ABOUT THE EXHIBIT
When The Arts Company first saw Michael Nott’s ongoing series of images of current 24/7 street life in downtown Nashville, we knew it was inevitable that we needed to pair his current images with those of Ed Clark, Nashville-native, Tennessean photographer in the 1930s, becoming a legendary LIFE photographer, 1936-1960,” according to Anne Brown, The Arts Company. In the spirit of the art of photojournalism, Ed focused on one day of activity inside and out of the hundreds of people coming to Nashville every week to experience the Grand Old Opry live at the Ryman Auditorium. He tells an epic visual story.
Michael Nott’s photographs had a different mission—capturing the moment of speed and gesture of street life using the photographic equivalent of impressionistic painting to capture the experience of urban life in the modern city. Michael gives us many moments of separate actions in progress.
Brown notes that “Both photographers work in a graphic black and white style. Ed’s photographs, typical of the great LIFE photographers, develop a narrative of a time and place. Michael’s photographs literally seize separate moments of gestures that capture people in the moment…two photographers in the same place; 70 years apart, in Downtown Nashville. Truly an interesting visual experience."
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Ed Clark's (1911-2000) career as a professional photographer spanned a period of 60 years, during which time he became an internationally known photojournalist. Born in Nashville, Mr. Clark dropped out of high school to join the Nashville Tennessean as a staff photographer. He had never used a professional camera before… as time passed he became the crack photographer for the Tennessean and his pictures were being widely bought by national and international newspapers and magazines. In 1936, he became a stringer for LIFE magazine. He began freelancing regularly for LIFE, and eighteen months later he joined LIFE's photographic staff, where he worked for 22 years. During that time, his assignments took him to Beverly Hills, Paris, Moscow, London, and Washington D.C.
Michael Nott began his art career in Austin, Texas, where he became a well-known poster artist. His work appears in a number of poster retrospectives from that era; including the book, The Art of Rock (1987, Abbeville Press). During his time in Austin, he studied photography under the legendary street photographer, Gerry Winogrand, and observed up-close how Winogrand worked and absorbed his philosophy of photography, which has greatly influenced his current work.