Fox Galleries is proud to present After Dark. This online exhibition can be viewed here or in our stockroom from 19 July – 11 August 2018.
Maggie Diaz arrived in Melbourne in 1961 and soon established herself as a leading commercial photographer and one of Australia’s few women photographers. Her first photographs were shot in 1950s Chicago where she walked on both sides of the street – capturing haunting scenes at the Lower North Centre housing project alongside images of millionaires as the resident photographer of the elite Tavern Club.
After Dark features a selection of iconic photographs Diaz made of jazz and blues musicians during her years in Chicago. The first publicity photographs for the now celebrated ‘Ramsey Lewis Trio’, a fixture at the Tavern Club, will be on view, including the original band members, bass player Eldee Young and drummer Redd Holt. Also included will be an elegant portrait of Kiki Williams who was a blues singer and pianist at a lowkey nightclub, The Nocturne.
These dignified portraits were made to promote the musicians who enlivened Chicago’s nightlife, but viewed today they are emblematic of African Americans who took the stage and shared their art in pre-Civil rights movement America. They stand alongside candid portraits of the patrons of these clubs, their audiences. Evoking the criticality of Robert Frank and Diane Arbus, these images endure as compelling sociopolitical portraits, having captured people, places and times all at once.
We are appreciative of the curator of the Maggie Diaz Estate, Gwendolen de Lacy, for making this selection of images available to the public for the first time, offered at a special price. Shot in studio or in the moment, these images are emblematic of Diaz’s intuitive eye for impactful photographs. Dramatic lighting, deep contrast and measured compositions come together to offer the viewer an powerful window into history still relevant today.
SELECTED RECENT EXHIBITIONS
Between Two Worlds (solo), Fox Galleries, Melbourne
Maggie Diaz Projects – Inaugural event & Maggie Diaz Photography Prize for Women, Brightspace, St Kilda, Melbourne
On Sacred Ground (solo), Installation near Maggie’s home at Sacred Heart Mission Graze on Grey, St Kilda, Melbourne
As Modern as Tomorrow, Photographers in Post-war, Melbourne State Library of Victoria
Maggie Diaz, One-way Ticket(solo), Ballarat International Foto Biennale
Into the Light (solo), Travelling exhibition touring seven locations across Australia