The great photography exhibitions to see in the fall

Unique occasions, these exhibitions pay homage to those who were great forerunners: from the photographic sensitivity of Wolfgang Tillmans to the great pioneer Diane Arbus, from the poetic and intimate visions of Nan Goldin to the rawness of a visual chronicler like Boris Mikhailov. In our lineup we have also included the French artist JR for his ability to stir consciences by showing the faces – but above all the looks – of those who are considered ‘the last’.

Wolfgang Tillmans – To look without fear
Moma, New York 12 September 2022 – 1 January 2023

For over three decades Wolfgang Tillmans has been experimenting with what it means to involve the world through photography. This important exhibition at Moma in New York aims to present the photographer in all his grandeur, inviting the visitor to see reality through the artist’s eye. ‘The viewer … should enter my work through their own eyes and their own life,’ said Tillmans. To look without fear collects a large part of the photographer’s production: from ecstatic images of nightlife to abstract photographs taken without a camera, from large-scale portraits to architectural slide shows, but also documents of social movements, still lifes, astronomical phenomena alongside intimate nudes . Even the installation follows what has always been his intuitions: archipelagos of images are grouped on walls and tables as photocopies, color or black and white photographs and video projections, exemplifying the artist’s idea of ​​a concrete ” visual democracy “. ‘I see my installations as a reflection of the way I see, the way I perceive or want to perceive my environment,’ said Tillmans.

Diane Arbus – Photographs, 1956-1971
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts – From September 15, 2022 to January 29, 2023

His black and white photos revolutionized portraiture, both through an original style and the range of subjects. Diane Arbus was one of the most significant and well-known female photographers of the 20th century. The photos of her exhibited at The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts were mainly taken in and around New York, where Arbus selected her subjects for their singularity. Highlighting the artist’s evolution over 15 years, the exhibition presents an extensive chronological account of Arbus’s career. The exhibition opens with a captivating self-portrait from 1945 and follows with images from 1956, the year in which Arbus decided to devote himself seriously to photography. Early 35mm works reveal an artist fascinated by the gamut of humanity and life as it unfolded spontaneously on the street, while later works – created using a larger format – mark her emergence as a mature and compelling artist . Arbus created many of her most iconic works in this direct and sharply concentrated distinctive style.

Nan Goldin – This will not end well
Moderna Museet, Stockholm – From 29 October 2022 to 25 February 2023

Among the best known artists of our time, Nan Goldin is among the rare voices who have been able to explore the human experience through the lens of the camera. For decades she has influenced entire generations of photographers. The major retrospective hosting Stockholm’s Moderna Museet is the first exhibition to fully present Goldin as a director. On the occasion of this appointment, the artist declared: “I never wanted to be a photographer. I’ve always wanted to be a director. I found a way to make movies with still images. Making slide shows gives me the luxury of constantly re-editing the sequence of images to reflect my changing view of the world. ” When Goldin started out as an artist, she presented her work in various clubs, screening rooms and film festivals. From the beginning she presented her images of her in sequence, composing eclectic streams of photographs accompanied by a selection of musical pieces, as an engaging and captivating cinematic experience. Focusing solely on slide presentations and video installations, this exhibition seeks to return to the roots of Nan Goldin’s practice and fully embrace the artist’s vision.

JR: Chronicles
Kunstalle München, Munich – From 26 August to 15 January 2023

The first major retrospective in Germany dedicated to the French artist JR opens its doors in a few days. In Italy we admired his ‘breakthrough’ at Palazzo Strozzi: the installation of a large chasm in the historic building in the center of Florence. The Munich Kunstalle collects photographs, videos and documentation of JR’s major interventions around the world. JR achieved fame by decorating the facades of buildings, trains, container ships and even border walls with huge portraits of anonymous people. With his art, he managed to give visibility to those whose dignity and rights are often ignored by big political speeches. His recent projects include a large-scale ‘bonding’ in a maximum security prison in California, a TIME Magazine cover on guns in America, a monumental mural on the outskirts of Paris, and a giant installation on the US-Mexico border: from above, two large eyes look at us cut in the middle from the high wall that divides the two states.

Boris Mikhailov – Journal ukrainien
MEP – Maison Européenne de la Photographie – From 7 September to 15 January 2023

Considered one of the most influential contemporary artists in Eastern Europe, Boris Mikhailov has for over fifty years been developing a body of experimental photographic works that explore social and political themes. The Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris dedicates the largest retrospective ever to him. Since the 1960s it has created a disturbing testimony to the tumultuous changes in Ukraine that accompanied the collapse of the Soviet Union and the disastrous consequences of its dissolution. His photographs, often full of irony and self-parody, play with propaganda images and offer a visual testimony of the social reality of his country. Conceived in close collaboration with the artist, the exhibition brings together nearly 400 images that draw on his most important series, such as “Red” and “Case History”, as well as his most recent works.

The great photography exhibitions to see in the fall – Icon