An American born and based in New York for the majority of her life, this is Arbus’ first solo presentation in Greater China and it follows in the suit of ‘Cataclysm: The 1972 Diane Arbus Retrospective Revisited’, which occurred in New York, and which commemorated her momentous exhibition with MoMA in 1972. Presented with Fraenkel Gallery, the Hong Kong show continues to honour and showcase her photographic career, which spanned a brief but phenomenally influential fifteen years. The photographs on view feature couples, children, female impersonators, nudists, New York City pedestrians, circus performers, and celebrities, among others, reflecting the breadth of the artist’s singularly compelling portrait of humanity.
An unfortunate circumstance of Arbus’s career was that although she was widely admired and respected by other photographers and artists, she was not well-known during her lifetime. The retrospective in 1972 at the Museum of Modern Art blew up in a way that no one could have predicted. Arbus’ photographs are an important part of photography’s positioning within the art community as they paved the way for photography to achieve the status of fine art.