Don McCullin

A life’s work

Sir Don McCullin’s story is one of inspiration and gritty determination. It begins on the Blitz-torn streets of London with his breakthrough image of local gang members. From there, his work took him to Vietnam, Northern Ireland and Syria where he became a world-renowned war photographer, often risking his life to not only capture haunting imagery, but to help the dying and wounded he encountered.

Now, a career-spanning exhibition launches in London at Tate Britain, putting Sir Don McCullin’s prolific work in the picture. Every one of the 250 photographs featured has been developed by the photographer himself in his personal darkroom, including recent landscapes captured around his home in Somerset as well as early works taken in the poverty-stricken East End where he was born. While he is known primarily for documenting the suffering inflicted in war, McCullin’s work is also infused with great empathy. At Tate Britain, he will pair his poignant works with evocative commentaries, creating a photography experience that will live long in the memory.

This major retrospective follows Sir Don McCullin’s first showing in the United States at Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles, an event that acted as a foreword to the London exhibition.

Even in battle photography I go over on my back and read the exposure. What’s the point of getting killed if you’ve got the wrong exposure?

Don McCullin

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5 February - 6 May 2019


Tate Britain