Magnum Contact Sheets – Magnum Print Room

November 9, 2011 – January 27, 2012, London, United Kingdom

Wed – Fri, 11.00 until 16:30

Magnum Print Room
63 Gee Street
London EC1V 3RS
United Kingdom

Phone: 020 7490 1771

This month the Magnum Print Room will be presenting an astounding new exhibition featuring early and original contact sheets by Magnum photographers. The cutting-edge new book, ‘Magnum Contact Sheets’ presents rich unpublished material, revealing the story behind many of the agency’s most iconic and historical images, taken by the world’s most celebrated photographers.

The images featured in the book – combined with well known images and some that have been kept away from the public eye – form over seventy years of history: from the D-Day Normandy landings by Robert Capa, the 1968 Paris riots by Bruno Barbey and war in Chechnya by Thomas Dworzak, to René Burri’s filmic sequence of close-ups of Che Guevara, classic New Yorkers by Bruce Gilden, and Eve Arnold’s iconic portrait of the charismatic and image-savvy Malcolm X. Each contact sheet is provided with texts written by the photographers themselves or by experts chosen by members’ estates.

This unique book includes 139 contact sheets together with the accompanying final image, representing 69 photographers, as well as zoomed-in details, selected photographs, press cards, notebooks, annotations and spreads from important publications. The exhibition displayed at the Magnum Print Room features over 30 captivating contact sheets. Some are displayed alongside their final images, such as Thomas Hoepker’s vintage contact sheet featuring Muhammed Ali jumping and Susan Meiselas’ Carnival Strippers. This unparalleled book and exhibition provides a unique understanding, which, before now, the contact sheets of the photographers would of been seen by themselves, the printer and few others, this is a rare insight into the inner workings of these well acclaimed photographers.

A special edition book consisting of a clothbound copy of Magnum Contact Sheets placed in a presentation case is available. It contains an individual 16 x 12” contact sheet selected from a series of 10, with each contact sheet printed in editions of 50. Each contact sheet is numbered, embossed with ‘Magnum Photos Collection’ on the white border, and hand-stamped with the photographer’s copyright on the verso. All contact sheets have been produced at Magnum’s own print room as archival Giclée prints, though their exact standards.

In association to this exhibition and book there will be a one day event on the 26th of November from 10-5pm entitled ‘Magnum Contact Sheets: The Symposium’, which will discuss the issues and topics raised by the book; in particular the foreword written by Kristen Lubben, Associate Curator of the International Center of Photography, New York. The Symposium will be introduced by Sophie Wright, Cultural Director at Magnum Photos. The symposium is hosted by the Photography Department at London College of Communication and features high profile speakers such as Simon Baker (Photography Curator, Tate), Martin Barnes (Senior Curator, Photographs, V&A), David Campany (writer, artist and critic), Francis Hodgson (writer and critic), Colin Jacobson (author and former picture editor) and many more.

Tickets are available from: