The Easel

Diane Arbus: In the Beginning, Hayward Gallery

Is Arbus’s photography sympathetic or voyeuristic? Her friends thought her “hugely empathetic”, an impression also conveyed by a show of her early work. Sentimental, though, she was not. Just like her celebrated later work, her early images support the view that Arbus is among the greatest of twentieth century photographers, “prescient [for her] acceptance of difference.”