The Ministry of Artistic Affairs
Wednesday, April 27, 2011

17 photographs by legendary New York City photographer Larry Fink will be included as one half of a group show at the new Neubacher Shor Contemporary in Toronto. Along side works by Alain LeFort, these photographs, originally shot in 1959, will be exhibited in Toronto for the first time.

Fink, a professional photographer for over 45 years, has contributed to many of the top publications in the world, including Vanity Fair, W, GQ, Detour, The New York Times Magazine, and The New Yorker. He has had one man shows at the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Museum of Art, the Musee de la Lausanne Photographie in Belgium, and the Musee de l’Elysee in Switzerland, amongst others. He shows in galleries regularly in New York, Los Angeles, and Paris, France. Along with two John Simon Guggenheim Fellowships in 1976 and 1979, and two National Endowment for the Arts, Individual Photography Fellowships in 1978 and 1986, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the College for Creative Studies, College of Art and Design, Detroit, 2002.

Created during postwar America, the photo series in this exhibition are drawn from his photo diaries that depict a generation of disenfranchised youths known as "beats", who took to the streets, rejecting authority and capitalism. This term, coined by author Jack Kerouac, refers to "crazy illuminated hipsters suddenly rising and roaming America, serious, bumming and hitchhiking everywhere." These images are encased in the specificity of time, both idyllic and dangerously on the fringes, denoting a loss of innocence during America's "innocent years." Through his lens, Fink portrays this iconic subculture within the American landscape. He maintains an ambiguous role: these pictures imply an intimacy with his subjects and ease within their domestic environments, while an observational composition belies the photographer as one of these "beats."

Fink describes this series this way: "The day before the day I entered the world of these pictures I was a milk-fed boy of left wing but bourgeois parents in a wholly unique yet unholy America. A boy who wanted to be consequent but was driven by both innocence and blinding anger... These second generation beats did not like me much. They desperately needed a photographer to be with them, to give them gravity, to live within them, record and encode their wary but benighted existence. Since I was drawn to them by the fact of drugs, my own feeble hipness, my confusion, my anger, not to mention my rebellion against my parents and the fact that I had failed to go to college - I was designated to be of them, to be on the road, on the way to Mexico and then wherever and what else... But did I know the deep ways, the inner turmoil of the dense jungle of the convoluted mind?"

Larry Fink
Neubacher Shor Contemporary
5 Brock Avenue, Toronto
A Featured Exhibition of the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival
May 4th-29th, 2011
Wed-Sat 11a-5p