The Open Road: Photography and the American Road Trip
Curated by David Campany and Denise Wolff

After World War II, the American road trip began appearing prominently in literature, music, movies, and photography. Many photographers purposefully embarked on trips across the U.S. in order to create work, including Robert Frank, whose seminal road trip resulted in The Americans. However, he was preceded by Edward Weston, who traveled across the country taking pictures to illustrate Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass; Henri Cartier-Bresson, whose 1947 trip through the American South and into the West was published in Harper’s Bazaar in the early 1950s; and Ed Ruscha, whose road trips between Los Angeles and Oklahoma later became Twentysix Gasoline Stations. Hundreds of photographers have continued the tradition of the photographic road trip on down to the present, from Stephen Shore to Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs.

The Open Road considers the photographic road trip as a genre in and of itself, and presents the story of photographers for whom the American road is muse. The accompanying publication features David Campany’s introduction to the genre and eighteen chapters presented chronologically, each exploring one American road trip in depth through a portfolio of images and informative texts, highlighting some of the most important bodies of work made on the road, from The Americans to present day.

Curator David Campany is one of the best-known and most accessible writers on photography. His books include Walker Evans: The Magazine Work (2013), Jeff Wall: Picture for Women (2011), Photography and Cinema (2008), and Art and Photography (2003). His essays have appeared in numerous books and he contributes regularly to Aperture, Frieze, Photoworks, and Oxford Art Journal. Campany lives and works in London, where he is a reader in photography at the University of Westminster.

The core exhibition includes approximately eighty-five photographs in various sizes, one slide show, and items to be displayed in a vitrine. Vintage photographs will be borrowed to complete the exhibition.

Related Publication:
The Open Road: Photography and the American Road Trip
10 x 11 1/2 in. (25.4 x 29.21 cm)
336 pages
300 duotone and four-color images
Hardcover with jacket
September 2014

Participation Fee:
$20,000 for core exhibition and additional $5,000 if vintage loans are secured by Aperture. Cost is for an eight-week showing. The host venue is responsible for pro-rated shipping and insurance.

2015 through 2019

Current Venue List: