exhibition
Bruce Gilden, New York City, 1985, printed 1993. NGC Collection. Gift of Zavie Miller, Nepean, Ontario, 1993. © Magnum Photos
Bruce Gilden, New York City, 1985, printed 1993. NGC Collection. Gift of Zavie Miller, Nepean, Ontario, 1993. © Magnum Photos
Bruce Gilden, Quebec City, Canada, 1977, printed 1993. NGC Collection. Gift of Irwin Reichstein, Ottawa, 1995. © Magnum Photos
Bruce Gilden, Quebec City, Canada, 1977, printed 1993. NGC Collection. Gift of Irwin Reichstein, Ottawa, 1995. © Magnum Photos
Henri Cartier-Bresson, Brussels, 1932, printed before 1947. NGC Collection. Purchased 1984. © Magnum Photos
Henri Cartier-Bresson, Brussels, 1932, printed before 1947. NGC Collection. Purchased 1984. © Magnum Photos
Harry Callahan, New York, 1961. NGC Collection. Purchased 1978. © Pace MacGill
Harry Callahan, New York, 1961. NGC Collection. Purchased 1978. © Pace MacGill
Harry Callahan, Perspective Distortion: Building Façade and Blue Sky, Atlanta, 1977, printed 1978-1980. NGC Collection. Gift of Donald Fraser, Ottawa, 1981. © Pace MacGill
Harry Callahan, Perspective Distortion: Building Façade and Blue Sky, Atlanta, 1977, printed 1978-1980. NGC Collection. Gift of Donald Fraser, Ottawa, 1981. © Pace MacGill
Leon Levinstein, Untitled, 1958. NGC Collection. Gift of the American Friends of Canada Committee, Inc., 1995, through the generosity of Stuart E. Karu. © Howard Greenberg Gallery
Leon Levinstein, Untitled, 1958. NGC Collection. Gift of the American Friends of Canada Committee, Inc., 1995, through the generosity of Stuart E. Karu. © Howard Greenberg Gallery
Leon Levinstein, Untitled, 1960-1969. NGC Collection. Gift of the American Friends of Canada Committee, Inc., 1995, through the generosity of Stuart E. Karu. © Howard Greenberg Gallery
Leon Levinstein, Untitled, 1960-1969. NGC Collection. Gift of the American Friends of Canada Committee, Inc., 1995, through the generosity of Stuart E. Karu. © Howard Greenberg Gallery
Leon Levinstein, Coney Island, 1965. NGC Collection. Gift of the American Friends of Canada Committee, Inc., 1995, through the generosity of Stuart E. Karu. © Howard Greenberg Gallery
Leon Levinstein, Coney Island, 1965. NGC Collection. Gift of the American Friends of Canada Committee, Inc., 1995, through the generosity of Stuart E. Karu. © Howard Greenberg Gallery
Leon Levinstein, Untitled, 1952-1980. NGC Collection. Gift of the American Friends of Canada Committee, Inc., 1995, through the generosity of Stuart E. Karu. © Howard Greenberg Gallery
Leon Levinstein, Untitled, 1952-1980. NGC Collection. Gift of the American Friends of Canada Committee, Inc., 1995, through the generosity of Stuart E. Karu. © Howard Greenberg Gallery
Leon Levinstein, Lower East Side, Bowery, 1965. NGC Collection. Gift of the American Friends of Canada Committee, Inc., 1995, through the generosity of Stuart E. Karu. © Howard Greenberg Gallery
Leon Levinstein, Lower East Side, Bowery, 1965. NGC Collection. Gift of the American Friends of Canada Committee, Inc., 1995, through the generosity of Stuart E. Karu. © Howard Greenberg Gallery
Leon Levinstein, Untitled, 1970. NGC Collection. Gift of the American Friends of Canada Committee, Inc., 1995, through the generosity of Stuart E. Karu. © Howard Greenberg Gallery
Leon Levinstein, Untitled, 1970. NGC Collection. Gift of the American Friends of Canada Committee, Inc., 1995, through the generosity of Stuart E. Karu. © Howard Greenberg Gallery
Leon Levinstein, Houston Street, New York, 1970, printed 1980. NGC Collection. Purchased 1992. © Howard Greenberg Gallery
Leon Levinstein, Houston Street, New York, 1970, printed 1980. NGC Collection. Purchased 1992. © Howard Greenberg Gallery
Leon Levinstein, Lower East Side, New York City, 1952, printed 1980. NGC Collection. Purchased 1992. © Howard Greenberg Gallery
Leon Levinstein, Lower East Side, New York City, 1952, printed 1980. NGC Collection. Purchased 1992. © Howard Greenberg Gallery
Lisette Model, Reflection, New York, 1939-1945. NGC Collection. Gift of the Estate of Lisette Model, 1990, by direction of Joseph G. Blum, New York, through the American Friends of Canada. © Blakeman Law/Lisette Model Foundation
Lisette Model, Reflection, New York, 1939-1945. NGC Collection. Gift of the Estate of Lisette Model, 1990, by direction of Joseph G. Blum, New York, through the American Friends of Canada. © Blakeman Law/Lisette Model Foundation
Lisette Model, Promenade des Anglais, Nice, 1934 ?, printed 1940-1949. NGC Collection. Purchased 1985. © Blakeman Law/Lisette Model Foundation
Lisette Model, Promenade des Anglais, Nice, 1934 ?, printed 1940-1949. NGC Collection. Purchased 1985. © Blakeman Law/Lisette Model Foundation
Weegee, Henry Geller, Landlord at 312 E. Houston St., Wept Over the Loss of his Tobacco Shop on the First Floor, 28 July 1941. NGC Collection. Purchased from the Phyllis Lambert Fund, 1981. © ICP c/o Getty Images
Weegee, Henry Geller, Landlord at 312 E. Houston St., Wept Over the Loss of his Tobacco Shop on the First Floor, 28 July 1941. NGC Collection. Purchased from the Phyllis Lambert Fund, 1981. © ICP c/o Getty Images
Henri Cartier-Bresson, Behind Gare St. Lazare, 1932, printed before 1947. NGC Collection. Purchased 1984. © Magnum Photos
Henri Cartier-Bresson, Behind Gare St. Lazare, 1932, printed before 1947. NGC Collection. Purchased 1984. © Magnum Photos
Weegee, Mrs. Henrietta Torres and her Daughter Alda Watch as Another Daughter and her Son Die in Fire, 15 December 1939. NGC Collection. Purchased from the Phyllis Lambert Fund, 1981. © ICP c/o Getty Images
Weegee, Mrs. Henrietta Torres and her Daughter Alda Watch as Another Daughter and her Son Die in Fire, 15 December 1939. NGC Collection. Purchased from the Phyllis Lambert Fund, 1981. © ICP c/o Getty Images
Apr 27, 2012 - Jun 03, 2012

