Bert Hardy is one of the most recognizable names in British photojournalism, and captured moments in time that provide a window into the daily life of our ancestors. This work, along with others from his illustrious career will be displayed in an upcoming exhibition.
Bert Hardy: Photojournalism in War and Peace will run from February 23 - June 2, 2024, at The Photographer's Gallery in London and will 'shine a fresh light' on Hardy's varied photography career. From Hardy's early career as a news and sports photographer to serving as a combat cameraman and then onto commercial advertising, the exhibition tells the story of not just the incredible journey of a photographer but that of an extremely versatile entrepreneur. It is documented that Hardy was among the first UK professional photographers to adopt a Leica camera for his reportage work, a camera that later went on to become a photojournalist staple.
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Bert Hardy (1913-1995) covered numerous genres of photography throughout his career but is often associated with his work capturing the monochromatic life of mid-century Britain during the 40s and 50s taken for the weekly magazine Picture Post. The retrospective pulls together an archive of work through historical publications showcasing Hardy's skill as a documenter of life.
A photojournalist of the highest regard, Hardy traveled extensively, photographing news, social issues, and popular culture stories across the UK and overseas. His work among the working class in post-war Britain produced a truly empathetic view of life at the time, due to being part of the community he was photographing. Hardy had a genuine interest in the lives of others, and this comes through in the tone of his work. Embedded in the scene he captures, his work is engaging and warm-hearted, connecting the subject to the viewer effortlessly.
Much of his most famous works are taken from documenting the social conditions of the working class in post-war Britain and his social documentary work continued across the UK, capturing life in many cities including, Cardiff, London, Liverpool, and Belfast.
Hardy's career took him from daily local newspaper stories to the Army Film and Photographic Unit, where he captured conflict across Europe and war-torn Southeast Asia. Later he would go on to showcase his entrepreneurial side, photographing advertising campaigns in a new chapter of commercial photography, becoming one of the UK's most successful and highest-paid advertising photographers.
Much like Bert Hardy's photography journey, his work documents a period of unfathomable change, and the exhibition will display this through a "rich selection of material from Hardy’s archive, including press passes, correspondence, diaries, and original publications will be displayed, alongside some of his lesser-known color work".
Bert Hardy: Photojournalism in War and Peace will be on show at The Photographer's Gallery from February 23 - June 2, 2024. The exhibition will also provide the opportunity to purchase rare prints from one of the best photographers of all time, with profits going towards The Photographer's Gallery Charity which showcases work by world-famous photographers and delivers programs that connect photography lovers and promote inclusivity.
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