An eye for aesthetics
(Image credit: Leonard Freed)

Photography is an elusive art. What separates the merely good from the truly exceptional is a nebulous and subjective cocktail of technical mastery, an eye for aesthetics, and the capacity, perhaps, to turn the everyday into something exquisite.

Berlin retrospective of work by the late Brooklyn-born Magnum photographer Leonard Freed

(Image credit: Leonard Freed)

Click here to see more of Freed's photography.

Worldview, a Berlin retrospective of work by the late Brooklyn-born Magnum photographer Leonard Freed, showcases life through the lens of a man who eschewed showmanship and glamour for quiet insight and poignant social commentary.

His black and white images won’t hit you in the face; the scenes can feel ostensibly mundane and the characters are anonymous. Rather, his is an art of careful observation and meticulous composition – a studied snapshot of life, at once familiar, beautiful and ultimately revealing.

As a photojournalist, Freed’s pictures examined disparate social contexts – from the plight of disadvantaged African Americans to the lifestyle of Hasidic Jews, to studies of German citizenry following the Second World War and behind-the-scenes coverage of the troubled New York City police force during the turbulent 1970s. His voice was his work – that 'visual language' – his camera, in the end, as much a practical tool as an instrument of art.


Oranienburger Straße
10117 Berlin


Harriet Lloyd-Smith was the Arts Editor of Wallpaper*, responsible for the art pages across digital and print, including profiles, exhibition reviews, and contemporary art collaborations. She started at Wallpaper* in 2017 and has written for leading contemporary art publications, auction houses and arts charities, and lectured on review writing and art journalism. When she’s not writing about art, she’s making her own.