Discover the staying power of Gordon Parks’s segregation photography

Discover the staying power of Gordon Parks’s segregation photography

(Image: courtesy and copyright of The Gordon Parks Foundation) (Image: courtesy and copyright of The Gordon Parks Foundation)
 

At Life magazine, where he was the magazine’s first African-American staff photographer, the American photographer Gordon Parks trained his lens on mid-20th-century sports, Broadway and influential figures like Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X. But his most poignant works are those that capture an era of racial segregation in the American South. The candid photos that comprise his 1956 Life photo essay “The Restraints: Open and Hidden”—rediscovered in 2012, six years after Parks’s death—capture the home lives, church visits and everyday chores of African-Americans. With stunning beauty and composition, they also document the times when segregation broke down: in one photo, a black woman holds a white baby; in another, white and black boys play together. Discover the enduring relevance and power of Parks’s stills at Metivier Gallery, where the works will be on display through the end of January.

Jan. 8–31. Nicholas Metivier Gallery, 451 King St. W., 416-205-9000, metiviergallery.com.