san-francisco

Garry Winogrand, Los Angeles, ca. 1980–83, gelatin silver print, 8 3/4 x 13 1/2". © The Estate of Garry Winogrand. Garry Winogrand Archive, Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona.

Garry Winogrand

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)

Garry Winogrand, Los Angeles, ca. 1980–83, gelatin silver print, 8 3/4 x 13 1/2". © The Estate of Garry Winogrand. Garry Winogrand Archive, Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona.

OF THE NEARLY three hundred photographs in this bold retrospective of Garry Winogrand’s work at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, many ask of us a kind of intense level of attention—the same kind of attention with which Winogrand’s camera itself seems to embrace and threaten its subjects. Winogrand said he wanted to see in the picture what the camera did to his subject and what it could do with light: For example, a 1969 shot shows Hollywood sunlight narrowing into a sharp apex, through which three proud beauties are about to pass; in the shadows beyond, a man, whom they just seem to notice, slumps in a wheelchair. Winogrand sometimes thought the subject was unreal unless photographed.

That pressure is everywhere in this long-deserved landmark exhibition, curated by Leo Rubinfien, Erin O’Toole, and Sarah Greenough. Absorbingly sequenced and fabulously catalogued (with

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