Rare and unseen Diane Arbus photographs go on show in New York

Images being shown for the first time will feature alongside some of the photographer’s most famous works

Two Ladies Walking in Central Park
Two Ladies Walking in Central Park | Image: The Estate of Diane Arbus

Photographer Diane Arbus is widely regarded as one of the most original and influential artists of the 20th century. She left behind a gallery of characters – the Jewish giant, the grimacing boy with a toy grenade – and her work has been the subject of major retrospectives throughout the world. Now New York’s Lévy Gorvy is staging an exhibition (from May 2 to June 24) of shots Arbus took within four miles of the gallery, in Central Park and Washington Square Park, between 1958 and 1971.

Two Friends in the Park
Two Friends in the Park | Image: The Estate of Diane Arbus

The show, Diane Arbus: In the Park, will feature rarely seen works (from $5,500 to $150,000), such as A Very Thin Man in Central Park and Couple Talking on a Path, alongside well-known photographs like Young Man and his Pregnant Wife in Washington Square Park and Child with a Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park. There are even some works being shown for the first time, including Girl in a Beret in Central ParkThree Girls at a Puerto Rican Festival and Susan Sontag and her Son on Bench.

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The exhibition also allows the viewer to follow the evolution of Arbus’s style from a smaller to a larger print format, and from an artist into a photojournalist, as seen in one of the final images, A Young Man and his Girlfriend with Hot Dogs in the Park. Yet the consistent thread throughout is her ability to give a voice to everyday people – often the most marginalised. “I’m not idealising, I’m not documenting; I’m presenting a super-truth,” Arbus said of her work. The photographs on show here are prime examples of that.

A Young Man and His Girlfriend with Hot Dogs in the Park
A Young Man and His Girlfriend with Hot Dogs in the Park | Image: The Estate of Diane Arbus

For more upcoming exhibitions, click here.

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