In March 2020 Palazzo Reali will host a major exhibition dedicated to German photographer Harry Shunk and Hungarian photographer János Kender. In the 1950s Shunk and Kender began a fruitful and durable collaboration documenting openings, biennials and artists working in their studios or during public performances. The duo created an invaluable record of the world of avant-garde art and its most famous representatives – Andy Warhol, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Yves Klein, Daniel Spoerri, Niki de Saint Phalle and Jean Tinguely – in Paris and New York. The exhibition reaches Lugano after being presented at the Centre Pompidou in Paris.
The exhibition features 450 original photographs and documents that have been selected from among the 10,000 donated by the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation in 2014, now held in the Bibliotèque Kandinsky in Paris. The photos shown are grouped in sections titled “Intimities”, “The Body in Action” and “New Spaces” and plunge viewers into the art scene between the late 1950s and early ’70s, a period in which artists were especially interested in experimentalism and sexual and artistic freedom, while also on the constant look-out for alternative spaces in which to create and show their work. Shunk and Kender were onlookers but also artists and authors of their time: images have a dual nature in that they offer important documentation while also being photographic works in themselves.