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International Center of Photography opens Magnum contact sheets exhibition

The International Center of Photography presents an exhibition of Magnum contact sheets exhibition on view JANUARY 20–MAY 6, 2012.

Satellites, Russia, 2000. © Jonas Bendiksen/Magnum Photos

Magnum Contact Sheets reveals how Magnum photographers have captured and edited their best shots from the 1930s to the present. The contact sheet, a direct print of a roll or sequence of negatives, is the photographer’s first look at what he or she has captured on film, and provides a uniquely intimate glimpse into their working process. It records each step on the route to arriving at an image—providing a rare behind-the-scenes sense of walking alongside the photographer and seeing through their eyes. Including both celebrated icons of photography and lesser-known surprises, the exhibition functions as an “epitaph” to the contact sheet, now rendered obsolete by digital photography. Through these fascinating and usually private images, the exhibition celebrates what and how photographers saw for nearly a century. Coinciding with the publication of Magnum Contact Sheets (Thames & Hudson), edited by ICP Curator Kristen Lubben, the exhibition includes a selection of some of the 139 contact sheets in the book.

This exhibition was made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. It is organized in association with Magnum Photos. –

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