Richard Misrach, Steve, 1972, gelatin silver print, 11 5/8 x 9 7/16" (29.5 x 23.9 cm) © Richard Misrach

Museum Exhibitions

Richard Misrach on view at MoMA

Living for the City

Museum of Modern Art, New York

The Museum of Modern Art will include fourteen photographs and two copies of the publication from Richard Misrach’s Telegraph 3 AM series in their ongoing exhibition Living for the City. The exhibition also includes work Barbara Brändli’s photographs of Caracas, Venezuela; Takuma Nakahira produced a real-time photo diary while in Paris for the 1971 Biennale; and a diptych film projection by Nalini Malani in Mumbai.

From 1972-1974 Misrach documented the counterculture of Berkeley, California’s Telegraph Avenue. This project led to Misrach’s first publication, Telegraph 3 A.M.: The Street People of Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley, California. Photographs by Richard Misrach (1974). Misrach’s mission was to "change the world by showing people things they haven’t seen before,” and he felt that photography was a perfect tool for this. This was the first major project where he learned the “language of photography.” Misrach was disheartened that the project did not incite social change but only helped his career. Disillusioned by the commercial success of this project, Misrach decided he did not want to photograph people and turned his camera to the deserts of the American West. While not his initial intent, politics remained central to his photography with series such as Salton Sea, The Pit, The Fires, and, more recently, Border Cantos.

The works in this gallery reflect the personal perspectives of their makers as well as the dynamic social shifts playing out around them.

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  • Artist Projects — Richard Misrach on view in "Living for the City" at MoMA, May 17, 2021