Gitterman Gallery exhibitions vintage black and white pictures by Roger Mayne (1929– 2014). This exhibit features a few of the most well-known images from Roger Mayne’s seminal body of work on the streets of West London and comparable working-class communities of Britain in the 1950s and early 1960s that made him one of the most crucial post-war British photographers.
The majority of prints in the exhibit comes from Ann’s Box, a selection of prints that Roger reserved for this partner Ann Jellicoe (1927– 2017) and their household. The selection began when I initially visited Roger after the introduction and suggestion of his London dealer, Zelda Cheatle, who closed her gallery in London in 2005. We decided to reserve a few of the last classic prints of his most noted works.– Tom Gitterman
Roger Mayne initially ended up being thinking about photography while studying chemistry at Balliol College, Oxford University from 1947-51. In 1953 he developed an interest in the St. Ives School, which embraced the abstract avant-garde motion, and ended up being friendly with the painters Terry Frost, Patrick Heron and Roger Hilton. Mayne consciously printed with high contrast and preferred big prints [for the time] and tight graphic structures to stress the formal qualities in his work and have a dialogue with the painting of the time.
Mayne’s photos stimulate a specific moment in post-war Britain when hardships brought on by the war and rationing were still present. Mayne’s photographs reflect the positive neighborhood life in the streets that would soon be pertaining to an end with the restoring and modernization of lots of working-class areas. His pictures of these neighborhoods and the people: teddy young boys, jiving girls and kids playing in the street, protect the spirit of these neighborhoods. By 1959 Mayne’s images were so indicative of this duration that Style used them to illustrate teenage styles. Colin MacInnes utilized one of his images on the cover of Absolute Beginners, an unique told in the first person by a teenage freelance professional photographer living in West London that discussed the youth culture of the time. Mayne’s photos were consequently used in the 1986 movie of Absolute Beginners by Julien Temple as both the protagonist’s images and inspiration for the cinematography and costume style.
Mayne worked as a freelance professional photographer and his pictures were recreated frequently in magazines and newspapers. His work was included in group exhibits in the 1950s at the Combined Societies, a progressive group of local photographic societies in Britain that broke away from the Royal Photographic Society. His work was also included in Otto Steinert’s Subjektive Fotografie in Germany, a series of group exhibitions and books of international photography that highlighted personal expression and the visual capacity of the medium. Mayne had solo exhibitions in 1956 at the George Eastman Home in Rochester, N.Y. and at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. As early as 1956-57 the Museum of Modern Art, New York City and the Art Institute of Chicago got his work.
Mayne’s work has been gathered by numerous organizations including: Art Institute of Chicago; Arts Council of Great Britain; Bibiliothèque Nationale; Denver Art Museum; George Eastman Museum; J. Paul Getty Museum; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Metropolitan Museum of Art; Milwaukee Museum of Art; Museum of Arts, Houston; Museum Folkwang; Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Picture Gallery, London; National Gallery of Australia; National Gallery of Canada; National Gallery of Victoria; The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art; Scottish National Gallery; Princeton University Art Museum; Tate Britain; and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Though his talent as a professional photographer was acknowledged early in his profession, it was his solo exhibition at The Victoria and Albert Museum in 1986 and the subsequent use of his images on album covers and concert backdrops for the artist Morrissey in the 1990s that renewed interest in his work. Most just recently, Mayne’s work was just recently featured in Postwar and Modern, New Art in Britain 1945-1965 at the Barbican, London in 2022; Roger Mayne at The Photographers’ Gallery, London in 2017; Roger Mayne: Aspects of a Great Professional Photographer at the Victoria Gallery, Bath in 2013; How We Are: Photographing Britain at the Tate Britain in 2007; Making History at the Tate Liverpool in 2006 and Art of the ’60s at the Tate Britain in 2004. This is the fifth exhibit of Roger Mayne’s work at Gitterman Gallery.
Roger Mayne: What he conserved for his family
January 17– March 25, 2023
3 East 66th street, 1b New york city, NY 10065