Photographer Gered Mankowitz is the subject of a major retrospective exhibition.
Gered Mankowitz is one of the UK’s leading music photographers, and the exhibition features over 100 photographs from Gered’s entire career, spanning four decades of music photography. This is the largest collection of photographs Gered has ever exhibited, and it is his first career retrospective.
This exhibition is something really special – a collection of over 100 photographs in an exquisite small 8 x 10 inch physical format that looks, frankly, quite amazing. Check out the example in the photograph below. That’s the framed exhibition print of The Yardbirds featuring the Jimmy Page/Jeff Beck line up. Not only does this precious size look amazing, but also prices are keen, and editions sizes are reassuringly low – just nine examples will be produced of each image in this size. And yes – that is Jimmy Page standing next to Gered Mankowitz in front of the gallery in the photograph below. He paid us a visit on the day we opened the show.
Gered is best known for his 1960s photographs of The Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix, and both subjects feature in this exhibition. During the 60s he also photographed Marianne Faithfull, Georgie Fame, Chris Farlowe, The Yardbirds, Eric Clapton, Small Faces, Donovan, Spencer Davies group and PP Arnold to name a few, before moving into the progressive end of the decade with Free, The Soft Machine, Traffic and The Nice. Guy Stevens, London DJ and scenemaker who did so much to promote the Sue Label, is featured in the show, originally shot as part of the cover session for the Sue Story LP.
Gered continued photographing musicians throughout the seventies, eighties and nineties and the eclectic range of subjects in the exhibition include Kate Bush, Robert Palmer and Elkie Brooks, Sparks, Slade, The Jam, Generation X, Magazine, Duran Duran, ABC, Ride and Oasis.
An exquisite small size
In recent years, Gered Mankowitz has created many ultra large format versions of images from his archives, sometimes up to 6ft high, and often applying colour to his original black and white images. For this new exhibition, we wanted him to create something very special, but using traditional darkroom techniques, with everything made by hand from the original negatives, in a precious small size. As a result, we have a rich body of work on display on the gallery walls, and with over 100 black and white photographs, the exhibition shows both the breadth and depth of his archive, while the precious small size provides a real counterpoint to Gered’s recent large format work. The exhibition, consisting entirely of beautiful 8×10 inch handmade photographs, is a fitting tribute to his extraordinary career.
Edition sizes are very, very low – just nine examples of each photograph are being released in this 8 x 10 inch paper size. No other small sizes are being offered once the 8 x 10 editions are sold out, and so once they are gone, that’s it.
Everything handmade in the darkroom
As Gered explains: “We have gone right back to basics for this exhibition. It is entirely black and white, and every one of the 100+ photographs featured has been made by hand in the darkroom by renowned printer Barbara Wilson using traditional wet processing from the original negatives. The resulting 8 x 10 inch silver gelatin photographic prints are simply exquisite: their size really draws the viewer to examine the intricate details up close. I have never exhibited or offered my work in this size before, and they really are a delight to behold. It is also very important for me to be able to produce an entire exhibition using traditional methods whilst the individual skills and materials are still available.”
Single prints and combinations
Because everything is made in a precious small size, the traditional dilemma often faced by collectors – namely which photograph to acquire – is hopefully not quite the problem it normally is. So if you find yourself torn between a classic Stones or a Jimi Hendrix, or between a Marianne Faithfull and a Kate Bush, we hope that the small size will make you consider going for both. Because of the consistency with sizes, all these photographs work really well together in groups and clusters of two, three, four, six, eight and beyond, so you can create some really interesting combinations on your walls. Of course if you would like a single piece then this is a perfect opportunity to acquire something very precious from an important photographer.