National Gallery exhibit captures 50 years of photography

Shaping the New Forest (detail) by Lorraine Gilbert. (National Gallery of Canada)

A new exhibit opening Friday at the National Gallery of Canada explores the evolution of photography over the last half-century.

The Extended Moment: Fifty Years of Collecting Photographs by the gallery’s Canadian Photography Institute features 151 images, two albums and 25 projections from 100 artists, some on display for the first time.

The Ebony Mask by John Vanderpant. (National Gallery of Canada)

Jackpot by Fred Herzog. (National Gallery of Canada)

John in Sixteen Parts, V (detail) by Gary Schneider. (National Gallery of Canada)

It includes the work of such famous photographers as Diane Arbus, Walker Evans, Edward Burtynsky and Henri Cartier Bresson, as well as major works by several contemporary African photographers including Sammy Baloji and Zanele Muholi.

“Having to select under 200 works from a collection of 200,000 was the first challenge,” Ann Thomas, interim chief curator of the gallery and curator of the exhibit, said a news release.

“The second was to organize the chosen images into a display that would be intelligible and inform our visitors about collecting photographs in a general way, while also offering insight into the image and its history.”

Snake by Josef Maria Eder and Eduard Valenta (National Gallery of Canada)

Canyon Country, California, June 1983 by Joel Sternfeld. (National Gallery of Canada)

Times Square, New York by Robert Walker. (National Gallery of Canada)

The exhibit features photographs collected from 1967 to 2017, organized into seven themes, from the art and science of invention to advertising.

The images span different media and include different print types, such as digital and inkjet.

The exhibit will run until Sept. 16.