Real Simple

John Szarkowski, photographer-turned-curator-and-critic-turned-photographer again, has been a student and teacher of simple yet profound compositions his entire life. Often compared stylistically to Walker Evans and Ansel Adams, Szarkowski's photographs are empathetic, thoughtful takes on everyday people and ordinary landscapes. The first retrospective of his 63-year career, "John Szarkowski: Photographs," consists of 76 black-and-white gelatin works. And the exhibition is concluding its five-city tour at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

The photographs come from two periods in Szarkowski's life, from before and after his 33-year career as director of the photography department at the MoMA in New York. Despite that long break, the overall composition from the two periods remains remarkably similar. "The continuity is as if 30 years were a long night's sleep from which he awoke refreshed and perhaps a bit more reflective and definitely informed," says MFAH photography curator Anne Wilkes Tucker. See how beautiful simple can be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
June 18-Sept. 10

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