Posts Tagged ‘photography studio


Exhibition: ‘A World of Its Own: Photographic Practices in the Studio’ at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York Part 1

Exhibition dates: 8th February – 2nd November 2014

The Edward Steichen Photography Galleries, third floor

Curators: Organized by Quentin Bajac, The Joel and Anne Ehrenkranz Chief Curator, with Lucy Gallun, Assistant Curator, Department of Photography


A bumper two part posting on this fascinating, multi-dimensional subject: photographic practices in the studio, which may be a stage, a laboratory, or a playground. The exhibition occupies all MoMA’s six photography galleries, each gallery with its own sub theme, namely, Surveying the Studio, The Studio as Stage, The Studio as Set, A Neutral Space, Virtual Spaces and The Studio, from Laboratory to Playground.

The review of this exhibition “When a Form Is Given Its Room to Play” by Roberta Smith on the New York Times website (6th February 2014) damns with faint praise. The show is a “fabulous yet irritating survey” which “dazzles but often seems slow and repetitive.” Smith then goes on to list the usual suspects: “And so we get professional portraitists, commercial photographers, lovers of still life, darkroom experimenters, artists documenting performances and a few generations of postmodernists, dead and alive, known and not so, exploring the ways and means of the medium. This adds up to plenty to see: around 180 images from the 1850s to the present by some 90 photographers and artists. The usual suspects here range from Julia Margaret Cameron to Thomas Ruff, with Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Lucas Samaras, John Divola and Barbara Kasten in between.” There are a few less familiar and postmodern artists thrown in for good measure, but all is “dominated by black-and-white images in an age when colour reigns.” The reviewer then rightly notes the paucity of “postmodern photography of the 1980s, much of it made by women, that did a lot to reorient contemporary photo artists to the studio. It is a little startling for an exhibition that includes so many younger artists dealing with the artifice of the photograph (Ms. Belin, for example) to represent the Pictures Generation artists with only Cindy Sherman, James Casebere and (in collaboration with Allan McCollum) Laurie Simmons” before finishing on a positive note (I think!), noting that the curators “had aimed for a satisfying viewing experience, which, these days, is something to be grateful for.”


Just to have the opportunity to view an exhibition of this quality, depth and breadth of concept would be an amazing thing. Even a third of the number of photographs (say 60 works) that address this subject at any one of the major institutions around Australia would be fantastic but, of that, there is not a hope in hell.

Think Marcus, think… when was the last major exhibition, I mean LARGE exhibition, at a public institution in Australia that actually addressed specific ISSUES and CONCEPTS in photography (such as this), not just putting on monocular exhibitions about an artists work or exhibitions about a regions photographs? Ah, well… you know, I can’t really remember. Perhaps the American Dreams exhibition at Bendigo Art Gallery, but that was a GENERAL exhibition about 20th century photography with no strong investigative conceptual theme and its was imported from George Eastman House.

Here in Australia, all we can do is look from afar, purchase the catalogue and wonder wistfully what the exhibition actually looks like and what we are missing out on. MoMA sent me just 10 images media images. I have spent hours scouring the Internet for other images to fill the void of knowledge and vision (and then cleaning those sometimes degraded images), so that those of us not privileged enough to be able to visit New York may gain a more comprehensive understanding of what this exhibition, and this multi-faceted dimension of photography, is all about. It’s a pity that our venerable institutions and the photography curators in them seem to have had a paucity of ideas when it comes to expounding interesting critiques of the medium over the last twenty years or so. What a missed opportunity.

Dr Marcus Bunyan for the Art Blart blog

Many thankx to MoMA for allowing me to publish six of the photographs in the posting. The rest of the images were sourced from the Internet. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.



Surveying the Studio

Bruce Nauman (American, born 1941) 'Composite Photo of Two Messes on the Studio Floor' 1967


Bruce Nauman (American, born 1941)
Composite Photo of Two Messes on the Studio Floor 
Gelatin silver print
40 1/2″ x 10′ 3″ (102.9 x 312.4 cm)
Gift of Philip Johnson


Uta Barth (American, born 1958) 'Sundial (07.13)' 2007


Uta Barth (American, born 1958)
Sundial (07.13)
Chromogenic color prints
each 30 x 28 1/4″ (76.2 x 71.8 cm)
The Photography Council Fund


Geta Brâtescu (Romanian, born 1926) 'The Studio. Invocation of the Drawing' (L'Atelier. Invocarea desenului) 1979


