Posts Tagged ‘American fine art photography

19
Apr
19

Photographs: ‘The Seven Last Words’ 1898 by F. Holland Day (1864-1933)

April 2019

 

F. Holland Day (American, 1864-1933) 'The Seven Last Words' 1898

 

F. Holland Day (American, 1864-1933)
The Seven Last Words
1898
Seven platinum prints in original frame
H x W (overall with frame): 8 1/2 x 35 1/2 in. (21.6 x 90.2 cm)
Barbara M. Marshall Fund, Frank B. Bemis Fund, Otis Norcross Fund, William E. Nickerson Fund, Lucy Dalbiac Luard Fund, and funds by exchange from a Gift of James Lawrence, Dorothy Mackenzie and John E. Lawrence, and funds donated by Michael and Elizabeth Marcus, Charles W. Millard III, and Scott Nathan and Laura DeBonis Photo: © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

 

Where Do We Come From / What Are We / Where Are We Going

I went to see one of my best friends for the last time in hospital today.

Joyce has been like a surrogate mother to me for the last eight years. She has been wise counsel, friend, support, teacher, reconciler, adventurer and philosopher to this sometimes lost man. We had many adventures to exhibitions and openings, to our favourite restaurant Caffe e Cucina to have dinner, or going to see “Our Julia”, an exhibition of her favourite photographer Julia Margaret Cameron at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney. It is so sad in this life that we have to loose the wisdom of age only for the mistakes of past generations to be repeated over and over again.

Both Joyce and I do not believe in traditional, dogmatic religion. Both of us cannot stand the hypocrisy, baloney and proselytising that religion undertakes in the name of an “imaginary friend.” Religion is a crutch for the dogmatic who then impose their beliefs, and discrimination, on others.

But we both believe in spirit, that ineffable quality of experience where you obtain communion with the energy of the cosmos. A feeling, an emotional energy of connection to body, spirit and soul. Something noumenal, something that we have knowledge of, but that we can’t completely describe.

Strip away the baggage of religion from these photographs and you are left with a man being tortured and his spirit suffering. I wonder what this man was like when he was a baby? Who did he talk to growing up, what did he say, who did he meet. What was his essential journey to get to this place? Imagine Pontius Pilate not washing his hands of him, but sitting down with him and having a philosophical discussion on the nature of existence and being.

I felt immense love and sadness, hope and sorrow when I saw Joyce for the last time on this earth. I wished her a good journey and told her that I would see her soon.

I will miss her strength, intelligence, and beautiful spirit. But above all I will miss her love.

Dr Marcus Bunyan

 

 

If we can find out what we are… that is the artist.

And then, this goes to the core element of your being:

If the core part of your life is the search for the truth then that becomes a core part of your identity for the rest of your life,

and the core element of your enquiry remains the same.

It becomes embedded in your soul.

.
Joyce Evans

 

 

F. Holland Day (American, 1864-1933) 'The Seven Last Words' 1898

Father forgive them they know not what they do

 

F. Holland Day (American, 1864-1933) 'The Seven Last Words' 1898

Today thou shalt be with me in Paradise

 

F. Holland Day (American, 1864-1933) 'The Seven Last Words' 1898

Woman behold thy son: Son thy mother

 

F. Holland Day (American, 1864-1933) 'The Seven Last Words' 1898

My God my God why hast thou forsaken me

 

F. Holland Day (American, 1864-1933) 'The Seven Last Words' 1898

I thirst

 

F. Holland Day (American, 1864-1933) 'The Seven Last Words' 1898

Into thy hands I commend my spirit

 

F. Holland Day (American, 1864-1933) 'The Seven Last Words' 1898

It is finished

 

 

From 1895 to 1898 Day undertook a project that was without precedent: an extended series – some 250 negatives – showing scenes of the life of Christ, from the Annunciation to the Resurrection, in which he played the title role. In 1890 Day had traveled to Oberammergau to see the famous once-a-decade Passion Plays and may well have seen a similar multimedia presentation that toured the East Coast, including Boston, later in the 1890s. For his own production, Day starved himself, let his beard grow long, and imported cloth and a cross from Syria. Just prior to the reenacted Crucifixion, he made this series of close-up self-portraits – the most powerful images in his entire series – which represent Christ’s seven last words:

FATHER FORGIVE THEM; THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO.

TODAY THOU SHALT BE WITH ME IN PARADISE.

WOMAN, BEHOLD THY SON; SON, THY MOTHER

MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME?

I THIRST.

INTO THY HANDS I COMMEND MY SPIRIT.

IT IS FINISHED.

.
For many people, Day’s self-portraits as Christ were – and remain – unsettling, as one tries to reconcile their fact and fiction. Day defended the use of photography for sacred subjects as a matter of artistic freedom, and Steichen wrote, “Few paintings contain as much that is spiritual and sacred in them as do the ‘Seven Words’ of Mr. Day. … If we knew not its origin or its medium how different would be the appreciation of some of us, and if we cannot place our range of vision above this prejudice the fault lies wholly with us. If there are limitations to any of the arts, they are technical; but of the motif to be chosen the limitations are dependent on the man – if he is a master he will give us great art and ever exalt himself.”

Text from The Metropolitan Museum of Art website [Online] Cited 26/03/2019

 

Edward Steichen (American, born Luxembourg, 1879-1973) 'Solitude (Portrait of F. Holland Day)' 1901

 

Edward Steichen (American, born Luxembourg, 1879-1973)
Solitude (Portrait of F. Holland Day)
1901
Platinum print
Barbara M. Marshall Fund, Frank B. Bemis Fund, Otis Norcross Fund, William E. Nickerson Fund, Lucy Dalbiac Luard Fund, and funds by exchange from a Gift of James Lawrence, Dorothy Mackenzie and John E. Lawrence, and funds donated by Michael and Elizabeth Marcus, Charles W. Millard III, and Scott Nathan and Laura DeBonis
Photo: © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

 

Widely considered one of the masterpieces of photographic history, the monumental self portrait depicts Day as Christ in a series of seven platinum prints set in a frame designed by the artist. The work is a high point of Pictorialism – the turn-of-the-century movement advocating the artistic merit of photography. With few prints ever made by the artist and a tragic fire destroying his studio, Day’s photographs are tremendously rare. The Museum also acquired the crown of thorns worn by Day in The Seven Last Words and three important portraits of Day taken by photographers Edward Steichen, James Craig Annan and Clarence H. White. They were kept by the artist as part of his personal archive.

“The Seven Last Words is one of the most significant images in the history of photography, a work that reverberates with iconic importance and one that influenced subsequent artists significantly,” said Anne E. Havinga, Estrellita and Yousuf Karsh Senior Curator of Photographs at the MFA.

Born into an affluent family in Norwood, F. Holland Day was a turn-of-the-century Bostonian with an ultra-refined aesthetic sensibility and a multitude of interests, particularly in art and literature. He was a member of the “Boston Bohemians,” a circle of friends with whom he shared a love for the Arts and Crafts movement, sophisticated wit and Symbolist literature and art. He was also an admirer of old master painting and classical sculpture, and collected Japanese decorative arts and drawings. His interests led him into a career as a fine book publisher and photographer.

Day became interested in photography in the mid 1880s, joining the Pictorialist crusade to prove that photography could be a fine art, and within a decade he had become one of the most important figures in the international movement. While Day championed the same goals promoted by fellow photographers, he also defended religious imagery and the male nude – subjects that had previously been the domain of painting and sculpture. The seriousness of Day’s approach to artistic photography and his heightened sense of symbolism, enhanced by the subtle, low-keyed tonalities of his prints, were an inspiration to other photographers of the time.

In 1898, Day began exploring religious themes in his photographs. His “Sacred Studies,” as he called them, were widely acclaimed for their high-art aspirations – as seen in their relation to old master religious painting – and their unquestionable daring. The Seven Last Words was one of Day’s most expressive and best-known pieces and continues to be admired by many contemporary artists, especially those who explore identity, role play and staged photography in their work. Each of the seven photographs in the work, set in a frame designed by the artist, represents one of the last phrases spoken by Christ:

Father forgive them they know not what they do.
Today thou shalt be with me in Paradise.
Woman behold thy son: Son thy mother.
My God my God why hast thou forsaken me.
I thirst.
Into thy hands I commend my spirit.
It is finished.

.
Only two other versions of the work exist today: one is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (without the artist-designed frame) and a third is owned by a private collector (with an altered frame). The MFA’s version is in tremendous condition and is in its original, un-altered frame.

Text from the Museum of Fine Arts Boston website [Online] Cited 26/03/2019

 

 

LIKE ART BLART ON FACEBOOK

Back to top

17
Feb
13

Exhibition: ‘The Photographs of Ray K. Metzker and the Institute of Design’ at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Exhibition dates: 25th September, 2012 – 24th February, 2013

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014) 'New Mexico' negative 1972; print 1987

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014)
New Mexico
Negative 1972; print 1987
Gelatin silver print
17.8 x 27.9cm (7 x 11 in.)
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Gift of the Hall Family Foundation
© Ray K. Metzker

 

 

It is a pleasure to able to post more of the tough, no nonsense photographs of Ray. K. Metzker. Atlantic City (1966, below) is an absolute beauty – from the shards of light raining down at exaggerated speed on the right hand wall, to the colour of the body, the colouration of the sole of the uplifted foot matching that of the bathers, the out flung arm, the single ray of light hitting the top of the head, to the march into endless darkness at left of image. Imagine actually seeing that image and then capturing it on film…

My personal favourite in the posting are the two photographs by Aaron Siskind. His monumental series, Pleasures and Terrors of Levitation, are photographs of divers leaping through the air captured from below to emphasise the abstract quality of their twisting shapes by isolating them against the sky:

“Highly formal, yet concerned with their subject as well as the idea they communicate, The Pleasures and Terrors of Levitation photographs depict the dark shapes of divers suspended mid-leap against a blank white sky. Shot with a hand-held twin-lens reflex camera at the edge of Lake Michigan in Chicago, the balance and conflict suggested by the series’ title is evident in the divers’ sublime contortions.” (Anon. “Aaron Siskind,” on the Museum of Contemporary Photography website 17/02/2013)

Such a simple idea, so well executed, the photographs become a single frame of Muybridge’s motion studies where the audience can imagine the rest of the sequence without seeing. Balance and conflict are in equilibrium and the pleasure and terror of jumping from the top board at the local swimming pool is caught in stasis, crystallised in a sublime field of existence under the gaze of the viewer.

