posts dedicated to general musings on art: theories, practices, education, exhibition and review.
posts dedicated to general musings on art: theories, practices, education, exhibition and review.
By Kenneth Dickerman
New York is one of the most photographed cities in the world. It is a city that is full of energy and characters that creative types of all kinds are magnetically attracted to. It is also a place where legends are made. One person who falls under both those categories is photographer Helen Levitt. A new book called “Manhattan Transit: The Subway Photographs of Helen Levitt” (Walther Konig, 2018) showcases some of the work that her native city of New York compelled her to make — candid, sometimes whimsical portraits of her fellow subway passengers. While the subject has been photographed by dozens of people over the years, there is an interesting backstory to how Levitt began her foray underground. The photographs, many previously unpublished, also provide us with a compelling window into the past.
In 1938, Levitt set out with another hallowed photographer who had the idea of photographing New Yorkers as they sat in the subway, hurtling through tunnels uptown, downtown or crosstown. That photographer was Walker Evans, and he, along with Henri Cartier-Bresson, was a friend and mentor. Evans is probably best known for his large-format work documenting the Great Depression for the Farm Security Administration. But at the time he and Levitt embarked on their subterranean journeys, he decided to veer away from the large cameras he used in favor of a little 35mm Contax. Levitt wasn’t just along with Evans for companionship. Yes, she was taking her own photographs. But also, according to MoMA.org, “for extra assurance, he [Evans] asked his friend and fellow photographer Helen Levitt to join him on his subway shoots, believing that his activities would be less noticeable if he was accompanied by someone.” Evans eventually finished his project and presented his work to the world. But the work that Levitt did stayed under wraps until decades later. In fact, four decades later, in 1978, Levitt returned to the subway system to continue her work.
Read the full story HERE >>>> Source: The Washington Post Perspective | A nostalgic look at New York’s subway through the eyes of legendary photographer Helen Levitt
By Grant Scott for BBC
A new film, Do Not Bend: The Photographic Life of Bill Jay, is about to premiere in Bristol. It explores the life of Bill Jay, one of the most influential figures in British photography. Grant Scott, lecturer and writer and one of the film’s editors and producers explains why Jay is such an important figure.
Image copyright David Hurn / Magnum Photos
Image caption Bill Jay with some students on one of his photographic workshopsTo suggest that Bill Jay was the spark that lit the fire beneath British photography in the late 1960s and helped form the idea of photography as contemporary practice in the 1970s is no exaggeration. His seminal lecture at Manchester Polytechnic in the autumn of 1971 certainly did that for the now established then student photographers Martin Parr, Daniel Meadows and Brian Griffin.
Jay’s promotion of the work of Tony Ray Jones, saving of the Francis Frith collection, creation of the Photo Study Centre at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London and involvement in creating the first photographic gallery – the Do Not Bend Gallery – among so many other initiatives cannot be easily dismissed when assessing the photographic landscape of 1970s Britain.
Bill Jay said of himself, in an editor’s letter in Creative Camera in 1969: “The fate of photography in this country is at stake. And that is more important than my opinions, or your opinions of me.”
The film, Do Not Bend: The Photographic Life of Bill Jay, premieres at the Martin Parr Foundation on Friday, 20 April.
Further screenings with panel discussions featuring Grant Scott and Tim Pellatt will take place in collaboration with the Royal Photographic Society on 8 May at The Frontline Club and the Oriel Colwyn Gallery on 11 May, where an exhibition of Jay’s work will be on show until 30 June.
The Scottish premiere of the film will take place in collaboration with Stills, Edinburgh, Street Level, Glasgow and Edinburgh Napier University in September.
You can find out more about the film at www.donotbendfilm.com
Read the full story HERE >>> Source: BBC http://www.bbc.com/news/in-pictures-43567458
By GEOFF DYER
Design-wise, the most famous collaboration between a writer and a photographer did not end up looking like much of a collaboration at all. Walker Evans contributed a preface to the 1960 reissue of “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men,” the study of poor tenant farmers in Alabama, originally published in 1941; “Walker” crops up a number of times in James Agee’s text, but a formal separation is maintained between the tenderly austere photographs of families and their homes — printed at the beginning — and the 400 pages of Agee’s highly wrought, much-agonized-over text. This, for Gore Vidal, was no bad thing, because it left Evans’s “austere” photos untainted by what “good-hearted, soft-headed admirers of the Saint James (Agee) version” so loved about the sharecroppers’ gospel.
When it comes to the relationship between a critic or curator writing about photographers or photography, the results span the spectrum of exclusion, segregation and integration. There is not a single photograph in Susan Sontag’s classic “On Photography.” At the other extreme, the exquisite silence of the plates in lavish monographs is sometimes protected by only the slimmest prefaces or afterwords. At all points in between, the word-image ratio shifts constantly between the writing informing the pictures and the pictures illustrating the writing. But there is one form — the simplest in many ways — that permits and encourages a uniquely intimate relationship between writer and photographer.
John Szarkowski was for many years the head of photography at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 2000, in the twilight of a provocative, highly influential career, he published “Atget,” a selection of 100 images by the French photographer Eugène Atget, each reproduced on the recto page with an accompanying caption-essay on the facing verso page. With Szarkowski as the best kind of guide — one whose itinerary allows interludes of undisturbed contemplation — we wind our way through the haunts of old Paris, emerging from time-shuttered streets into the open skies of the surrounding countryside. Szarkowski had always been a distinctive stylist, but this format enabled him to give free rein to his talents as a writer, which were usually securely tethered by curatorial obligation. He also drew confidence, I think, from an earlier assay at the same form, “Looking at Photographs” (1973), in which he used a single picture by each of the most important photographers in the museum’s holdings to compile a radically synecdochic survey of the medium’s history. The obligation to cover so much ground, to balance what he had to say about so many major figures on such slender plinths, rather limited Szarkowski’s range of literary and thematic movement. With Atget — whose photographs, appropriately enough, were originally offered as “Documents for Artists” — the combination of abundance of subject matter and limited space encouraged a kind of tight flourishing or contained extravagance. Szarkowski’s knowledge of Atget’s work was so extensive that he had scarcely even to think about what he knew. And so the photographs serve as starting-off points for reflections on all sorts of things, including how photography has changed our view of the world: “I do not think that empty chairs meant the same thing before photography as they mean to us now.”
Read the full story HERE >>> Source: NY Times The Magic of Books Where Photography Meets Essays
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For the past seven years Center Forward has featured the best images in contemporary photography and photo-based work. Emerging to established artists are encouraged to submit. All types of photographic process are eligible for selection and exhibition.
JURORS | The Center’s Executive Director and Curator Hamidah Glasgow in collaboration with Kris Graves. Graves is a publisher and artist. Kris Graves Projects creates limited edition publications and archival prints, focusing on contemporary photography and works on paper. +KGP focuses on current world issues including race, policy, social awareness, science, feminism, and culture. Graves has reviewed at Photolucida + Fotofest.
ARTIST HONORS AND AWARDS: All selected artists’ work is included in the gallery exhibition and online exhibition complete with artist website links. The Center also provides professional installation images, event press release and social media promotions with an audience of 180,000+ followers internationally. All artists and friends are welcome to celebrate the exhibition with us at the Reception.
JUROR’S AWARD: $400
DIRECTOR’S AWARD: $200
NEW* TRAVEL SCHOLARSHIP: To further our goal of inclusivity one artist will receive a need-based scholarship for air travel to Fort Collins, accommodations, and ground transportation. Applications taken after selections announced.
Entries Due | May 20, 2018
Notice Of Acceptance | May 30, 2018
Exhibition Dates | Opens September 7, 2018
Public + Artists’ Reception | September 7, 2018
For More Information and to Submit your entries GO HERE >>>> Source: C4FAP Center Forward 2018 | The Center for Fine Art Photography
Image Building: How Photography Transforms Architecture at the Parrish Art Museum features 57 photographs by artists who range from early modern architectural photographers such as Berenice Abbott, Samuel H. Gottscho, and Julius Shulman, to contemporary photographers like Iwan Baan, James Casebere, Thomas Demand, Andreas Gursky, and Hiroshi Sugimoto. In aggregate, their works—across different building types and different eras—create a fascinating dialogue between past and present.
Interestingly, the Parrish’s own 2012 Herzog & de Meuron–designed building on Long Island, which the New York Times describes as an “elongated, connected double barn,” inspired the guest curator, Dr. Therese Lichtenstein—an art history teacher at the Ross School in East Hampton, N.Y. and a Surrealist photography expert—to tackle the subject of architecture.
Lichtenstein was also intrigued by the connection between Herzog & de Meuron and the architectural photographer Thomas Ruff. In 1994 Peter Blum published a monograph, Architectures of Herzog & de Meuron: Portraits of Thomas Ruff, featuring nine color photos by Ruff of the firm’s projects. According to Lichtenstein’s essay in the Parrish exhibition catalog, the firm hired Ruff “to see what [the buildings] would look like as art” through digital manipulation. She goes on to quote Ruff, who said, “The difference between my predecessors and me is that they believed to have captured reality and I believe to have created a picture.”
Ruff’s two photos in Image Building celebrate the architecture of Mies van der Rohe through this sort of visual manipulation. D.p.b. 02, taken in 1999, features the recreated 1929 Barcelona pavilion, while w.h.s., taken in 2001, features an International Style affordable housing model Mies designed in 1927. Both images are painterly and blurry, defamiliarizing iconic Modern landmarks.
Read the full story HERE >>>> Source: Metropolis The Parrish Contrasts How Different Photographers Portray Architecture
HARTFORD AND OTHER PHOTOGRAPHS
5 APRIL – 15 MAY 2018
Janet Borden, Inc. is pleased to present JAN GROOVER: HARTFORD AND OTHER PHOTOGRAPHS, a selective survey of Groover’s work. The exhibition will run from 5 April – 15 May.
An amazing trove of 100 vintage Jan Groover photographs was recently found. This archive, documenting the architecture of Hartford, Connecticut has not been seen for forty-five years.Each print is 8×10”, dating from 1971-2. Although they are very objective, straight photographs, they also tell a story offering a glimpse into the past of the state capital with a hypnotizing suburban tranquility. Some of them seem very New Topographic, some out of Walker Evans… with a hint of Groover’s later diptych and triptych interests.
The photographs are subtle, yet striking on their own or as a group. This is a show of the exquisite intricacies of black and white photography that have become Groover’s signature. Shown with other selections of her work, these images add a new and earlier chapter, reinforcing Groover’s extraordinary legacy.
Jan Groover (1943 – 2012) was the defining still life photographer of her generation. Her credo was “Formalism is everything,” and her photographs remain a testament to her vision. Beginning with her groundbreaking triptychs, Groover delighted in the intellectual and visual conundrums her photographs presented. Over her long career, Jan Groover managed to coax out the subtleties and intricacies of black and white photography to an extreme that few others achieved.
Jan Groover was born in Plainfield, New Jersey in 1943, and made photographs from 1970 until her death. Her Kitchen Still Life photographs were first exhibited at Sonnabend Gallery. In 1987, Groover had a major solo retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art which subsequently toured the United States. Her work is included in the collections of all major American museums. Groover moved to France in 1991, where she lived with her husband, the painter Bruce Boice. Her archives reside at the Musée de l’Élysée in Lausanne.
Source: Janet Borden Inc.
New Territory: Landscape Photography Today is a survey of contemporary landscape photography from around the world. The exhibition of more than 80 photographs will gauge how artists stretch the boundaries of traditional landscape photography to reflect the environmental attitudes, perceptions, and values of our time.
The works revive historic photographic processes as well as use innovative techniques and unconventional equipment and chemistry to depict landscapes in surprising ways. Taken individually and as a whole, the photographs will show how nearly 40 artists have manipulated materials and processes for expressive purposes, blurring the distinction between “observed” and “constructed” imagery. The exhibition challenges us to see photography differently, and contemplate our complex relationship with the landscape.
Visit the Museum HERE >>>> Source: New Territory: Landscape Photography Today | Denver Art Museum
As a new, traveling retrospective honors Susan Meiselas’s work, she speaks to PDN about the evolution of her approach to her subjects, mixing personal and assignment work, and providing opportunities to the next generation.
By Sarah Stacke
A member of Magnum Photos since 1976 and the founder of the Magnum Foundation, Meiselas is known for continually questioning the uses and misuses of photography and finding ways to collaborate with and empower those she photographs. Her coverage of Central America’s conflict zones, and her documentation of human rights issues and the sex industry, have influenced countless photographers. Larry Towell, who joined Magnum in 1988, says that seeing Meiselas’s 1970s photographs from Nicaragua spurred him “to go out into the world and take pictures.” Having begun her career at a time when not many women were working in photography, Meiselas has broken through glass ceilings, paving the way for other women. She’s also consistently made space for women’s voices to be heard through her work. Kristen Lubben, Executive Director of the Magnum Foundation, says that Meiselas’s work has “shown a fascination with women who trespass boundaries of convention and acceptability.” She adds, “It is particularly timely now to look at these women—and Meiselas herself, for that matter—and learn from their struggles for autonomy, self-determination, and respect.” Here, she speaks with PDN about the evolution of her approach to photographing and working with subjects, mixing personal work and assignment work, and giving opportunities to a diverse new generation of photographers through the Magnum Foundation.
PDN: Would you say one of the primary purposes of On the Frontline is to reveal the thought process behind your work and how the ideas for different series developed over time?
Susan Meiselas: Yes, that was [editor] Mark Holborn’s idea. We also agreed that we would talk about the “frontline” as a psychological space, not just a physical, geographical space.
And I think this question also speaks to emerging photographers. Finding the place from which you work is a key thing that only you can do, it’s the deep motivation of life. It takes time and you explore it as deeply as you can, and you learn from your own process. Life demands a certain level of resilience in order to survive
with clarity and commitment. The combination of those conditions create opportunities to find the place from which you work. It comes with time.
Starting out, I didn’t know what it would mean to be a photographer. I didn’t have a set path. I didn’t have the kinds of things that young people have today like internships, mentorship programs and grants.
PDN: Not as many existed then.
SM: They didn’t, no. What did exist was the boys club and networks of power. Those are still there and are being challenged more now, which is great.
PDN: You’ve said that in some of your earliest work, “44 Irving Street” and “Carnival Strippers,” it was important for you to have the women’s voices included and for the subjects to be able to see themselves in the pictures you made. How has that concern evolved over time?
SM: “44 Irving Street” speaks to the discomfort of the power of authoring. The conflict and contradictions that come with that power have been there for me from the beginning.
“Carnival Strippers” has taken on a new life in the context of the current #metoo movement. It’s work from over 40 years ago and the fact that it feels relevant for people to rethink and look at women’s relationships to each other and the power dynamics between them and their audience—it’s exciting to me that those women’s voices will continue to speak through the “Mediations” exhibition at Jeu de Paume. It multiplies what the photograph means and to whom—the maker, the subject, the audience.
Read the full story HERE >>> Source: PDN Susan Meiselas: On Motivation, Her Legacy and the Future of Photojournalism | PDN Online
AMSTERDAM.- The globally renowned photographer and artist, Miles Aldridge, is celebrated for his chromatically daring, highly finished works, which recall the glamour of cinema, the charge of the femme fatale set in the trappings of modern life. One of the world’s most inspiring image-makers, Aldridge combines a meticulous approach and a rare flair for drama and narrative.
Reflex Gallery in Amsterdam presents a collection of his recent work in a show entitled ART HISTORY – a chance to see Aldridge’s response to the artists who have inspired him and shaped his visual idiom. The exhibition runs from 7 April until 22 May 2018.
As part of ART HISTORY, Reflex will exhibit works from Aldridge’s extraordinary recent collaborations – with the artists Gilbert & George, Maurizio Cattelan and Harland Miller. Also included in the show are some of Aldridge’s preparatory drawings as well as Polaroids – an opportunity to see the creative inspiration and planning behind the finished product.
His Gilbert & George series, featuring the two artists in and around their East London home, represents Aldridge’s first foray into the process of photogravure. It is, he insists, a resolutely anti-digital process, and one that feels fitting for the work of Gilbert & George themselves. “It is a conscious departure back to analogue,” Aldridge explains.
Read the full story HERE >>> Source: ArtDailyNews Reflex Gallery presents a collection of Miles Aldrige’s recent work