New York, 1923 - 1971

Diane Arbus

Diane Arbus is a celebrated master of the photographic image, and one of the most influential and original artists of the 20th Century. Born in New York City, Arbus also spent the majority of her life and career there. She is best known for creating detailed black and white square format portraits of couples, children, middle-class families, carnival performers, nudists, celebrities, zealots, eccentrics, and transgender people. Arbus’ diverse subjects highlight post-war America and the complexities of humanity.

With her inclusion in MoMA’s 1967 “New Documents” exhibition, organized by John Szarkowski, Arbus is associated with the generation of “street photographers” that include Lee Friedlander and Garry Winogrand. These photographers roamed the streets of New York, with their cameras in tow always prepared to capture the spontaneous and busy subjects in the...

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Biography

Diane Arbus is a celebrated master of the photographic image, and one of the most influential and original artists of the 20th Century. Born in New York City, Arbus also spent the majority of her life and career there. She is best known for creating detailed black and white square format portraits of couples, children, middle-class families, carnival performers, nudists, celebrities, zealots, eccentrics, and transgender people. Arbus’ diverse subjects highlight post-war America and the complexities of humanity.

With her inclusion in MoMA’s 1967 “New Documents” exhibition, organized by John Szarkowski, Arbus is associated with the generation of “street photographers” that include Lee Friedlander and Garry Winogrand. These photographers roamed the streets of New York, with their cameras in tow always prepared to capture the spontaneous and busy subjects in the city. Arbus, however, rarely put as much of her photographs emphasis on the chance moment unlike her male counterparts. Rather, her photographs often appear to be carefully thought out and almost meditative with their quiet stillness.

Artworks

Woman with a veil on Fifth Avenue, N.Y.C., 1968

Related Categories

20th Century Art / American Art / Art of the 1960s / Face/Body (Human Figures) / Gelatin Silver Print / Monochrome Photography / New York / Photography / Portrait Photography / United States / Women Artists

Curriculum Vitae

Education

  • 1957

    Studied photography with Lisette Model, New York, USA (1955-1957)

  • 1940

    Ethical Culture School and Fieldston School, New York, USA

Selected Solo Exhibitions

  • 2018

    Diane Arbus: A box of 10 photographs, Smithsonian American Art Museum (4/6/18-1/27/19)

  • 2017

    Diane Arbus: In the Park, Lévy Gorvy, New York (5/2-6/28/17)

  • 2016

    diane arbus: in the beginning, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (7/12-11/27/16); traveled to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1/21-4/30/17); Malba, Buenos Aires, Argentina (7/14-11/9/17)

Selected Group Exhibitions

  • 2019

    The Female Lens, Richard Taittinger Gallery, New York, USA (10/24-12/20/2019)

  • 2017

    The Grain of the Present, Pier 24 Photography (4/1/17–1/31/18)

  • 2016

    Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, WhiteBox, New York (12/9/16–1/21/17)

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Curriculum Vitae

The artist CV shows the details after 2000s.
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Education

  • 1957

    Studied photography with Lisette Model, New York, USA (1955-1957)

  • 1940

    Ethical Culture School and Fieldston School, New York, USA

Selected Solo Exhibitions

  • 2018

    Diane Arbus: A box of 10 photographs, Smithsonian American Art Museum (4/6/18-1/27/19)

  • 2017

    Diane Arbus: In the Park, Lévy Gorvy, New York (5/2-6/28/17)

  • 2016

    diane arbus: in the beginning, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (7/12-11/27/16); traveled to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1/21-4/30/17); Malba, Buenos Aires, Argentina (7/14-11/9/17)

  • 2013

    Diane Arbus: 1971-1956, Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco

  • 2012

    Diane Arbus: Affinities, Timothy Taylor Gallery, London (6/26-8/17/12)

  • Diane Arbus: Guggenheim Grants, 1963-1967, KMR Arts, Washington Depot, CT (10/26-12/29/12)

  • 2011

    Diane Arbus, Jeu de Paume (10/18/11 – 2/5/12); traveled to Fotomuseum Winterthur (3/3/12–5/28/12); Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin (6/22–9/23/12); FOAM, Amsterdam (10/26/12–1/13/13)

  • 2010

    Diane Arbus: Christ in a lobby and Other Unknown or Almost Known Works Selected by Robert Gober, Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco

  • Diane Arbus: In the Absence of Others, Cheim & Read, New York

  • 2009

    Timothy Taylor Gallery, London (60 photographs)

  • Artist Rooms: Diane Arbus, National Museum, Cardiff (69 photographs)