Geta Brâtescu (Romanian, born 1926)
The Studio. Invocation of the Drawing (L’Atelier. Invocarea desenului)
Gelatin silver prints with tempera on paper
33 1/16 x 27 9/16″ (84 x 70 cm)
Modern Women’s Fund


Man Ray (American, 1890-1976) 'Laboratory of the Future' 1935


Man Ray (American, 1890-1976)
Laboratory of the Future
Gelatin silver print
9 1/16 x 7″ (23.1 x 17.8 cm)
Gift of James Johnson Sweeney


Charles Sheeler (American, 1883-1965) 'Cactus and Photographer's Lamp, New York' 1931


Charles Sheeler (American, 1883-1965)
Cactus and Photographer’s Lamp, New York
Gelatin silver print
9 1/2 x 6 5/8″ (23.5 x 16.6 cm)
Gift of Samuel M. Kootz



“Bringing together photographs, films, videos, and works in other mediums, A World of Its Own: Photographic Practices in the Studio examines the ways in which photographers and artists using photography have worked and experimented within the four walls of the studio space, from photography’s inception to today. Featuring both new acquisitions and works from the Museum’s collection that have not been on view in recent years, A World of Its Own includes approximately 180 works, by approximately 90 artists, such as Berenice Abbott, Uta Barth, Zeke Berman, Karl Blossfeldt, Constantin Brancusi, Geta Brătescu, Harry Callahan, Robert Frank, Jan Groover, Barbara Kasten, Man Ray, Bruce Nauman, Paul Outerbridge, Irving Penn, Adrian Piper, Edward Steichen, William Wegman, and Edward Weston.

The exhibition considers the various roles played by the photographer’s studio as an autonomous space; depending on the time period, context, and the individual motivations (commercial, artistic, scientific) and sensibilities of the photographer, the studio may be a stage, a laboratory, or a playground. Organized thematically, the display unfolds in multiple chapters. Throughout the 20th century, artists have explored their studio spaces using photography, from the use of composed theatrical tableaux (in photographs by Julia Margaret Cameron or Cindy Sherman) to neutral, blank backdrops (Richard Avedon, Robert Mapplethorpe); from the construction of architectural sets within the studio space (Francis Bruguière, Thomas Demand) to chemical procedures conducted within the darkroom (Walead Beshty, Christian Marclay); and from precise recordings of time and motion (Eadweard Muybridge, Dr. Harold E. Edgerton) to amateurish or playful experimentation (Roman Signer, Peter Fischli/David Weiss). A World of Its Own offers another history of photography, a photography created within the walls of the studio, and yet as groundbreaking and inventive as its seemingly more extroverted counterpart, street photography.”

Text from the MoMA website


The exhibition is divided into 6 themes each with its own gallery space:

1. Surveying the Studio

2. The Studio as Stage

3. The Studio as Set

4. A Neutral Space

5. Virtual Spaces

6. The Studio, from Laboratory to Playground


The Studio as Stage

George Platt Lynes (American, 1907-1955) 'Untitled' 1941


George Platt Lynes (American, 1907-1955)
Gelatin silver print
7 5/8 x 9 5/8″ (19.2 x 24.4 cm)
Anonymous gift


Lucas Samaras (American, born Greece 1936) 'Auto Polaroid' 1969-71


Lucas Samaras (American, born Greece 1936)
Auto Polaroid
Eighteen black-and-white instant prints (Polapan), with hand-applied ink
each 3 3/4 x 2 15/16″ (9.5 x 7.4 cm)
overall 14 5/8 x 24″ (37.2 x 61 cm)
Gift of Robert and Gayle Greenhill


Lucas Samaras (American, born Greece 1936) 'Auto Polaroid' 1969-71 (detail)

Lucas Samaras (American, born Greece 1936) 'Auto Polaroid' 1969-71 (detail)

Lucas Samaras (American, born Greece 1936) 'Auto Polaroid' 1969-71 (detail)


Lucas Samaras (American, born Greece 1936)
Auto Polaroid (details)
Eighteen black-and-white instant prints (Polapan), with hand-applied ink
each 3 3/4 x 2 15/16″ (9.5 x 7.4 cm)
overall 14 5/8 x 24″ (37.2 x 61 cm)
Gift of Robert and Gayle Greenhill


Julia Margaret Cameron (British, 1815-1879) 'Madonna with Children' 1864


Julia Margaret Cameron (British, 1815-1879)
Madonna with Children
Albumen silver print
10 1/2 x 8 5/8″ (26.7 x 21.9 cm)
Gift of Shirley C. Burden


