Venue details: Fotomuseum Winterthur, Gruezenstrasse 44 + 45, CH – 8400 Winterthur, Switzerland | Official Website www.fotomuseum.ch | Event date > from 07-03-2015 to 17-05-2015 | Opening hours: TUE – SUN: 11 – 18 hrs; WED: 11 – 20 hrs
Fotomuseum Winterthur presents the first major retrospective in Europe of the work of Paul Strand (1890–1976), one of the great photographers of the twentieth century. The exhibition reveals the multiplicity of his practice, from his early efforts to secure photography’s position as a modernist art form, to his embrace of film-making, to his important post-war photo books. Strand is revealed as a complex and contradictory figure: a stubborn aesthete, a communist sympathiser and a pastoralist motivated by a strong sense of social purpose.
The exhibition begins with Strand’s rapid mastery of the prevailing avant-garde styles of the 1910s and his growing interest in urban subject matter, including a series of innovative close-up portraits of people taken on the streets of New York. Strand’s sense of modernity was informed by extensive travel and between 1932 and 1934 he photographed in Mexico, deepening his engagement with the politics of the left. Deeply affected by the world economic crisis of the 1930s, Strand took an increasing interest in film-making as a means of encouraging social change. Films such as Redes (1936) and Native Land (1942) reveal the extent of his political commitments. After 1945, Strand devoted his energies primarily to the production of photo books, offering him the opportunity to create complex portraits of people and place. The exhibition concentrates on three of his most important productions.
Submitted by Daniela Schwendimann