From war zones to protests to refugee camps to the New York City subway, the nearly 100 works in this exhibition present the human condition in a harsh, but often beautiful, way. The first of three original exhibitions planned to celebrate OKCMOA’s 75th anniversary, “Shared Lives, Distant Places” includes work by photographers Donna Ferrato, Peter Turnley, Kristin Capp, Alen MacWeeney, Gary Mark Smith and Robert von Sternberg.
“This original exhibition is possible thanks to generous photography donations in honor of our 75th anniversary,” said Dr. Michael Anderson, president and CEO. “These gifts add to our growing photography collection and allow us to tell new stories. This exhibition brings attention to many difficult issues of our day including domestic violence and the global refugee crisis. As always, the Museum is here to offer space for reflection and discussion.”
“As a medium fundamental to the modern era, photography is instantly relatable and familiar to our visitors,” said Dr. Rosie May, director of curatorial affairs and audience engagement. “I hope this exhibition will challenge visitors to think about what qualities make these photos works of art and how the photographers in the show used color and composition to tell stories about the people and places they documented.”
There are three distinct photographic styles practiced by the artists in this exhibition—street photography, capturing candid depictions of daily life on the streets; documentary photography, representing people, places and events in a straightforward way; and photojournalism, telling a news story through powerful photography. The exhibition is organized by photographer, allowing visitors to explore each artist’s style, working methods and breadth of subject matter.
The photographers and their areas of focus are:
- Capp is an American documentary photographer and educator with a concern for social issues and marginalized communities.
- Von Sternberg is a documentary photographer and art educator who has lived and worked in Los Angeles for most of his life and focuses on the impact humans have on nature.
- Ferrato is best known for her documentation of the effects of domestic violence on women and children.
- Turnley has spent over 40 years working in over 90 countries and has been present for many of the biggest news stories of his time, such as the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Gulf War and the Los Angeles riots following the Rodney King verdict.
- Smith is a self-described “global street photographer” based in Lawrence, Kansas who has worked in many danger zones, including the largest gang-occupied favela in Rio de Janeiro and the eruption of the Soufriere Hills Volcano on the Caribbean island of Montserrat.
- MacWeeney, a New York-based Irish artist, employs street photography to capture images of marginalized groups in both his native Ireland and New York City.
In addition to “Shared Lives, Distant Places,” OKCMOA will celebrate its 75th
anniversary with exhibitions “Beaux Arts at 75
,” opening Nov. 7, and “Moving Vision: Op and Kinetic Art from the Sixties and Seventies
,” opening Feb. 20, 2021. In honor of the Museum’s 75th anniversary this May, the Museum has already received 291 gifts or promised gifts of artworks from donors across the nation. Many of these gifts will be on display at the Museum throughout the year.
Please note: This exhibition contains references to domestic violence, photographs from war zones, depictions of refugees in crisis and images from Ground Zero following the Sept. 11 attacks.
Peter Turnley (American, b. 1955) Near Cité Soleil, Port-au-Prince, Haiti, 1994, Archival pigment print, 20 x 24 in. (sheet). Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Gift of Ryon and Lauren Beyer in honor of the Museum’s 75th anniversary, 2019.189 © Peter Turnley