Two NEW Photography Exhibits at SF Museum of Modern Art

Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance, and the Camera Since 1870
(October 30, 2010 thru’ April 17, 2011)

Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Modern Century
(October 30, 2010 thru’ January 30, 2011)

If you’re into photography in any way, shape or form, you definitely won’t want to miss these two timely and provocative exhibitions now on display at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

“Exposed”examines some of the camera’s most unsettling uses – pornography,surveillance, stalking celebrity, and witnessing violence. The exhibit is divided into a number of rooms at SFMOMA, in the following order::

– Street Photography “The Unseen Photographer”
Interesting photographs and exhibits – check out the “Man’s Shoe with Camera hidden in the heel” — very James Bond!

– Celebrity and the Public Gaze (Alana’s favorite section)

See photographs of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis,  one of the most photographed people in the world. Ron Galella (one of the most persistent paparazzi) made a career of following her to capture her private and more natural moments. I liked the colored print of the Queen of England playing with her corgis. There’s a great series of four black and white prints of Liz Taylor and Richard Burton. And everyone will recognize the classic shot of Marilyn Monroe in her white halter dress blowing up as she’s standing over a subway grating.

– Voyeurism & Desire

This section of the exhibit is aptly named  – go with an open mind! We both did a double-take on the photograph “Man in Polyester Suit” and the two pictures nearby. Andy Warhol’s black and white silent film clip “Blow Job” from 1964 is quite unique… to say the least!

– Witnessing Violence
This was without doubt the most haunting section of the exhibit. Photographs include the “Crash of the Hindenburg,” “Lublin Murder Camp” in Poland, the famous Pulitzer prize-winning pic by AP Photographer Nick Ut of Phan Thi Kim Phuc (the young naked girl running toward the camera after a South Vietnamese napalm attack), suicide photos, a chilling color print of Nicaragua, and the famous 1969 Eddie Adams Pulitzer prize-winning photograph “Viet Cong Officer Executed” (a police chief general executing a Vietcong prisoner). The photos are all a part of history, but they’re still hard to look at for long.

– Surveillance

Big Brother is alive and well! Most of the pictures in the overall “Exposed” exhibit are devoted to surveillance. Enjoy!


“Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Modern Century”

“It is through living that we discover ourselves, at the same time as we discover the world around us.”

– Henri Cartier-Bresson 1952

This interesting exhibition offers a fresh take on the career of an inventive artist and trailblazing photojournalist who ranks among the most accomplished and original figures in the history of photography. The exhibit features an extensive collection of Henri’s photographic works. Our favorite is the striking 1948 picture “Train Carrying Gandhi’s Ashes Leaves Delhi.” There’s also a fascinating picture of Coco Chanel in Paris (smoking a cigarette) and a wonderful 1947 black and white picture “Young Truman Capote in New Orleans.”

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