Dr Marcus Bunyan

.
Many thankx to the J. Paul Getty Museum for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014) 'Valencia' 1961

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014)
Valencia
1961
Gelatin silver print
14.3 x 22.9cm (5 5/8 x 9 in.)
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Gift of the Hall Family Foundation
© Ray K. Metzker

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014) 'City Whispers: Los Angeles' negative 1981; print 2006

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014)
City Whispers: Los Angeles
negative 1981; print 2006
Gelatin silver print
26.8 x 41.4cm (10 9/16 x 16 5/16 in.)
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Gift of the Hall Family Foundation
© Ray K. Metzker

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014) 'City Whispers, Philadelphia' 1983

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014)
City Whispers, Philadelphia
1983
Gelatin silver print
24.5 x 24cm (9 5/8 x 9 7/16 in.)
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
© Ray K. Metzker

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014) 'Atlantic City' negative, 1966; print, 2003

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014)
Atlantic City
negative, 1966; print, 2003
Gelatin silver print
20.3 x 20.3cm (8 x 8 in.)
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Gift of the Hall Family Foundation
© Ray K. Metzker

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014) 'Couplets: Atlantic City' negative 1969; print 1984

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014)
Couplets: Atlantic City
Negative 1969; print 1984
Gelatin silver print
22.9 x 15.6cm (9 x 6 1/8 in.)
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Gift of the Hall Family Foundation
© Ray K. Metzker

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014) 'Double Frame: Philadelphia' negative 1965; print 1972

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014)
Double Frame: Philadelphia
Negative 1965; print 1972
Gelatin silver print
21.6 x 9.8 cm (8 1/2 x 3 7/8 in.)
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Gift of the Hall Family Foundation
© Ray K. Metzker

 

 

Metzker’s work is part of a revered tradition that emerged from the experimental approach of Chicago’s Institute of Design (ID), where he received his graduate degree in 1959. Inspired by instructors Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind, Metzker fashioned an entirely personal synthesis of formal elegance, technical precision, and optical innovation. His composite works hold an important status in the history of creative photography: at the time of their making, they were unprecedented in ambition and perceptual complexity.

Metzker’s devotion to photographic seeing as a process of discovery is also deeply humanistic in its illumination of isolation and vulnerability. This exhibition offers a comprehensive overview of Metzker’s five-decade career, while also providing examples of work by instructors and fellow students at the Institute of Design in Chicago, where Metzker studied from 1956 to 1959. Learn more about Metzker’s diverse forays into photography as well as the ID and its profound influence.

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014) is one of the most dedicated and influential American photographers of the last half century. His photographs strike a distinctive balance between formal brilliance, optical innovation, and a deep human regard for the objective world. The Photographs of Ray K. Metzker and the Institute of Design, on view at the Getty Center September 25, 2012 – February 24, 2013, offers a comprehensive overview of Metzker’s five-decade career, while also providing examples of work by instructors and fellow students at the Institute of Design in Chicago, where Metzker studied from 1956 to 1959.

Organised in collaboration with Keith F. Davis, senior curator of photography at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri, the exhibition is curated by Virginia Heckert, curator of photographs, and Arpad Kovacs, assistant curator of photographs, at the J. Paul Getty Museum. The exhibition features nearly 200 photographs, including approximately 80 from the holdings of The Nelson-Atkins Museum.

 

Ray K. Metzker

Dynamically composed, Metzker’s luminous black-and-white photographs feature subjects ranging from urban cityscapes to nature, all demonstrating the inventive potential of the photographic process. While a student at the ID, Metzker was mentored by renowned photographers Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind. His curiosity led to experiments with high contrast, selective focus, and multiple images.

Metzker’s thesis project for the ID, a study of Chicago’s business district, or Loop, displayed many of these techniques. One image, a multiple exposure of commuters ascending a sun-bathed staircase, prefigures the novel Composites that he began to make in 1964. Whether documenting everyday life in an urban environment or exploring the natural landscapes, Metzker’s photographs often incorporate elements of abstraction. A longtime resident of Philadelphia, Metzker taught at the Philadelphia College of Art for many years. His frequent focus on Philadelphia and other cityscapes has yielded iconic images of automobiles, commuters, streets, sidewalks, and architectural facades.

“Metzker’s love of the photographic process has produced a rich body of work that suggests a vulnerability underlying the human condition,” explains Virginia Heckert, curator of photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum. “With highlights and shadows pushed to extremes and multiple frames combined in innovative ways, his photographs create a graceful choreography of human interaction against urban settings.”

Metzker titles and groups his images based on their location or technique. The exhibition features Metzker’s most significant bodies of work, including Chicago (1956-59), Europe (1960-61), Early Philadelphia (1961-64), Double Frames and Couplets (1964-69), Composites (1964-84), Sand Creatures (1968-77), Pictus Interruptus (1971-80), City Whispers (1980-83), Landscapes (1985-96), and Late Philadelphia (1996-2009).

 

From the New Bauhaus to the Institute of Design

Revered for an energetic atmosphere of experimentation, the ID opened in the fall of 1937 under the name of the New Bauhaus. With the avant-garde artist and educator László Moholy-Nagy at the helm, the school was modelled after the German Bauhaus (1919-1933), which integrated principles of craft and technology into the study of art, architecture, and design. Photography quickly became an integral component of the curriculum.

Moholy-Nagy’s death in 1946 marked a pivotal moment in the school’s history. That year also saw the introduction of a new four-year photography program and the arrival of Harry Callahan, who was instrumental in hiring Aaron Siskind in 1951. The two became a formidable teaching duo and together created a graduate program that encouraged prolonged investigation of a single idea.

Callahan and Siskind served as Ray Metzker’s mentors during his graduate studies at the ID from 1956-59. Other key photography instructors at the ID included György Kepes, Nathan Lerner, Henry Holmes Smith, Arthur Siegel, Edmund Teske, Art Sinsabaugh, and Frederick Sommer. A selection from Metzker’s thesis project, along with those of fellow students Kenneth Josephson, Joseph Sterling, Joseph Jachna, and Charles Swedlund, was included in a 1961 issue of Aperture magazine devoted to the IDs graduate program in photography. Now a part of the Illinois Institute of Technology, the ID continues to educate students with the same innovative teaching philosophy that was a hallmark of the original Bauhaus.

 

Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind

In 1946, the year of Moholy-Nagy’s death, the ID introduced a new four-year photography program and welcomed instructor Harry Callahan. Callahan was instrumental in hiring Aaron Siskind in 1951, and together they became a formidable teaching duo. Their work will be featured in two galleries within the exhibition, with a focus on photographs they created while at the ID.

Harry Callahan’s work benefitted greatly from the attitude of experimentation that was a hallmark of the ID, and his time at the school marked a particularly productive period in his own career. Architectural details, views of nature and intimate photographs of his wife, Eleanor and daughter, Barbara became subjects that defined his career. A central tenet of his teaching was to return to previously explored subjects, an approach that he himself practiced, as did Metzker.

Influenced by the Abstract Expressionist painters he befriended in the 1940s, Aaron Siskind’s work features abstracted textures and patterns excerpted from the real world. Often calligraphic in form, the urban facades, graffiti, stains, and debris he photographed capitalise on the flatness of the picture plane. In Pleasures and Terrors of Levitation, his studies of male divers against a blank sky experiments with the figure-ground relationship.

“Callahan and Siskind had vastly different visual styles and interests in subject matter” said Arpad Kovacs, assistant curator of photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum. “However, both emphasised the expressive possibilities of the medium rather than the mechanics of producing a photograph. It was this shared interest in constantly challenging their students that came to define their influential presence at the ID.”

Also featured in the exhibition is work by a number of founding ID photography instructors and those who taught in the years Metzker attended the school, including György Kepes, Nathan Lerner, Henry Holmes Smith, Arthur Siegel, Edmund Teske, Art Sinsabaugh, and Frederick Sommer. Another gallery is dedicated to the work of ID students Kenneth Josephson, Joseph Sterling, Joseph Jachna, and Charles Swedlund, all of whom, together with Metzker, were featured in a 1961 issue of Aperture magazine that extolled the virtues of the ID’s photography program.”

Press release from the J. Paul Getty Museum website

 

Joseph Sterling (American, 1936-2010) 'Untitled' 1961

 

Joseph Sterling (American, 1936-2010)
Untitled
1961
Gelatin silver print
19.1 x 19.1cm (7 1/2 x 7 1/2 in.)
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Gift of Hallmark
Cards, Inc., 2005.27.4395
Courtesy Stephen Daiter Gallery
© Deborah Sterling

 

Arthur Siegel (American, 1913-1978) 'State Street' 1949

 

Arthur Siegel (American, 1913-1978)
State Street
1949
Dye transfer print
21.9 x 26.4cm (8 5/8 x 10 3/8 in.)
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Gift of Hallmark Cards, Inc.,
© Estate of Arthur Siegel

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999) 'Eleanor, Chicago' 1952

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999)
Eleanor, Chicago
1952
Gelatin silver print
10.2 x 12.7cm (4 x 5 in.)
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
© Estate of Harry Callahan

.

Aaron Siskind (American, 1903-1991) 'Pleasures and Terrors of Levitation 25' 1957

 

Aaron Siskind (American, 1903-1991)
Pleasures and Terrors of Levitation 25
1957
Gelatin silver print
27.9 x 26.4 cm (11 x 10 3/8 in.)
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
© Aaron Siskind Foundation

 

Aaron Siskind (American, 1903-1991) 'Pleasures and Terrors of Levitation 94' 1961

 

Aaron Siskind (American, 1903-1991)
Pleasures and Terrors of Levitation 94
1961
Gelatin silver print
27.9 x 26.1 cm (11 x 10 1/4 in.)
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
© Aaron Siskind Foundation

 

Charles Swedlund (American, b. 1935) 'Buffalo, NY' about 1970

 

Charles Swedlund (American, b. 1935)
Buffalo, NY
about 1970
Gelatin silver print
18.7 x 15.9 cm (7 3/8 x 6 1/4 in.)
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Purchased in part with funds provided by an anonymous donor in memory of James N. Wood
© Charles Swedlund

 

Aaron Siskind (American, 1903-1991) 'Jerome, Arizona 21' 1949

 

Aaron Siskind (American, 1903-1991)
Jerome, Arizona 21
1949
Gelatin silver print
The J. Paul Getty Museum
© Aaron Siskind Foundation

 

 

The J. Paul Getty Museum
1200 Getty Center Drive
Los Angeles, California 90049

Opening hours:
Tues – Friday 10am – 5.30pm
Saturday 10am – 9pm
Sunday 10am – 9pm
Monday closed

The J. Paul Getty Museum website

LIKE ART BLART ON FACEBOOK

Back to top

17
Dec
12

Exhibition: ‘The Serial Portrait: Photography and Identity in the Last One Hundred Years’ at the National Gallery of Art, Washington

Exhibition dates: 30th September 2012 – 31st December 2012

 

Emmet Gowin. 'Edith, Danville, Virginia' 1971

 

Emmet Gowin (American, b. 1941)
Edith, Danville, Virginia
1971
Gelatin silver print
20.2 x 25.2cm (7 15/16 x 9 15/16 in.)
National Gallery of Art, Washington, Patrons’ Permanent Fund
© Emmet and Edith Gowin, Courtesy Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York

 

 

  • Alfred Stieglitz / Georgia O’Keeffe
  • Paul Strand / Rebecca Strand
  • Emmet Gowin / Edith Gowin
  • Harry Callahan / Eleanor and Barbara Callahan
  • Robert Mapplethorpe / Patti Smith
  • Nicholas Nixon / The Brown Sisters
  • Andy Warhol / Serial Photography / Photo Booth Portraits
  • Mario Testino / Kate Moss
  • Baron Adolf de Meyer / Baroness Olga de Meyer
  • Edward Weston / Charis Weston
  • Lee Friedlander / Maria Friedlander
  • Paul Caponigro / The woods of Connecticut
  • Bernd and Hilla Becher / grids
  • Gerhard Richter / Overpainted Photographs
  • Masahisa Fukase / wife and family
  • Seiichi Furuya / Christine Furuya-Gößler
  • Sally Mann / children and husband
  • William Wegman / dogs

.
Australia?
Nobody that I can think of except Sue Ford.

