Steve Schapiro's Heroic Times marks six decades of American history and culture

Nico in Times Square, New York, 1972. © Steve Schapiro, courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Heroic Times marks the inaugural exhibition of Steve Schapiro’s work at New York's Howard Greenberg Gallery this December. Schapiro has witnessed key moments of American history and culture, from the Selma to Montgomery civil rights march to Robert F. Kennedy’s 1968 presidential campaign to Andy Warhol’s Factory to the filming of Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver.

The show will survey American milestones from the photographer’s nearly six-decade career, with a focus on the 1960s and ‘70s. A number of the photographs are unpublished and on public view for the first time. With assignments from Life, Time, Newsweek, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone and many other publications, he captured iconic and humanistic images of politicians, celebrities, artists, and newsmakers in action.

"I am always seeking the image that conveys the spirit of the person," Schapiro noted. "At the same time, as a photojournalist, I want to create an image so that people will understand what news is being made."

During Robert F. Kennedy’s presidential campaign, Schapiro travelled with and got to know the young U.S. senator from New York, who greatly impressed him. Also during that time, Schapiro documented the civil rights movement, making photographs of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. and many others who fought for social justice.

Schapiro’s subjects extended beyond politics into the worlds of film, rock and roll, and art. He documented The Godfather, Taxi Driver, The Way We Were, Midnight Cowboy, and Chinatown. Among the luminaries were David Bowie, Samuel Beckett, Andy Warhol, Edie Sedgwick, Barbra Streisand, and Nico, who sang with the Velvet Underground.

Born in New York City in 1934, Schapiro's formal education in photography began when he studied with W. Eugene Smith in the early 1960s. In 1961, he began to work as a freelance photojournalist, his photographs appearing in magazines including Life, Look, Time, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, Sports Illustrated, and People.

Steve Schapiro: Heroic Times will be on view at Howard Greenberg Gallery from 14 December until 27 January 2018. For more info, visit howardgreenberg.com.

Main image: Nico in Times Square, New York, 1972. © Steve Schapiro, courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Selma March, Flag, 1965. © Steve Schapiro, courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Selma March, Flag, 1965. © Steve Schapiro, courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Ray Charles Hugging, New Jersey, 1963. © Steve Schapiro, courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Ray Charles Hugging, New Jersey, 1963. © Steve Schapiro, courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

David Bowie, The Man Who Fell to Earth, 1975. © Steve Schapiro, courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

David Bowie, The Man Who Fell to Earth, 1975. © Steve Schapiro, courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Martin Scorsese in the back of De Niro’s cab during filming of Taxi Driver, New York, 1975. © Steve Schapiro, courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Martin Scorsese in the back of De Niro’s cab during filming of Taxi Driver, New York, 1975. © Steve Schapiro, courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Robert F. Kennedy Campaign, New York, 1965. © Steve Schapiro, courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Robert F. Kennedy Campaign, New York, 1965. © Steve Schapiro, courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

The Worst is Yet to Come, New York, 1966. © Steve Schapiro, courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

The Worst is Yet to Come, New York, 1966. © Steve Schapiro, courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York