TruthBeauty: Pictorialism and the Photograph as Art, 1845-1945 brings together more than 150 Pictorialist photographs from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, tracing the movement’s progression from its earliest influences to its seminal effect on photographic Modernism. One of the first truly international artistic movements, Pictorialism was simultaneously a movement, a philosophy, an aesthetic and a style that arose out of a desire to elevate photography to an art form equal to painting, drawing and watercolour. The exhibition includes works by Julia Margaret Cameron, Alvin Langdon Coburn, Robert Demachy, Peter Henry Emerson, Gertrude Ksebier, Heinrich Chn, Edward Steichen, Alfred Stieglitz and John Vanderpant.
John O’Brian is a Professor of Art History at the University of British Columbia. He has published extensively on modern art history, theory and criticism, and has lectured widely across the United States and Canada, and in Europe, Israel, Mexico, Australia, China and India. In 1994, he co-founded the Vancouver Art Forum Society, which until 2002 published Collapse, a journal of which he was an editor. His current research interests focus on national landscape narratives, especially as they are played out in North America, and on visual responses in art and photography to nuclear threat and destruction since 1945.