Bringing together more than 80 photographs by major Canadian and international artists, this exhibition underscores Montreal collector Jack Lazare’s 20-year passion for photography, which he has a desire to share with the public. It is also an opportunity to view a selection of photographs from a group of 33 artworks the collector and his wife Harriet generously gifted to the Museum in 2017. This generous donation from Mr. and Mrs. Lazare has enabled us to expand the Museum’s collection, which now comprises over 2,500 works, and brings us one step closer to opening a gallery devoted solely to photography.
A number of internationally famous photographers have thus made their way into the collection of a Canadian museum: the Italian Paul Ventura, French artist Jean-Baptiste Huynh, the Swiss duo Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler, formed in 1990 in Banff, and German photographer Beate Gütschow, among others.
Some of the images portray real or imaginary, others private or anonymous places whose atmosphere and spirit the viewer can’t help but feel: the manufactured or urban landscapes of Edward Burtynsky and José Manuel Ballester, the mises-en-scène of Carlos and Jason Sanchez, the interiors of Canadian Nicolas Baier, Chinese artist Jiagang Chen and Danish artist Trine Søndergaard. The images captured by Nicolas Dhervillers, Todd Hido, Astrid Kruse Jensen and Mark Ruwedel depict dreamlike spaces full of mystery, while those of Lee Friedlander, Saul Leiter, Danny Lyon, Sarah Moon, Larry Towell, Albert Watson and Laurence von der Weid tackle the subject of transition.
A fascinating array of portraits taken by Raymonde April, Chuck Close, Willie Doherty, Elliot Erwitt, Pascal Grandmaison, Angela Grauerholz, Patrick Faigenbaum, Isaac Julien, Richard Learoyd, Nelli Palomäki, Alexander Rodchenko and August Sander reveal states of mind. Meanwhile, the photographs of Tina Barney, Nan Goldin, Adam Jeppesen, Aino Kannisto, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Hannah Starkey and Thomas Struth evoke a loneliness and the complexity of human relationships.
Of Individuals and Places also includes a series of 14 albumen prints by British photographer Julia Margaret Cameron (1915-1879). Jack Lazare’s discovery of this artist in an exhibition at the MoMA in 1999 was in fact what sparked his love of photography. This exhibition further demonstrates the collector’s interest in socially relevant subjects such as captured in the photos of Shimon Attie, Katy Grannan, Alex Majoli and Shirin Neshat as well as those of American documentary photographers Robert Frank, Dorothea Lange and Gordon Parks.