Shared Vision: The Sondra Gilman and Celso Gonzalez-Falla Collection of Photography

March 2, 2012–April 21, 2012

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Aperture Foundation presents Shared Vision: The Sondra Gilman and Celso Gonzalez-Falla Collection of Photography, a selection from one of the world’s best private collections of photography. An exhibition organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Jacksonville, a cultural resource of the University of North Florida, curated by Ben Thompson, MOCA’s curator, and Paul Karabinis, assistant professor of photography at UNF.

Selected from the collection of Sondra Gilman and Celso Gonzalez-Falla, Shared Vision features over one hundred thirty iconic images, which reflect the rich and diverse nature of the past one hundred years of photography. Street scenes, the human form and environment, unique viewpoints, children, and spectacular landscapes represent just a portion of the amazing holdings amassed by two individuals that Art News ranks among the world’s top ten photo collectors. The exhibition features prominent photographers, including Robert Adams, Eugène Atget, Walker Evans, Loretta Lux, Sally Mann, Doug and Mike Starn, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Alfred Stieglitz.

“Few passions in the history of collecting have persisted as long and have yielded equally unparalleled results as Gilman and Gonzalez-Falla’s self-admitted love affair with photography,” said Marcelle Polednik, director of MOCA Jacksonville. “Over the course of more than four decades, the couple’s steadfast devotion to the medium has guided the gradual growth of their collection, which began in the 1970s, when Gilman acquired three exceptional prints by Eugène Atget.”

Gilman and Gonzalez-Falla’s collaboration hinges on a few underlying principles— mainly, to acquire works of major importance by leading photographers of their generation, and to focus on vintage prints. Although each of the collectors brings a different point of view to the photography—Gonzalez-Falla analyzes color and form, while Gilman responds to images on a more visceral level—these distinct approaches merge into a single, shared vision and emanate from the same goal: to collect photographs that move and inspire them.

“The whole issue is that you see the image and walk away from the image—and the image is still haunting you,” said Gonzalez-Falla. “It’s like it is saying, ‘Come back, come back.’ And until you do that, you are not satisfied.”

Shared Vision is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog published by MOCA and produced by Aperture Foundation. This catalog will feature selected photographs from the exhibition, with historical context about each image and the photographer, curatorial remarks from Thompson and Karabinis, and an exclusive interview with the collectors.

Sponsored in part by: Marilyn and Charles Gilman, III; Joan and Preston Haskell; The Haskell Company; Folio Weekly; and Sunshine Frames, Inc.

This exhibition is supported by AXA Art