Press Release

This Fall: Gordon Parks at Museums Around the Country; Solo Exhibitions of Gordon Parks Foundation Fellows

Pleasantville
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Parks Exhibitions Will Be On View at Amon Carter Museum of American Art and the J. Paul Getty Museum; Guadalupe Rosales and Hank Willis Thomas to Present Solo Exhibitions at The Gordon Parks Foundation 

The Gordon Parks Foundation will present and collaborate on a range of exhibitions and public programs across the country during the remainder of 2019. The Foundation’s year-round and wide-ranging programming reflects its commitment to supporting and producing artistic and educational initiatives that advance the legacy and vision of Gordon Parks. Parks is recognized as the most significant photographer of the 20th century, as well as a writer, musician, and filmmaker.

Featuring significant works by Parks and providing insight on his practice, the 2019 fall exhibitions include the critically recognized Gordon Parks: The New Tide, Early Work 1940-50, co-organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, in collaboration with The Gordon Parks Foundation. The exhibition will open at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth this September, following its debut at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. in 2018, and the recent presentation at the Cleveland Museum of Art in Cleveland, Ohio. The J. Paul Getty Museum, in collaboration with The Foundation, is presenting The Flávio Story, now on view, which offers an in-depth survey of one of Parks’ most important photo assignments for LIFE magazine. At the Foundation’s exhibition space in Pleasantville, New York, The Gordon Parks Foundation 2019 Fellows, Guadalupe Rosales and Hank Willis Thomas, will each present solo exhibitions that reflect the resonance of their practices with Parks’ own work and legacy.

“The Foundation co-organizes exhibitions, publications and other educational programs year-round to contribute to the study and understanding of Gordon Parks’ legacy,” Peter W. Kunhardt, Jr., Executive Director of The Gordon Parks Foundation. “We are pleased to see Gordon Parks: The New Tide, Early Work 1940-50 continue on its tour and to have the J. Paul Getty Museum open The Flávio Story on the west coast. Many of the works in these shows are from the Foundation’s archive and private collections and are being exhibited for the first time.”

Upcoming exhibitions and programs presented or co-organized by The Gordon Parks Foundation follow below:

THE GORDON PARKS FOUNDATION FELLOWSHIP EXHIBITIONS:

On view at The Gordon Parks Foundation, Pleasantville, New York

Must’ve been a wake-dream: Guadalupe Rosales

The Gordon Parks Foundation, Pleasantville, New York

September 6 through October 18, 2019

Must’ve been a wake-dream is a celebration of Rosales’ work as a 2019 Gordon Parks Foundation Fellowship recipient, which includes collaborations with Latinx and LGBTQ communities to examine the interplay between photography and community. Through her careful collecting, preservation and presentation of vernacular photographs, letters, party flyers and ephemera representing Latinx Southern California youth culture, Rosales creates an expanding archive that brings visibility to a community that has been overlooked, misrepresented and criminalized. Also on view during Must’ve been a wake-dream will be a group of Gordon Parks’ photographs, selected by Rosales, from Parks’ celebrated “Harlem Gang Leader” series, made as the first African-American photographer for LIFE magazine in 1948.

Hank Willis Thomas: Exodusters

The Gordon Parks Foundation, Pleasantville, New York

October 25 through December 20, 2019

Hank Willis Thomas has an ongoing vested interest in photography as a documentation of history and a universal means for people to represent their stories. Exodusters examines the representation and depiction of history, particularly during a significant moment in the pursuit for freedom and liberty during the Great Depression in Dust Bowl America. Thomas draws upon the archive of Gordon Parks’ seminal and semi-autobiographical film The Learning Tree (1969) that depicts the fictional Cherokee Flats, which is based off of Parks’ hometown in Fort Scott, Kansas, where he returned to produce the movie. 

MUSEUM EXHIBITION:

Gordon Parks: The New Tide, Early Work 1940-1950

Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, TX

September 14 through December 29, 2019

Organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, in collaboration with The Gordon Parks Foundation

Gordon Parks was part of what author Richard Wright called “the new tide” of African-Americans who were pushing for respect and racial equality in the 1940s. Organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, in collaboration with The Gordon Parks Foundation, Gordon Parks: The New Tide, Early Work 1940–1950 explores the early years of Parks’ career as an influential photographer who captured the essence of the civil rights movement in addition to breaking barriers for African-Americans. The exhibition was also exhibited at the Cleveland Museum of Art from March 23 through June 9, 2019. 

CURRENTLY ON VIEW:

Jamel Shabazz: Honor and Dignity

The Gordon Parks Foundation, Pleasantville, NY

On view through August 23, 2019

For the past forty years, Jamel Shabazz has documented the cultural vibrancy of the city’s black and brown communities. This exhibition offers a concise view of Shabazz’s wide-ranging work, from photographs of musicians and teenagers radiating with hip-hop style to members of the military and participants in religious and political gatherings. Jamel Shabazz: Honor and Dignity is organized by The Gordon Parks Foundation.

The Flávio Story

J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA

On view through November 10, 2019

Co-organized by the Ryerson Image Centre, Toronto, Canada, and the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, California, USA, in partnership with Instituto Moreira Salles, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and The Gordon Parks Foundation, New York.

On assignment to document poverty in Brazil for LIFE magazine, American photographer Gordon Parks encountered one of the most important subjects of his career: Flávio da Silva. Parks featured the resourceful, ailing boy, who lived with his family in one of Rio’s working-class neighborhoods known as favelas, in the heart-rending 1961 photo essay “Freedom’s Fearful Foe: Poverty.” It resulted in donations from LIFE readers but sparked controversy in Brazil. This exhibition explores the celebrated photo essay, tracing the extraordinary chain of events it triggered and Parks’ representation of Flávio over several decades. 

ABOUT THE GORDON PARKS FOUNDATION

The Gordon Parks Foundation supports and produces artistic and educational initiatives that advance the legacy and vision of Gordon Parks—recognized as the most significant African American photographer of the 20th century, as well as a writer, musician, and filmmaker, who used the arts to further “the common search for a better life and a better world.”

Through exhibitions, publications, and public programs organized in collaboration with national and international institutions at its exhibition space in Pleasantville, New York, the Foundation provides access to, and supports understanding of, the work and contributions of Gordon Parks for artists, scholars, students, and the public. Through its year-round educational programming and annual grant-making initiatives, the Foundation champions current and future generations of artists and humanitarians whose work carries on Parks’ legacy.

ABOUT GORDON PARKS

Gordon Parks was a seminal figure of 20th-century photography. A humanitarian with a deep commitment to social justice, he left behind a body of work that documents many of the most important aspects of American culture from the early 1940s up until his death in 2006, with a focus on race relations, poverty, civil rights, and urban life. In addition, Parks was also a celebrated composer, author, and filmmaker who interacted with many of the most prominent people of his era—from politicians and artists to celebrities and athletes.

 

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Ferry Commuters, Staten Island, New York, 1946. Courtesy of and copyright The Gordon Parks Foundation.

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