States of America : Photography from the Civil Rights Movement to the Reagan Era

Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, United Kingdom
16 Sep 2017 - 26 Nov 2017

Dawoud Bey, A Boy in Front of the Loew's 125th Street Movie Theater (detail), 1976 (printed 1979). Gelatin silver print, 230 x 150 mm. © Dawoud Bey. Courtesy of Stephen Daiter Gallery.
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This autumn, Nottingham Contemporary will host its first photography group exhibition exploring North American Photography from the 1960s through to the late 1980s.

This timely exhibition provides a backdrop to the social and political shifts that have created the society we live in today. Focusing on a time when a new generation of photographers experimented with innovative approaches to documentary photography and exploring Civil Rights and the Reagan era economics that have, arguably, led to the rise of the polarised social and political landscape in which we all live in 2017.

The exhibition aims to explore the changes in the American way of life between the 1960s and 1980s. The proliferation of suburbia, the decay of cities and the development of mass advertising. It shows how communities interacted in a time of significant change as society became more fragmented. It documents the countercultural revolutions that occurred in this time—focusing on young people and communities as their views on life shifted towards those of pluralism and the rejection of traditional American values.

The exhibition features over 200 works from around 20 iconic photographers, including Diane Arbus, William Eggleston and Bruce Davidson, and will represent one of the largest exhibitions of post-war photography to take place outside of London. It also features work by Stephen Shore—the subject of a major retrospective at MoMA in New York this coming November.

Artists include: Diane Arbus, Dawoud Bey, Mark Cohen, Bruce Davidson, William Eggleston, Lee Friedlander, Jim Goldberg, Danny Lyons, Mary Ellen Mark, Nicholas Nixon, Bill Owens, Milton Rogovin, Stephen Shore, Joseph Szabo and Garry Winogrand

States of America has been curated by Irene Aristizábal and Abi Spinks.

This exhibition is a collaboration with the Wilson Centre for Photography.