color“ on view at the Addison Gallery of American Art in Andover, Massachusetts, examines the American cultural landscape through the coming of age of a young artist in the 1970s and 1980s.
Zanele Muholi: Somnyama Ngonyama, Hail the Dark Lioness
“Zanele Muholi: Somnyama Ngonyama, Hail the Dark Lioness” is the long-awaited monograph from one of the most powerful visual activists of our time. The book features over ninety of Muholi’s evocative self-portraits, each image drafted from material props in Muholi’s immediate environment.