Ezra Stoller
Pioneers of American Modernism

20.09.2018 — 09.02.2019

The Guggenheim Museum, the former Whitney Museum of American Art building, Manhattan skyscrapers, the TWA Terminal at Kennedy International Airport, the famous Falling water house, the iconic building of the 20th century — the Ronchamp Chapel and many other architectural landmarks of the modernist era captured by one of the most influential architectural photographers are presented at the Lumiere.

Works for the exhibition in Moscow were specifically selected from Ezra Stoller’s archive. The display includes black and white photographs of public buildings, offices and private homes from the very beginning of his career in the late 1930s to the 1970s.

For many years, Stoller worked with the pioneers of modern American architecture and the most famous representatives of Modernism, including Frank Lloyd Wright, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Louis Kahn, Le Corbusier, Paul Rudolph and Marcel Breuer.

Stollerized — was the name that architects gave to the architecture photographed by Ezra.

After initially studying architecture and graduating from New York University with a degree in Industrial Design, Stoller began his career bytaking photographs of the architectural models of his fellow students. Quite quickly, he realized that he had a much stronger feeling for photography than for architecture, and he therefore made the choice to work in two dimensions rather than three.

Stoller often worked on assignments for magazines, architectural companies, manufacturers and large corporations. His photographs, published in magazines such as Architectural Record, Architectural Forum, Fortune and House Beautiful, made a strong contribution to promoting the new movement.

According to the Pulitzer Prize Winner, American architecture critic and writer for The New Yorker, Paul Goldberger: “[Stoller’s photos] are surely among the most reproduced, and they have in and of themselves played a major role in shaping the public’s perceptions of what modern architecture is all about”.

Although Stoller positioned himself as a commercial photographer, the artistic qualities of his photographs are beyond doubt and make him an influential figure in the history of architectural photography. In 1950, his works became a part of the exhibition Color Photography curated by Edward Steichen, the legendary Director of MoMA’s Department of Photography in New York. This exhibition also presented works by Ansel Adams, Richard Avedon, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa and Erwin Blumenfeld.

Ezra Stoller was the first photographer to receive the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal in 1961, with the wording “the chief enabler of our experiences of Modern architecture”.

His photographs are in the collections of major museums in the USA, such as the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts (Houston) and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

The Lumiere Center for Photography included an extensive educational program within the exhibition: lectures, discussions, movie screenings and scheduled curatorial excursions.

The project is supported by the Shchusev State Museum of Architecture. Guest architect of the exhibition: Julia Napolova, P.S. Culture.

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