Julia Margaret Cameron (British, 1815-1879) 'Untitled (Mary Ryan?)' c. 1867


Julia Margaret Cameron (British, 1815-1879)
Untitled (Mary Ryan?)
c. 1867
Albumen silver print
13 3/16 x 11″ (33.5 x 27.9 cm)
Gift of Shirley C. Burden


Nadar (Gaspard-Félix Tournachon) (French, 1820-1910) Adrien Tournachon (French, 1825-1903) 'Pierrot Surprised' 1854-55


Nadar (Gaspard-Félix Tournachon) (French, 1820-1910)
Adrien Tournachon (French, 1825-1903)
Pierrot Surprised
Albumen silver print
11 1/4 x 8 3/16″ (28.6 x 20.8 cm)
Suzanne Winsberg Collection. Gift of Suzanne Winsberg


Maurice Tabard (French, 1897-1984) 'Untitled' 1929


Maurice Tabard (French, 1897-1984)
Gelatin silver print
6 9/16 x 6 1/2″ (16.7 x 16.5 cm)
Gift of Robert Shapazian


Edward Steichen (American, born Luxembourg. 1879-1973) 'Anna May Wong' 1930


Edward Steichen (American, born Luxembourg. 1879-1973)
Anna May Wong
Gelatin silver print
16 9/16 x 13 7/16″ (42.1 x 34.1 cm)
Gift of the artist


Cindy Sherman (American, born 1954) 'Untitled #131' 1983


Cindy Sherman (American, born 1954)
Untitled #131
Chromogenic color print
35 x 16 1/2″ (89 x 41.9 cm)
Joel and Anne Ehrenkranz Fund


The Studio as Set

Barbara Kasten (American, born 1936) 'Construct I-F' 1979


Barbara Kasten (American, born 1936)
Construct I-F
Color instant print (Polaroid Polacolor)
9 1/2 x 7 1/2″ (24.0 x 19.0 cm)
Acquired through the generosity of Wendy Larsen


Barbara Kasten (American, born 1936) 'Construct NYC 17' 1984


Barbara Kasten (American, born 1936)
Construct NYC 17
Silver dye bleach print
29 3/8 x 37 1/16″ (74.7 x 94.1 cm)
Gift of Foster Goldstrom


James Casebere (American, born 1953) 'Subdivision with Spotlight' 1982


James Casebere (American, born 1953)
Subdivision with Spotlight
Gelatin silver print
14 13/16 x 18 15/16″ (37.6 x 48.1 cm)


Francis Bruguière (American, 1879-1945) 'Light Abstraction' c. 1925


Francis Bruguière (American, 1879-1945)
Light Abstraction
c. 1925
Gelatin silver print
9 15/16 x 7 15/16″ (25.2 x 20.2 cm)
Gift of Arnold Newman


Paul Outerbridge (American, 1896-1958) 'Images de Deauville' 1936


Paul Outerbridge (American, 1896-1958)
Images de Deauville
Tri-color carbro print
15 3/4 x 12 1/4″ (40 x 31.1 cm)
Gift of Mrs. Ralph Seward Allen


Elad Lassry (Israeli, born 1977) 'Nailpolish' 2009


Elad Lassry (Israeli, born 1977)
Chromogenic color print
14 1/2 x 11 1/2″ (36.8 x 29.2 cm)
Fund for the Twenty-First Century



The Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53 Street
New York, NY 10019
Phone: (212) 708-9400

Opening hours:
10.30 am – 5.30 pm
Open seven days a week

MoMA website


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Exhibition: ‘Ladies and Gentlemen: The Camera as a Mirror’ at the Moderna Museet, Malmö, Sweden

Exhibition dates: 18th February 2012 – 22nd April 2012


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



Cindy Sherman. 'Untitled Film Still #56' 1980


Cindy Sherman (American, b. 1954)
Untitled Film Still #56
© Cindy Sherman. Courtesy of the Artist and Metro Pictures


Samuel Fosso. 'Sans titre. De la série Années 70' 1970-1980


Samuel Fosso (Cameroon, b. 1962)
Sans titre. De la série Années 70
Gelatin silver print
© Samuel Fosso, Courtesy JM Patras/Paris


Robert Mapplethorpe. 'Patti Smith' 1979


Robert Mapplethorpe (American, 1946-1989)
Patti Smith
Gelatin silver print
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation


Robert Mapplethorpe. 'Self Portrait' 1980


Robert Mapplethorpe (American, 1946-1989)
Self Portrait
Gelatin silver print
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation


Seydou Keïta. 'Untitled #419' 1950-1952


Seydou Keïta (Mali, 1921-2001)
Untitled #419
Gelatin silver print
© Seydou Keïta / SKPEAC


Seydou Keïta. 'Untitled #420' 1950-1952


Seydou Keïta (Mali, 1921-2001)
Untitled #420
© Seydou Keïta / SKPEAC



This spring we will be showing more than forty photographs from the period 1950-90 taken by leading artists such as Andy Warhol, Cindy Sherman, Robert Mapplethorpe, Samuel Fosso, Tracey Moffatt, and Elina Brotherus. The exhibition focuses on the art of portrait photography and how the artist in his or her studio creates images that depict people not just as they actually are, but also as they would like to appear.

Moderna Museet’s collection of photography is among the foremost in Europe, it includes some of the most prominent figures in the history of photography. Andy Warhol, Cindy Sherman, and Robert Mapplethorpe are all big names in photography, artists whose work often revolves around concepts of identity, sexuality, and performativity. The photography studio is a place for masquerades and manipulations, a stage where various identities and roles can be tested. It therefore problematises the idea that a portrait is meant to convey some truth about the subject’s inner life. How do we distinguish a staged scene from reality? Is it even possible to make such a distinction? How free are we to form our own identity? If it’s a matter of choosing a role, what roles are available to us?

Andy Warhol’s Polaroid pictures, whose title, Ladies and Gentlemen, has also provided the name for the exhibition, are examples of his interest in – or rather his obsession with – celebrities. From industrial magnates to movie stars, from rock musicians to the “superstar” friends who hung out around the Factory, his fabled studio. In the world of pop art and popular culture, surface is everything. Robert Mapplethorpe’s photographs are instead classically composed – stylised and aesthetically formed. In the controlled environment and lighting of the photo studio, he strives not for realism but for beauty. Here role-play becomes a part of the picture’s constructed character.

In Cindy Sherman’s suite of images called Untitled Film Stills (1977-80), she plays with film clichés. The scenes and characters in her photographs seem familiar, but in fact it’s always Sherman herself we see in the leading role. Using the camera as a mirror, she takes on and explores various roles. It’s a game of trying on identities that is familiar to teenagers in particular the world over, a game we play in an attempt to find ourselves, or rather to construct an individual identity. One of the many ways in which Sherman’s pictures have been interpreted is as a feminist critique of the limited number of roles available to women.

This exhibition also presents several works by Seydou Keïta, Malick Sidibé, and Samuel Fosso, studio photographers who work primarily with portrait photography. Keïta’s studio was next-door to a movie theater in Bamako, the capitol city of Mali. Sidibé takes pictures not just in his studio but also at weddings and other parties. His photographs from Bamako in the 1960s reflect the great hope that came with liberation from French colonial power. Fosso opened his studio in Bangui, in the Central African Republic, when he was still a teenager. He is best known for a series of self-portraits in which he dons a variety of outfits to assume different roles.

Press release from the Moderna Museet website


Elina Brotherus. 'Honeymoon' 1997 (detail)


Elina Brotherus (Finnish, b. 1972)
Honeymoon (detail)
© Elina Brotherus


Francesco Vezzoli. 'Portrait of H.R.H The Princess of Hanover (Before & After Salvador Dalí)' 2009


Francesco Vezzoli (Italian, b. 1971)
Portrait of H.R.H The Princess of Hanover (Before & After Salvador Dalí)
© Francesco Vezzoli/BUS 2012


Andy Warhol. 'Gianni Agnelli' 1972


Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987)
Gianni Agnelli
© Andy Warhol/BUS 2012


Andy Warhol. 'John Chamberlain and Lorraine' 1978


Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987)
John Chamberlain and Lorraine
© Andy Warhol/BUS2012


Andy Warhol. 'Ladies and Gentlemen (Wilhelmina Ross)' 1974


Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987)
Ladies and Gentlemen (Wilhelmina Ross)
© Andy Warhol/BUS 2012



Moderna Museet Malmö
Gasverksgatan 22 in Malmö

Moderna Museet Malmö is located in the city centre of Malmö. Ten minutes walk from the Central station, five minutes walk from Gustav Adolfs torg and Stortorget.

Opening hours:
Tuesday, Thursday – Sunday 11-18
Wednesday 11-21
Mondays closed

Moderna Museet Malmö website


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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: ‘Orphans and small groups’ 1994-96 Part 2

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