  • 2008

    Diane Arbus: A Printed Retrospective, 1960–1971, curated by Pierre Leguillon, Kadist Art Foundation, Paris (selected Arbus photographs as reproduced in their original magazine format); traveled to Moderna Museet Malmö, Sweden (3/27 – 8/1/10); De Hallen Haarlem, Haarlem, Netherlands (12/18/10–3/13/11); Contemporary Art Center, Vilnius, Lithuania (4/15–5/22/11); Mercer Union – A Center for Contemporary Art, Toronto (1/20 – 3/10/12)

  • 2007

    Something Was There: Early Work by Diane Arbus, Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco (60 photographs)

  • 2005

    Diane Arbus: Other Faces, Other Rooms, Robert Miller Gallery, New York (49 photographs)

  • 2004

    Diane Arbus: Family Albums, Mount Holyoke College Art Museum (September 2- December 7, 2004); Grey Art Gallery, New York (January 13–March 27, 2004); Portland Art Museum, Maine (June 5–September 6, 2004); Spencer Museum of Art, Kansas (October 16, 2004–Juanuary 16, 2005)

  • 2003

    Diane Arbus: Revelations, (200 photographs and supplementary ephemera) San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco (November 25, 2003 – February 8, 2004); Los Angeles County Museum of Art (February 29 – May 30, 2004); Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (June 27 – August 29, 2004); The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (March 8 – May 30, 2005); Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany (June 17 September 18, 2005); Victoria & Albert Museum, London (October 13, 2005 – January15, 2006) Fundació la Caixa, Barcelona, Spain (February 14 March 15, 2006); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (July 9 – October 8, 2006)

  • 2001

    Diane Arbus: A Box of Ten Photographs, Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco

  • 2000

    Diane Arbus: Untitled 1969–1971, Galerie Karsten Greve, Cologne, Germany (2000-2001)

  • Galerie Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels, Belgium

Selected Group Exhibitions

  • 2019

    The Female Lens, Richard Taittinger Gallery, New York, USA (10/24-12/20/2019)

  • 2017

    The Grain of the Present, Pier 24 Photography (4/1/17–1/31/18)

  • 2016

    Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, WhiteBox, New York (12/9/16–1/21/17)

  • Behold the Man – 100 Years, 100 Faces, Museum de Fundatie, Netherlands (10/1/16–1/15/17)

  • Collected, Pier 24 Photography, San Francisco (5/2/16–1/31/17)

  • James Baldwin/Jim Brown and the Children, The Artist’s Institute, New York (5/2–6/18/16)

  • The Female Gaze, Part Two: Women Look at Men, Cheim & Read, New York (6/23–9/2/16)

  • God Made My Face: James Baldwin and the Children, The Artist’s Institute, New York, curated by Hilton Als (5/18–6/25/16)

  • 2015

    Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861–2008, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT (1/31–5/31/15); traveled to The San Diego Museum of Art, CA (7/11–10/13/15); and the Brooklyn Museum, NY (11/20/15–3/13/16)

  • Collections Campaign Exhibition, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (10/27/15–10/30/16)

  • Head to Head, Barbara Krakow Gallery, Boston (9/12–10/17/15)

  • The Great Mother, Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, Milan, Italy (8/26–11/15/15)

  • Sleepless: The bed in history and contemporary art, Belvedere Museum, Vienna (1/30–6/7/15)

  • 2014

    Masterpieces & Curiosities: Diane Arbus’s Jewish Giant, The Jewish Museum, New York (4/11– 8/3/14)

  • Portraits of America: Diane Arbus|Cady Noland, Gagosian, New York (2/7–4/9/14)

  • 2013

    This Infinite World – Set of 10 from the Collection of Fotomuseum Winterhur, Zurich (6/8/13– 2/9/14)

  • The Time is Now, Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco (4/4–5/11/13)

  • 2012

    About Face, Pier 24 Photography, San Francisco (5/15/12–4/30/13)

  • Through the Looking Glass, me Collectors Room, Berlin (4/21–5/15/12)

  • Mutables, Eli Ridgeway Gallery, San Francisco (9/22–10/27/12)

  • 2011

    Photography Calling!, Sprengel Museum, Hanover, Germany (10/9/11–1/15/12)

  • Here, Pier 24 Photography, San Francisco (5/23/11–1/31/12)

  • 2010

    Disquieting Images, Triennale di Milano (10/18/10–1/9/11)

  • From the Collection of Randi and Bob Fisher, Pier 24: The Inaugural Exhibition, Pier 24 Photography, San Francisco (9/16/10–2/28/11)

