Exhibition: Gordon Parks: Centennial at the Jenkins Johnsons, San Francisco. February 21 - April 27, 2013
In celebration of the 100th birthday of Gordon Parks, one of the most influential African American photographers of the 20th century, Jenkins Johnson Gallery in collaboration with The Gordon Parks Foundation presents Gordon Parks: Centennial, on view from February 21 through April 27, 2013. Gordon Parks, an iconic photographer, writer, composer, and filmmaker, would have turned 100 on November 30, 201. This will be the first solo exhibition for Parks on the West Coast in thirteen years. The exhibition will survey works spanning six decades of the artist’s career starting in 1940. The exhibition consists of more than seventy-five gelatin silver and pigment prints, including selections from Life magazine photo essays: Invisible Man, 1952; Segregation Story, 1956; The Black Panthers, 1970; and Flavio, 1960, about favelas in Brazil. Also included in the exhibition is his reinterpretation of American Gothic and his elegant depictions of artists like Alexander Calder, fashion models, and movie stars.
INTERRUPTION IN SPACE
(WITH ULAY), 1977
The given space is divided by a
wall into two equal parts.
We walk towards the wall.
We walk towards the wall
touching it with our body.
We run towards the wall hitting it
with our body.
Francisco Goya, The Second of May, 1808 and The Third of May 1808, both 1814
The Second of May, 1808 is a depiction of the Dos de Mayo Uprising in Madrid, when the Spanish rebelled against Napoleon’s occupation of the city. Goya chose to paint a scene of brutal street fighting, which was followed up by a separate depiction of the mass executions that took place in the aftermath of the uprising, The Third of May 1808. Here, the French soldiers are shown aiming their rifles at the group of Madrid inhabitants who have been sentenced to death. Goya uses an artificial spotlight to illuminate the Spanish men and elevate them to a heroic status.
“Hustlers,” his best-known series, is the most well-represented, with 14 large and small shots of mostly young men strutting their stuff along Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood. Made from 1990 to 1992 and funded with a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship. DiCorcia has labeled each portrait with the man’s name and age, the city he came to L.A. from and their going rate.