David Zwirner and Fraenkel Gallery are pleased to announce Diane Arbus: First Coming, on view at David Zwirner’s Hong Kong location. This will be the artist’s first solo presentation in Greater China, and it will follow the September through October 2022 exhibition Cataclysm: The 1972 Diane Arbus Retrospective Revisited at David Zwirner New York, which commemorated the fiftieth anniversary of Arbus’s momentous 1972 retrospective at The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The exhibition in Hong Kong will feature a range of the artist’s photographs spanning her brief but phenomenally influential fifteen-year career.

Though widely admired and respected by other photographers and artists, Diane Arbus (1923–1971) was not well known during her lifetime. The year after her death, when the retrospective opened at The Museum of Modern Art on November 7, 1972, no one, not even Arbus’s most fervent supporters, could have predicted its profound impact on museum visitors, nor the impassioned—at times vitriolic—critical response the exhibition would generate among writers and thinkers. Even at the time, Arbus’s images were recognized for almost single-handedly helping to elevate photography to the status of fine art, paving the way for museums, collectors, and the public to embrace a previously unrecognized innate authority and power within the medium. As the New York Times critic Hilton Kramer wrote, “what Diane Arbus brought to photography was an ambition to deal with the kind of experience that had long been the province of the fictional arts—the novel, painting, poetry and films—but had traditionally been ‘off limits’ to the nonfiction documentary art of the still camera.” 1

The photographs that will be on view in Hong Kong feature couples, children, female impersonators, nudists, New York City pedestrians, circus performers, and celebrities, among others, reflecting the breadth of the artist’s singularly compelling portrait of humanity. Several of the images were featured in the 1972 retrospective and appear in the celebrated monograph of Arbus’s work that was published at the same time by Aperture, which has remained continuously in print since that time and has been published in five languages. Among these images are A young waitress at a nudist camp, N.J. 1963, one of many notable photographs Arbus took at nudist camps in Pennsylvania and New Jersey in the early 1960s. As critic Jacob Deschin noted early on about Arbus’s work, rather than glorifying or gawking at the naked body, “[Arbus] looks at nudity frankly, audaciously and naively, as if it were some novel phenomenon.”2 Other images in the exhibition show individuals in their homes or other private spaces, alone in bars and restaurants, or on the streets and in the parks of New York. Writing about Arbus’s approach to photographing her subjects, critic Holland Cotter notes, “In the process of photographing unconventional, sometimes outre subjects, [Arbus] was training herself to detect strangeness when it occurred in a lower key, in everyday life. She would stop people on a Lower East Side street or in a park, and talk to them, and start to shoot, capturing a wide range of postures and expressions. Back in the [darkroom] she would pick one image. Was it the true one? They were all true. She usually went with the one that conveyed the … least absorbable sensation of difference.”3

This exhibition also follows the September 2022 release of Diane Arbus Documents, published by David Zwirner Books and Fraenkel Gallery. Charting the reception of Arbus and her photographs through an assemblage of articles, criticism, and essays from 1967 to the present, this groundbreaking publication offers comprehensive insight into the critical conversations, as well as misconceptions, around the artist. In October 2022, Aperture announced that Diane Arbus Documents had been shortlisted for its prestigious PhotoBook Award in the category of the Photography Catalogue of the Year.

Diane Arbus (1923–1971) is one of the most original and influential artists of the twentieth century. She studied photography with Berenice Abbott, Alexey Brodovitch, and Lisette Model and had her first published photographs appear in Esquire in 1960. In 1963 and 1966 she was awarded John Simon Guggenheim Fellowships and was one of three photographers whose work was the focus of New Documents, John Szarkowski’s legendary exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1967. 

A year after her death, her work was selected for inclusion in the Venice Biennale—the first photographer to be so honored. Diane Arbus Revelations, the largest retrospective of the artist’s work to date, was organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 2003 and traveled to museums in the United States and Europe through 2006. A major European retrospective of Arbus’s work opened at the Jeu de Paume, Paris, in October 2011 and traveled to Winterthur, Berlin, and Amsterdam through 2013. In 2016, The Met Breuer hosted in the beginning, a major exhibition of Arbus’s work focusing on never-before-seen early photographs from the first seven years of her career, from 1956–1962. This show traveled to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2017); Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (2017); and the Hayward Gallery, London (2019). In 2018 and 2019, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC, hosted Diane Arbus: A box of ten photographs, an exhibition tracing the history of the portfolio that established the foundation for Arbus’s posthumous career. In 2020, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, presented a solo exhibition of the artist’s work entitled Diane Arbus: Photographs, 1956–1971, which later traveled to the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark, and Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, in 2022 and 2023. 

