Tate to unveil modernist photos from Sir Elton's private collection
The Tate Modern is preparing to open a new Modernist photo exhibition comprising nearly 200 works from Sir Elton John’s vast private collection.
Opening tomorrow (November 10th), The Radical Eye: Modernist Photography from the Sir Elton John Collection will feature photos from the 1920s to 50s by the likes of Man Ray, Berenice Abbott and more.
Running until May 7th 2017, the exhibition provides a rare chance to get a glimpse of the array of works in Sir Elton’s private collection, which includes more than 8,000 pieces. The celebrated singer has revealed that photography is one of his biggest artistic passions, and it is a love affair that began a quarter of a century ago.
Indeed, he explained that he first became interested in photography when he finished rehab for a drinking problem 26 years ago – and his interest has flourished ever since. In fact, over the course of those years, Sir Elton has amassed one of the world’s greatest collections of modernist photography.
What’s more, it seems that future exhibitions of works in the collection may be on the cards. According to the Tate, the gallery sees the exhibition as the start of a long-term relationship with the singer and his partner, the Guardian reports.
Sir Elton’s 8,000-photo collection is largely kept in his 18,000 square foot apartment in Atlanta.
“What drew me to photography was I got sober in 1990. I’d had my pictures and photograph taken by a lot of great photographers and never knew anything about it as an art form whatsoever,” he explained, adding: “It’s been the art form I’ve loved the most ever and I’ve loved all sorts of art forms. This is the one I’m most passionate and know most about.”
While art lovers can speculate as to what they may be treated to in the future, the current exhibition provides much interest. More than 70 artists from the classic Modernist period are featured, including Man Ray, with an exciting group of his portraits being exhibited together for the very first time.
Visitors can also look forward to seeing famous faces behind the lens, with portraits of Matisse, Breton and Picasso among those on display.
Sir Elton is particularly passionate about Man Ray. Born in 1890, this American painter, photographer and maker of Surrealist objects had his first one-man exhibition in New York in 1915.
In 1921, he moved to Paris and joined in with the Dada and Surrealist movements not only with paintings, but assemblage-objects and photography too. He then became particularly active as a portrait and fashion photographer, and gained a reputation as something of a pioneer of new photographic techniques.