Garry Winogrand American, 1928-1984
Of the many figures to emerge during the 1960s boom in 35mm street photography and social documentation, Garry Winogrand was a frontrunner. He was certainly one of the most prolific and, in the view of some critics, most frustrating of that era's artists, notoriously avoiding self-explanation. He stated simply that his reason for taking pictures was to "see what things look like when photographed."
From the zoos of New York, to the Coney Island Aquarium, to people walking in Manhattan, London, Austin, or Los Angeles, Winogrand photographed anything and everything that to him seemed ironic, intriguing, or arresting. Although it has been said that Winogrand's ability to edit his tens of thousands of images superseded his talents as a photographer, his eye captured the comic, grotesque, and sometimes disturbing side of day-to-day human relations with a lightning speed and a voracious voyeurism that few photographers have matched.
Winogrand (born in New York City) studied painting at the City College of New York (1947-48) and Columbia University (1948-51). He began to make photographs in 1948, and in 1951 studied with Alexy Brodovitch at the New School for Social Research. He worked commercially in New York and was associated with several agencies, his work appearing in magazines such as Collier's and Pageant. In 1960 Winogrand became fervently absorbed in photography, supported by fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (1964, 1969, 1978) and the National Endowment for the Arts (1975).
Winogrand's unique vision caught the attention of John Szarkowski, director of the Museum of Modern Art's department of photography, who in 1977 organized a one-person exhibition of his work. Winogrand later supported himself with teaching stints at the Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology (1971-72) and the University of Texas at Austin (1973-78). He died in Mexico after a prolonged bout with cancer.
Winogrand's published projects include The Animals (1969), Women Are Beautiful (1975), Public Relations (1977), and Stock Photographs: Fort Worth Fat Stock Show and Rodeo (1980). His extensive archives, including several thousand unprocessed images, are housed at the Center for Creative Photography, Tucson. A.W.