Spanning six decades, from the 1930s to the 1980s, Street View reflects the development of street photography as a record of city life and shifting social and economic conditions. Drawn from the collection of the National Gallery of Canada, this exhibition highlights the work of seven photographers whose seminal visions helped to describe the 20th-century urban landscape.

Harry Callahan (1912 – 1999) was a self-taught photographer. He approached image-making in photography in diverse and new ways. Underlying many of his works is a strong commitment to the architectonics of urban and natural spaces.

Leon Levinstein (1908 – 1988) had a reputation for being a loner. He spoke very little about his photography, and his personal and professional relationships were often strained. Levinstein’s photographs are marked by a strong presence of form and deep sympathy for his subject.

Weegee (Arthur Fellig) (1899 – 1968) is famous for his tabloid photographs of crime, disasters and destitution. Weegee used a large-format camera with a flash, a combination that allowed for high detail, instantaneousness and theatricality.

Lisette Model (1901 – 1983) started photographing in 1933, and moved to New York in 1937. She carefully framed her subjects, and then manipulated the image in the darkroom, burning, dodging and cropping to create expressionistic effects.

Helen Levitt (1913 – 2009) drew inspiration throughout her career from the streets of East Harlem, the East Village and the Lower East Side. A favourite subject was children and their playful, often rambunctious activities—from games to street chalk drawings.

Bruce Gilden (b. 1946) prowls the streets of major urban centres thrusting the camera in front of people.Gilden strives for rawness, summarized in his quip that “If you can smell the street by looking at the photograph, then it’s a street photograph.”

Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908 – 2004) is one of the giant figures of twentieth-century photography. Cartier-Bresson is celebrated for his idea of the “decisive moment,” or the capacity “to recognize—simultaneously and within a fraction of a second—both the fact itself and the rigorous organization of visually perceived forms that give it meaning.”

From scenes of gritty human drama to formal compositions of urban architecture, these photographs evocatively frame public space and its inhabitants. Each photographer’s contribution to the canon of street photography is indisputable, as is their ongoing influence on the work of contemporary image-makers.