Fine Art Photography Exhibitions in London, Berlin, Paris, NY and More

Fine art photography exhibitions seem to be more and more popular. It's pretty hard to keep up with what's worth seeing out there! So I'll keep an eye out for some of the most promising upcoming displays and give you a heads up on them in this section of Photography Art Cafe.

Photography has become a near universal occupation and great exhibitions can be seen in all corners of the world. So to offer something for everyone, those reviewed here are based in 7 of the world's major cities!

Art galleries actually took a while to reflect the enormous popularity of photography during the 20th century. When do you think great photos belong in an art gallery? What is the definition of fine art photography? Read my thoughts below - and by all means join the discussion!

Also, if you're a big fan of great photographs, you must have a look at the coffee table photo books I've suggested. I absolutely love them! They're like my own little private fine art photography exhibitions!


Recommended Fine Art Photography Exhibitions

I wish I could go to all of these fine art photography exhibitions, but it's usually just those in London I get to see!

Nevertheless, I've based my suggestions on 3 criteria: Reputation of the gallery, reviews or anticipation levels , and finally my sense of how appealing the subject is to a wide audience. So get out there and see some of the great photography that's on show!

These fine art photography exhibitions are based in 7 cities:
London Paris Berlin New York
Los Angeles Sydney Tokyo  



Fine art photography exhibitions worth seeing in London:


What: Hollywood Portraits: Glamour of the Gods
Where: The National Portrait Gallery
When: 7th July - 18th September 2011

This looks like a good'un! There'll be 70 images of stars from the golden age of Hollywood; the likes Marilyn Monroe, Greta Garbo and James Dean. This was a time before the intrusions of the paparazzi, when cinema's biggest names felt able to be relaxed and spontaneous in front of cameras. Photographers were able to catch glimpses of real personality in photographs like these.


What: War Photographs by Don McCullin
Where: Imperial War Museum
When: 7th October 2011 - 15th April 2012

This exhibition will show 200 of Don McCullin's best images. His long career as a photojournalist has spanned many conflicts and yielded several shots that defined moments of the 20th century. But a number of the photographs displayed here have not actually been exhibited before. So you'll find a good mix of well known stuff and brand new images. This will certainly be a powerful visual story of war in the 20th century, and a fascinating look back over a great photographer's career.



Fine art photography exhibitions worth seeing in Paris:


What: The Paris Month of Photography
Where: Galleries and spaces throughout Paris
When: 1st November - 30th November

Throughout November there will be dozens of fine art photography exhibitions in Paris. The aim of these exhibitions is to bring a fresh, off beat, dynamic style of contemporary photography into the cultural life of Paris. Hugely popular in recent years it has contributed to the growing popularity of photography in the city. The exhibitions have a reputation for originality, and I'm really eager to go and see some of the work this year.


What: European Photography Exhibition
Where: Maison Europeenne de la Photographie Ville de Paris
When: Permanent!

A stunning location - formerly a hotel - that now houses a magnificent display of modern European photography. The images begin in the 1960's and progress through to the present day. A fantastic collection that is well worth a visit. Fortunately this is on permanent display, so make a note for when you are Paris bound.



Berlin museums and photo art galleries worth visiting:


What: Alice Springs
Where: Museum Fur Fotografie
When: 12th June 2010 - 30th January 2011

A retrospective of 40 years' work by June Newton, featuring advertizing images, portraits, fashion shots and nudes. Many of the portraits are very well known, even iconic, featuring leading cultural figures from the 20th century. She produced a wide range of images, but the portraits are the most interesting for me, often making subtle comments on the subjects.


What: Microphotography
Where: Museum Fur Fotografie
When: 1st October 2010 - 9th January 2011

I have not seen many fine art photography exhibitions on this subject. It's a fascinating area and I'd love to see this one. The images are, in some cases, ostensibly scientific, featuring extreme close up shots of the microcosmic world. But the colours, shapes and patterns are often incredibly beautiful - art definitely overlaps with science here.


My ultimate coffee table photo books!

The best books in my collection. These will be a hit with all photography lovers!