Notice how all the artists are men except two: Sally Mann and Hilla Becher.

Dr Marcus Bunyan

.
Many thankx to the National Gallery of Art for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

Emmet Gowin. 'Edith, Danville, Virginia' 1963

 

Emmet Gowin (American, b. 1941)
Edith, Danville, Virginia
1963
Gelatin silver print, printed 1980s
19.7 x 12.7cm (7 3/4 x 5 in.)
National Gallery of Art, Washington, Charina Endowment Fund
© Emmet and Edith Gowin, Courtesy Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York

 

Emmet Gowin. 'Edith and Moth Flight' 2002

 

Emmet Gowin (American, b. 1941)
Edith and Moth Flight
2002
Digital ink jet print
19 x 19cm (7 1/2 x 7 1/2 in.)
National Gallery of Art, Washington, Charina Endowment Fund
© Emmet and Edith Gowin, Courtesy Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York

 

Francesca Woodman. 'House #3, Providence, Rhode Island' 1976

 

Francesca Woodman (American, 1958-1981)
House #3, Providence, Rhode Island
1976
Gelatin silver print
16.1 x 16.3cm (6 5/16 x 6 7/16 in.)
National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of the Heather and Tony Podesta Collection

 

Francesca Woodman. 'Untitled, Providence, Rhode Island' 1975-1978

 

Francesca Woodman (American, 1958-1981)
Untitled, Providence, Rhode Island
1975-1978
Gelatin silver print
10.5 x 10.5cm (4 1/8 x 4 1/8 in.)
National Gallery of Art, Washington, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of the Collectors
Committee and R. K. Mellon Family Foundation

 

Ann Hamilton. 'body object series #13, toothpick suit/chair' 1984

 

Ann Hamilton (American, b. 1956)
body object series #13, toothpick suit/chair
1984
Gelatin silver print, printed 1993
11 x 11cm (4 5/16 x 4 5/16 in.)
National Gallery of Art, Washington,Gift of Heather and Tony Podesta Collection

 

Ann Hamilton. 'body object series #14, megaphone' 1986

 

Ann Hamilton (American, b. 1956)
body object series #14, megaphone
1986
Gelatin silver print, printed 1993
11 x 11 cm (4 5/16 x 4 5/16 in.)
National Gallery of Art, Washington,Gift of Heather and Tony Podesta Collection

 

 

The National Gallery of Art explores how the practice of making multiple portraits of the same subjects produced some of the most revealing and provocative photographs of our time in The Serial Portrait: Photography and Identity in the Last One Hundred Years, on view in the West Building’s Ground Floor photography galleries from September 30 through December 31, 2012. Arranged both chronologically and thematically, the exhibition features 153 works by 20 artists who photographed the same subjects – friends, family, and themselves – numerous times over days, months, or years to create compelling portrait studies that investigate the many facets of personal and social identity.

“The Gallery’s photography collection essentially began with the donation of Alfred Stieglitz’s ‘key set,’ so it is fitting that this exhibition opens with portraits by Stieglitz, who understood that a person’s character was best captured through a series of photographs taken over time,” said Earl A. Powell III, director, National Gallery of Art. “Although the exhibition is drawn largely from the Gallery’s significant collection of photographs, we are grateful to the lenders who have allowed us to present more fully the serial form of portraiture that Stieglitz championed.”

Since the introduction of photography in 1839, portraiture has been one of the most widely practiced forms of the medium. Starting in the early 20th century, however, some photographers began to question whether one image alone could adequately capture the complexity of an individual. As Alfred Stieglitz, the era’s leading champion of American fine art photography, argued: “to demand the [single] portrait that will be a complete portrait of any person is as futile as to demand that a motion picture will be condensed into a single still.”

Along with Stieglitz, some of the 20th century’s most prominent photographers – Paul Strand, Harry Callahan, and Emmet Gowin – used the camera serially to transcend the limits of a single image. Each of these photographers made numerous studies of their lovers that sought to redefine the expressive possibilities of portraiture while probing the affective bonds of love and desire. By employing the camera’s capacity to record fluctuating states of being and mark the passage of time, other photographers such as Nicholas Nixon and Milton Rogovin have documented individuals – in families or communities – over four decades. Capturing subtle and dramatic shifts in appearance, demeanour, and situation, these series are poignant and elegiac memorials that remind us of our own mortality.

Other photographers have made serial self-portraits that explore the malleability of personal identity and the possibility of reinvention afforded by the camera. By photographing themselves as shadows, blurs, or partial reflections, Ilse Bing, Lee Friedlander, and Francesca Woodman have created inventive but elusive images that hint at the instability of self-representation. Conceptual artists of the 1970s and 1980s such as Vito Acconci, Blythe Bohnen, and Ann Hamilton have explicitly combined performance and self-portraiture to stage continual self-transformations. The exhibition concludes with work from the last 15 years by artists such as Nikki S. Lee and Gillian Wearing, who take the performance of self to its limits by adopting masquerades to delve into the ways identity is inferred from external appearance.

Press release from the National Gallery of Art website

 

Lee Friedlander. 'Haverstraw, New York' 1966

 

Lee Friedlander (American, b. 1934)
Haverstraw, New York
1966
Gelatin silver print
21.7 x 32.7cm (8 9/16 x 12 7/8 in.)
National Gallery of Art, Washington, Trellis Fund
© Lee Friedlander, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery

 

Lee Friedlander. 'Westport, Connecticut' 1968

 

Lee Friedlander (American, b. 1934)
Westport, Connecticut
1968
Gelatin silver print
19.8 x 12.3cm (7 13/16 x 4 13/16 in.)
National Gallery of Art, Washington, Trellis Fund
© Lee Friedlander, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery

 

Ilse Bing. 'Self-Portrait with Leica' 1931

 

Ilse Bing (German, 1899-1998)
Self-Portrait with Leica
1931
Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1988
26.7 x 29.7cm (10 1/2 x 11 11/16 in.)
National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of Ilse Bing Wolff

 

Gillian Wearing. 'Me as Mapplethorpe' 2009

 

Gillian Wearing (English, b. 1963)
Me as Mapplethorpe
2009
Gelatin silver print (based upon Robert Mapplethorpe work: Self Portrait, 1988. © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation)
149.86 x 121.92cm (59 x 48 in.)
Private Collection
Courtesy the artist; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York; Maureen Paley, London, Regen Projects, Los Angeles

 

Paul Strand. 'Rebecca' 1922

 

Paul Strand (American, 1890-1976)
Rebecca
1922
Platinum print
24.4 x 19.4cm (9 5/8 x 7 5/8 in.)
National Gallery of Art, Washington, Southwestern Bell Corporation Paul Strand Collection
© Aperture Foundation Inc., Paul Strand Archive

 

Paul Strand. 'Rebecca, New Mexico' 1932

 

Paul Strand (American, 1890-1976)
Rebecca, New Mexico
1932
Platinum print
14.9 x 11.8cm (5 7/8 x 4 5/8 in.)
National Gallery of Art, Washington, Southwestern Bell Corporation Paul Strand Collection
© Aperture Foundation Inc., Paul Strand Archive

 

Alfred Stieglitz. 'Georgia O'Keeffe' probably 1918

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946)
Georgia O’Keeffe
probably 1918
Platinum print
18.4 x 23.1cm (7 1/4 x 9 1/8 in.)
National Gallery of Art, Washington, Alfred Stieglitz Collection

 

Alfred Stieglitz. 'Georgia O'Keeffe - Hands and Thimble' 1919

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946)
Georgia O’Keeffe – Hands and Thimble
1919
Palladium print
24 x 19.4cm (9 7/16 x 7 5/8 in.)
National Gallery of Art, Washington, Alfred Stieglitz Collection

 

Alfred Stieglitz. 'Georgia O'Keeffe' 1930

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946)
Georgia O’Keeffe
1930
Gelatin silver print
23.9 x 19.1cm (9 7/16 x 7 1/2 in.)
National Gallery of Art, Washington, Alfred Stieglitz Collection

 

Nicholas Nixon. 'The Brown Sisters' 1975

 

Nicholas Nixon (American, b. 1947)
The Brown Sisters
1975
Gelatin silver print
20.2 x 25.2cm (7 15/16 x 9 15/16 in.)
National Gallery of Art, Washington, Patrons’ Permanent Fund
© Nicholas Nixon, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco and Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York

 

Nicholas Nixon. 'The Brown Sisters' 1978

 

Nicholas Nixon (American, b. 1947)
The Brown Sisters
1978
Gelatin silver print
Promised gift of James and Margie Krebs
© Nicholas Nixon, courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

For more images from this series please see my posting Nicholas Nixon: Family Album

 

 

National Gallery of Art
National Mall between 3rd and 7th Streets
Constitution Avenue NW, Washington

Opening hours:
Daily 11.00am – 4.00pm

National Gallery of Art website

LIKE ART BLART ON FACEBOOK

Back to top

02
Nov
12

Exhibition: ‘Two of a Mind’ at the Laurence Miller Gallery, New York

Exhibition dates: 12th September – 17th November, 2012

RAY K. METZKER: Pictus Interruptus
RUTH THORNE-THOMSEN: Expeditions

 

 

Ray Metzker. 'Pictus Interruptus (77EY24)' 1977

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014)
Pictus Interruptus (77EY24)
1977
Gelatin silver print

 

 

I like both these bodies of work but it is the enigmatic Expeditions that leave the most lasting impression on my subconscious, out imagining the abstract distortions of Metzker in my mind’s eye. While the images of Pictus Interruptus are interesting in a textural way, the photographs of Thorne-Thomsen are truly magical – like a photographic version of Joseph Cornell’s boxes they engage you wistfully, holding you in a quiet, silent, attentive dreamspace. Some of the photographs are almost Jungian in their holistic balance. Photographs such as Levitating Man and Trio are truly memorable, and in our over saturated media environment it is wonderful to find images that make us slow down and inhale their aura. You contemplate these images: that is the word, contemplation. Enjoy.

