Two leading photography organisations, Magnum Photos and Aperture Foundation, come together this week to celebrate milestone anniversaries. For the final edition of four Square Print Sales, each influenced by one of Magnum’s founders, the companies honour decades of their shared history in promoting innovative practice. Inspired by co-creator George Rodger’s (b. 1908) commitment to foregrounding optimistic images after WWII, the works offered in Great Journeys explore the theme both literally and symbolically. Aiming to redefine the notion of travel, over 100 artists document inspiring trips across the globe, but also reference interior voyages into the psyche.
For example, Joel Meyerowitz’s (b. 1938) Scotty’s Drive In embodies both the essence of life on the road and a feeling of childhood nostalgia. As a result, the work simultaneously transports the viewer forwards and backwards, highlighting the artist’s reverence for old-fashioned cultural institutions in an age of imitations. Martin Parr’s (b. 1952) Liberation Day Tea at the Forest United Methodist Church represents a comparable sense of wistful pride. Celebrating the history and tradition of the Channel Islands, Parr continues to focus his lens on quintessentially British customs, revelling in the idiosyncrasies that define the nation. In a similar way, Alex Webb (b. 1952) captures Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk’s concept of “hüzün” – a complex sense of melancholy exclusive to Istanbul – in On board a ferry at dusk near the Princess Island. The composition exemplifies both a trip abroad and a meander into an inner-world, both forms of expedition the sale is aiming to present.
Other practitioners featured include Steve McCurry, Mary Ellen Mark, Dennis Stock, Matthew Porter, Matt Black, Awol Erizku, Graciela Iturbide, Cristina De Middel and Susan Meiselas, who, spanning several countries and decades, not only create a stimulating and varied arena, but mirror the development of the constantly evolving medium. The sale offers the unique opportunity to purchase museum-quality 6×6 inch prints, each signed by the photographer or estate-stamped, for $100 each.
Until 3 November. Find out more: www.magnumphotos.com.
1. Image: Joel Meyerowitz – Aperture. Scotty’s Drive in. Florida. 1967 © Joel Meyerowitz courtesy Aperture.