The Radical Eye

The Radical Eye exhibition, a unique opportunity to see the private collection owned by Sir Elton John, it contains several photographs by the greats of photography such as Man Ray, Dorothea Lange, Brassai, Imogen Cunningham, André Kertész, and Aleksandr Rodchenko.

Sir Elton John has been collecting these photographs over the past twenty five years, there are several different collections in this exhibition, when you walk in you are greeted by an introductory section, then you move through the space to a section of portraits, then onto further portraits, experiments and bodies. At this point there is a chance to go to a section with a video that depicts Sir Elton John talking about his collection and what it means to him. This area of the exhibition was the most difficult to follow as there was no definite way in which to work around the images, also there was a requirement that at least one wall will be walked along twice. Then you move through onto the next room, which is the smallest, this displays documentary prints and finally the last room shows objects, experiments and abstractions, this room was the most interesting and had the most amount of work that I hadn’t seen before. Although, it was an amazing opportunity to see several prints in a setting other than online or book and at actual size with framing. For example, Tears by Man Ray is one of my favourite images yet I have never seen it up close and haven’t been able to fully see all of the details in this image.

The images were framed beautifully and kept your attention within the frame, stopping the eye from wondering; unless the collection of images required this, often this was in the portraiture section or the abstraction section. The exhibition is curated well, all the images interlink well in their placement on the walls, with approximately 150 rare prints this is an achievement.

This exhibition has confirmed the interest I have in abstract and natural photography; specifically, the natural abstract images that use natural shape and form. However, it has also opened an appreciation for portraiture that I thought previously wasn’t very influential.

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