.
PS. Prima Materia, a title of one of Thorne-Thomsen’s series, “is, according to alchemists, the alleged primitive formless base of all matter, given particular manifestation through the influence of forms… The alchemical operation consists essentially in separating the prima materia, the so-called Chaos, into the active principle, the soul, and the passive principle, Mind-body dichotomy, the body. They are then reunited in personified form in the coniunctio, the ritual combination of sol and Luna, which yields the magical child – filius philosophorum – the reborn self, known as the ultima materia.” (Wikipedia)

Jung undertook an analysis of the ritual and processes of alchemy and found that while the alchemists were trying to turn lead into gold by melting the lead down and reforming it as gold, what they were actually doing was letting go of their old identity and reforming it anew. This could be seen as an early form of psychoanalysis that encouraged the process of what Jung calls individuation, the emergence of a new identity as the ego dissolves into the Self. “The symbols of the individuation process…mark its stages like milestones’, prominent among them for Jungians being ‘”the shadow, the Wise Old Man… and lastly the anima (female) in man and the animus (male) in woman”‘. Thus ‘there is often a movement from dealing with the persona at the start… to the ego at the second stage, to the shadow as the third stage, to the anima or animus, to the self as the final stage. Some would interpose the Wise Old Man and the Wise Old Woman as spiritual archetypes coming before the final step of the Self’.” (Wikipedia)

I see elements of this inner work in the art of Ruth Thorne-Thomsen.

Dr Marcus Bunyan

.
Many thankx to the Laurence Miller Gallery for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

Ray Metzker. 'Pictus Interruptus (77FK42)' 1977

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014)
Pictus Interruptus (77FK42)
1977
Gelatin silver print

 

Ray Metzker. 'Pictus Interruptus (78AD23)' 1978

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014)
Pictus Interruptus (78AD23)
1978
Gelatin silver print

 

Ray Metzker. 'Pictus Interruptus (78BW19)' 1978

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014)
Pictus Interruptus (78BW19)
1978
Gelatin silver print

 

Ray Metzker. 'Pictus Interruptus (80FP9a)' 1980

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014)
Pictus Interruptus (80FP9a)
1980
Gelatin silver print

 

Ray Metzker. 'Pictus Interruptus (77FK28)' 1977

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014)
Pictus Interruptus (77FK28)
1977
Gelatin silver print

 

Ray Metzker. 'Pictus Interruptus (77FW60)' 1977

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014)
Pictus Interruptus (77FW60)
1977
Gelatin silver print

 

Ray Metzker. 'Pictus Interruptus (76EO4)' 1976

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014)
Pictus Interruptus (76EO4)
1976
Gelatin silver print

 

 

Laurence Miller Gallery is pleased to present Two of a Mind, photographs by Ray K. Metzker and Ruth Thorne-Thomsen, made between 1976 and 1991. Presently husband and wife, these two influential photographers independently created innovative and highly personal work that challenge our willingness to believe and stimulate our need to imagine.

Both achieved this by inserting images and objects into the view of the camera, turning reality on its head. Ray Metzker’s Pictus Interruptus series, made between 1976 and 1981, offers us inexplicable images – landscapes and cityscapes disrupted by abstract forms that combine, complement, and contrast with recognisable elements of the city or the land. Coat hangers, magazine images, folded paper and board were some of the items placed before the camera lens. Ruth Thorne-Thomsen’s Expeditions and Door series, as well as Prima Materia and Songs of the Sea, made between 1976 and 1991, also utilised the insertion of objects in front of her pin-hole camera, things like plastic and metal toys, children’s charms, ornaments and trinkets. The resulting images feel like poems come to life – credible enough to seem real, yet imaginary enough to seem like dreams.

Ray (born 1931) and Ruth (born 1943) met in Chicago in 1980, and immediately felt a kinship of spirit and mind. Each had been pursuing a personal photographic vision which took reality as a starting point and then explored the world of the imagination to challenge the general belief that what a photograph presents is truth. Metzker was more intrigued by the possibilities of form and space, while Thorne-Thomsen pursued the possibilities of mythology and dreams. For each artist, reality and artifice became intertwined and inseparable. This is the first exhibition in which their photographs are presented together. This showing of Metzker’s images also coincides with a major retrospective of his work at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, opening September 25th and continuing through February 24, 2013.

Text from the Laurence Miller Gallery website

 

Ruth Thorne-Thomsen. 'Echo Wisconsin' 1991

 

Ruth Thorne-Thomsen (American, b. 1943)
Echo Wisconsin
1991
From the series Songs of the Sea
Gelatin silver print

 

Ruth Thorne-Thomsen. 'Icarus Figure Wisconsin' 1993

 

Ruth Thorne-Thomsen (American, b. 1943)
Icarus Figure Wisconsin
1993
From the series Songs of the Sea
Gelatin silver print

 

Ruth Thorne-Thomsen. 'Paper Palms California' 1981

 

Ruth Thorne-Thomsen (American, b. 1943)
Paper Palms California
1981
From the Expeditions Series
Gelatin silver print

 

Ruth Thorne-Thomsen. 'Trio Wisconsin' 1991

 

Ruth Thorne-Thomsen (American, b. 1943)
Trio Wisconsin
1991
From the series Songs of the Sea
Gelatin silver print

 

Ruth Thorne-Thomsen. 'Levitating Man Wisconsin' 1983

 

Ruth Thorne-Thomsen (American, b. 1943)
Levitating Man Wisconsin
1983
From the Door Series
Gelatin silver print

 

Ruth Thorne-Thomsen. 'Chair Over Point Wisconsin' 1983

 

Ruth Thorne-Thomsen (American, b. 1943)
Chair Over Point Wisconsin
1983
From the Door Series
Gelatin silver print

 

 

Laurence Miller Gallery
9 East 8th Street
Box 119
NY NY 10003
Phone: (917) 930-9176

Opening hours:
By appointment

Laurence Millery Gallery website

LIKE ART BLART ON FACEBOOK

Back to top

25
Jan
12

Exhibition: ‘Diane Arbus’ at Jeu de Paume, Paris

Exhibition dates: 18th October 18 2011 – 5th February 2012

 

Diane Arbus, 'Child with a toy hand grenade in Central Park, N.Y.C. 1962' 1962

 

Diane Arbus (American, 1923-1971)
Child with a toy hand grenade in Central Park, N.Y.C. 1962
1962
Gelatin silver print
© The Estate of Diane Arbus

 

 

“There are and have been and will be an infinite number of things on earth. Individuals all different, all wanting different things, all knowing different things, all loving different things, all looking different. Everything that has been on earth has been different from any other thing. That is what I love: the differentness, the uniqueness of all things and the importance of life… I see something that seems wonderful; I see the divineness in ordinary things.”

.
Diane Arbus. Paper on Plato, senior English seminar, Fieldston School, November 28, 1939

 

“I want to photograph the considerable ceremonies of our present because we tend while living here and now to perceive only what is random and barren and formless about it. While we regret that the present is not like the past and despair of its ever becoming the future, its innumerable inscrutable habits lie in wait for their meaning. I want to gather them, like somebody’s grandmother putting up preserves, because they will have been so beautiful.

There are the Ceremonies of Celebration (the Pageants, the Festivals, the Feasts, the Conventions) and the Ceremonies of Competition (Contests, Games, Sports), the Ceremonies of Buying and Selling, of Gambling, of the Law and the Show; the Ceremonies of Fame in which the Winners Win and the Lucky are Chosen or Family Ceremonies or Gatherings (the Schools, the Clubs, the Meetings). Then they are Ceremonial Places (The Beauty Parlor, The Funeral Parlor or, simply The Parlor) and Ceremonial Costumes (what waitresses wear, or Wrestlers), Ceremonies of the Rich, like the Dog Show, and of the Middle Class, like the Bridge Game. Or, for example: the Dancing Lesson, the Graduation, the Testimonial Dinner, the Séance, the Gymnasium and the Picnic, and perhaps the Waiting Room, the Factory, the Masquerade, the Rehearsal, the Initiation, the Hotel Lobby and the Birthday Party. The etcetera.

I will write whatever is necessary for the further description and elucidation of these Rites and I will go wherever I can to find them.

These are our symptoms and our monuments. I want simply to save them, for what is ceremonious and curious and commonplace will be legendary.”

.
Diane Arbus. “American Rites, Manners and Customs,” Plan for a Photographic Project, Guggenheim proposal

 

 

A fabulous posting, with memorable thoughts and photographs! These archetypal images have become deeply embedded in the collective conscience where conscience is pre-eminently the organ of sentiments and representations. The snap, snap, snap of the shutter evinces the flaws of human nature, reveals the presence of a quality or feeling to which we can all relate. As Arbus states, the subject of the picture is always more important than the picture. And more complicated. This is why these photographs always capture our attention because we become, we inhabit, we are the subject. They are the flaw in us all. They are legend.

Dr Marcus Bunyan

.
Many thankx to Jeu de Paume for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

 

Diane Arbus. 'Identical twins, Roselle, N.J. 1967' 1967

 

Diane Arbus (American, 1923-1971)
Identical twins, Roselle, N.J. 1967
1967
Gelatin silver print
© The Estate of Diane Arbus

 

 

On Photographs

“They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you.”

.
Diane Arbus in response to request for a brief statement about photographs, March 15, 1971

 

 

Diane Arbus (New York, 1923-1971) revolutionised the art she practiced. Her bold subject matter and photographic approach produced a body of work that is often shocking in its purity, in its steadfast celebration of things as they are. Her gift for rendering strange those things we consider most familiar, and for uncovering the familiar within the exotic, enlarges our understanding of ourselves.

Arbus found most of her subjects in New York City, a place that she explored as both a known geography and as a foreign land, photographing people she discovered during the 1950s and 1960s. She was committed to photography as a medium that tangles with the facts. Her contemporary anthropology – portraits of couples, children, carnival performers, nudists, middle-class families, transvestites, zealots, eccentrics, and celebrities – stands as an allegory of the human experience, an exploration of the relationship between appearance and identity, illusion and belief, theatre and reality.

In this first major retrospective in France, Jeu de Paume presents a selection of two hundred photographs that affords an opportunity to explore the origins, scope, and aspirations of a wholly original force in photography. It includes all of the artist’s iconic photographs as well as many that have never been publicly exhibited. Even the earliest examples of her work demonstrate Arbus’s distinctive sensibility through the expression on a face, someone’s posture, the character of the light, and the personal implications of objects in a room or landscape. These elements, animated by the singular relationship between the photographer and her subject, conspire to implicate the viewer with the force of a personal encounter.

 

Biography

Diane Arbus was born in New York City on March 14, 1923, and attended the Ethical Culture and Fieldston Schools. At the age of eighteen she married Allan Arbus. Although she first started taking pictures in the early 1940s and studied photography with Alexey Brodovitch in 1954, it was not until 1955-57, while enrolled in courses taught by Lisette Model, that she began to seriously pursue the work for which she has come to be known.

Her first published photographs appeared in Esquire in 1960 under the title The Vertical Journey. From that point on she continued to work intermittently as a free-lance photographer for Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar, Show, The London Sunday Times, and a number of other magazines, doing portraits on assignment as well as photographic essays, for several of which she wrote accompanying articles.

During the 1950s, like most of her contemporaries, she had been using a 35mm camera, but in 1962 she began working with a 6×6 Rolleiflex. She once said, in accounting for the shift, that she had grown impatient with the grain and wanted to be able to decipher in her pictures the actual texture of things. The 6×6 format contributed to the refinement of a deceptively simple, formal, classical style that has since been recognised as one of the distinctive features of her work.

