El Morocco, New York

Garry Winogrand (American, 1928–1984)

Gelatin silver print
23.5 x 33.7 cm (9 1/4 x 13 1/4 in.)
Credit Line:
Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift, 1992
Accession Number:
Rights and Reproduction:
© The Estate of Garry Winogrand, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco
  • Description

    El Morocco was one of New York's hottest nightclubs in the 1950s—a perfect site for Garry Winogrand to test his talents as a street-smart photographer working for "Harper's Bazaar," "Collier's," "Pageant," and "Sports Illustrated." Like his earlier pictures of the prizefighter Floyd Patterson in the ring, this photograph of a couple dancing explodes the idea of the snapshot. Focusing on his subjects' telling responses (here the face and hands revealing a ferocious animal spirit), Winogrand introduced a new, exceedingly confrontational style of 35mm photography. Direct, invasive, yet intuitively choreographed, this approach soon placed the artist alongside Robert Frank as one of the preeminent street photographers of the day.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Printed MoMA exhibition label affixed to mount, verso, with additions in type and pencil: "FIVE UNRELATED PHOTOGRAPHERS 1963 // MUSEUM OF MODERN ART // 11 WEST 53RD STREET, NEW YORK 19, N.Y. // ARTIST: GARRY WINOGRAND American // born 1928 // TITLE: 29. El Morocco 1955 // (Couple dancing; girl laughing) // MEDIUM: Lent by the Photographer // MUSEUM NO: STORAGE SPACE: // COLLECTION OF PHOTOGRAPHS // GN.1.832.Y 7398.118 [crossed out in pencil] 88.244"; printed MoMA exhibition label affixed to mount, verso, with additions in type: "Museum of Modern Art // LOAN // 63.1021 // Winogrand"

  • Provenance

    Estate of Garry Winogrand

  • Notes

    Szarkowski included 45 photographs by Winogrand in the 1963 Five Unrelated Photographers exhibition. The other artists were: Ken Heyman, George Krause, Jerome Liebling, and Minor White. A total of 160 photographs were shown. See MMA 1992.5125 for a contact sheet which includes this image.

  • See also