Two-Volume Joel Meyerowitz Retrospective Called The “Definitive Collection”
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 11/02/2012 -- For half a century, legendary Bronx-born photographer Joel Meyerowitz, 74, has recorded the ebb and flow of life in New York City and recorded its citizens and sights.
The winner of two Guggenheim Fellowships and awards from both the national arts and humanities endowments, Meyerowitz has published 19 books. However, the New York Daily News hails his just-released two-volume retrospective, Taking My Time, as the “definitive collection” of the images from his distinguished career. He says it took him three years to select its 580 images from the tens of thousands he has snapped.
His famed career began simply and unexpectedly. One day in 1962, while working as art director for an ad agency in Manhattan, he was assigned to travel to Stuyvesant Town to supervise a shoot by renowned street photographer Robert Frank. At day’s end, he so was impressed he went back to his office and quit his job, borrowing a camera to become a professional photographer. Along with Henri Cartier-Bresson and Eugène Atget, Frank would remain a major influence on his work.
Working four months a year in advertising so as to spend the rest of his time as a street photographer, Meyerowitz, like many other giants of the roamed the city, recording what he saw. He recalls daily walks along Fifth Avenue while capturing the people and places he encountered:
The self-taught cameraman started out taking 35mm black-and-white photos with a Leica, he soon won a reputation for portraits and landscapes, as well as for his street scenes. Then, in a dramatic change, Meyerowitz in 1972 decided to work exclusively in large format and color, when he said he found more expressive and revealing.
Teaching Cooper Union’s first class on color photography, he played a major role in winning greater artistic regard for color photography and became a major influence on many later artists working in color. His first book in 1979, Cape Light, drew critical raves as a model of expressive color photography.
In 2001, after the 9/11 attack, a group of New York detectives helped Meyerowitz gain complete access to Ground Zero, where he spent nine months documenting the tragedy. His gripping images toured the nation and were published as Aftermath: World Trade Center Archive in 2006, which won Germany’s Deutscher Fotobuchpreis photobook prize. The same year, he appeared extensively in the BBC Four documentary series, The Genius of Photography.
Despite having issued the new retrospective, Meyerowitz plans to keep active; his next project is a book with his wife, writer Maggie Barrett. They live in an Upper West Side apartment that also contains his studio.
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