She received Guggenheim Fellowships in 1963 and 1966 for projects on “American Rites, Manners and Customs” and spent several summers during that period traveling across the United States, photographing contests, festivals, public and private gatherings, people in the costumes of their professions or avocations, the hotel lobbies, dressing rooms and living rooms she had described as part of “the considerable ceremonies of our present.” “These are our symptoms and our monuments,” she wrote in her original application. “I want simply to save them, for what is ceremonious and curious and commonplace will be legendary.”

The photographs she produced in those years attracted a great deal of attention when a selected group of them were exhibited, along with the work of two other photographers, in the 1967 “New Documents” show at the Museum of Modern Art. Nonetheless, although several institutions subsequently purchased examples of her work for their permanent collections, her photographs appeared in only two other major exhibitions during her lifetime, both of them group shows.

In the late 1960s she taught photography courses at Parsons School of Design, the Rhode Island School of Design and Cooper Union and in 1971 gave a master class at Westbeth, the artists cooperative in New York City where she then lived. During the same period she initiated the concept and did the basic research for the Museum of Modern Art’s 1973 exhibition on news photography, “From the Picture Press.”

She made a portfolio of ten photographs in 1970, printed, signed and annotated by her, which was to be the first of a series of limited editions of her work. She committed suicide on July 26, 1971 at the age of forty-eight. The following year the ten photographs in her portfolio became the first work of an American photographer to be exhibited at the Venice Biennale.

In the course of a career that may be said to have lasted little more than fifteen years, she produced a body of work whose style and content have secured her a place as one of the most significant and influential photographers of our time. The major retrospective mounted by the Museum of Modern Art in 1972 was attended by more than a quarter of a million people in New York before it began its tour of the United States and Canada. The Aperture monograph Diane Arbus, published in conjunction with the show has sold over 300,000 copies. Beginning in 2003, Diane Arbus Revelations, an international retrospective organised by The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art travelled to museums throughout the United States and Europe between 2003 and 2006. Major exhibitions devoted exclusively to her work have toured much of the world including, Australia, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

Press release from the Jeu de Paume website

 

Diane Arbus. 'Boy with a straw hat waiting to march in a pro-war parade, N.Y.C. 1967' 1967

 

Diane Arbus (American, 1923-1971)
Boy with a straw hat waiting to march in a pro-war parade, N.Y.C. 1967
1967
Gelatin silver print
© The Estate of Diane Arbus

 

Diane Arbus. 'Untitled (6) 1970-71'

 

Diane Arbus (American, 1923-1971)
Untitled (6) 1970-71
1970-71
Gelatin silver print
© The Estate of Diane Arbus

 

 

On Freaks

“There’s a quality of legend about freaks. Like a person in a fairy tale who stops you and demands that you answer a riddle. Most people go through life dreading they’ll go through a traumatic experience. Freaks were born with their trauma. They’ve already passed their test in life. They’re aristocrats.”

“If you’ve ever talked to somebody with two heads you know they know something you don’t.”

 

The Gap between Attention and Affect

“You see someone on the street and essentially what you notice about them is the flaw. It’s just extraordinary that we should have been given these peculiarities. And, not content with what we were given, we create a whole other set. Our whole guise is like giving a sign to the world to think of us in a certain way but there’s a point between what you want people to know about you and what you can’t help people knowing about you. And that has to do with what I’ve always called the gap between intention and effect. I mean if you scrutinise reality closely enough, if in some way you really, really get to it, it becomes fantastic.”

 

Other Thoughts

“The thing that’s important to know is that you never know. You’re always sort of feeling your way.”

“Nothing is ever the same as they said it was. It’s what I’ve never seen before that I recognise.”

“A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know.”

“For me the subject of the picture is always more important than the picture. And more complicated. I do have a feeling for the print but I don’t have a holy feeling for it. I really think what it is, is what it’s about. I mean it has to be of something. And what it’s of it always more remarkable than what it is.”

“I really believe there are things which nobody would see unless I photographed them.”

 

 

Diane Arbus. 'A young man in curlers at home on West 20th Street, N.Y.C. 1966' 1966

 

Diane Arbus (American, 1923-1971)
A young man in curlers at home on West 20th Street, N.Y.C. 1966
1966
Gelatin silver print
© The Estate of Diane Arbus

 

Diane Arbus. 'Teenage couple on Hudson Street, N.Y.C. 1963' 1963

 

Diane Arbus (American, 1923-1971)
Teenage couple on Hudson Street, N.Y.C. 1963
1963
Gelatin silver print
© The Estate of Diane Arbus

 

Diane Arbus. 'Xmas tree in a living room in Levittown, L.I. 1963' 1963

 

Diane Arbus (American, 1923-1971)
Xmas tree in a living room in Levittown, L.I. 1963
1963
Gelatin silver print
© The Estate of Diane Arbus

 

 

Jeu de Paume
1, place de la Concorde
75008 Paris
métro Concorde
Phone: 01 47 03 12 50

Opening hours:
Tuesday: 11.00am – 9.00pm
Wednesday – Sunday: 11.00am – 7.00pm
Closed Monday

Jeu de Paume website

LIKE ART BLART ON FACEBOOK

Back to top

24
Nov
11

Exhibition: ‘W. Eugene Smith – Photographs A retrospective’ at Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin

Exhibition dates: 27th August – 27th November 2011

 

W. Eugene Smith. 'Dance of the Flaming Coke' 1955

 

W. Eugene Smith (American, 1918-1978)
Dance of the Flaming Coke
1955
Gelatin silver print
20.6 x 33 cm
Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona: W. Eugene Smith Archive / Gift of the artist
© The Heirs of W. Eugene Smith, courtesy Black Star, Inc., New York

 

 

This man is legend. He created some of the most memorable and moving photographs in the history of the medium. Once seen, for example his seminal photograph Tomoko Uemura in Her Bath (1971), they are never forgotten. Look at the photographs below, really look deeply at them. The compositions are flawless, peerless. Smith’s use of chiaroscuro makes his images sing and flow, like a Bach fugue. In spite of everything, “in spite of all the wars and all I had gone through that day, I wanted to sing a sonnet to life and to the courage to go on living it.”

Through that courage he left us a body of work that will live forever as masterpieces of the art of photography. Applause.

Dr Marcus Bunyan

.
Many thankx to the Martin-Gropius-Bau for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

W. Eugene Smith. 'Untitled' 1954

 

W. Eugene Smith (American, 1918-1978)
Untitled
1955
Gelatin silver print
22.2 x 34 cm
Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona: W. Eugene Smith Archive / Gift of the artist
© The Heirs of W. Eugene Smith, courtesy Black Star, Inc., New York

 

W. Eugene Smith. 'Albert Schweitzer, Aspen, Colorado' 1949

 

W. Eugene Smith (American, 1918-1978)
Albert Schweitzer, Aspen, Colorado
1949
Gelatin silver print
24.7 x 33.2 cm
Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona: W. Eugene Smith Archive / Gift of the artist
© The Heirs of W. Eugene Smith, courtesy Black Star, Inc., New York

 

W. Eugene Smith. 'Steel Mill Worker, Pittsburgh' 1955

 

W. Eugene Smith (American, 1918-1978)
Steel Mill Worker, Pittsburgh
1955
Gelatin silver print
15.1 x 21.5 cm
Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona: W. Eugene Smith Archive / Gift of the artist
© The Heirs of W. Eugene Smith, courtesy Black Star, Inc., New York

 

W. Eugene Smith. 'Guardia Civil, Spain' 1950

 

W. Eugene Smith (American, 1918-1978)
Guardia Civil, Spain
1950
Gelatin silver print
25.1 x 32.1 cm
Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona: W. Eugene Smith Archive / Gift of the artist
© The Heirs of W. Eugene Smith, courtesy Black Star, Inc., New York

 

W. Eugene Smith. 'The Wake' 1950

 

W. Eugene Smith (American, 1918-1978)
The Wake
1950
Gelatin silver print
22.2 x 33.1 cm
Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona: W. Eugene Smith Archive / Gift of the artist
© The Heirs of W. Eugene Smith, courtesy Black Star, Inc., New York

 

 

W. Eugene Smith, who was born in 1918 in Wichita, Kansas, and died in 1978 in Tucson, Arizona, first made a name for himself as a politically and socially committed photojournalist in the USA in the 1940s. Many of his photographic reports appeared in Life, the leading picture magazine that had been launched in New York in 1936. Smith saw in photography more than just an illustration to a text and had often asked editors for a greater say in the composition of a photo-essay. His painstakingly researched and emotionally moving features set new standards of photojournalism in the 1940s and 1950s.

Smith had begun to take photographs as a fifteen-year-old, having been inspired by his mother, a keen amateur photographer. In 1936, following the suicide of his father as a result of the Great Crash, Smith initially enrolled at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana. But he dreamed of becoming a photographer and moved to New York, where he attended the New York Institute of Photography. He embarked on his professional career in 1937 as a photo reporter for Newsweek.

A year later he began to work as a freelance for the Black Star Agency, and his pictures appeared in Harper’s Bazaar, Collier’s, Time and Life. With Life he was to have a close association that went on for years.

When the USA found itself at war at the end of 1941 Smith initially took propaganda shots for the magazine Parade to support the American troops. Then, as a correspondent for Flying magazine, he took part in reconnaissance flights, taking photos from the air. In 1944 he was back on the staff of Life – this time as a war correspondent – documenting the battle of Saipan and the American landings on the islands of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. In the course of the fighting the style of his photos changed. Instead of being gung ho they tended to focus on the terrible sufferings of the civilian population and were shot in a way that involved the viewer emotionally. On 22 May 1945 Smith himself was seriously injured, forcing him to submit to a series of operations that went on until 1947.

His new lease of life was symbolised by the first photograph he took after his wound. A Walk to Paradise Garden depicts his two youngest children walking towards a sun-bathed clearing. “While I followed my children into the undergrowth and the group of taller trees – how they were delighted at every little discovery! – and observed them, I suddenly realized that at this moment, in spite of everything, in spite of all the wars and all I had gone through that day, I wanted to sing a sonnet to life and to the courage to go on living it.” (1954)

After his recovery he went back to work for Life again. Documentary features showing the dedicated work of ordinary people were particularly popular with readers. In The Country Doctor (1948) he accompanied a young country doctor from the Denver area on his rounds for several weeks. His report Nurse Midwife (1951) on the black midwife Maud Callen was produced against a background of racial discrimination and the brazen activities of the Ku Klux Klan in the Deep South. In developing the prints Smith adjusted the lighting so as to enhance the emotional atmosphere – during a birth, for example – and so arouse sympathy for the selfless efforts of the midwife. His social commitment, however, did not always meet with approval, as in the case of the unpublished report (1950) on the re-election campaign of Clement Attlee, the candidate of the British Labour Party.

Life intended the report to strengthen indirectly the position of the Conservatives by presenting the results of Attlee’s nationalisation policies in a critical light. Smith’s coverage, however, aroused sympathy for Attlee’s programme and the candidate himself. Smith had more success with his Spanish Village feature (1951). He wanted to convey an impression of living conditions under a fascist regime. After obtaining the necessary shooting permission, he spent two months studying the Spanish countryside before finally selecting a remote village in the Estremadura as his subject. Not a few of the photographs, with their chiaroscuro and clearly structured composition, are reminiscent of classical paintings and convey by means of this stylistic device a sense of the hardships but also the beauty of life there.

