The Radical Eye: Modernist Photography from the Sir Elton John Collection
10 November 2016 – 21 May 2017
Exploring photographic visions of the modern world.
Concurrent with the social and cultural shifts of the period, photography underwent a massive transformation in the early 20th century. Having started out life as a tool of investigation, documentation and military reconnaissance artists later adopted the camera in an attempt to redefine visions of the modern world.
Artists included in this exhibition, like Alfred Stieglitz, wanted to prove that photography, much like painting and drawing, was a medium capable of artistic expression. Using techniques associated with constructivism, Alexandr Rodchenko, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and Margaret Bourke-White employed 'worm's eye' and 'bird's eye' views to create new perspectives of the modern metropolis.
Tate Modern's exhibition of photography from the Sir Elton John Collection shows how artists in the 20th century created a new and distinct visual language. Showcasing portraits, nudes, photomontage, and architectural and street photography by artists including Berenice Abbot, Man Ray and Tina Modotti, the exhibition gathers together artists who set out to test the limits of traditional art practice.
The exhibition marks the inaugural display of a group of Man Ray portraits, depicting key surrealist figures like Andre Breton and Max Ernst alongside artists including Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso and Dora Maar.