In 1952, after studying photography at Chicago’s Institute of Design, native New Yorker Marvin E. Newman returned to his hometown. Like many artists before, he set about chronicling the city. Unlike his predecessors, Newman chose color photography as the preeminent medium for capturing the people, landmarks, chaos, and energy of the self-proclaimed Greatest City in the World, commenting, “We see in color, so black and white is technically a handicap for representing the world.”
Today, Newman’s vivid images are lauded by the likes of Eastman House, MoMA, and the International Center of Photography, but remain largely undiscovered beyond a prestigious collector and gallery circle. In this stately Art Edition, TASCHEN presents the photographer’s first ever career monograph, featuring some 170 pictures from the late 1940s through to the early 1980s, and accompanied by the signed photographic print Coney Island, 1953.
Newman knew Coney Island well, but he was more attracted to the urban resort in the winter, with its somewhat deserted and melancholy air. Shot on 35 mm film, this celebrated image shows a solitary man catching some sparse rays of winter sunshine. Like all great street photographers, Newman is drawn to the written word, the signage that helps defines the human experience, and plays with the irony of the storefront lettering: “Photos while U wait.”
The signed Art Edition volume includes other vivid tableaux across New York, as well as top shots from Newman’s sports photography portfolio for the likes of Life, Look, and Sports Illustrated, and images from the Midwest; Chicago; a vintage 1950s circus; a legalized brothel in Reno, Nevada; Las Vegas; Alaska; and the West Coast. With a new essay by critic and scholar Lyle Rexer, this first chronological retrospective offers due recognition to an outstanding talent and a tribute to New York in all its thrilling, chaotic, and stately glory.
Art Edition of 75 numbered and signed copies, each with signed print Coney Island, 1953.
About Marvin E. Newman
American, b. 1927, New York, NY, USA, based in New York, NY, USA