Smith’s feature on the work of Albert Schweitzer in Lambaréné was to be his last for Life whose refusal to give him a say in the selection and layout of pictures had become unacceptable, and he left the periodical after the appearance of his photo essay Albert Schweitzer – Man of Mercy in November 1955.

A career alternative offered itself in the shape of membership of Magnum, the photographers’ agency founded in 1947. Stefan Lorant commissioned Smith to do an extensive feature on the city of Pittsburgh and its iron foundries, which occupied him for the next few years and nearly exhausted his financial and personal resources. Instead of the 100 prints agreed with Lorant, there arose 13,000 shots out of which he wanted to compose an essay which would be entirely in line with his convictions. In 1958 88 photographs were published in Popular Photography’s Annual Guide, although the essay never appeared in its entirety.

In 1957 Smith, who was known for his excessive devotion to his work, had left his family and moved to 821 Sixth Avenue in New York. The house was visited and used for rehearsals by many well-known jazz musicians, and Smith, who was a passionate music lover, photographed and documented this creative milieu over the next few years, while also keeping an audio record on 1,740 tapes, which were only discovered among his posthumous effects in 1998. At the same time he photographed street scenes from his window while also working on the construction of a psychiatric clinic in Haiti.

In 1961 a commission from the Cosmos PR Agency to photograph the company Hitachi Ltd. took Smith to Japan for a year. This was followed in 1963 by a book which contrasted modern Japan with its deeply rooted traditions. A decade later he again turned to the forced modernisation of Japan and its grave consequences with a shocking series about the Minamata epidemic which had been triggered by the environmental pollution caused by the chemical concern Chisso, which had discharged mercurial waste into the sea near the town of Minamata. The Committee for the Defence of the Victims hired Smith to document the human and ecological dimensions of the catastrophe, and the photographer, who threw himself heart and soul into the project, moved with his second wife, Aileen Mioko Smith, to Minamata. In the course of his researches he was beaten up by company security guards and severely injured. The pictures he took, which appeared in Life and his book Minamata: A Warning to the World largely contributed to publicising the scandal.

By the early 1970s Smith’s photographic work was attracting the attention of museums. His photo A Walk to Paradise Garden had already been selected by Edward Steichen as a symbolic climax to the exhibition The Family of Man (1955), but it was not until 1971 that the first retrospective Let Truth Be the Prejudice was held in the Jewish Museum in New York. In 1977 Smith, by this time seriously ill, moved to Tucson, Arizona, to take up a teaching post at the university there in what was to be the last year of his life.

Text from the Martin-Gropius-Bau website

 

W. Eugene Smith. 'Dr. Ernest Ceriani Following the Loss of a Mother and Child During Childbirth' 1948

 

W. Eugene Smith (American, 1918-1978)
Dr. Ernest Ceriani Following the Loss of a Mother and Child During Childbirth
1948
Gelatin silver print
28 x 20.2 cm
Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona: W. Eugene Smith Archive / Gift of the artist
© The Heirs of W. Eugene Smith, courtesy Black Star, Inc., New York

 

W. Eugene Smith. 'Untitled' 1954

 

W. Eugene Smith (American, 1918-1978)
Untitled
1954
33.5 x 23.6 cm
Gelatin silver print
Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona: W. Eugene Smith Archive / Gift of the artist
© The Heirs of W. Eugene Smith, courtesy Black Star, Inc., New York

 

W. Eugene Smith. 'The Spinner' 1950

 

W. Eugene Smith (American, 1918-1978)
The Spinner
1950
Gelatin silver print
32.4 x 23 cm
Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona: W. Eugene Smith Archive / Gift of the artist
© The Heirs of W. Eugene Smith, courtesy Black Star, Inc., New York

 

W. Eugene Smith. 'Maude – Delivery' 1951

 

W. Eugene Smith (American, 1918-1978)
Maude – Delivery
1951
32.7 x 25 cm
Gelatin silver print
Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona: W. Eugene Smith Archive / Gift of the artist
© The Heirs of W. Eugene Smith, courtesy Black Star, Inc., New York

 

W. Eugene Smith (American, 1918-1978) 'Untitled' 1954

 

W. Eugene Smith (American, 1918-1978)
Untitled
1954
Gelatin silver print
34.6 x 25.2 cm
Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona: W. Eugene Smith Archive / Gift of the artist
© The Heirs of W. Eugene Smith, courtesy Black Star, Inc., New York

 

 

Martin-Gropius-Bau Berlin
Niederkirchnerstraße 7
Corner Stresemannstr. 110
10963 Berlin
Phone: +49 (0)30 254 86-0

Opening hours:
Wednesday to Monday 10 – 20 hrs
Tuesday closed

Martin-Gropius-Bau website

LIKE ART BLART ON FACEBOOK

Back to top

02
Jun
11

Exhibition: ‘The Photographs of Ray K. Metzker’ at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri

Exhibition dates: 15th January – 5th June 2011

 

Many thankx to The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photograph for a larger version of the image.

 

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014) 'City Whispers, Philadelphia' 1983

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014)
City Whispers, Philadelphia
1983
Gelatin silver print
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri
© Ray K. Metzker, courtesy of the Laurence Miller Gallery

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014) 'Couplets: Atlantic City/New York City' 1969/1968

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014)
Couplets: Atlantic City/New York City
1969/1968
Gelatin silver print
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri
© Ray K. Metzker, courtesy of the Laurence Miller Gallery

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014) 'Couplets: New York City' 1968

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014)
Couplets: New York City
1968
Gelatin silver print
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri
Gift of the Hall Family Foundation
© Ray K. Metzker, courtesy of the Laurence Miller Gallery

 

Ray K. Metzker. 'Couplets: Philadelphia' 1968

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014)
Couplets: Philadelphia
1968
Gelatin silver print (printed 2002)
Gift of the Hall Family Foundation
© Ray K. Metzker, Courtesy of the Laurence Miller Gallery

 

Ray K. Metzker. 'Double Frames: Philadelphia' 1965

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014)
Double Frames: Philadelphia
1965
Gelatin silver print (printed 1984)
Gift of the Hall Family Foundation
© Ray K. Metzker, Courtesy of the Laurence Miller Gallery

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014) 'Pictus Interruptus: Philadelphia' 1977

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014)
Pictus Interruptus: Philadelphia
1977
Gelatin silver print
Gift of the Hall Family Foundation
© Ray K. Metzker, Courtesy of the Laurence Miller Gallery

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014) 'Double Frames: Philadelphia' 1965, printed 1972

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014)
Double Frames: Philadelphia
1965, printed 1972
Gelatin silver print
Gift of the Hall Family Foundation
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
© Ray K. Metzker, Courtesy of the Laurence Miller Gallery

 

 

Works by Ray K. Metzker, one of the most original and influential photographers of the last half century, will be on view from Jan. 15 to June 5, 2011, at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. The Photographs of Ray K. Metzker will reveal Metzker’s ability to turn ordinary subjects, including the urban experience and nature, into the visual poetry of the finely crafted black-and-white print.

At the age of nearly 80, Metzker is greatly admired for his passionate engagement with both photography and the world. He has explored the use of high contrast and selective focus, the potentials of multiple and composite images, and the infinite gradations of daylight, from dazzling white to inky shadow.

This is great and lasting work – the very best of a classic form of American modernism, said Keith F. Davis, senior curator of photography at the Nelson-Atkins. Metzker has led a life of deep devotion to understanding the potential, challenge and pleasure of photographic seeing. In so doing, he has transcended any simple notion of technical experimentation or formalism to illuminate a vastly larger human realm – one of uncertainty, isolation and vulnerability, as well as of unexpected beauty, grace and transcendence.

Thanks to a major gift from the Hall Family Foundation, the Nelson-Atkins now has the largest holding of Metzker’s work (92 prints) in the United States.

Born in Milwaukee, Wis., in 1931, Metzker first took up photography as a teenager. After two years in the army, he entered the graduate program at the Institute of Design, Chicago, in the fall of 1956. His professors, Aaron Siskind and Harry Callahan, were acclaimed artists and inspiring teachers, and they emphasised the medium’s remarkable range and visual potential. Metzker’s artistic vision grew from a union of ideas: the realities of modern life, the medium’s myriad technical possibilities, and the quest for a distinctly individual vision.

Metzker has lived and worked in Philadelphia since 1962, and as he approaches the age of 80, he continues to make new pictures there.

The photographs in the exhibition feature examples from all his major series, including his earliest mature work from Chicago (1957-59); photographs from an extended visit to Europe (1960-61); the street activity, people, and structures of Philadelphia (from 1962 to the present); beachgoers at the New Jersey shore, Sand Creatures (1968-77); the starkness of the Southwestern light and landscape, New Mexico (1971-72); and the lush mysteries of the natural realm, in his Landscapes (1985-96) from Italy, France and the United States.

The exhibition features a host of innovative and ingenious approaches to photography, including the use of the double image, Double Frame (1964-66) and Couplets (1968-69); single works created from an entire roll of film, Composites (1964-66); and the creative control of focus in both Pictus Interruptus (1976-80) and Landscapes (1985-96).

Press release from The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art website

 

Ray K. Metzker. 'Philadelphia' 1963

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014)
Philadelphia
1963
Gelatin silver print (printed 1986)
Gift of the Hall Family Foundation
© Ray K. Metzker, Courtesy of the Laurence Miller Gallery

 

Ray K. Metzker). 'Man in Canoe' 1961

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014)
Man in Canoe
1961
Gelatin silver print
Gift of Hallmark Cards, Inc.,
© Ray K. Metzker, Courtesy of the Laurence Miller Gallery

 

Ray K. Metzker (American 1931-2014) 'Philadelphia, 1963' 1963

 

Ray K. Metzker (American 1931-2014)
Philadelphia, 1963
1963
Gelatin silver print
Gift of Hallmark Cards, Inc.,
© Ray K. Metzker, Courtesy of the Laurence Miller Gallery

 

Ray K. Metzker (American 1931-2014) 'Philadelphia, 1963'

 

Ray K. Metzker (American 1931-2014)
Philadelphia, 1963
1963
Gelatin silver print
Gift of Hallmark Cards, Inc.,
© Ray K. Metzker, Courtesy of the Laurence Miller Gallery

 

Ray K. Metzker (American 1931-2014) 'Philadelphia' 1981

 

Ray K. Metzker (American 1931-2014)
Philadelphia
1981
Gelatin silver print
Gift of Hallmark Cards, Inc.,
© Ray K. Metzker, Courtesy of the Laurence Miller Gallery

 

Ray K. Metzker (American 1931-2014) 'Philadelphia' 1963

 

Ray K. Metzker (American 1931-2014)
Philadelphia, 1963
1963
Gelatin silver print
Gift of Hallmark Cards, Inc.,
© Ray K. Metzker, Courtesy of the Laurence Miller Gallery

 

Ray K. Metzker (American 1931-2014) 'Philadelphia' 1964

 

