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Exhibition at Rubin Museum of Art showcases Steve McCurry’s photographs of India
Women in stepwell, Rajasthan, Steve McCurry [origin]; 2002. (Printed: New York; 2015) Archival Pigment Print Display size: 17.5 x 26.25 inches.

NEW YORK, NY.- In its first partnership with the International Center of Photography, the Rubin Museum of Art presents “Steve McCurry: India,” opening on November 18, 2015. The exhibition showcases McCurry’s photographs of India in a museum for the first time, featuring a selection of 37 photographs of intriguing scenes of everyday life, including his early projects India by Rail and Monsoon. Many of the photographs on display are considered iconic in McCurry’s oeuvre, and some have never been seen by the public.

Known for his aesthetically beautiful and memorable photographs that transcend language, cultural, and geographic barriers, Steve McCurry is a widely respected contemporary American photographer who has traveled extensively since the late 1970s to document major political and social events. His exceptional use of color and ability to connect with his subjects has resulted in photographs that have captivated viewers worldwide, such as the photograph of an Afghan refugee with piercing green eyes, Sharbat Gula (1984), also referred to as the Afghan Girl, considered one of the most iconic images of our time.

“Steve McCurry: India” focuses for the first time on a survey of McCurry’s photographs of India, a combination of portraits, landscapes, and documentary imagery that express his curiosity and commitment to capturing unexpected moments. The exhibition opens with images of spiritual life, as well as selections from the series India by Rail, which portray the movement and life surrounding the Indian Railway. Photographs from the Monsoon series depict India’s season of heavy storms that is also synonymous with life, passion, and celebration. Later works capture beautiful landscapes, historical sites, and the life of ordinary people in major cities and rural areas, representative of diverse regions of India. Objects from the Rubin Museum collection of Himalayan art have been thoughtfully selected to complement the photographs on view and to illustrate the connections between ancient and contemporary India.

“Steve McCurry’s first trip to India and neighboring countries in 1978 provided inspiration and subject matter that catapulted his career,” said Lia Zaaloff, co-curator of Steve McCurry: India, and former Assistant Curator, Photography at the Rubin Museum of Art. “This selection of photographs, spanning over three decades, is representative of McCurry’s insightful portrayal of everyday Indian life.”

“The fields of photography and photojournalism have been permanently shaped by McCurry’s vivid imagery and the universal themes represented in his work,” said Christopher Phillips, Senior Curator at the International Center of Photography. “We’re thrilled to partner with the Rubin Museum to present McCurry’s photographs to new audiences and showcase the importance of India to his impressive body of work.”

In addition to the photographs, which have all been printed in McCurry’s New York City studio, the exhibition incorporates video interviews with prominent photographers and specialists on McCurry’s work and related themes. The audio guide for the exhibition includes commentary from McCurry himself, offering a deeper perspective on his process and his connections to India.

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