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Arts & Entertainment

Awareness: Larry Clark's Tulsa Series in the Rincliffe Gallery

August 26, 2015

A man grimacing near broken glass.
One of the photos by Larry Clark highlighting a gritty style on display in the new Rincliffe Gallery exhibit this month.

A new photography exhibit in Main Building highlights a gritty style of photography that began to take hold in the latter half of the 20th century.

Larry Clark, born in 1943, an American photographer, film director and writer, documented his life and the lives of his friends and their drug use between 1963 and 1971. The culmination of this series of photographs was a book, “Tulsa,” published in 1971, that shed light on the reality of drug use in suburban America.

Clark’s gritty, unmodified photographs of teenage drug-use, sex and violence became a new style of documentary photography, one which photographers continue to pursue today.

A shirtless man holding a revolver.
One of Larry Clark's friends who he photographed for his book, "Tulsa."

His lived experience while taking these photographs “upped the ante for engaged photography” requiring more involvement between the photographer and his subject matter.  Through the harsh imagery of “Tulsa,” a new form of documentary photography was developed.

This exhibition, Awareness: Larry Clark's Tulsa Series, displays the full series of fifty photographs, some of which can be graphic. The intent of the photographs was to shine a light on the drug use and violence found in every neighborhood.

The exhibition is on display in the Rincliffe Gallery on the third floor of Main Building at 3141 Chestnut St. from Aug. 28 through Nov. 13.

The Rincliffe Gallery is open from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Gallery is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Lynn Clouser, assistant curator, The Drexel Collection, 215.895.2414,

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