Our photography programme features international, renowned and emerging artists and photographers working in various parts of the world encouraging dialogue between contemporary imagery and archives, reflecting on the evolution of photography as a storytelling genre.
Messums Photography is delighted to represent the following artists: Angela Williams (UK), Alexander Lindsay (UK), Dod Miller (UK), Jeffrey Milstein (US), Jean-Vincent Simonet (France), Justin Keene (South Africa), Nii Obodai (Ghana), Polly Penrose (UK), Tif Hunter (UK) and Yan Wang Preston (UK, China); commissioned works by Ingrid Pollard (UK) and Shohei Fujimoto (Japan); and up-coming exhibitions featuring works by Sophie Green (UK) and Laura El-Tantawy (Egypt, UK). The department will explore contemporary narratives in photographic practices with the benefit of lateral perspective across different artistic medium.
As well as a site for selling, Messums Photography offers clients, members and broader audience expertise in the genre of photography through a monthly series of online conversations with each of our artists as well as critical interrogations into photography making techniques and lens-based narratives today. Messums Photography aims to present compelling content across its online and physical platforms that is timely and relevant, encouraging us to think photography as a way to navigate, comprehend and question how history has been depicted and remembered.
Alongside exhibiting contemporary photography, Messums Photography is partnering with the Kogan Collection on a ground-breaking series of exhibitions. The Kogan Collection is one of the largest private collection of conflict photography in the UK and has to this date, never been shown. With more than 350 prints dating from 1895 to 2015, a group of 800 vintage NASA photographs, first and limited-edition photography books, Life, Picture Post and Time magazines and artefacts, the Kogan Collection offers an in-depth and comprehensive view of the history of photojournalism and documentary photography in Europe and North America. These works will be the frameworks of an exhibition programme that explores the varying approaches and artistic choices compiled under the label of documentary photography and the wider narratives surrounding the history of press photography as an industry and photojournalism as a profession.
The launch of the Photographic Department is marked by ‘Close Enough’, a touring exhibition featuring unique vintage photographs by Robert Capa from the Kogan Collection. Capa is a legend in the history of photo-journalism and possibly the most famous war photographer of the last century. This exhibition will feature a succession of iconic stories made throughout his career, from the altogether varying contexts in which he found himself. ‘Close Enough’ starts its journey at Photo London in September 2021, and expected to tour our London, Wiltshire and Yorkshire venues.
The establishment of Messums Photography is a recognition that the vitality of material being produced by artists in this medium is attracting the attention of collectors looking to expand their knowledge and interests. Alongside providing individual support to photographers and visual artists, the department offers guidance on secondary market sales, research and cataloguing to collectors, institutions and estates.
Messums Photography is affiliated to our London office, a refurbished 1950’s art gallery on Cork Street in the heart of Mayfair. Messums London is part of the Messums Wiltshire and Messums Yorkshire group of gallery spaces founded by Johnathan Messum in 2016.
Johnathan Messum has always had an interest in photography, a curiosity sparked for him in the late 1990’s by the work of ground-breaking American artist Nan Goldin, as well contemporary Australian photography and tintypes. His London, Wiltshire and Yorkshire galleries engage a wide and diverse audience and celebrate the best of artists and conceptual craft and the skill of the hand when applied to creativity across the ages.
Born in Switzerland, Julie Bonzon is a London-based art historian and a specialist in South African Photography. Following a Bachelors in History of Art and Social Sciences at Université de Lausanne, she completed a Masters in History of Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London and an AHRC-funded PhD in History of Art at University College London. Her curatorial motivation is centred around photography as a reflection of our times, cultures and transnational histories and contemporary and modern works engaging notions of intimacy, care and empowerment. Bonzon has worked on curatorial and education projects for the Cultural Department of Magnum Photos London, The Photographer’s Gallery, The Ian Parry Scholarship and private photography collectors.
Photos: in order of appearance
Sophie Green, Boy and Chicken, 2015. © Sophie Green
Jean-Vincent Simonet, In Bloom, Flowers #1, 2016. © Jean-Vincent Simonet
Nii Obodai, Untitled #13, 2010. © Nii Obodai
Yan Wang Preston, Y60_5,900km from the river source, 2013. © Yan Wang Preston
Tif Hunter, Pear, 2015. © Tif Hunter