Gordon Parks: Centennial

Event has passed (Thu Feb 21, 2013 - Sat Apr 27, 2013)
Jenkins Johnson Gallery
Tue-Fri, 10am-6pm; Sat, 10am-5pm; Sun, Closed
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San Francisco -- In celebration of the 100th birthday of Gordon Parks, one of the most influential African American photographers of the 20th century, Jenkins Johnson Gallery in collaboration with The Gordon Parks Foundation presents Gordon Parks: Centennial, on view from February 21 through April 27, 2013. Gordon Parks, an iconic photographer, writer, composer, and filmmaker, would have turned 100 on November 30, 2012. Jenkins Johnson Gallery will host an opening reception on Thursday, February 21, from 6:00 to 9:00 pm. This will be the first solo exhibition for Parks on the West Coast in thirteen years. Concurrent with the exhibition, Macy’s Union Square and the American Black Film Festival will be celebrating the artist’s centennial with Gordon Parks: American Icon an exhibition that runs throughout the month of February including a reception at Macy’s Thursday, February 21st from 6:00 – 8:00 pm.

The exhibition will survey works spanning six decades of the artist’s career starting in 1940. The exhibition consists of more than seventy-five gelatin silver and pigment prints, including selections from Life magazine photo essays: Invisible Man, 1952; Segregation Story, 1956; The Black Panthers, 1970; and Flavio, 1960, about favelas in Brazil. Also included in the exhibition is his reinterpretation of American Gothic and his elegant depictions of artists like Alexander Calder, fashion models, and movie stars.

Noteworthy highlights include groundbreaking prints from the Invisible Man series which unfolds a visual narrative based on Ralph Ellison’s award winning novel. The images capture the essence of social isolation and the struggle of a black man who feels invisible to the outside world. Also on view will be a number of color prints from Segregation Story, 1956, which are a part of a limited edition portfolio of twelve color photographs with an essay by Maurice Berger. Newly released, these images were produced from transparencies found in early 2012, discovered in a storage box at The Gordon Parks Foundation. In the late 1960s Life magazine asked Gordon Parks to report on the Oakland, California-based Black Panther Party, including Eldridge Cleaver. Parks’ striking image of Eldridge Cleaver and His Wife, Kathleen, Algiers, Algeria, 1970 depicts Cleaver recovering from gun wounds after being ambushed by the Oakland police as well as an insert of Huey P. Newton, co-founder of the party along with Bobby Seale.

Our exhibition will coincide with The Studio Museum in Harlem’s Gordon Parks: A Harlem Family 1967, November 11, 2012 through June 30, 2013.

Celebrations across the country have been held in honor of Gordon Parks’ centennial including Gordon Parks: 100 Years, International Center for Photography, May 18, 2012 through January 6, 2013; Gordon Parks: 100 Moments, curated by Deborah Willis at The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, July 12 through December 1, 2012; Contact: Gordon Parks, Ralph Ellison, and “Invisible Man,” curated by Glenn Ligon, and Gordon Parks: Centennial, at Howard Greenberg Gallery, September 14 through October 27, 2012; and Gordon Parks: At 100, at Weinstein Gallery, Jun 7 – July 28, 2012.

In honor of Black History Month, Macy’s stores along with The Gordon Parks Foundation and the American Black Film Festival celebrate the 100th birthday of Gordon Parks. The In-Store exhibition will run February 1 – 28, at seven major store locations nationwide including San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Houston, Atlanta, and Washington D.C.. A reception at Macy’s Union Square, San Francisco, Gordon Parks: American Icon, will be held Thursday, February 21 at 6:00 – 8:00pm on the 3rd floor. RSVP is required to attend the event.


  1. Jenkins Johnson Gallery 464 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA