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Lutz Dille’s Toronto: Photographs of our Recent Past

Two men holding coupe glasses

Lutz Dille’s Toronto: Photographs of our Recent Past

January 14–March 8, 2014

Co-curated by Niamh O’Laoghaire and Parisa Radmanesh

University of Toronto Art Centre

German-born photographer and filmmaker Lutz Dille (1922–2008) immigrated to Canada in 1951. The selection of black-and-white pictures in this exhibition capture poignant moments—including fashion accessories, unconscious gestures and everyday objects — in the streets of Toronto, where Dille lived and worked for thirty years.

A soldier and eventual Prisoner of War, Dille had experienced the visceral realities of hunger, homelessness and terror. His work is evidence of perseverance, optimism and empathy with his subjects.

In his own words, “I prefer to photograph on the street. That’s where I think people are the most themselves, where they are at their most honest… in their behaviour, in their way of being. I want the viewer to identify in some way with the image… because that’s what my photography is all about. It’s about us.” (as quoted in the Toronto Star, 2004)

The new acquisition of twenty-two works by Dille represents a major contribution to the University of Toronto Art Collection.


Films by Lutz Dille Co-presented with Stephen Bulger Gallery
Wednesday March 5, 2014, 7-7:45pm | 7:45-9pm
CAMERA, 1026 Queen Street West

Gallery Talk

An Introduction to Street Photography in Toronto
Thursday February 13, 2014, 7-9pm
Featuring Patrick Cummins, City of Toronto Archivist and Street Photographer

Our Supporters

We gratefully acknowledge project support from Manulife Financial.

Title Image: Lutz Dille, Untitled, 1959. Black and white silver gelatin print. 30 x 40 cm. Gift of Maya R. Dille and Zoe P. Dille, 2013.

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