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Elton John’s Extraordinary Modernist Photography Collection at Tate Modern

December 7, 2016. New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday, by Jack Dziamba
Man Ray, glasstears les larme (Glass Tears)

Man Ray, glasstears les larme (Glass Tears)

Elton John’s extraordinary  collection  of modernist photography is on exhibit at Tate Modern, until May 7, 2017.

The BBC has published  an article along with stunning images from the exhibition.Some of those images are shown below, in a large format so that the viewer may be able to see the full impact of the photograph.

The BBC article contains a description of how Elton John, on coming out of rehab,  first noticed photography as an art form, and what it means to him. Here are some excerpts:

“Photographs from Sir Elton John collection on show at Tate Modern, The Radical Eye,  include portraits, still life and experimental techniques, from the 1920s through to the 1950s. Sir Elton calls photography “‘one of the most important and progressive art forms of the 20th century”‘.
Sir Elton started buying photographs after coming out of rehab in 1990. ‘”It’s a much healthier addiction to buy photographs, so I just switched,'” he says in the exhibition catalogue. He owns about 8,000 images in his personal collection dating from 1910 to the present day.”
man-ray_noireetblanchepositiveandnoireetblanchenegative-1926
Sir Elton says the photographers were “going where no other photographer had gone before. I consider them true adventurers and what they did was extraordinary”. This nude is by Edward Weston.
weston-nude-92473196_1dae5907-f43a-48cc-a4c1-ab08ef145601
“There are 25 images by Man Ray, a leading figure in the Dada and Surrealist movements, in the show – including t{he one  at the top of this page titled Glass Tears (Les Larmes) 1932. Sir Elton set a world record for a photograph sold at auction when he paid £125,000 for it.”
There are far more photographs in the exhibition than are shown here. Many can  seen on the Tate Modern site,”including portraits of Matisse, Picasso, and Breton. With over 70 artists and nearly 150 rare vintage prints on show from seminal figures including Brassai, Imogen Cunningham, André Kertész, Dorothea Lange, Tina Modotti, and Aleksandr Rodchenko. 
CBS has a facinatinating video of Sir Elton talking about his collection.  Be sure to watch it. The collection includes “Falling Man” from the World Trade Center disaster.
Tate Modern, “The Radical Eye,” Bankside, London, SE1 9TG, until May 7, 2017.
H/T Joshua Cohen
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2 comments on “Elton John’s Extraordinary Modernist Photography Collection at Tate Modern

  1. I must thank Jack Dziamba for blogging about Elton John’s fantastic photography collection, many pieces of which are being exhibited at Tate Modern. I have enjoyed Man Ray’s work & many of the other photographer’s images for years. Now if I could only get to London before the exhibition closes!

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