In 2018, inaugurating their collaboration as co-representatives of the Estate of Diane Arbus, David Zwirner and Fraenkel Gallery presented the first complete presentation of Diane Arbus’s Untitled series:sixty-six images made at residences for people with developmental disabilities to which Arbus returned for picnics, dances, and at Halloween between 1969 and 1971, the last years of her life. 

In 2007, The Metropolitan Museum of Art acquired the artist’s complete archive from the Estate of Diane Arbus. The collection includes hundreds of early and unique photographs by Arbus, negatives and contact prints from 7,500 rolls of film, and glassine print sleeves annotated by the artist, as well as her photography collection, library, and papers including appointment books, notebooks, correspondence, writings, and ephemera.

Nine publications, all of which remain currently in print or available, examine the artist’s work: Diane Arbus (Aperture, 1972); Magazine Work (1984); Untitled (1995); Diane Arbus Revelations (2003); Diane Arbus: A Chronology (2011); Silent Dialogues: Diane Arbus & Howard Nemerov (2015); in the beginning (2016); Diane Arbus: A box of ten photographs (2018); and Diane Arbus: Documents (2022).

In addition to numerous institutions around the world that have Arbus photographs in their collections, the ones with significant holdings are: Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; and Tate, United Kingdom, and the National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh.

Image: Diane Arbus, Blonde girl with shiny lipstick, N.Y.C. 1967. © The Estate of Diane Arbus

1 Hilton Kramer, “From Fashion to Freaks,” The New York Times Magazine, November 5, 1972, p. 38. Reproduced in Diane Arbus: Documents, ed. Max Rosenberg (New York and San Francisco: David Zwirner Books and Fraenkel Gallery, 2022), p. 264.

2 Jacob Deschin, “People Seen as Curiosity” The New York Times, March 5, 1967, reproduced in op. cit., Diane Arbus: Documents, p. 17.

3 Holland Cotter, “Previously Unseen Arbus, Unearthed Years after Her Death,” The New York Times (July 14, 2016). Reproduced in op. cit., Diane Arbus: Documents, p. 264.

For all press inquiries, contact
Victoria Kung +852 2119 5900 [email protected]


卓納畫廊與弗倫克爾畫廊(Fraenkel Gallery)欣然宣佈在卓納畫廊香港空間呈現展覽《黛安·阿巴斯:初現》。這將是藝術家在大中華地區的首次個展,並且緊隨2022年9月到10月期間在卓納紐約畫廊的《劇變:重現黛安·阿巴斯1972年回顧展》之後舉行,後者旨在紀念阿巴斯1972年紐約現代藝術博物館重要回顧展的五十週年。此次的香港個展將呈現藝術家的一系列攝影作品,它們橫跨了她短暫但極具影響力的十五年職業生涯。

黛安·阿巴斯(1923-1971)盡管備受其他攝影師和藝術家們的敬仰,但她在生前並不為人熟知。1972年11月7日,阿巴斯去世後的第二年,當紐約現代藝術博物館為其舉辦的回顧展拉開序幕時,哪怕是她最鐵桿的支持者們也沒有料到展覽會對觀眾帶來如此巨大的影響,並且在作家、思想家之間引發十分激昂甚至尖鋭的批評反饋。即便在當時,阿巴斯的影像也被認為幾乎以一己之力將攝影提升到了純藝術的地位,還為博物館、藏家及公眾認可接受攝影鋪平了道路,去理解攝影媒介中那些此前並不為人所知的強大力量。正如《紐約時報》的藝評家希爾頓·克萊默(Hilton Kramer)所寫的那樣:「黛安·阿巴斯給攝影帶來了一份雄心壯志,去處理那種長期以來屬於虛構藝術門類——如小說、繪畫、詩歌和電影等——的經驗,這些經驗在傳統上被靜態的攝影那種非虛構、紀實性的藝術表達視為『禁區』。」1

