The Photographs of Herman Leonard

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The Photographs of Herman Leonard

Leonard’s most enduring pursuit was quintessentially American: jazz. He established a studio in the heart of Greenwich Village in 1949, and with his passion for the music and kind respect for those he photographed, he was accorded an unprecedented inside view of the New York jazz scene. Making use of techniques like backlighting, strobe lighting, and smoke, his photos dissolve the space between subject and lens, ensconcing the viewer in ambient gradations of shadow and light. Within his illuminated figures, Leonard exacts moments of delicate detail—an upturned lip and crinkled eye, the glint of a spotlight on a microphone—to grasp energy and emotion. Off-kilter framing accentuates the here-and-now feeling of the photographs: it’s as if we’ve been dropped into the scene, hiding in the hazy dark at the base of the microphone or blasted with the trumpet’s effervescent air.

Leonard’s works are found in numerous public collections including the Smithsonian Institute and Lincoln Center. While his New Orleans studio and at least 8,000 original prints were destroyed in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina, his complete collection of over 35,000 negatives survived and have been fully archived through a grant from the Grammy Foundation. Charlie Parker’s saxophone may no longer sing “Summertime” through the streets, but the timeless photographs of Herman Leonard are still refreshing, revivifying, and indubitably cool.

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The Photographs of Herman Leonard
Event Category: Galleries Art
When: July 11, 2013 ~ August 23, 2013
Where: Robert Mann Gallery
More Info: http://www.robertmann.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Robert-Mann-Gallery/181783535790


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