press release

This exhibition features an important recent gift of photographs by the noted American photographer Garry Winogrand (1928-1984). The 45 works in the exhibition represents selections from Winogrand’s influential series Women are Beautiful, the title of a 1975 book featuring 84 photographs of women in a variety of situations and places in and around New York City. The book was issued as a portfolio of prints in 1981. Thirty-nine of the photographs on view in the installation are recent gifts from Ralph and Nancy Segall, and the remainder were gifts of Jeanne and Richard S. Press in 2005.

Most of the women captured in the photographs are young, and display what Helen Gary Bishop described as “the conflict of the feminine creature: the body as object vying with the self as person.” Winogrand explained why he chose to photograph these particular women: “I respond to their energies, how they stand and move their bodies and faces. In the end, the photographs are descriptions of poses or attitudes that give an idea, a hint, of their energies.” He goes on to say: “I don’t know if all the women in the photographs are beautiful, but I do know that the women are beautiful in the photographs.”

A pioneer of “street” photography in the 1960s, Winogrand became well known during the 1970s for his seemingly uncomposed and often surprising view of people in public settings.

Garry Winogrand: Women Are Beautiful