Preparing for Karsh Exhibit

Authored by: Andrew Kear on August 12, 2009

I have just spent the afternoon pushing little squares of paper around on a photocopied floor plan of galleries four and five. The purpose behind this seemingly inane activity is actually quite central to my job here as a curator at the WAG: each hand-measured and drawn square represents to-scale a photograph by the famous Canadian photographer Yousuf Karsh (1908-2002).

I’ve been using them to layout an exhibition of his work, which is arriving at the WAG in late September, 2009. Regarding Heroes is coming to us from the Art Institute of Chicago, and was assembled by that institution’s former (now retired) Curator and Chair of Photography, David Travis. Travis is an important figure in the photographic art world internationally, a highly respected scholar who also provides a probing reassessment of Karsh’s work in the substantial and lavishly illustrated catalogue for the exhibition. Of course, Karsh offers some star power too, both as one of the most important photographers of the twentieth century, and because of the subjects he has photographed.

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