New York

Photography art exhibitions in New York:


What: Cindy Sherman retrospective
Where: MoMA
When: Opens 26th February 2012

MoMA will be running a retrospective of Cindy Sherman's work in early 2012. Sherman is well known for her conceptual, and often really (really, really) shocking images that tackle subjects like sexuality, death, attitudes to women and the nature of beauty. Looking at Sherman's photos is always entertaining. One minute your laughing your head off, the next your throwing up, and the next your deep in thought. This is one of the most promising fine art photography exhibitions coming up.


What: Boris Mikhailov: Case History
Where: MoMA
When: Now - 5th September 2011

For 30 years Boris Mikhailov has explored the world of the former Soviet Union with his camera. His images deal with the daily lives and living conditions of people in post-communist societies. I think they really articulate the torturous relationship between fragile individual lives and troubled Eastern European states waking up to a new reality. This should be a fascinating exhibition; there's a lot more to Mikhailov's work than historical documentation.


Los Angeles

Photography exhibitions in Los Angeles:


What: Figure and Landscape, Catherine Opie
Where: Los Angeles County Museum of Art
When: Now - 17th October

Catherine Opie has photographed American football games across seven states over the last 3 years. The resulting exhibition is a study of masculinity, community and national identity. Lots of fascinating shots observing the pyschologies of the players - often high school age - through telling little glances and gestures.


What: Pictures of the Year International
Where:  The Annenberg Space for Photography
When: Now - 26th October 2010

Striking images from photographers all around the world in a fine art photography exhibition that reflects events, places and human stories from the past year. Lots of fantastic, dramatic imagery that provides a really powerful representation of modern life. With all kinds of political, social, religious and psychological themes explored, this will be well worth getting to.



Fine art photography galleries in Sydney


What: Afghanistan: The Perils of Freedom - 1993 - 2009
Where: Australian Centre for Photography
When: 15th October - 20th November 2010

A powerful depiction of war torn Afganistan society from a photographer who has spent the past 15 years recording it. Stephen Dupont's work explores the destructive influence of war, the upsetting nature of child labour, the emergence of the Taliban, the heroin trade and the life of national hero Ahmed Shah Massoud. His work provides a compelling view of a strange, tragic and constantly changing country. This is a fine art photography exhibition that I would definitely get to if I was in Sydney.


What: Head On Photo Festival
Where: All around Sydney
When: 5th May - 11th June 2011

The second Head On Photo Festival will descend on Sydney once again in 2011. If the images are as breathtaking as those featured in the first festival, this will be well worth getting to. First time around more than 300 photographers from around the world were represented in 69 venues throughout the city. This is a chance to see some of the best portrait photography being produced today.



Fine art photography exhibitions worth seeing in Tokyo:


What: Human Images of the 20th Century
Where: Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography
When: 9th October - 5th December 2010

A diverse collection of interesting portrait photos from the 20th century. The exhibition explores the way this genre is able to subtly capture human psychology and emotion. The images, which span a wide period of time, reflect differing aesthetic sensibilities and approaches.


What: Love's Body - art in the age of aids
Where: Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography
When: 2nd October - 5th December 2010

This fine art photography exibition features work by a number of artists and explores the way the body is understood and represented. The images make a reappraisal of nude photography's traditional focus on sexuality. Work by several photographers deals with how the body can be an expression for more troubling personal and social experiences.


Which photos belong in art galleries?

We all know there's a difference between snapshots and technically well taken pictures. But what are the ingredients for a photo that draws us back into it time and again? Why do some shots just 'feel different'?

Is it the combination of spontaneous life and compositional order? Is is it the pin point accuracy of the photographer in seizing the perfect moment? What do you think? Have you seen some great fine art photography exhibitions that blew you away? Join the discussion!


What is the definition of fine art photography?

Is there an accepted definition of fine art photography? Here's what I think!


Beautiful Coffee Table Photo Books

It's such a pleasure to slowly flick through a collection of brilliant photographs.

I've reviewed 3 of my all-time favourite coffee table photo books, with collections of images by 3 different photographers.

Whether you're favourite subjects are landscapes, documentary or portraits, whether you're into black and white or colour, there'll be something here to inspire you.

3 stunning coffee table photo books

Photography by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Steve McCurry and Ansel Adams.


Where Next?

Famous Photographers

Digital Photography Magazines

Coffee Table Photo Books

Untitled Document

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