Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Last Chance - Allen Ginsberg’s Photos at National Gallery of Art - Review - NYTimes.com

Last Chance - Allen Ginsberg’s Photos at National Gallery of Art - Review - Holland Cotter -NYTimes.com: "The poet Allen Ginsberg, who died in 1997, adored life, feared death and craved fame. These obsessions seemed to have kept him, despite his practice of Buddhist meditation, from sitting still for long. He was constantly writing, teaching, traveling, networking, chasing lovers, sampling drugs, pushing political causes and promoting the work of writer friends.

In the early 1950s he began to photograph these friends in casual snapshots, meant to be little more than souvenirs of a shared time and ethos. Years later his picture taking — often of the same friends, now battered by life or approaching death — became more formal and artful, as if he were trying to freeze his subjects’ faces and energies, and to show off his photographic skills, for the history books."

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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Leader of the Pack - The New York Times

Leader of the Pack - The New York Times

Jim Lewis for the NYT, "Photography — like music and unlike, say, architecture — is a field that encourages prodigies; Davidson was one. When he was only 23, he was invited by Henri Cartier-Bresson himself to join Magnum Photos, and by the time he found the Jokers, he’d already produced an impressive body of work, including a series on the Lower East Side and a strange, touching portfolio of a dwarf who worked for a traveling circus. Dozens if not hundreds of assignments and projects were to come: pictures of Central Park, of the English countryside, of the civil rights movement and, perhaps most famously, “East 100th Street,” a Jacob Riis-like study of the infamous heart of a New York ghetto."

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Exhibition: Engaged Observers: Documentary Photography since the Sixties

Engaged Observers: Documentary Photography since the SixtiesFrom the exhibition’s introduction, “In the decades following World War II, an independently minded and critically engaged form of photography began to gather momentum. Its practitioners have combined their skills as artists and reporters, creating extended photographic essays that delve deeply into topics of social concern and present distinct personal visions of the world.
Engaged Observers looks in depth at projects by a selection of the most vital photographers who have contributed to the development of this approach. Passionately committed to their subjects, they have authored evocative bodies of work that are often published extensively as books and transcend the realm of traditional photojournalism.”
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Saturday, July 3, 2010

Exhibition: South African Photographs: David Goldblatt

From The Jewish Museum “David Goldblatt (b. 1930) is one of South Africa’s most highly regarded photographers. As both citizen and photographer, he was witness to apartheid’s infiltration into every aspect of South African life. The exhibition includes 150 black and white photographs by Goldblatt that focus on South Africa’s human landscape in the apartheid and post-apartheid eras. Very precise captions written by the artist accompany each photo in order to convey context and critical information about the image. His photos do not look at the large events or the public face of violence; rather they focus on the world of ordinary people and the minutiae of everyday life, illuminating the depth of injustice and the character of the people who imposed it and who struggled against it. Goldblatt’s Jewish identity is germane to his work. The anti-Semitism that he frequently experienced made him especially sensitive to the deep humiliation and discrimination suffered by blacks under apartheid, informing his artistic vision as well as his attitude toward his country.”
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Monday, June 14, 2010

Stephen Gill - Coming up for Air

Nobody's Bookshop, "Coming up for Air is the result of Stephen Gill’s long-term photographic body of work made in Japan between 2008 & 2009. These images create a chance to sink into a kind of fictional aquatic world that somehow leaves you gasping for breath.

Unlike other well-known series by Gill this time the information in his images has been starved, completely denied or mimized in favour of achieving ‘a kind of fictional aquatic world."

Photographer Stephen Gill: the devil in the detail - Telegraph - By Tamsin Blanchard: "Timothy Prus, who runs the Archive of Modern Conflict, says, 'Coming up for Air really marks a turning point for Stephen. He’s really raised the bar with it. This is by far the best, but you expect really good stuff to start coming now he is in his late thirties.’

Prus says Gill is trying to make his work quieter and quieter. 'It’s about a lot of things. It’s about our human condition as if we were fish in a Japanese aquarium. He is relating the condition of fish to a world outside the glass they know nothing about. It’s a funny feeling looking at the pictures as if you are stuck on the other side of the page. There are a wholeload of underlying issues. On another level, it’s quite a jolly book about a romp through Japanese aquariums.’ Prus says that Gill has dedicated two special editions of his book to his veteran 20-year-old goldfish, Chippy, who is also given an acknowledgement in the book.

Coming up for Air is the result of a long process of editing, printing, choosing papers and cloth bindings, finding the right printer (Gill chose one in Belgium), as well as the right material for the dust jacket."