Ray K. Metzker (American 1931-2014)
Philadelphia, 1964
1963
Gelatin silver print
Gift of Hallmark Cards, Inc.,
© Ray K. Metzker, Courtesy of the Laurence Miller Gallery

 

Ray K. Metzker (American 1931-2014) 'Philadelphia' 1963

 

Ray K. Metzker (American 1931-2014)
Philadelphia, 1963
1963
Gelatin silver print
Gift of Hallmark Cards, Inc.,
© Ray K. Metzker, Courtesy of the Laurence Miller Gallery

 

Ray K. Metzker (American 1931-2014) 'Philadelphia' 1964

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014)
Philadelphia
1964
Gelatin silver print (printed 1989)
Gift of Hallmark Cards, Inc.,
© Ray K. Metzker, Courtesy of the Laurence Miller Gallery

 

Ray K. Metzker. 'Philadelphia' 1964

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014)
Philadelphia
1964
Gelatin silver print (printed 1989)
Gift of Hallmark Cards, Inc.,
© Ray K. Metzker, Courtesy of the Laurence Miller Gallery

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014) 'Chicago' 1957

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014)
Chicago
1957
Gelatin silver print
Gift of Hallmark Cards, Inc.,
© Ray K. Metzker, Courtesy of the Laurence Miller Gallery

 

Ray K. Metzker. 'Chicago' 1959

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014)
Chicago
1959
Gelatin silver print (printed 1989)
Gift of Hallmark Cards, Inc.,
© Ray K. Metzker, Courtesy of the Laurence Miller Gallery

 

Ray K. Metzker. 'Composite: Atlantic City' 1966

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014)
Composite: Atlantic City
1966
Gelatin silver print
Gift of Hallmark Cards, Inc.,
© Ray K. Metzker, Courtesy of the Laurence Miller Gallery

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014) 'Composites: Night at the Terminal' about 1966

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014)
Composites: Night at the Terminal
about 1966
Gelatin silver print
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
© Ray K. Metzker, courtesy of Lawrence Miller Gallery

 

 

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
4525 Oak Street
Kansas City, MO 64111

Opening hours:
Monday 10 am – 5 pm
Closed Tuesdays
Wednesday 10 am – 5 pm
Thursday – Friday 10 am – 9 pm
Saturday 10 am – 5 pm
Sunday 10 am – 5 pm

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art website

LIKE ART BLART ON FACEBOOK

Back to top

25
Apr
11

Exhibition: ‘Dorothea Lange’s Three Mormon Towns’ at Brigham Young University Museum of Art, Provo, Utah

Exhibition dates: 20th January – 30th April 2011

 

Dorothea Lange. 'Couple Seated on Porch, Gunlock, Utah' 1953

 

Dorothea Lange (American, 1895-1965)
Couple Seated on Porch, Gunlock, Utah
1953
Silver gelatin photograph
Brigham Young University Museum of Art, purchased with funds provided by Jack and Mary Lois Wheatley

 

 

“The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.”

.
Dorothea Lange

 

 

For a glimmer of understanding into the mind of a master artist go the ‘Exploring Three Mormon Towns’ web page and click on the ‘Original Layout for Three Mormon Towns‘ link at right hand side. View Lange’s conceptual layout for her September 6th, 1954 LIFE magazine photo essay at full screen size. Note the size and placement of the photographs and text especially the use of negative space (as on page 4). Also note the size of the cloud photograph at left on page 5 when compared to the church steeple next to it and the size of that steeple in comparison to the rest of the images. Observe the ascending progression of page 6 with the complex but sympathetic narrative that it tells; the use of gridded photographs on page 7; the bookended lives and church attendance on page 8.

Lange observes the minutiae, the precise details that go to make up the lives of these three towns and puts them together in a wonderful symphony of beautifully calculated, seemingly happenstance associations. Masterful!

Dr Marcus Bunyan

.
Many thankx to the Brigham Young University Museum of Art for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image. All photographs by Dorothea Lange © Dorothea Lange Collection, Oakland Museum of California, City of Oakland. Gift of Paul S. Taylor.

 

Toquerville, Utah

Dorothea Lange. 'Doorway, Toquerville, Utah' 1953

 

Dorothea Lange (American, 1895-1965)
Doorway, Toquerville, Utah
1953
Silver gelatin photograph
Brigham Young University Museum of Art, purchased with funds provided by Jack and Mary Lois Wheatley

 

Dorothea Lange. 'Mulberry Tree, Neagle Home, Toquerville, Utah' 1953

 

Dorothea Lange (American, 1895-1965)
Mulberry Tree, Neagle Home, Toquerville, Utah
1953
Silver gelatin photograph
Brigham Young University Museum of Art, purchased with funds provided by Jack and Mary Lois Wheatley

 

Dorothea Lange. 'Riley Savage, Toquerville, Utah' 1953

 

Dorothea Lange (American, 1895-1965)
Riley Savage, Toquerville, Utah
1953
Silver gelatin photograph
Brigham Young University Museum of Art, purchased with funds provided by Jack and Mary Lois Wheatley

 

Dorothea Lange. 'Hands, Toquerville, Utah' 1953

 

Dorothea Lange (American, 1895-1965)
Hands, Toquerville, Utah
1953
Silver gelatin photograph
Brigham Young University Museum of Art, purchased with funds provided by Jack and Mary Lois Wheatley

 

Dorothea Lange. 'Eggs, Toquerville, Utah' 1953

 

Dorothea Lange (American, 1895-1965)
Eggs, Toquerville, Utah
1953
Silver gelatin photograph
Collection of John and Lolita Dixon

 

 

In August 1953, renowned American photographer Dorothea Lange travelled to southern Utah where she met up with her long-time friend Ansel Adams. The two photographers spent three weeks photographing the landscape and people of Toquerville, Gunlock and St. George with the intention of publishing the work in LIFE magazine.

Lange’s enthusiasm for her subject yielded hundreds of photographs from which she composed an extended essay of 135 photographs, including images by Ansel Adams. Thirty-five of those photographs with text by Daniel Dixon appeared under the title Three Mormon Towns in the September 6, 1954 issue of LIFE.

“Dorothea Lange’s Three Mormon Towns,” a new exhibition at the Brigham Young University Museum of Art, features 21 of Lange’s photographs from this series acquired by the museum. The exhibition also draws from the collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Columbia College Chicago, and the collection of John and Lolita Dixon.

The 62 vintage prints in the exhibition, accompanied by excerpts from Dixon’s original text, examine Lange’s lasting interest in the people of southern Utah and their relationship with the land, their heritage and the transformation of the West in post-war America.

“Subtle and poetic, the series of photographs that has come to be known as ‘Three Mormon Towns’ is a bridge between Lange’s famous Depression Era photographs and her detailed photo essays of the 1950s,” Diana Turnbow, Curator of Photography at Brigham Young University Museum of Art, said.

Utah attracted Lange’s interest when she and her first husband, Maynard Dixon, spent the summer of 1933 camping and working in Zion National Park. She originally intended to photograph southern Utah with the support of a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship in 1941; however, a family crisis, followed by the onset of World War II prevented Lange from traveling to Utah. Yet, the desire to photograph the Mormon towns of southern Utah never faded. In 1953, Lange returned to the place that had captured her attention decades earlier.

“While Lange’s photographs depict communities bound together by hard work and religion in the formidable landscape of the Colorado Plateau, they also explore the changes that were beginning to affect not only Utah, but rural communities throughout the United States,” Turnbow said. “‘Three Mormon Towns’ was a study of contrasts – of old and new, of quiet villages and a growing city, of deep roots and transient highways. In this series, Lange memorialised the dignity and simplicity of agrarian life in light of post-war urbanisation.”

Published in the September 6, 1954 issue of LIFE magazine, the series of photographs that has come to be known as Three Mormon Towns bridges Dorothea Lange’s famous Depression era photographs with her detailed photo essays of the 1950s. Featuring sixty-two vintage photographs from the series, this exhibition considers Dorothea Lange’s lasting interest in the people of southern Utah and their relationship with the land, their heritage, and the transformation of the West in post-war America.

Known for her candid and sympathetic depiction of people, Dorothea Lange (1895-1965) is one of the most revered photographers of the twentieth century. For over four decades she explored the human psyche through portraiture and documentary photography. The probing portraits of her early career prepared Lange to photograph the people involved in the tumultuous events of the San Francisco labor strikes of 1934, the Great Depression, and the Japanese internment during World War II. Her 1935 photograph, The Migrant Mother, is one of the great icons of the American century.

In the 1950s, Lange began to create photographic essays for the popular picture and news magazine LIFE. She eventually completed five major essays for publication, with two of the essays, including Three Mormon Towns, printed in LIFE. In addition, Lange was a founding member of Aperture magazine and played a role in organising the influential Family of Man exhibition that premiered in New York in 1955.

In the later part of her life, Lange photographed and traveled extensively with her husband, Paul Taylor, in conjunction with his work in international development. Her photographs of South America, Africa, and Asia were deft and subtle, exploring a rich visual landscape populated with diverse objects and people.

In 1964, Lange was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Sustained by determination, she worked steadily to complete a number of projects including a retrospective exhibition of her work at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. She passed away on October 11, 1965, content with the life that she had been able to live.”

Text from the Brigham Young University Museum of Art website [Online] Cited 24/03/2011 no longer available online

 

Gunlock, Utah

Dorothea Lange. 'Sky and Clouds, Gunlock, Utah' 1953

 

Dorothea Lange (American, 1895-1965)
Sky and Clouds, Gunlock, Utah
1953
Silver gelatin photograph
Brigham Young University Museum of Art, purchased with funds provided by Jack and Mary Lois Wheatley

 

Dorothea Lange. 'Jake Jones’ Hands, Gunlock, Utah' 1953

 

Dorothea Lange (American, 1895-1965)
Jake Jones’ Hands, Gunlock, Utah
1953
Silver gelatin photograph
Brigham Young University Museum of Art, purchased with funds provided by Jack and Mary Lois Wheatley

 

Dorothea Lange. 'Horseplay, Gunlock, Utah' 1953

 

Dorothea Lange (American, 1895-1965)
Horseplay, Gunlock, Utah
1953
Silver gelatin photograph
Brigham Young University Museum of Art, purchased with funds provided by Jack and Mary Lois Wheatley

 

Dorothea Lange. 'Four Young Riders in Summer' 1953

 

Dorothea Lange (American, 1895-1965)
Four Young Riders in Summer
1953
Silver gelatin photograph
Museum of Contemporary Photography, Columbia College Chicago

 

St. George, Utah

Dorothea Lange. 'Anne Carter Johnson, St. George, Utah' 1953

 

Dorothea Lange (American, 1895-1965)
Anne Carter Johnson, St. George, Utah
1953
Silver gelatin photograph
Brigham Young University Museum of Art, purchased with funds provided by Jack and Mary Lois Wheatley

 

Dorothea Lange. 'Young Woman, St. George, Utah' 1953

 

Dorothea Lange (American, 1895-1965)
Young Woman, St. George, Utah
1953
Silver gelatin photograph
Brigham Young University Museum of Art, purchased with funds provided by Jack and Mary Lois Wheatley

