“Photography is a language more universal than words.”
Throughout his career, Minor White sought to photograph things not simply for what they are, but for what they might suggest—his images are full of symbolic and metaphorical allusions. Born in Minneapolis in 1908, White came of age when homosexuality was socially unacceptable and sought comfort in a variety of Western and Eastern religious practices. Photography was both a way to make visible his ongoing search for spiritual fulfillment and a medium through which he could express his sexual desire for men.
His early work included images of the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s and the Second World War, during which he served in the U.S. Army. White was influenced by his contact with Ansel Adams, Alfred Steiglitz, and Edward Steichen. In 1952, White helped found the influential photography magazine Aperture.
One of the masters of photographic modernism, White’s work was highly influential to a generation of photographers and continues to resonate today.
Minor White: Manifestations of the Spirit curated by Paul Martineau of the J. Paul Getty museum is the first major retrospective of White’s work since 1989. The show will be at The Getty Center in Los Angeles through October 19, 2014.
Learn more about Minor White on the Atget Photography Website.