This is our first newsletter of the year and we wanted to let you know about the exciting things which will be happening over the next couple of months. During January we have enjoyed putting together our annual program, and we are looking forward to sharing works by the artists we represent. It is always difficult to make these choices. Photography is everywhere and there is so much to see, it can be daunting to review the volume of material one needs to sift through to arrive at our yearly calendar.
As well as our own exhibition program, there are the shows that we are involved with as lenders to consider - we often receive enquiries from museums and other galleries, and if we are able to help, we often loan works to these exhibitions around the world. The past month has seen requests for a Dora Maar by the Pompidou and The Getty, which promises to be a wonderful show. The Dulwich Picture Gallery is currently curating a show which will highlight their rarely exhibited collection of still-life paintings, and we will be providing photographs by Charles Jones and Richard Learoyd. This will be the first time that the oldest gallery in Britain displays photography - a triumph! - and I very much look forward to seeing the exhibition.
In March, we are showing works that celebrate the life of the legendary Leigh Bowery, on the 25th anniversary of his death. These extraordinary pictures are no less outrageous today than when they were originally taken or first exhibited. And we will be bringing small and unique vintage prints by Fergus to AIPAD, New York, during the first week of April.
The gallery will host a select from Eamonn Doyle's much anticipated new show in May, which opens in Dublin earlier in the spring before arriving at MHG. It will include works from Eamonn's series i, on, state visit and K, and to coincide with our exhibition, one of Eamonn's large video installations will be on display at Photo London. The Dublin show will subsequently transfer to Madrid, where new works commissioned by MAPFRE will be added. Eamonn's continuing success is well deserved and we are all looking forward to seeing all his shows this year.
Our summer event is an unusual show and will be something of a first for us. It centers around the series Ordeal by Roses, in which Eikoh Hosoe turns his insightful and frequently bizarre lens on cult Japanese writer Yukio Mishima. To accompany this set of images, which have never received such an exhibition in the UK, will be a cornucopia of Japanese 'things' that I have collected over the past six years. Every time I visit Japan, I find myself drawn to things other than photographs, in particular Japanese indigo-dyed textiles. From netsuke, kimonos and movie posters, to samurai coats and shunga, I hope that you will come to see what I have found - treasures which will cover two floors at Jubilee Place, opening in June. Watch this space for more information!
We are also delighted to announce our first solo show with the British artist, Richard Learoyd in September, whose singular work was last displayed in the UK at the V&A in 2016. The V&A features again in our calendar, as Tim Walker will be opening his solo show there in September. Tim is only the second living artist to be the subject of a major exhibition at the museum. We will also host a solo exhibition by Tim shortly after his V&A show in late October, which will focus on his portrait photographs - of both well-known and lesser-known subjects; each is revealed within the theatre that Tim creates in all his pictures.
We continue to show our artists at fairs around the world and look forward to seeing many of our old friends in New York at AIPAD. It is so important that we continue to offer the opportunity to see the works our artists produce in the flesh, as the subtleties of a beautiful print cannot be enjoyed on screen as they can be in person. We recently held a viewing with members of the Photographic Acquisitions Committee from Tate, who came to see some of the jewels of the gallery's collection. To view John Deakin's prints up close, with all their aberrations, is a revelation. To study the exquisite tonalities of a great Roy Decarava photograph is a delight and privilege, and to hold a perfect study by Charles Negre with no glass between your eye and the print is something one can only do in person, and never on screen.
We hope that you will find the time to visit the gallery, both to see our shows and to enjoy the works we keep in the boxes and drawers around the building. I sincerely believe that a gallery is still one of the best places to experience photography - so please do come and visit us, it would be a pleasure to see you again!
- Michael Hoppen