The Photography Show, presented by AIPAD

Tasveer is delighted to announce a solo exhibition of rare, vintage prints by one of India’s most celebrated and renowned photographers, Raghu Rai, at The Photography Show, presented by AIPAD, from the 5th to the 8th of April.

Raghu Rai was working as a civil engineer when he took up photography in 1965. He was encouraged by his brother, S. Paul, who was also a photographer, and who entered what Rai calls his first photograph into a weekly competition run by the Times in London, which he won. By 1966, Rai was employed as the chief photographer of The Statesman (among India’s most influential newspapers, founded during the colonial period and known for its incisive and independent reportage) in its New Delhi offices – a position he held for a decade, as he became one of the foremost chroniclers of the changing face of India.

In 1971, Henri Cartier Bresson saw an exhibition of Rai’s in Paris, at the Galerie Delpire. Impressed by young Rai’s talent, Bresson took him under his wing and nominated him to join Magnum Photos, making Rai the first Indian—and until recently, the only Indian—to join the prestigious photo agency. Over the last five decades, often on assignment for Magnum, Rai has photographed a range
of subjects, but is particularly known for his street photography, social and political documentation, and his portraits. His work often ref lects the contradictions and complexities of a multifaceted India, and the minutiae of everyday life in it. Remarking on his discomfort with posed and staged subjects, he underlines his preference for “spur of the moment” photographs.

An early proponent of the medium’s technological transformations, Rai switched from analogue to digital in the early 2000s – embracing both digital cameras and digital printing processes. As serious gallery and collector interest in his work began only after this time, very few darkroom prints of Rai’s work have ever been seen. What few prints he had made and not given to newspapers, he kept away in storage, unaware of their importance. The selected photographs seen here, coming directly from the artist, therefore, present an extremely unique and rare opportunity to view Rai’s previously unseen original vintage silver gelatin prints. Including some of his iconic images, as well as lesser known work, they reveal layered truths of a country and people balanced between the old and new, tradition and modernity.

Raghu Rai has published over eighteen books, and his work is held in the permanent collections of the Bibliothèque Nationale (Paris) and the National Gallery of Modern Art (Delhi) among others. He is a recipient of the Padma Shri—India’s fourth highest civilian honour, the first for a photographer— as well as France’s Officer des Arts des Lettres.

Exhibition Schedule

New York

04 April - 08 April 2018

Pier 94
New York, NY

12pm – 6pm