Feb 20

Fred Herzog: Street Photography at the Glenbow Museum

by Downtown Calgary · 0 comments

Fred Herzog, Jackpot, 1961, Ink jet print, 70.5 x 96.6 cm; image: 50.5 x 76.3 cm, National Gallery of Canada, Collection of Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, Ottawa

This is a post by guest blogger Catrinel Popescu. She’s an arts professional from Vancouver living in Calgary. If you’re interested in blogging for GetDown, learn how here.

My first visit to the Glenbow Museum since my recent move to Calgary was to see their new exhibition, Fred Herzog: Street Photography. I’ve loved (and very much coveted) his work for a while and jumped at the opportunity to see this exhibition organized by the National Gallery of Canada.

The exhibition showcases some of Herzog’s best known work, and a great short video that explains some of his influences, and his working process. I found the video really interesting as it gives insight into how he works, his extensive cataloging system of slides, and interestingly how street photography has changed since the early 1950’s when he moved to Vancouver from Germany.

When not working as a medical photographer, Herzog would wander the streets of Vancouver looking for the unexpected events that define city life. He would shoot hundreds of rolls of Kodachrome slide film a year, capturing the underbelly of the city, second-hand shops, vacant lots, and barbershops. A pioneer in his field, his pictures are raw with a sense of reality and his work represents early examples of photographs in Canada.

Herzog’s photographs capture body language and a freedom that is hard to trace, especially today. He honored urban history with a real affection, and his bold use of colour which was highly unusual in the 1950’s and ’60s make him a pioneer of his time.

Don’t miss this exhibition at the Glenbow Museum, that runs January 26 - April 28th! And while you’re there, take a seat in front of the tv, and let Fred Herzog take you on a tour of Vancouver.


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