Garry Winogrand, Los Angeles, ca.1980-83, gelatin silver print; Garry Winogrand Archive, Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona; New York World’s Fair, 1964; gelatin silver print; Collection SFMOMA, Gift of Dr. L. F. Peede, Jr.; images © The Estate of Garry Winogrand, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco.
Light on a Surface:
…There’s an unsettling immediacy, a particularity that is honestly not so different from the feeling I had looking at my first Caravaggio, a bewilderingly lively portrait of a likely cadaver. Speaking of which, Italian old masters (or at least their techniques) surface here and there in Winogrand: a photograph from the New York World’s Fair in 1964 is comically classical in its composition, and in another, seven figures seated on a bench in perfect symmetria, their alliances readable as The Last Supper. These invitations to interpretation are pure chance, and say more about us than about the photograph. Winogrand states plainly in Bill Moyers’ 1982 documentary on Creativity (viewable on a little TV inside the exhibition), “I don’t have any storytelling responsibility to what I’m photographing.”