LIFE Photographer Bob Gomel Looks Back at the 1960s in Dallas Exhibition

Afterimage Gallery owner/director Ben Breard opens a "major exhibit of historical imagery" that is of interest to collectors, news organizations, historians, and galleries and museums. 

April 11, 1969 LIFE cover shot by Bob Gomel.
Dallas, TX, January 12, 2011/Photography News/ The triumphs and tragedies of the 1960s provided photographer Bob Gomel and his LIFE magazine colleagues extraordinary opportunities to advance American photojournalism.

Gomel said, “LIFE was the world’s best forum for photojournalists. We were encouraged to push creative and technical boundaries. There was no better place to work. Each time I raised a camera to my eye, I wondered how to make a viewer say, ‘Wow.’”

Beginning Friday, Jan. 21, 40 of Gomel’s LIFE images from the 1960s will be exhibited at Dallas’ Afterimage Gallery, one of the oldest art galleries devoted to photography.

The “Multiple Exposures” exhibition includes images of presidents John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon, the 1963 Freedom March in Washington, The Beatles and other entertainers, Malcolm X, and sports figures such as boxer Muhammad Ali, Texas baseball legend Nolan Ryan, and golfer Arnold Palmer.

Several unpublished images – including one of 90 heads of state gathered around the catafalque at the Kennedy funeral and another of Kennedy emerging from America’s first space capsule at the Johnson Space Center in Houston – are in the exhibition.

Ben Breard, the owner/director of Afterimage Gallery, said, “This is a major exhibit of historical imagery. Bob’s work remains of interest to collectors, news organizations, historians, and galleries and museums. The exhibit provides a new look at the 1960s, but also a study in photographic innovation.”
Two images in the exhibition were among the first multiple exposures published as photojournalism by LIFE. Another image, a 1969 cover shot of president Dwight Eisenhower lying in state, was the first event photograph taken from the top of the Capitol Rotunda.

Gomel said, “LIFE fostered the popularity and evolution of photojournalism in the 1960s. Through double exposures, remote cameras placed where no human being could be, and adapted equipment, we tried to reveal what could not ordinarily be captured on film.”

Born in New York in 1933, Gomel earned a journalism degree from New York University in 1955 and then served as a U.S. Navy aviator. Gomel joined LIFE in 1959 and shot for the immensely popular magazine for a decade. He later shot national advertising campaigns for Audi, Bulova, GTE, Merrill Lynch, and Shell Oil, among others.

A gallery reception Friday – from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. – will open the two-month exhibition. Afterimage Gallery is located at The Quadrangle No. 141, 2800 Routh Street, in Dallas.



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