JUN.01.2023 ──────── AUG.27.2023
Brooklyn Promenade, Brooklyn, 1954
Courtesy of Louis Stettner Archive, Paris
© Louis Stettner
JUN.01.2023 ── AUG.27.2023
Recoletos Exhibition Hall
Paseo Recoletos 23, 28004 Madrid
This exhibition is the largest retrospective to date on American photographer Louis Stettner (1922-2016), whose work has not been given the recognition it undoubtedly deserves. Organized chronologically, it showcases more than one hundred and ninety photographs spanning his entire career, including some previously unpublished images and some of his hitherto almost unknown color work.
His experience as a photographer in World War II profoundly conditioned his understanding of life, so present in all his photography: a firm belief in the human being. Also influenced by his literary and philosophical readings (Plato, Karl Marx and Walt Whitman, fundamentally) and by his relationship, through the Photo League, with photographers such as Sid Grossman and Weegee, who conveyed to him the importance of photography as an instrument of social change, Stettner’s work offers us, in short, a vibrant celebration of life, of man’s courage to embrace the adversities and blessings of existence to the fullest.
With this overarching vision as a common thread, Stettner’s work encompasses a multitude of subjects, from almost empty urban environments to bustling scenes of the New York subway, the routines of workers and laborers, and the mountainous landscapes of the French Alpilles massif in his later years. Throughout his career he returned frequently to many of them, especially those connected to his social commitment and his concern for the underprivileged.
Curator: Sally Martin Katz.