Bruce Davidson & Khalik Allah: New York – the Inaugural Exhibition at Magnum Gallery Paris
Bruce Davidson and Khalik Allah: NEW YORK is the inaugural show to be held at Magnum Photos’ new gallery space in Paris.
Bruce Davidson and Khalik Allah: NEW YORK is the inaugural show to be held at Magnum Photos’ new gallery space in Paris. Running from 22 October to 18 December 2021, the exhibition sets side by side – for the first time in a public setting – the work of two Magnum photographers with unique visions of New York City.
While half a century separates the work featured in the show – Davidson’s images emerging in the 1960–80s and Allah’s in the new millennium – what they both capture, with visceral urgency, is the sense that everyone is in the margins in NYC, some just deeper into them than others.
Davidson’s NYC vision took memorable form beneath the streets, when he shot in the notorious subway of the 1980s city. Out of this subterranean darkness, he conjured strangely affecting color, harnessing the available light to produce an elemental impression of the city at a particular moment in time.
“Color in the subway was different,” says Davidson. “I found that the strobe light reflecting off the metallic surfaces of the defaced subway cars created an iridescence I had seen in photographs of deep-sea fish thousands of fathoms below the ocean surface, glowing under electronic flash, never having been exposed to light before.” His underground expeditions eventually culminated in the publication of Subway in 1986, a seminal, epoch-defining series.
Allah, who cites Davidson as one of his major influences, explored a different kind of NYC darkness: the enabling shadows of addiction. For a few years from 2012, Allah focused his lens on the black community frequenting the corner of 125th Street and Lexington Avenue, shooting only at night. The resulting work, In Souls Against the Concrete (2017), places the people of this marginalized corner front and center. Allah comments: “This body of work is about redemption, strength, and resilience amid addiction, poverty, and street life.”
Allah and Davidson’s images respond to each other’s intense directness and proximity with their subjects, and represent an invaluable record of New York City life.
The exhibition – Bruce Davidson and Khalik Allah: NEW YORK – also includes work from Davidson’s earlier book East 100th Street (1970) and can be viewed at 68, rue Léon Frot, 75011 Paris. Please call +33 1 53 42 50 00 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book an appointment.