September 30, 2013
“Looking Back: Photography in the ’70s” at the Western Gallery
Traditional photography, since its invention in 1839, was about framing and documenting the world, but by the early 20th Century, artists like Alfred Steiglitz, Paul Strand, Edward Weston, and Walker Evans began to document the world in a more self-consciously artistic way.
From Oct.1 to Nov. 22 at Western Washington University’s acclaimed Western Gallery, Bing Wright will curate “Looking Back: Photography in the '70s,” assessing the existing Washington Art Consortium’s Collection, "Photography 1970-1980," by focusing on continuing leaders from the ‘60s. The show also examines new formal and conceptual developments in photography in the ‘70s, and features seminal photographers who led the way for photography into the 1980s.
The show is free and open to the public.
The backbone of the exhibit comes from The Washington Art Consortium (WAC). WAC is a unique organization made up of seven institutions whose common goal is to promote the understanding and appreciation of art by providing a collegial forum for members to share and exchange information, collections and other resources. Begun in the mid-1970s by Virginia Wright, founding institutions included the Western Gallery, the Museum of Art at Washington State University, Tacoma Art Museum, and the Museum of Northwest Arts and Culture in Spokane. Soon they were joined by the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington, the Seattle Art Museum, and the Whatcom Museum of History and Art.
“Robert Frank’s series ‘The Americans,’ for example, was already 20 years old; Diane Arbus was dead; and Harry Callahan was almost 70 years old,” said Bing Wright, elaborating on the impetus for an exhibit highlighting the photography of the Decade of Disco.
While much of this exhibition was put together using the Washington Art Consortium’s Collection, Wright also augmented the show with borrowed pieces.
The gallery is open to the public free of charge from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, with extended evening hours on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and on Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m.