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True Colours

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Norman Parkinson, After Van Dongen, 1959
Norman Parkinson, After Van Dongen, 1959 © Norman Parkinson Archive

London's Atlas gallery celebrates colour photography in an arresting, trans-historical exhibition of some of its finest offerings

Who? Since the birth of colour photography in the mid-1800s, photographers worldwide have been exploiting, and experimenting with, the medium's beguiling effects – a subject that forms the basis London's Atlas Gallery's current exhibition, True Colours.

What? A number of key imagemakers feature in the display but its focal point is René Burri's breathtaking image Horse Pool and House by Luis Barragan, San Cristobel, Mexico (1976), where architecture, colour and composition exist in perfect harmony. The work is a rare example of the lauded photographer's colour output – the majority of his photographs being in black and white. Norman Parkinson also features with his striking portrait of a lady in a pillar box red hat, with lips to match; while contemporary photographers include Adam Jeppeson with his beautifully hazy visual documentation of a solitary trip he made across America, entitled The Flatlands Camp Project. A familiar but ceaselessly arresting face appears in the form of Steve McCurry's Afghan Girl at Nasir Bagh Refugee Camp (1984) which graced the cover of National Geographic in June 1985. It has since been named the publication's most recognisable image for its startling combination of brown and green – it's hard to forget those eyes.

Why? In many ways the exhibition's aim is to let the trans-historical images speak for themselves: a visual demonstration of the evolution of the medium via some of its most extraordinary offerings. In that vein, below we present a gallery of some of the show's key works.

True Colours is at Atlas Gallery until October 5.

Text by Daisy Woodward

Daisy Woodward is the social media and editorial assistant.


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