Telluride Arts' Art Walk: Horsing Around, Budnik, Ah Haa & More

January 31, 2018 - Susan Viebrock, Telluride Inside & Out

Acclaimed photographer Dan Budnik captured American history during his time working for Magnum Photos. In fact, he was standing right behind Martin Luther King in Washington, D.C. when King delivered his iconic ‘I Have A Dream” speech. Budnik’s rare original silver gelatin photographs from two bodies of work,”Marching to the Freedom Dream: Civil Rights Movement 1950-1960s” and “Picturing Artists: Artists in Their Studios 1950-1970s,” are currently on display at Telluride Gallery.
Budnik is no stranger to Telluride. In years past, the Gallery mounted shows featuring his extraordinary perspective of the Civil Rights movement, images date back to the early 1950s, when he was a student at the Art Students’ League in New York. This documentation of the Civil Rights Marches in Selma, Montgomery and Washington DC provides an intimate look at the participants and supporters.
“I was on my way to Paris to study with Cartier Bresson’s teacher Andre Lhote, but first I had to stop in New York to get a passport. The bureaucrats wouldn’t give me the document without a letter from my draft board, because of America’s so-called ‘involvement’ in Korea. (We were not yet officially at war.) Frustrated at being denied, I kicked a can up 57th Street. The can landed in front of the Art Student’s League. The next morning I signed up for classes,” Budnik explained in a past interview.
Right after WWII, New York City, no longer Paris, became the center of the art world, and a (largely) boy’s club known as the Abstract Expressionists became superstars. In 2015, the Telluride Gallery exhibited color photographs from the “Picturing Artists” series, highlighting unique darkroom prints that capture a behind-the-scenes perspective of some of America’s most famous Abstract Expressionists.
“Dan Budnik’s portraits of fine artists intrigued me. I became motivated to dig deeper into their work and learn more about art history,” said Baerbel Hacke, director, Telluride Gallery of Fine Art.

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