12 Nov - 11 Dec 1982

Max Yavno: Photographs 1939-1981

12 November - 11 December 1982

As part of the Gallery's Autumn season of Documentary photographs we display for the first time in this country photographs by Max Yavno, and Aaron Siskind's Harlem Document.

Max Yavno was born in 1911 and worked for the works Progress Administration before becoming president of the Photo League in 1938. He shared a New York appartment with Aaron Siskind and the two have remained lifelong friends.

To exhibit their work together is to reveal their shared formal, humanistic and architectural concerns. The light of West Coast America where Yavno moved after the war is crucial to his phootgraphs, 19 of which were bought by Steichen for the museum of Modern Art, New York, 1953. In 1954, however, Yavno relinquished creative photography returning only in 1975.

His work has since met with great acclaim, and we are grateful to Mr and Mrs Vernon for the loan of 50 prints from their collection which illustrate the various stages of Max Yavno's carrer.

Writting in Yavno's monograph which will be on sale at the exhibition, Aaron Siskind's words could well apply to his own work since both photographers have succeeded in transforming "the ordinary to a luminous, ordered presence".

Written by Rupert Martin

For further information on this and past exhibitions, visit our Archive and Study Room.