14 June – 1 Sep 2024
Denise Coates Exhibition Galleries
Acclaimed British photographer Roger Mayne (1929 – 2014) celebrated the lives of young people growing-up in his evocative documentary images in the 1950s and early 1960s. Self-taught and widely influential in the acceptance of photography as an art form, Mayne was passionate about photographing human life as he found it – most famously the working class communities of West London.
Capturing children at play and the emerging phenomena of the swaggering teenager, Mayne discovered in the young a defining energy that perfectly embodied both the scars and radicalism of post-war Britain.
This exhibition of around 50 photographs focuses on this central thread in Mayne’s work, bringing together his iconic street scenes of London with little-known intimate images of his own family at home in Dorset from the late 1960s and ‘70s.
While the two bodies of work, street and family, have a different tenor, they are united by a radical empathy with his subject and the desire to create a photographic image with lasting impact, sensitivity and artistic integrity. With Mayne’s post-war subjects now in their more senior years and a new generation faced with myriad crises, Mayne’s deliberations on growing up, childhood, adolescence and family feel especially poignant and timely.
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