Through the Lens: Icons of Contemporary Art will include photos of significant artists from the 20th Century alongside a portrait series of renowned Abstract Canadian-American painter Agnes Martin (1912-2004), who is soon to be exhibited at Tate Modern in celebration of her five-decades spanning career. An iconic portrait of the artist by Gorgoni has been selected for the cover of the exhibition catalogue as well as the advertising campaign to promote the long-awaited retrospective of this incredibly influential 20th Century artist.
During the late 1960s, Gorgoni was commissioned by the Italian weekly L’Espresso to create a photo story on the vibrant New York City art scene. Through his close contact with legendary art dealer Leo Castelli, Gorgoni was introduced to all the key artists of the day including Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein and Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Gorgoni created a series of candid and telling portraits of artists who would become leading figures in the art world for decades to come. He captured his sitters in a variety of manners, both in posed and spontaneous settings. The intensity with which the artists showed his sitters resonated through the art world and captured the attention of world-leading publications, resulting in a highly successful career as an international photojournalist.
From the mid-1970s onwards, Gorgoni’s photographs graced the covers of publications such as Time, Life, Newsweek and The New York Times, and continues to do so up to this day.
His portraits of artistic icons such as Warhol and Willem De Kooning, Gorgoni capture the humanity behind artists who inspired generations of artists to come, with extraordinary honesty. His portrayal of the new social aspects of the contemporary American frontier, led chiefly by a young group of artists, directed him towards the creation of a particularly personal style of photography, which he continues to implement in both his portraits and photo-journalist works.
Gorgoni’s photographs have been exhibited in museums and galleries all over the world, from Stockholm to San Francisco and from Tokyo to Venice. The exhibition with ContiniArtUK, the first of its kind in the United Kingdom, will focus chiefly on the icons of contemporary art he has taken over the past four decades. The exhibition will offer a unique opportunity to look through the lens of a photographer who captured numerous pivotal and deeply personal moments in the lives of the most celebrated artists of our time.