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Currier Museum of Art presents A New Vision. Modernist Photography

The Currier Museum of Art presents A New Vision. Modernist Photography, an exhibition on view through May 13, 2012

This exhibition explores the critical and dynamic role photography played in the development of the Modern Art movement and the reciprocal influences among all media that shaped the modernist visual vocabulary.

Drawn from the Currier’s growing collection of important historic photographs, A New Vision will include 125 works that trace the impact of photography on the development of the modernist movement. Beginning in the early twentieth century, painters, sculptors, photographers and printmakers in Europe and America envisioned a new abstract visual vocabulary that broke from representational traditions of the past. Form and composition became as important as subject matter.

Photographers began using the view finders of their cameras to identify unusual, often close-up perspectives, isolating elements from nature and the man-made world and creating rich abstract compositions. Using these unexpected points of view, artists transformed everyday objects (an engine or a piece of fruit) into expressive compositions. Technical advances in camera equipment and film also inspired new avenues for expressing and exploring the world.

Paul Strand, Edward Weston and Ansel Adams were among the first American modernist photographers to emerge from the pictorialist tradition (which sought to emulate the atmospheric effects of paintings of the time.) Their European counterparts included German-born New Hampshire photographer Lotte Jacobi and her colleagues László Moholy-Nagy and Imre Kinski. While some photographers like Brett Weston experimented with presenting nature or the human body as a generator of abstract forms, others like Margaret Bourke-White and Charles Sheeler captured the repeating, hard-edge forms of the rapidly changing industrial landscape.

More information, visit or call 603.669.6144 x108

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