此次香港展覽的作品將呈現藝術家拍攝的情侶、兒童、女性異裝者、裸體主義者、紐約行人、馬戲團演員以及名流等等,由此反映出藝術家開闊的肖像創作,它們獨特而引人入勝地描繪著人性。其中不少作品曾在1972年的回顧展上亮相,並收錄於當時由光圈基金會出版的著名的阿巴斯個人作品集之中,這本出版物在日後持續重印,而且有五種語言的譯本。展覽作品中包括《在裸體營的年輕女侍者,新澤西,1963年》,這是阿巴斯1960年代初在賓夕法尼亞州和新澤西州的裸體營中拍攝的眾多廣為流傳作品的其中之一。正如藝評人雅各布·德斯基尼(Jacob Deschin)早期探討阿巴斯作品時所說的那樣,阿巴斯並不是在美化或窺視裸體,「[她]坦率地、大膽地、天真地觀看裸體,視它們為某種新奇的現象。」2 展覽中的作品還體現了許多獨特的個體,他們待在家或私人空間裏,獨自在酒吧餐廳,或是在紐約的街頭和公園。在談及阿巴斯的拍攝對象時,藝評人霍蘭·科特(Holland Cotter)這樣寫道:「在拍攝非常規且通常離經叛道的對象時,[阿巴斯]訓練自己去發現陌生疏離的事物,尤其當它們極其低調地發生在日常生活之中時。她會在下東的街道上或是公園裏攔下路人,和他們交談,然後開始拍攝,捕捉他們各種各樣的姿態和表情。回去[暗房]之後,她會精選出一張照片。但難道真的就只此一張嗎?她拍攝的照片當然都是真實可感的。只不過她通常會選擇……最不容易傳達出格格不入的差異感的那張。」3

此次展覽前不久的2022年9月,卓納圖書(David Zwirner Books)和弗倫克爾畫廊共同出版了《黛安·阿巴斯:文獻》一書。這本開創性的出版物匯編了1967年至今的重要文章、評論和論述,它們記錄了阿巴斯及其攝影所受到的反饋,針對與這位藝術家相關的批判性對話和誤解提供了全面的洞察。2022年10月,光圈基金會宣布,《黛安阿巴斯:文獻》一書入圍了基金會著名的「攝影書獎」下的「年度攝影圖錄」榜單。

黛安·阿巴斯 (Diane Arbus,1923-1971)是二十世紀最具原創性和影響力的攝影師之一。她師從貝倫妮絲·雅培(Berenice Abbott)、阿裏克謝·布羅多維奇(Alexey Brodovitch)和利西特·莫德爾(Lisette Model),並且1960年在《Esquire時尚先生》雜誌上首次發表了自己的攝影作品。在1963和1966年,她榮獲了約翰·西蒙·古根海姆學者獎金,而且是1967年在紐約現代藝術博物館重要群展《新紀實》上亮相的三位藝術家之一,展覽由約翰·沙可夫斯基(John Szarkowski)策劃組織。

2018年,作為黛安·阿巴斯藝術遺產基金會的共同代理,卓納畫廊和弗倫克爾畫廊首次完整地展出了黛安· 阿巴斯的《無題》系列:其中的六十六張圖像拍攝於1969至1971年間,那是阿巴斯生命的最後幾年,她當時多次探訪了那些為發育障礙者提供的住所,經常返回那裏參加野餐、舞會和萬聖節派對。 
下述是九本目前仍有印本發行的、有關阿巴斯創作的重要出版物:《黛安·阿巴斯》(光圈基金會出版,   1972)、《雜誌作品》(1984)、《無題》(1995)、《黛安·阿巴斯:啓示錄》(2003)、《黛安·阿巴斯:紀年表》(2011)、《沈默的對話:黛安·阿巴斯與霍華德·涅梅羅夫》(2015)、《一開始》(2016)、《黛安·阿巴斯:一盒十張的照片》(2018) 以及《黛安·阿巴斯:文獻》(2022)。



希爾頓·克萊默(Hilton Kramer),《從時尚到怪胎》,發表於《紐約時報雜誌》,1972年11月5日,第38頁。再版於《黛安·阿巴斯:文獻》,編輯/麥克斯·羅森伯格(Max Rosenberg),(紐約:卓納圖書與舊金山:弗倫克爾畫廊共同出版,2022年),第264頁。

2 雅各布·德斯基尼(Jacob Deschin),《被看作好奇心的人》,發表於《紐約時報》,1967年3月5日,再版於上述圖錄,《黛安·阿巴斯:文獻》,第17頁。

3 霍蘭·科特(Holland Cotter),《前所未見的阿巴斯,在她過世後多年的重新披露》,發表於《紐約時報》,2016年7月14日,再版於上述圖錄,《黛安·阿巴斯:文獻》,第264頁。

Victoria Kung +852 2119 5900 [email protected]

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