Huxley-Parlour Gallery Masters of Photography, 2019
30th November 2019
There is something refreshing about this size and type of exhibition, a modestly-sized private gallery showing 30-or-so photographs and only one or two images by each photographer (well, three for the Bechers, but that's a triptych).
Vivian Maier's show in colour at the same gallery in September fitted nicely, but this is even more entertaining with a breadth of imagery and the additional pleasure of seeing whether one could identify the artist before looking at the listing.
They are shown in the order they appeared in the gallery. The selection is entirely subjective.
There was another Penn of The Duchess of Windsor in 1948, a full length portrait in his characteristic grey angled background: I should have snapped that too.
The Soth (fig. B2) needs to be physically seen at its full size (40 x 32 inches) to really appreciate it. Only a little of the blossom on the tree is in sharp focus, the rest merges with the distant background.
I have not encountered Philip Jones Griffiths before now. This image takes the prize for best title in show (it could have been me - I was seven at the time and living in Wales).
The Ponting (fig. C4) must deserve an award for effort and ingenuity, carrying a field camera and tripod that distance and finding that composition ("can you move the ship a bit to the left, please?").
It is difficult to choose my favourite shot, possibly the Penn (fig. A1), but that might be because it is the first seen in the show and because I smugly guessed who it was.