Related Links:

Stephen Gill - http://www.stephengill.co.uk/portfolio/news

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Outside Inside by Bruce Davidson

Outside Inside by Bruce Davidson - Sean O'Hagan The Observer
"I view my work as a series," writes Davidson. "I often find myself as an outsider on the inside, discovering beauty and meaning in the most desperate of situations."

Steidl,  "Over the course of his long career Bruce Davidson has travelled the world making reportage stories both on assignment as a member of the Magnum agency and on subjects of personal interest. A few years ago he returned to his archive of negatives housed in a room in his Manhattan apartment and began a ritual of revisiting each and every one of the stories he had made, from his work as a student in 1954 to his urban landscapes in Los Angeles in 2009. Printing in his darkroom alongside the archive, he began to elaborate a very personal selection, discovering forgotten images and throwing new light onto some of his most famous series. Outside Inside is the result of this work, a sumptuous three volume box set with fifty-three chapters over 800 pages. Each chapter is introduced by a short text written by Davidson himself. The result is a celebration of the development of a master of the medium and an autobiography, a photographer’s life seen through his work.

Outside Inside by Bruce Davidson - Steidl

Furtive Photography, Tate Modern Exhibition: Exposed - The Daily Beast

From Furtive Photography by Philip Gefter a review of the Tate Modern's exhibition, Exposed,"Surveillance cameras are not only ubiquitous in our culture but ever more conspicuous in the course of our daily lives. No longer is it possible to avoid the gaze of global satellite monitors, building-mounted videocameras, or that beady little dot on our computer screens. Even cellphone images give spying new meaning: Their real-time portability can capture scenes and moments wherever you are. Still, despite these persistent new challenges to the ever-eroding “zone of privacy,” photographers have been violating personal space without consent since the medium was first invented."

Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Modern Century by Peter Galassi - The Guardian

Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Modern Century by Peter Galassi - Liz Jobey - The Guardian: "The small camera made it easy to capture subjects on the move, but just as crucially, it made it easy for the photographer to adjust his point of view. Anybody who has seen film of Cartier-Bresson at work will understand how important movement was to the making of his pictures. Truman Capote, who went on an assignment with him in 1946, described him as 'dancing along the pavement like an agitated dragonfly, three Leicas swinging from straps around his neck, a fourth one hugged to his eye: click-click-click (the camera seems a part of his own body) clicking away with joyous intensity . . . "

Thursday, February 11, 2010

How we learned to love Photoshop - Charles Arthur - The Guardian

"Photoshop has, like Google, transcended its origins in the world of ­computing, and become a verb. But whereas "to Google" is almost always used positively to express usefulness, Photoshopping is almost always a term of abuse: "That picture was Photo shopped" has become a shorthand way of saying it is untrustworthy and misleading (Adobe, the company that sells Photoshop, decries its use as a verb: "It must never be used as a common verb or a noun," it tuts. Too late.)"

From Instant Thrill of Polaroid, Enduring Art, Now for Sale - NYTimes.com

From Instant Thrill of Polaroid, Enduring Art, Now for Sale - Carol Vogel for NYTimes.com

"In the 1960s about half of all American households owned a Polaroid camera, according to the company’s own estimates. And while the instant thrill of having a tangible record of first birthdays, prom nights, vacations and Christmas dinners was the driving force behind the company’s success, its revolutionary product also changed forever the way many artists worked. Ansel Adams captured some fabled images of Yosemite National Park using a Polaroid; Andy Warhol and Chuck Close took Polaroid portraits — of themselves, friends and celebrities — and William Wegman used a Polaroid to shoot his beloved Weimaraners.

Now some of those works, as well as conventional prints that Polaroid’s founder, Edwin H. Land, brought together in one of the most storied collections in photography — a visual diary of 20th-century culture — are going on the auction block."

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sunil Gupta: Rewriting the history of photography

Sunil Gupta at Whitechapel: rewriting the history of photography - Telegraph

Telegraph, "Artist and curator Sunil Gupta has distilled the history of photography in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh into a landmark exhibition at London's Whitechapel Gallery. In a series of articles for the Telegraph.co.uk he picks his favourite images from a collection spanning 150 years."

Sunday, January 31, 2010

William Eggleston: 21st Century - Exhibitions at the Victoria Miro Gallery

William Eggleston: 21st Century - Exhibitions at the Victoria Miro Gallery

From the introduction, "21st Century presents new photographs with increasingly abstracted compositions. Many have collage-like elements - a wreath-toting Santa Claus on a windowpane, close-ups of patterned rolls of vinyl - further manipulating the traditional understanding of "straight" photography. Through abstraction, Eggleston links his photographic work to his work in other mediums. In fact, his concern for a contained pictorial statement, as opposed to a documentary reflection of the world, more closely aligns him to a painter's artistic practice. His continued artistic exploration - in drawing and photography - informs an oeuvre rich with emotional sensitivity."