Magnum 62 – Chris Beetles Fine Photographs

USA. California. Los Angeles. US actress Marilyn MONROE, studio sessions. 1960. Credit: Eve Arnold/Magnum Photos 

24 April – 19 May 2012


Chris Beetles Fine Photographs
3-5 Swallow St

Admission: Free

For more information: 020 7434 4319

Magnum Photos is the world’s most famous and influential photographic agency, and its Members have been responsible for many of the most celebrated photographs of the last six decades.

Chris Beetles Fine Photographs Gallery will be presenting a unqiue exhibition featuring a single photograph by each of the agency’s 62 photographers. After the Second World War four photographers had a vision. Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, David Seymour and George Rodger understood the way that media would change over the coming years, and they wanted to change the way the magazines of their generation were monopolising the photographic industry. In 1947 they founded Magnum Photos, the world’s longest surviving artist co-operative, which forever changed intellectual property, copyright and the way the modern world received photography. During the Second World War, such photographs as those taken by Capa during the D-Day landings had made more impact on the public consciousness than words. The old saying that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ was about to be proven an understatement. With the increase in the amount of printed media, and simpler reproduction techniques, photography was about to completely change the way that journalism presented itself, and Magnum was to play a large part in the revolution.

Over the next 65 years, Magnum photographers have contributed thousands of images to the history of photography, writing the rulebook for photojournalism along the way. Combining innovative photography with integrity, and often bravery, Magnum’s photographers have covered many of the significant world events during the agency’s existence. Collectively they have provided fresh insight into international politics and culture, shown the reality of conflicts and disasters, harnessed the growing power of celebrity, and consistently influenced world-wide opinion.

Some of the world’s best-known images from this extraordinary archive will be on view, including:

Robert Capa’s image of US servicemen landing on the Normandy beaches during the D-Day landings, 1944 – one of the most important war photographs ever taken;

Rene Burri’s Che Guevera (1963) – the image of this most famous of revolutionaries;

Stuart Franklin’s Tiananman Square (1989) – a student’s bravery is captured as he blocks a line of Chinese tanks during protests, has become a legendary example of courage and defiance;

 David Hurn’s iconic photograph of The Beatles while recording at Abbey Road Studios in 1964;

Martin Parr’s ‘Last Resort’ – taken from the famous British photographer’s seminal project made in New Brighton, Liverpool in the period 1983-5.

This is just a small selection of the 62 photographs included in this compelling exhibition, which will demonstrate the extraordinary contribution that Magnum photographers have made to both journalism and photography. Becoming a Member of Magnum has always been a rigorous process, taking at least four years, until one can become a member. It begins with a photographer submitting his or her portfolio to existing Members at Magnum’s Annual General Meeting. If a majority vote is passed then a preliminary ‘Nominee’ status, lasting two years, is awarded before the photographer submits a further, extended portfolio to become an ‘Associate’. A further two years later the photographer can apply for full membership, becoming a shareholder of the company and obtaining voting rights if successful.

NYC16133 USA. California. 1968. Venice Beach Rock Festival. Credit: Dennis Stock/Magnum Photos   

Information provided by: Chris Beetles Fine Photographs.