Leica has always been the acme of cameras and it's only fitting that only the best will populate the brand's galleries. For this outing, two new exhibitions by renowned Magnum photographers—Steve McCurry and Jacob Aue Sobol—will be held at the Ernst Leitz Museum and the Leica Gallery respectively in Wetzlar, Germany.
McCurry might be a name that many will be familiar with. He's the man behind the iconic image of the Afghan Girl that graced the cover of National Geographic several times. For his exhibition (called The Eyes of Humanity), McCurry selected about 90 images that offered an overview of his rich body of work.
Taken over the last 40 years in 26 countries, the photographs deal with the fates of an extremely broad range of people and communities around the world. McCurry's focus on his subjects' humanity leads him to transcend language and cultural barriers. His best-known image, the Afghan Girl was taken in a refugee camp in Pakistan in 1984. After a long search, McCurry finally discovered his subject and her name: Sharbat Gula.
Ninety images are not enough to encapsulate the world's contrast; of its beguiling beauty and its abysmal depths but Steve McCurry's The Eyes of Humanity is enough to offer a glimpse of it.
The other exhibition, called Arrivals and Departures, is by Danish photographer Jacob Aue Sobol. The genesis of Arrivals and Departures came about when during Sobol's trip from Moscow to Beijing, on the Trans-Siberian Railway.
The train ride proved fruitless so Sobol proceeded to spend a couple of days respectively in Moscow, Ulaanbaatar and Beijing. Now inspired by the environment, Sobol photographed the landscapes, street scenes and, above all, people he met at the time. Closely cropped, Sobol's images possess a familiarity that invites the viewer to consider the photos as a reflection of one's feelings.
For Arrivals and Departures, Sobol used a Leica M Monochrom, which he first used in 2012. This led to an expressive, high-contrast black and white imagery, ones that are revealed in his landscape motifs and portraits.
Steve McCurry's The Eyes of Humanity will run until October 2021 at the Ernst Leitz Museum and Jacob Aue Sobol's Arrivals and Departures will run until October 2021 at the Leica Gallery Wetzlar.