Joel Meyerowitz - Retrospective


The American Joel Meyerowitz (b. 1938 in New York) made photographic history as one of the central protagonists of New Color Photography in America during the 1960s and 1970s, next to William Eggleston and Stephen Shore. The extensive retrospective presents the photographer and the major, multi-faceted oeuvre he created over the course of 50 years.

Meyerowitz’s unprecedented career began after an encounter with the photographer Robert Frank in 1962. Originally trained as a painter, he discovered his passion for photography and quickly advanced to one of the most important protagonists and co-initiators of street photography. His interest in what was happening on the streets of metropolises in America and, from 1966 onwards, in Europe as well, was captured as fleeting moments. His dynamic vision and his style became iconic for his time. He was a pioneer in the use of color film, unusual at the time, while experimenting simultaneously with black and white photography. As early as 1968, MoMA dedicated an individual show to him. Meyerowitz’s series From a Moving Car (1968) and Cape Light (1978) and his collection of portraits, Red Heads (1980-1990), were internationally acclaimed. Over the course of his career, Meyerowitz’s photographic vision has been transformed from a dynamic, almost driven one to a calm, clear, very precise one. His images of achromatic variations of light on the seashore, light and colour shots of the “blue hour”, pictures of empty swimming pools, photographs of red-haired people as well as his documentations of natural and urban landscapes are considered icons of photography today. The exhibition presents a cross-section of his entire oeuvre, offering representative groups of works from the 1960s to this day. It honours the unique photographic idiom of Meyerowitz and his vision that is continuously driven by curiosity and the idea of “capturing the things he sees”.

An exhibition of KUNST HAUS WIEN in cooperation with NRW-Forum Düsseldorf.

Curator NRW-Forum Düsseldorf: Ralph Goertz. Curator KUNST HAUS WIEN: Verena Kaspar-Eisert