Photographs from Civil Rights Movement, then and Now, at Laney Contemporary, Savannah, GA

Laney Contemporary presents Steve Schapiro’s civil rights photographs from the recent Taschen publication “The Fire Next Time,” an illustrated volume of James Baldwin’s classic text presented alongside Sheila Pree Bright’s photographs from #1960Now. A short film by Pree Bright entitled #1960Now: Art and Intersections, depicting intergenerational correlations between critical thinkers noted in history and emerging leaders around the nation will also be featured.

This particularly current exhibition is an intense and revelatory conversation between two eras and two important photographers grappling with shared subject matter in differing times. Steve Schapiro (b. 1934, NY) and Sheila Pree Bright (b. 1967, GA), thirty years apart in age and fifty years apart in the events photographed, each dynamically emphasizes the power of documentary photography as a search for the truth.

Schapiro’s iconic and empathic series was photographed during the Civil Rights Movement on the Selma to Montgomery march. Pree Bright’s work documents the 2014-15 Black Lives Matter protests sparked in Ferguson and Baltimore. Schapiro’s momentous and intimate work, paired with the striking series by Pree Bright, is an extraordinary dialogue of the civil rights struggle then and now.

Laney Contemporary is pleased to work with Jackson Fine Art in Atlanta to share this important exhibition with Savannah, a city with deep connections to and support of the Civil Rights Movement.

About Steve Schapiro

Steve Schapiro is an American photojournalist who has documented six decades of American culture, from the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and the presidential campaign of Robert F. Kennedy to Andy Warhol’s Factory and the filming of The Godfather Trilogy.

He has published a dozen books of his photographs, has exhibited his work in shows from Los Angeles to Moscow, and is represented in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Institution, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the J. Paul Getty Museum, among others.

About Sheila Pree Bright

Sheila Pree Bright is an award-winning fine art photographer based in Atlanta, Georgia. Her photographs hang in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., The High Museum of Art and The National Center for Civil Rights in Atlanta, and the de Saisset Museum in Santa Clara, California, among many others.

Reception Details

Our reception will be held on Thursday, October 15th from 4 to 9 PM. A food truck will be on premises with plenty of room on the lawn and within the gallery to maintain social distancing. Face masks are required for entry and numbers will be closely monitored for those viewing the exhibition.

About Laney Contemporary Fine Art

Laney Contemporary specializes in photography and contemporary art from both emerging and established artists with a focus on artists in and around the American Southeast. With over two decades of experience, the gallery represents outstanding talents of the region’s dynamic, contemporary art scene.

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