Weegee “The Human Touch, 1935 – 1945”

Anton Kern Gallery

poster for Weegee “The Human Touch, 1935 – 1945”
[Image: Weegee "Keeping Cool" (1945) silver gelatin print on glossy fibre paper, 7 1/4 x 5 3/4 in.]

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Anton Kern Gallery presents a solo exhibition of vintage photographs by the American photographer Weegee (b.1899 - d.1968).

Weegee (Arthur Fellig) is best-known for his sensational reportage — capturing the immediate aftermath of car crashes, murders, suicides, robberies, fires, gambling raids, and all manner of salacious scenes. Legend has it that he earned his nickname due to his uncanny ability to seek out these extraordinary moments, as if he had a sixth sense — a kind of human Ouija board. Weegee took as much care crafting his larger-than-life persona as he did his images — adopting that name: “Weegee” and later “Weegee The Famous”.

His choice of shots and perspective — not only shooting the graphic action, but also the surrounding crowd’s reaction — elevated his photography beyond the typical reporting of the day. Weegee pushed the narrative and emotional potential of the photographic image, creating an art form. Ultimately, he crossed over from the news arena to fine art, exhibiting at The Photo League and the Museum of Modern Art as early as the 1940s, and earning a retrospective at the International Center of Photography in 1998.

The works on view in the exhibition are silver gelatin prints on glossy fibre paper dating from just before and during World War II, 1937 - 1945. Among examples from his crime reporting, this selection also highlights Weegee’s documentary photography; capturing everyday New Yorkers in their casual moments. Weegee’s creativity and love for city life imbues these images with a human touch. His subjects include a young girl sharing ice cream with her dog, workers unloading government supplied potatoes, neighbors toasting at the local bar, celebrations in the streets and the cleanup crews afterwards. Together these images illustrate a slice of life during wartime, showcasing American endurance and patriotism across economic and ethnic lines.



from June 29, 2020 to August 28, 2020
Summer Hours: Monday – Friday 10am – 5pm.



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