Sohrab Hura’s Black-and-White Photographs Depicting the American South Are Coming to Cincinnati Art Museum


Come Oct. 5, contemporary Indian photographer Sohrab Hura's 83-picture suite titled The Levee will be exhibited for the first time outside of India at Cincinnati Art Museum, marking his first-ever solo museum show. 

Consisting primarily of vivid black-and-white photographs depicting evocative landscapes and portraits, The Levee unearths Hura's travels along the Mississippi River in 2016 as a participant in Postcards from America, a collaborative project that took the form of a photographic road trip. 

First founded in 2011 by Alec Soth, Hura's spring 2016 trip with Postcards honed in on the South.

"Hura also had a personal connection to place: just before the artist’s trip along the levees of the Mississippi, his father had traveled the river while at work on a container ship, unable to step onto land," a press release reads. "The photographer’s journey became a metaphor for a difficult, often distant relationship with a father who was physically and emotionally out of reach."

Also included in the exhibition will be hand-drawn maps, ambient sound and a catalog. The latter is slated to be released in early 2020 but will be available for pre-order in the CAM gift shop.

In a press release, Nathaniel M. Stein, CAM's associate curator of photography, says the clarity and urgency of Hura's work has often stopped him in his tracks.

"Sohrab is knowledgeable about the history of photography, but always shedding it in an effort to touch the quick," Stein says. "He has a way of making experience present — not by picturing its outward appearance so much as plunging into its pulse and flow. For some of his work this means pictures that embrace so-called mistake: grain, wild exposure, blur… For The Levee it means something quite different — a steady forthrightness that seems to measure both pain and gentleness.

"Alec Soth recently said to me he feels he can smell these photographs. Artists like Sohrab show us the edges of what we believe photography can be and do.”

As a gateway to the American South, Cincinnati is a sensible place to display Hura's work. On view in gallery 105, The Levee will run through Feb. 2 of next year.

For more info and events related to the exhibition, visit

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