Go See – Los Angeles: Diane Arbus “People and Other Singularities” at Gagosian Gallery through May 27th 2011

April 26th, 2011

Diane Arbus, A Castle in Disneyland (1962), via Gagosian

The Gagosian Gallery in Los Angeles presents “People and Other Singularities,” an exhibition of the photographs of Diane Arbus between the years of 1956 to 1971. The gallery showcases  the most extensive collection of Arbus photographs within Los Angeles since “Diane Arbus: Revelations” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 2004. “People and Other Singularities” contains several photographs that have never before been exhibited publicly, along with some older favorites that have become part of photography’s canon.

Diane Arbus, Identical Twins(1962) via Diane Arbus Photography

more text and images after the jump…

Diane Arbus, installation view via Gagosian

All ten images from the seminal Arbus collection,  A Box of Ten Photographs (1970) are in “People and Other Singularities,” as well as other well-known images such as  A Jewish giant at home with his parents in the Bronx, N.Y., 1970, and Identical twins. The main gallery displays the more classic work, while another is dedicated to the Untitled photographs that Arbus made at institutions for the developmentally disabled between 1969 and 1971, in the last years of her life.

Diane Arbus, Jewish Giant at Home with His Parents in the Bronx (1970) via MOCA

“People and Other Singularities” showcases what Arbus does best- finding honesty and identity through the lives of outsiders and oddities.  Arbus’  defiant social portraiture are fearless and voyeuristic, giving the viewer a peek into the word of the other, a perspective off  kilter from the time’s hard-won status quo.  Mainstream postwar America was a time of restraint and superficial normalcy; these specific photographs illustrate a digging into these preconceived ideas of normalcy and breaking them up into idiosyncratic and often jarring viewpoints of humanity.

Diane Arbus, installation view via Gagosian

Though Arbus was a New York native, her images transcend place. Arbus’ zealous exploration and chipping away at predominant sociological and social views of the United States dominates her work. The photographs point to the dealing with of human strangeness, importance of public and private ritual, and the American dream.

Diane Arbus, Patriot (1967) via Diane Arbus Photography

-R. Leib

Related Links:
Exhibition Page [Gagosian]
Artist Website [Diane Arbus Photography]
“‘Giving A Camera to Diane Arbus is like Putting a Live Grenade into the Hands of a Child’ -Norman Mailer” [LA Weekly]