Unseen – London, Paris, New York 1930s-60s

Unseen – curate Katy Barron

A group show of three renowned living photographers Wolfgang Suschitzky, Dorothy Bohm, Neil Libbert whose work show the past as it was in Paris, London and New York picturing the everyday. All the photographs are black and white as you would expect of pre and post war era showing people going about their daily lives in respective cities. They were taken by photographers who were new to these cities without any preconceived expectations arriving with little or no knowledge of the problems that lie under the surface of most countries.

I perceived observant eyes behind the cameras that were limited to the amount of shots they could take at any one time. For the digital period at that time did not exist. The people of the time would only know the digital age as a prediction on how they will be living in the future. The photographs brought the past back to life where dress, daily life was very much different than it is now.  The milkman toting up the money owed in London, the Irish policeman smoking in long leather coat in New York, French people in Paris standing next to a kiosk reading and waiting.  It is a shame they could not put more photographs up as the Ben Uri suffers from being compact through no fault of its own. I am sure there was a lot more to come from this group of photographers that could benefit from having someone like the Tate Gallery devoting a large show to their work that would inspire a lot of people.

The photographs seemed tranquil and beautiful a forgotten age and poignant. I was pleased to have seen the few that were on the wall but keen to see more. Although old these photographers were at the opening and there very presence made the photographs in some way more significant. As people they seemed to still carry a lot of energy and looked happy that there was so much interest in the show. I could not afford the catalogue unfortunately as I am not working right now but I will be taking a friend to the show in June to look at the photographs again when there are less people around. I would advise if anyone is keen on photography I would say this is a must see show no doubt about it. These works are significant in many ways and you will be able to see them until 27th of August.

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