NEW YORK— Sir Don McCullin is widely recognized as one of the world’s greatest photojournalists. Following his recent retrospective at Tate Britain, which received more than 170,000 visitors, forty photographs from McCullin’s six-decade career will be on view at Howard Greenberg Gallery from September 11 through November 16, 2019. This marks his first solo exhibition in New York since 2001, when The Lost Continent, his images of Africa, were presented at the United Nations headquarters.
McCullin’s iconic photographs from Vietnam, Northern Ireland, Syria, and many other sites of conflict are recognized for their brutal honesty, compassion, and their mastery of light and composition. His work in England opens a window into the impoverished lives of people in London’s East End and the industrial north; his contemplative landscapes near his home in Somerset offer a quieter, peaceful moment of repose amidst the human tragedies to which he has borne witness with his camera.
“Photography has given me a life,” McCullin has said. “The very least I could do was try and articulate these stories with as much compassion and clarity as they deserve, with as loud a voice as I could muster. Anything less would be mercenary.”
“I didn’t consider the danger,” he told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in a 2016 interview, “but it’s in my blood. It’s what I’ve done for the last 60 years.”
About Don McCullin
Born in 1935, McCullin grew up in north London amidst the blight of the aftermath of the bombings of World War ll. At the age of fifteen, he left school and joined the Royal Air Force as a photographic assistant in Egypt, Cyprus, and Kenya, where he bought his first camera. Beginning in the 1960s, McCullin worked as a photographer documenting war and other human conflict in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Northern Ireland, primarily for the Sunday Times Magazine. In the 1980s, McCullin began to capture other subjects, traveling to Indonesia, India, and Africa and returning with dramatic photo essays focused on remote places and peoples. Over the past three decades, he turned to the English landscape for more serene images, which are the subject of his most recent book, published in 2018. And, he has continued to document conflict in recent years, travelling to northern Iraq to photograph the Kurds’ struggle with ISIS, Syria, and Turkey in October 2015.
Among McCullin’s many honors are a 1961 British Press Award for his essay on the construction of the Berlin Wall, a World Press Photo of the Year award in 1964 for his coverage of the armed eruption of ethnic and nationalistic tension in Cyprus. In 1993 he was the first photojournalist to be awarded a CBE (Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire). McCullin was awarded the 2006 Cornell Capa Award by the International Center for Photography in New York for his lifetime contribution to the medium, and in 2017, he was awarded a knighthood by the Queen of England for his services to photography.
He is the author of more than a dozen books (mostly published by Jonathan Cape), including his autobiography Unreasonable Behaviour, 1990, updated and published again in 2015, and Don McCullin: The New Definitive Edition retrospective, published the same year. In 2010 he published Southern Frontiers, a record of the Roman Empire’s legacy in North Africa and the Middle East. McCullin’s work has been exhibited in numerous exhibitions including Tate Britain, Barbican Centre, Imperial War Museum, London; Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris; and National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. His work is held in museum collections around the world including Tate and Victoria and Albert Museum, London.