Considering the relatively large amount of effort that the Museum of London has put into advertising this exhibition, it is something of an anti-climax to find it hidden down two flights of stairs and tucked into just one room. Nonetheless, the contents of this limited space present a very pleasant way to spend half an hour or so and it’s well-worth a trip into the city to catch London Street Photography‘s last weekend.
The majority of photographs taken before 1950 perhaps hold greater interest as records of the past than as aesthetic creations. Paul Martin’s Street ‘Urchins’ (1893) provides a glimpse of the reality of London, adding a human dimension to the broad street scenes captured by George Davison Reid. Yet both appeal for their evocation of how things were above their artistic merit.
…the increasingly playful nature of photography…
Jim Rice’s work exemplifies the increasingly playful nature of photography that develops from the middle of the twentieth century. Prusom Street E1 (1975) is a highlight, its composition beautifully constructed from the essential lines of two mothers pushing prams in opposite directions.
The exhibition concludes with very recent works, such as Nils Jorgensen’s Card Fraud (2007). Almost exclusively based on visual puns, the modern photographs contain less of a sense of London, but more of a sense of humor.