Diane Arbus exhibition opening in Toronto this June

Corkin Gallery will open the month-long show Pursuing Difference on June 23


Diane Arbus, Two girls with their grandfather in Central Park, N.Y.C. 1962. © The Estate of Diane Arbus. On view at Corkin Gallery (Toronto, Canada). Photo: Kitmin Lee.
The Estate of Diane Arbus / Kitmin Lee

A year after the pandemic interrupted a major Art Gallery of Ontario exhibition devoted to Diane Arbus, Torontonians will have another chance to check out the iconic American photographer’s work.

Corkin Gallery will open the show Pursuing Difference on June 23 and it will run through July 24. The exhibition will focus on photographs Arbus took during the 1960s, including many in New York City parks.

The show marks 50 years since Arbus took her own life, as well as the 30th anniversary of the photographer’s first Canadian exhibition, also at Corkin Gallery. The AGO has since acquired 500 Arbus photos, 150 of which were on display during last year’s Diane Arbus: Photographs, 1956-1971, which was extended into the summer months after the spring lockdown.

“As an American who came to Canada in the late 60s, Arbus represents a cultural era that called for meaningful change,” gallery owner Jane Corkin said in a statement. “It feels important to be bringing Diane Arbus back to the public during a moment in time when people around the world are calling for change once again.”

Recent exhibitions of Arbus’s work tend to frame her black-and-white portraits in the context of contemporary conversations around identity and gender expression.

The show description for Pursuing Difference takes a similar view of her work, connecting the social upheaval of the 60s era to the present day, and emphasizing the artist’s focus on “diverse people whose bodies, genders, abilities and behaviours didn’t necessarily conform with socially prescribed or – sanctioned conventions.”

Corkin Gallery, located in the Distillery District, is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm. Exhibitions are also viewable via appointments.

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