APRIL 1 – JUNE 17, 2023
Born on May 25th, 1942 in Durham, northern England, Barrie Wentzell was educated in Kent and London, attending Maidstone Art School in Kent in the 1950’s. Wentzell spent music’s most important decades, 1965 to 1975, as chief photographer for UK music publication, The Melody Maker. Barrie continues to contribute his work to exhibitions, museums, and private collections. Barrie lives and works in Toronto, Canada.
The Legend’s Series by Barrie Wentzell, shot in the decade spanning 1965 – 1975 straddled arguably one of the most important decades in the history of both popular music and social change. The Legends brings together 100 images of Wentzell’s most notable portraits from his oeuvre; documenting a cultural revolution. Rock and Roll acted as a catalyst in mitigating racial discrimination and segregation, it heralded in the second wave of feminism, denounced the Vietnam war and celebrated peace and love. Barrie Wentzell’s work recognizes this and pays homage to the cultural impact of rock and roll and the birth of a progressive society. The paradoxical correlation between visibility and invisibility is a struggle artists face while searching for ways to express the intangible. Photographed with emotion and integrity, a visual reflection of the sound of the movement, Wentzell imbued these photographs with meaning and messages that go beyond the limits of time and space.
Barrie Wentzell gave rock and roll its visual identity. Putting these works in a gallery setting raises questions of the documentary role of photography and presents alternative ways of seeing and understanding the events that helped shape the world we live in.