• Lisette Model

    National Gallery of Canada

    By arranging Lisette Model’s photographic output into a series of neat, digestible categories—photoessays, portraits, and subject themes—this retrospective mistakenly encourages us to see her photographic output wholly within the context of the Photo League’s “social documentary” tradition. Model, however, often admitted she didn’t really know the meaning of the term. Using small, lightweight portable 35mm cameras, she experimented with a straight-on “shoot from the gut” snapshot esthetic to produce sardonic exposés of the American dream. Less calculating than her colleagues in the Photo League,

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