The Birthday Party, Montreal by George S. Zimbel
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Gelatin silver print
Signed, titled, and dated, in pencil, au verso
Printed in 2005
George S. Zimbel (American, b. 1929): In an era of increased manipulation of the photographic image by computer technology, George Zimbel’s commitment to the straight photograph has become stronger. A hallmark of his approach is non-intervention. He photographs what is really happening and feels that serious observation is more important than creating a scene.
When he exhibits his work, the walls are hung with photographs from the 1940s through to 2009, always printed by himself. He has been photographing for over 70 years with an eye that is life positive. He regularly produces new work.
An alumnus of Columbia University, the Photo League and the Alexy Brodovitch Seminar, he honed his craft in New York City, working for national magazines (Look, The New York Times, Redbook, Parents, Architectural Forum). He worked on self-initiated projects parallel to his assignments. These included diverse subjects such as 1950s European Photographs; A Book of Readers, from libraries to submarines; Politics in the U.S. and Canada; Marilyn Monroe in the classic movie, The Seven Year Itch; and the ongoing story of his family.
In 2000, Zimbel was honoured with the largest photography exhibit ever shown at Institut Valencia D’Art Modern in Spain. A major catalogue was issued at that time. In 2001, he was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award of Canadian Photographers in Communications and was shortlisted for the Roloff Beny Award for best Canadian photographic book. In 2004, he had a retrospective exhibition at Confederation Centre Museum and later that year was a major presence in the Marilyn Monroe exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum. Subsequently, Zimbel was featured in the PBS American Master’s production, Marilyn Monroe: Still Life. In 2005 he had a retrospective exhibition at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo and the Owens Art Gallery, Mount Allison University followed by publication of his book Bourbon Street New Orleans 1955. In 2006 he was inducted into the Royal Canadian Academy of Art.
Photographer George S. Zimbel still sees the light in the darkroom (PDF) - Montreal Gazette, October 2015
After 70 years with a camera in his hands, photographer George Zimbel is still snapping pictures (PDF) - The Globe and Mail, September 2015
Zimbel finds excitement in every moment (PDF) - The McGill Tribune, September 2015
George Zimbel: The Long-Distance Runner (PDF) - Black and White, June 2014