 

 

Brigham Young University Museum of Art
North Campus Drive, Provo, UT 84602-1400

Opening hours:
Monday – Saturday from 10 am – 6 pm
Sunday closed

Brigham Young University Museum of Art website

LIKE ART BLART ON FACEBOOK

Back to top

06
Dec
10

Exhibition: ‘Lewis Baltz: Prototypes/Ronde de Nuit’ at The Art Institute of Chicago

Exhibition dates: 25th September, 2010 – 9th January, 2011

 

Lewis Baltz. 'Newport Beach' 1970

 

Lewis Baltz (American, born 1945)
Newport Beach
1970
Gelatin silver print
© Lewis Baltz

 

 

“Baltz’s compositions appear to have been arranged, almost as a Braque still-life is ‘arranged’. Many of these photographs have the sense of a precisely constructed occasion, as if Baltz had built his subject matter before photographing it. This unity of subject and author is a characteristic of many fine photographs, but Baltz brings to this problem a narrow, powerful eye which is blindingly frontal and meticulous about detail.”1

 

 

  1. Anon. “Lewis Baltz,” on the American Suburb X website [Online] Cited 12/11/2010 no longer available online.

.
Many thankx to The Art Institute of Chicago for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

 

Lewis Baltz. 'Mission Viejo' 1968

 

Lewis Baltz (American, born 1945)
Mission Viejo
1968
Gelatin silver print
The Art Institute of Chicago, Gift of Lewis Baltz, 1972.219
© Lewis Baltz

 

Lewis Baltz. 'Laguna Niguel' 1970

 

Lewis Baltz (American, born 1945)
Laguna Niguel
1970
Gelatin silver print
Laguna Art Museum Collection, Anonymous gift, in memory of Beula Prince
© Lewis Baltz

 

Lewis Baltz. 'New Monterey' 1968

 

Lewis Baltz (American, born 1945)
New Monterey
1968
Gelatin silver print
National Gallery of Art, Washington, Patrons’ Permanent Fund 2001
© Lewis Baltz

 

 

Lewis Baltz (b. 1945) is one of the most prominent representatives of the “New Topographics” movement, which changed the direction of American photography in the 1970s and has had a formative impact on every generation since. However, Baltz’s innovations began already in the 1960s. The Art Institute of Chicago has organised the first survey ever of Lewis Baltz’s inaugural body of work, the Prototypes (c. 1967-1973). The exhibition also puts on view for the first time in 12 years Ronde de Nuit, a monumental work of the early 1990s. Lewis Baltz: Prototypes/Ronde de Nuit – on view in the Modern Wing’s Bucksbaum Gallery (G188) from September 25, 2010 through January 9, 2011 – features 42 Prototype works, including several that have never before been published or exhibited. This is Baltz’s first solo exhibition in the United States in more than a decade.

Beginning in 1965, but especially from 1967 to 1973, Lewis Baltz made a body of work that concentrated on the dialectic between simple, regular geometric forms found in the postwar industrial landscape and the far from simple culture that generated such forms, or was conditioned by them. Stucco walls, parking lots, the sides of warehouse sheds, or disused billboards baked in the steady Californian sunlight – these and other “hyper-banal” subjects were printed in blacks and whites of a breathtaking tonal evenness. Baltz called his works “Prototypes,” by which he meant replicable social conventions as well as model structures of replicable manufacture. The fraught relation of neutral form to highly charged content plays itself out on the emphatically planar surface of these prints, objects that exude magnificence and severity simultaneously. Never before shown together as a group, the Prototypes are revealed in this exhibition as model creations for their time and ours. They are among the earliest artworks to show the fascinating, disturbing transformation of the American landscape into an unending terrain of anonymous commercial architecture as well among the first photographs to seek the starkly reductive forms of minimal and post-minimal art “out in the world.”

In 1971, upon seeing the Prototypes, gallery owner Leo Castelli immediately agreed to exhibit Baltz’s photographs, and he remained Baltz’s American representative until the artist relocated to Europe nearly 20 years later. Included in the presentation of Lewis Baltz: Prototypes/Ronde de Nuit is a monumental sculpture by Sol LeWitt from the Art Institute’s permanent collection and a nine-foot oilstick drawing by Richard Serra – two artists also featured at Castelli, and whose work the young Baltz greatly admired. Bringing together these three artists for the first time, the exhibition shows the affinities and analogies that developed across media around 1970, when photography first moved to the center of concerns in contemporary art.

Augmenting Lewis Baltz: Prototypes/Ronde de Nuit is a piece made by Baltz in 1992, initially for an exhibition at the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, in Paris. Measuring 35 feet across by 7 feet tall, and printed on aluminum-mounted cibachrome panels, Ronde de Nuit is as far in scale and appearance as one could get from the Prototypes. Yet across the manifest differences, this mural-size work maintains underlying continuities in the artist’s preoccupations. Baltz remains substantially concerned over the cancerous spread of our industrially manufactured habitat and how the elements of manufacture can be used to standardise and restrict the inhabitants – ourselves. Ronde de Nuit consists of 12 separate photographs, taken at a police surveillance station in northern France, to form a panoptic tableau of voyeurism and control. Some photographs are enlargements of closed-circuit screen images; others show mainframe computers, cable conduits, and other equipment in the bowels of the police station. The resulting composition merges Rembrandt with Piranesi in the digital age. Its effect on viewers is magnetic, moving, and uncanny.

Press release from The Art Institute of Chicago website

 

Lewis Baltz. 'Santa Cruz' 1970

 

Lewis Baltz (American, born 1945)
Santa Cruz
1970
Gelatin silver print
The Art Institute of Chicago, Gift of Lewis Baltz, 1972.221
© Lewis Baltz

 

Lewis Baltz. 'Corona Del Mar' 1971

 

Lewis Baltz (American, born 1945)
Corona Del Mar
1971
Gelatin silver print
The Art Institute of Chicago, Mary and Leigh Block Fund
© Lewis Baltz

 

Lewis Baltz. 'Morgan Hill' 1968

 

Lewis Baltz (American, born 1945)
Morgan Hill
1968
Gelatin silver print
The Art Institute of Chicago, Gift of Lewis Baltz, 1972.220
© Lewis Baltz

 

Lewis Baltz. 'Monterey' 1967

 

Lewis Baltz (American, born 1945)
Monterey
1967
Gelatin silver print
The Art Institute of Chicago, Gift of Lewis Baltz, 1972.218
© Lewis Baltz

 

 

The Art Institute of Chicago
111 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60603-6404
Phone: (312) 443-3600

Opening hours:
Daily 10.30 am – 5.00 pm
The museum is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s days.

The Art Institute of Chicago website

LIKE ART BLART ON FACEBOOK

Back to top

20
Oct
10

Exhibition: ‘Richard Misrach: After Katrina’ at The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Exhibition dates: 7th August – 31st October 2010

 

Many thankx to The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

 

Richard Misrach. 'Untitled (New Orleans and the Gulf Coast)' 2005

 

Richard Misrach (American, born 1949)
Untitled (New Orleans and the Gulf Coast)
2005
Inkjet print, ed. #3/5, printed 2010
2399 x 1795 mm
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, gift of the artist
© Richard Misrach

 

Richard Misrach. 'Untitled (New Orleans and the Gulf Coast)' 2005

 

Richard Misrach (American, born 1949)
Untitled (New Orleans and the Gulf Coast)
2005
Inkjet print, ed. #3/5, printed 2010
2400 x 1807 mm
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, gift of the artist
© Richard Misrach

 

Richard Misrach. 'Untitled (New Orleans and the Gulf Coast)' 2005

 

Richard Misrach (American, born 1949)
Untitled (New Orleans and the Gulf Coast)
2005
Inkjet print, ed. #3/5, printed 2010
2400 x 1801 mm
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, gift of the artist
© Richard Misrach

 

 

Just after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city of New Orleans in 2005, photographer Richard Misrach used a 4-megapixel pocket camera to capture messages left behind by evacuees. Some are warnings; some are cries for help or encouragement; some are tallies of loss.

Misrach composed a visual narrative that reveals the wrenching anguish of dealing with the aftermath of this horrific storm. Commemorating the hurricane’s fifth anniversary, the exhibition Richard Misrach: After Katrina presents 69 photographs that Misrach has generously given to the MFAH.

Misrach (born 1949) is best known for his Desert Cantos series, initiated in 1979 and still ongoing. Each canto within the series investigates specific aspects of the American West, from issues of water, to tourism, to the presence of the U.S. military. While developing the Cantos, Misrach has also produced series on the Golden Gate Bridge and Hawaiian beaches. The MFAH collects Misrach’s work in depth and in 1996 organised the artist’s mid-career retrospective, Crimes and Splendors: The Desert Cantos of Richard Misrach.

Text from The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston website

 

Richard Misrach. 'Untitled (New Orleans and the Gulf Coast)' 2005

 

Richard Misrach (American, born 1949)
Untitled (New Orleans and the Gulf Coast)
2005
Inkjet print, ed. #3/5, printed 2010
2400 x 1794 mm
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, gift of the artist
© Richard Misrach

 

Richard Misrach. 'Untitled (New Orleans and the Gulf Coast)' 2005

 

Richard Misrach (American, born 1949)
Untitled (New Orleans and the Gulf Coast)
2005
Inkjet print, ed. #3/5, printed 2010
2400 x 1801 mm
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, gift of the artist
© Richard Misrach

 

Richard Misrach. 'Untitled (New Orleans and the Gulf Coast)' 2005

 

Richard Misrach (American, born 1949)
Untitled (New Orleans and the Gulf Coast)
2005
Inkjet print, ed. #3/5, printed 2010
2400 x 1807 mm
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, gift of the artist
© Richard Misrach

 

Richard Misrach. 'Untitled (New Orleans and the Gulf Coast)' 2005

 

Richard Misrach (American, born 1949)
Untitled (New Orleans and the Gulf Coast)
2005
Inkjet print, ed. #3/5, printed 2010
2400 x 1803 mm
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, gift of the artist
© Richard Misrach

 

 

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
1001 Bissonnet Street
Houston, TX 77005

Opening hours:
Tuesday and Wednesday 10 am – 5 pm
Thursday 10 am – 9 pm
Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. – 7 pm
Sunday 12:15 pm – 7 pm

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston website

LIKE ART BLART ON FACEBOOK

Back to top




Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His art work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes Art Blart, a photographic archive and form of cultural memory, which posts mainly photography exhibitions from around the world. He holds a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne, a Master of Arts (Fine Art Photography) from RMIT University, and a Master of Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.

Marcus Bunyan black and white archive: ‘Dogs, chickens, cattle’ 1994-95

If you would like to unsubscribe from the email list please email me at bunyanth@netspace.net.au and I will remove you asap. Thank you.

Join 2,688 other followers

If you would like to unsubscribe from the email list please email Marcus at bunyanth@netspace.net.au and I will remove you asap. Thank you.

Follow Art_Blart on Twitter
Art Blart on Pinterest

Recent Posts

Lastest tweets

October 2020
M T W T F S S
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031  

Archives

Categories