Gordon Parks: Part One | 1 July – 8 August 2020 – Overview

Gordon Parks, Untitled, Alabama, 1956. © The Gordon Parks Foundation


Due to overwhelming visitor interest in Gordon Parks: Part One, we are extending the exhibition through Saturday 8 August.


Originally scheduled to open in March this year, Alison Jacques Gallery presents a two-part exhibition of works by the pioneering American photographer Gordon Parks (1912-2006), in collaboration with The Gordon Parks Foundation. This exhibition is the first solo show of Parks’ work to be held in London for over twenty-five years. Part One opens in July 2020, with Part Two following in September 2020.

Born into poverty and segregation in Fort Scott, Kansas, Gordon Parks was a humanitarian with a deep and life-long commitment to social justice. He rapidly developed a deeply personal style of photography with a focus on race relations, poverty, civil rights and urban life. Parks left behind an exceptional body of work; a legacy that documented American culture and everyday life from the early 1940s to the 2000s, with achievements encompassing writing (fiction and nonfiction), composing, and filmmaking, having directed several feature films, including Shaft (1971).

He created some of his most pivotal pictures at Life magazine during his two-decade tenure at the internationally renowned news magazine. From 1948, Parks contributed unique photo-essays that explored race relations, social justice, civil rights and urban life.

Gordon Parks: Part One focuses on two defining stories, Segregation in the South (1956) and Black Muslims (1963), both of which initially appeared in Life magazine. This period formed a critical moment in Parks’ career, coinciding with the burgeoning civil rights movement. The visionary images that constitute both these series offered visibility to often marginalised, anonymous families and misrepresented figures in American society at large. Parks’ interest in taking photographs stemmed from a desire to create meaningful change. As he commented, “I saw that the camera could be a weapon against poverty, against racism, against all sorts of social wrongs”.

Often spending weeks at a time on location, the value Parks placed on forming relationships with his subjects was immense. The artist’s intimate photographs revolutionized conventional depictions of those he portrayed.

Parks’ Segregation in the South chronicles racial division in 1950s Alabama. Standing apart from the civil rights photography of this period, which often focused on violence and brutality, Parks chose to illustrate this bleak time through affirmative images of community life.[…]

Continue reading: Gordon Parks: Part One | 1 July – 8 August 2020 – Overview

About agogo22

Director of Manchester School of Samba at http://www.sambaman.org.uk
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