  • Pier 24: The Inaugural Exhibition, Pier 24 Photography, San Francisco (3/16–6/16/10)

  • Gaze: Diane Arbus, Lee Friedlander, Katy Grannan, Jocelyn Lee, Lisette Model, Susan Paulsen, Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York (2/11–3/20/10)

  • 75 Years of Looking Forward: Focus on Artists, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco

  • 2009

    The Female Gaze: Women Look at Women, Cheim & Read, New York

  • New at the Morgan: Acquisitions Since 2004, The Morgan Library & Museum, New York

  • elles@centrepompidou, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris The Figure and Dr. Freud, Haunch of Venison, New York

  • New Visions: Black and White Photography in Contemporary Art Memory, Williams Center for the Arts, Lafayette College, Pennsylvania

  • New York, New York: The 20th Century, Norton Museum of Art, Florida

  • 2008

    Le Choc de la Photographie Americaine, Bibliotheque Nationale de France (selected Diane Arbus photographs from the permanent collection)

  • Arbus, Avedon, Sander, Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York

  • People, Jim Kempner Fine Art, New York

  • 2007

    All the More Real, Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, NY

  • Rockers Island. Olbricht Collection, Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany

  • Second View, Kloster Unser Lieben Frauen, Magdeburg, Germany

  • New York, NY, Fifty One Fine Art Photography, Antwerp, Belgium

  • June Bride, Yossi Milo Gallery, New York

  • 2006

    Americans, Kunsthalle Wien, Austria (2006-2007)

  • Eye of the Beholder: Photographs from the Collection of Richard Avedon, Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York (August 30–September 16, 2006); Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco (October 5–November 25, 2006) (Diane Arbus’ A Box of Ten Photographs, inscribed “for RA”)

  • Recent Acquisitions: New York Street Photography from the 1960s and 1970s, (16 Diane Arbus Coney Island photographs) New York Public Library, New York

  • Das Achte Feld/The Eight Square, Museum Ludwig Cologne, Germany

  • New York, New York, Grimaldi Forum, Monaco

  • In Sight, MoCP, Chicago

  • Senza di loro, nemmeno io, Palazzo Magnani, Reggio Emilia, Italy

  • The Construction of the Other, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, Belgium

  • Tendenzen internationaler Fotografie, Städtische Galerie Delmenhorst, Germany

  • Portrait und Menschenbild, SK Stiftung Kultur, Cologne, Germany

  • 2005

    Speaking with Hands, Guggenheim Bilbao, Bilbao, Spain; Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany (2005-2006)

  • Autumn in Black and White, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden (2005-2006)

  • In the Middle of the Night, Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Germany Photographing the Museum, Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York

  • Bilanz in zwei Akten, Kunstverein Hannover, Germany

  • Der fotografierte Mensch, Neues Museum Nürnberg, Germany

  • 2004

    Ghost Stories: The Disembodied Spirit, Austin Museum of Art, Austin, TX

  • Claudia Reinhardt, Killing Me Softly, Pro qm, Berlin Menschenbilder, Galerie Thomas Zander, Cologne, Germany

  • Photographers of Genius, Getty Museum, Los Angeles

  • From House to Home, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

  • Street Credibility, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

  • 2003

    Cruel and Tender, Tate Modern, London; Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany (2003-2004)

  • Partners: Collector and Curator Ydessa Hendeles’ View of 20th Century Art, Haus derKunst, Munich (2003-2004)

  • Art, Lies and Videotape, Tate Liverpool, Great Britain (2003-2004)

  • A Clear Vision, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, Germany (2003-2004)

  • Fort Mason Center, San Francisco, Photo San Francisco

  • Gogh Modern, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam Pictures from Within, Whitney Museum, New York

  • Flesh Tones, Robert Mann Gallery, New York

  • American Dream: A Survey, Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York

  • 2002

    Eye to Eye, Groninger Museum, Holland (2002-2005)

  • American Standard: (Para) Normality and Everyday Life, Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York

  • 2001

    J. Johnson Gallery, Jacksonville, FL (11/30/01 – 1/31/02)

  • Voice, Image, Gesture: Selections from The Jewish Museum’s Collection, 1945–2000, The Jewish Museum, New York

  • Homage to the Square: Picturing Washington Square, 1890–1865,

  • Berry-Hill Galleries, Inc., New York

  • 2000

    Open Ends (Innocence and Experience), The Museum of Modern Art, New York, (9/28/00 – 1/2/01)

  • How You Look At It, Sprengel Museum, Hanover, Germany