Confession: it's taken us a while truly appreciate the subtleties of black and white photography. After spending formative years getting our eyes blasted out by big Expressionist paintings and modernist colorscapes, photos can sometimes feel confined and flat to our untrained gaze. But recent retrospectives like last year's Cindy Sherman show and SFMOMA's upcoming Garry Winogrand exhibition have turned us on to photos in a big way.
Opening this weekend, SFMOMA's new show is the biggest retrospective of influential American photographer Garry Winogrand ever, with nearly one-third of the exhibition comprised of previously unprinted pictures from some 250,000 frames left undeveloped at the time of Winogrand's death. From NYC streetscenes of the 1950's and the social unrest of Central Park in the sixties to candid compositions from zoos, airports, ferries and beaches, Winogrand's work covers social, historical and geographic ground while staying rooted in an All-American take on human connection, anxiety and change. Plus, they're straight-up gorgeous to look at.
Winogrand was prolific and the show's volume can be exhausting, especially since each photo deserves to be examined and given its due. Luckily, we'll have until the beginning of June to revisit the show and to bid a tender farewell to the museum, while will be closing for expansions until 2016.
Garry Winogrand at SFMOMA, March 9 - June 2
151 Third Street, S.F. (415) 357-4000