The striking black and white photographs of legendary American photographer Diane Arbus (1923–1971) revolutionized portraiture, through their range of subjects and their style. Primarily made in and around New York City, Arbus selected her subjects – including couples, children, nudists, suburban families, circus performers, and celebrities, among others – for their singularity. In 2016, thanks to the generosity of a small group of donors, the AGO acquired the world’s second largest collection of Arbus photographs. The AGO honours that landmark acquisition of 522 works with a major solo exhibition, the first in Canada in almost three decades. Highlighting her evolution as an artist over fifteen years, Diane Arbus: Photographs, 1956–1971 features 150 photographs and is curated by Sophie Hackett, the AGO’s Curator, Photography.
For the first time, images from the full sweep of Arbus’s career will be presented chronologically. Early works reveal an artist gripped by the range of humanity and life as it unfolded on the street, while later works created using a larger format mark her emergence as a mature and compelling artist.
Organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario