Posts Tagged ‘the international center of photography


Two exhibitions by photographer John Wood: ‘On the Edge of Clear Meaning’ at Grey Art Gallery, New York and ‘Quiet Protest’ at the International Center of Photography, New York

Exhibition dates

Grey Art Gallery,  12th May – 18th July, 2009
International Center of Photography, 15th May – 6th September 2009


Fantastic to see such a talented artist, truly a ground breaker, get the recognition he so richly deserves!


Grey Art Gallery

“John Wood: On the Edge of Clear Meaning, on view at the Grey Art Gallery from May 12 through July 18, 2009, is the most comprehensive exhibition of the artist’s work to date. Featuring the full range of his career from the 1960s to the present, the show includes over 150 photographs, mixed-media works, and artists’ books. A selection of Wood’s photomontages, Quiet Protest, will be on view concurrently at the International Center of Photography.


John Wood. 'Untitled' 1986–89


John Wood
Stained gelatin silver print from paper stencil


John Wood. 'Beach Drawing' 1983


John Wood
‘Beach Drawing’



John Wood (born 1922) has consistently challenged traditional photography, often incorporating painting, drawing, and collage as well as cliché verre, solarization, and offset lithography. The artist emphasizes the role of drawing in his work: “Mark making, calligraphy, the kinetic motion of the movement of the hand, are very important to me; probably more important than anything else.” Transgressing the boundaries of “pure photography,” his eclectic practice has helped usher in alternative approaches to the medium. With their adroit manipulations of picture and text, his diaristic, multi-media compositions anticipate today’s digital imagery. On the Edge of Clear Meaning is Wood’s first museum retrospective, spanning his career from the early 1960s to the present.

His early childhood was marked by the Depression, and his family moved frequently. After serving in the Army Air Corps as a B-17 pilot during World War II, he enrolled at the Institute of Design in Chicago. Wood trained as a visual designer and photographer, studying with Harry Callahan and Art Sinsabaugh to hone both conceptual and formal issues in his work. He left Chicago to teach photography and printmaking at the School of Art and Design at Alfred University in Alfred, New York, where he would live for thirty-five years. He now resides in Baltimore, Maryland with his wife, Laurie Snyder, who teaches photography at the Maryland Institute College of Art. They migrate each summer to their home and studio in Ithaca, New York.


John Wood. 'Eagle Pelt' 1985


John Wood
‘Eagle Pelt’


John Wood. 'Pear Tree Cooling Tower and Apples' 1991


John Wood
‘Pear Tree Cooling Tower and Apples’
Collage, gelatin silver print, Polaroid SX70, and paper



In keeping with the Grey Art Gallery’s tradition of presenting the work of under-represented artists, this exhibition introduces John Wood as a master of various multi-media processes and testifies to his insatiable curiosity about new materials and repeated use of favorite sources. Through disciplined but lively investigation of different media, the artist eroded traditional definitions of photography and produced work that is both powerful and subtle. As Lynn Gumpert, Director of the Grey, notes, “John Wood has been a life-long teacher, inspiring and training numerous students, artists, and arts professionals. We are honored to bring the breadth of his work to New York City, home to many art schools, colleges, and universities.”

Text from the Grey Art Gallery website and press release


John Wood. 'Blackbird Some Have Hunger' 1986


John Wood
‘Blackbird Some Have Hunger’
Collage, cyanotype, and graphite



International Center of Photography

“Quiet Protest is a series of photographic works by the noted mixed media artist and educator John Wood, spanning a period from the 1960s through the 1990s. Part of a larger retrospective at New York University’s Grey Art Gallery, the “Quiet Protest” series explores political and social issues of the day through thoughtful photo montage pieces that exist in marked contrast to more traditional aggressive documentary photography. Rather than offering explanations or promoting solutions, Wood’s manipulated photographs present contemplative routes into issues ranging from the Vietnam War to domestic gun violence to ecological concerns. As Wood wrote in 1970, “…maybe the time has come for creative photography to encompass the large problems without propaganda or journalism…”

Text from the International Center of Photography website


John Wood. 'Rifle Bullets and Daises' 1967


John Wood
‘Rifle Bullets and Daises’


Triangle in the Landscape: Eleven Second 90 Degree Turn of a Paper Triangle, August 6, 1985 (Hiroshima Day)


John Wood
‘Triangle in the Landscape: Eleven Second 90 Degree Turn of a Paper Triangle’
August 6, 1985 (Hiroshima Day)


John Wood. 'Loon Drawer and Bomb' 1987


John Wood
‘Loon Drawer and Bomb’
Collage, cyanotype, and toned silver gelatin print



Grey Art Gallery

New York University
100 Washington Square East

Opening hours
Tuesdays/Thursdays/Fridays: 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
OPEN LATE Wednesdays: 11:00 am – 8:00 pm
Saturdays: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Closed Sundays, Mondays, and major holidays.

Grey Art Gallery website


International Center of Photography

1133 Avenue of the Americas at 43rd Street
New York, NY 10036

Opening hours:
Tuesday–Thursday: 10:00 am–6:00 pm
Friday: 10:00 am–8:00 pm
Saturday–Sunday: 10:00 am–6:00 pm
Closed Mondays

International Center of Photography website


‘John Wood: On the Edge of Clear Meaning’ by David Strauss et al (Hardcover) 2008
Available from the Amazon website

Bookmark and Share


Exhibition: ‘Of Life and Loss: The Polish Photographs of Roman Vishniac and Jeffrey Gusky’ at The Detroit Institute of Arts

Exhibition dates: April 15 – July 12, 2009


Hardly any photographs by Jeffrey Gusky online but he has provided some via email. I will post them asap. Thankyou very much Jeff for contacting me. I didn’t know much about the photographer Roman Vishniac but after more research I am so glad I do now. What a photographer!

Just look at the image below to see a masterpiece of classical photography. Look at the space between the figures, the tension almost palpable, the look on the granddaughters face and the wringing of her hands a portent of the despair to come. A good archive of his photographs is on the International Center of Photography website.


Roman Vishniac. 'Grandfather and granddaugther' Lublin, 1937


Roman Vishniac
‘Grandfather and granddaugther’
Lublin, 1937


“This exhibition, organized by the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, includes around 90 black-and-white photographs taken by two photographers: Roman Vishniac, who photographed throughout Poland’s Jewish communities in the mid-1930s, and Jeffrey Gusky who photographed many of the same Polish sites during the 1990s. 

In 1935, Russian-born photographer Roman Vishniac was commissioned by the American Joint Distribution Committee (a Paris-based relief agency) to photograph Jewish communities in the cities and villages of Poland as well as other areas of Eastern Europe. He took over 16,000 photographs (around 2,000 have survived) depicting the people, life, homes, schools, and trades of these communities. The photographs, in turn, were to be used to help raise money for humanitarian aid for individuals in areas that were becoming increasingly destitute. 

In 1996, Jeffrey Gusky, an amateur photographer and doctor of Russian-Jewish descent set out on a personal journey in search of Jewish identity and culture in Eastern Europe. He made the first of four trips to Poland where he traveled to cities and villages where Jews had lived and worked for centuries. Gusky photographed what remained of Jewish culture in Poland focusing on the ruins of synagogues, cemeteries—many of which were desecrated, and the empty and still streets.”

Text from the Detroit Institute of Arts website


Roman Vishniac. 'Isaac Street, Kazimierz, Cracow' nd


Roman Vishniac
‘Isaac Street, Kazimierz, Cracow’


Roman Vishniac. 'A street of Kazimierz, Cracow' nd


Roman Vishniac
‘A street of Kazimierz, Cracow’


“Examining each photographer separately, Vishniac and Gusky have very distinctive photographic styles. Due to the nature of his project and the ever-escalating semblance of anti-semitism, Vishniac’s photographs are less polished and more emotionally raw in an attempt to tell the stories of people’s individual lives. By contrast, Gusky finds inspiration in the physical places which made up the world of now entirely absent communities of Jews.

While each photographer had an individual style and statement to make, it is both the relationship with and stark difference between the two that provides the greatest emotional poignancy. The exhibition pairs many Vishniac and Gusky photographs, illuminating the individual lives lost, culture destroyed, and environments degraded by decades of neglect in Poland, as Gusky photographed the desecrated cemeteries, crumbling synagogues, and empty streets that served as the backdrop for Vishniac’s scenes of mid-century Jewish life.

There are also several points of convergence in the biographies of Vishniac and Gusky.  Like Vishniac, Gusky is of Russian Jewish descent, and both men were compelled to their photographic projects in part by personal reasons springing from their Jewish heritage. The photographers also have professional ties to biological science which embody their work through illustration of the fragility of human life.” 

Text from the Santa Barbara Museum website


Jeffrey Gusky. 'Broken stained glass window, Wielkie, Oczy' 2001


Jeffrey Gusky
‘Broken stained glass window, Wielkie, Oczy’


Roman Vishniac. 'A Boy with a toothache. Next year another child will inherit the tattered schoolbook. Slonim' ca 1935-38


Roman Vishniac
‘A Boy with a toothache. Next year another child will inherit the tattered schoolbook. Slonim’
ca. 1935-38


“Vishniac was born in Russia, and fled to Berlin with his family in 1920. He worked as a biologist and supplemented his income as a photographer. Eventually he became compelled to use photography to document people and communities throughout Europe. In the 1930s Vishniac was commissioned by the Joint Distribution Committee, a Paris-based relief agency, to photograph Jewish life in Poland, where he took over 16,000 photographs (only 2,000 survived the war) over a three-year period. He photographed vibrant communities filled with people in their homes and schools, at their trades and in their streets, markets and temples. His poignant works are evidence of communities filled with life despite the lack of food, medical care and livelihood that prevailed. 

Gusky is a physician in rural Texas who began photographing as a way to explore Jewish identity. Although a Jew of Russian decent, he became interested in the history of Jews in Poland after hearing a radio interview with Ruth Ellen Gruber, an American journalist who documented the ruins of Jewish communities in Eastern Europe. His photographs depict the vacant and somber sites of once-thriving Jewish communities throughout the country. With these images, Gusky reveals a powerful, dramatic message about a lost culture that was once part of Poland’s Jewish past. This initial photographic work has led him to further examine “the void of modern life,” and the threat of genocide that continues to haunt humankind of all ethnicities and cultures in the past and present.”

Text from the website


Roman Vishniac. 'Boys and Books' 1935-38


Roman Vishniac
‘Boys and Books’
ca. 1935-38


Roman Vishniac. 'Children at Play, Bratislava' ca. 1935-38


Roman Vishniac
‘Children at Play, Bratislava’
ca. 1935-38


The above photograph reminds me of the Henri Cartier-Bresson photograph below.


Henri Cartier-Bresson. 'Children in Seville' 1933


Henri Cartier-Bresson
‘Children in Seville’



Detroit Institute of Arts
5200 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, Michigan 48202
Main Line: 313.833.7900
Weekend Hotline: 313.833.7530
TDD: 313.833.1454

Detroit Institute of the Arts website

International Center of Photography website

Bookmark and Share


‘Edward Steichen In High Fashion: The Conde Nast Years, 1923 – 1937’ at the International Centre of Photography, New York

Edward Steichen. "Gloria Swanson" nd


Edward Steichen
‘Gloria Swanson’


“As part of the International Center of Photography’s 2009 Year of Fashion, the museum will host a retrospective of Edward Steichen’s fashion and celebrity portraiture. Edward Steichen: In High Fashion, The Condé Nast Years, 1923-1937, will be on view at ICP (1133 Avenue of the Americas at 43rd Street) from January 16 through May 3, 2009. It will feature 175 vintage photographs, drawn mainly from the extensive archive of original prints at Condé Nast, along with a selection of important prints from the collection of the George Eastman House Museum. This will be the first exhibition in which the full range of his fashion photography and celebrity portraiture will be shown, including many images that have never been exhibited before. Having previously traveled throughout Europe, the exhibition will be presented on its North American tour in this version only at ICP. “


Edward Steichen. Conde Nast photograph. 1928


Edward Steichen
Conde Nast photograph


“Edward Steichen (1879-1973) was already a famed Pictorialist photographer and painter in the United States and abroad when he was offered the position of chief photographer for Vogue and Vanity Fair by Condé Nast. Upon assuming the job, the forty-four year old artist began one of the most lucrative and controversial careers in photography. To Alfred Stieglitz and his followers, Steichen was seen as damaging the cause of photography as a fine art by agreeing to do commercial editorial work. Nevertheless, Steichen’s years at Condé Nast magazines were extraordinarily prolific and inspired. He began by applying the soft focus style he had helped create to the photography of fashion. But soon he revolutionized the field, banishing the gauzy light of the Pictorialist era and replacing it with the clean, crisp lines of Modernism. In the process he changed the presentation of the fashionable woman from that of a distant, romantic creature to that of a much more direct, appealing, independent figure. At the same time he created lasting portraits of hundreds of leading personalities in movies, theatre, literature, politics, music, and sports, including Gloria Swanson, Gary Cooper, Marlene Dietrich, Joan Crawford, Colette, Winston Churchill, Amelia Earhart, Jack Dempsey, Noel Coward, Greta Garbo, Dorothy Parker, and Cecil B. De Mille.”

from the website


Edward Steichen. "Gary Cooper" 1930


Edward Steichen
‘Gary Cooper’


“An exhibition of 175 works by Edward Steichen drawn largely from the Condé Nast archives, this is the first presentation to give serious consideration to the full range of Steichen’s fashion images. Organized by the Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne, and the Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography, Minneapolis, in conjunction with the International Center of Photography, the exhibition will open at ICP after an extensive tour in Europe. Steichen’s approach to fashion photography was formative and over the course of his career he changed public perceptions of the American woman. An architect of American Modernism and a Pictorialist, Steichen exhibited his fashion images alongside his art photographs. Steichen’s crisp, detailed, high-key style revolutionized fashion photography, and his influence is felt in the field to this day—Richard Avedon, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Bruce Weber are among his stylistic successors.”

from the International Centre of Photography website


Edward Steichen. "Katherine Hepburn wearing a coat by Clare Potter." 1933


Edward Steichen
‘Katherine Hepburn wearing a coat by Clare Potter’


Exhibition dates: January 16th – May 3rd 2009

International Centre of Photography website


Conference: ‘What is Real? Photography and the Politics of Truth’ at The International Center of Photography


Afghanistan (Abdul Aziz holding a photograph of his brother, Mula Abdul Hakim) 1997


Fazal SheikhThe Victor Weeps: Afghanistan (Abdul Aziz holding a photograph of his brother, Mula Abdul Hakim) 1997


What is Real? Photography and the Politics of Truth

“This conference brings together renowned photographers, artists, writers, curators, and scholars in a series of panels and conversations:
– Redefining Documentary: The State of Documentary Photography Today
– Art versus Document: An (Un)comfortable Union?
– Public/Private: Community in the Digital Age
– Who Needs Truth Anyway? The Uses and Ethics of Documentary

Participants include Ariella Azoulay, Geoffrey Batchen, Nayland Blake, Okwui Enwezor, Thomas Keenan, Thomas Y. Levin, Maria Lind, Susan Meiselas, Walid Raad, Martha Rosler, Brian Wallis, and others.”

The International Center of Photography 
Presents A Two-Day Symposium 
to Examine The Changing Nature of Documentary Practice.


Fri. Dec. 12 2008 6–10 pm 
Sat. Dec. 13 2008 9–5 pm


242 West 41st Street
New York City

Marcus Bunyan black and white archive: ‘Études’ 1994

Join 2,393 other followers

Follow Art_Blart on Twitter
Art Blart on Pinterest

Recent Posts

Lastest tweets

Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes the Art Blart blog which reviews exhibitions in Melbourne, Australia and posts exhibitions from around the world. He has a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne and is currently studying a Master of Art Curatorship at The University of Melbourne.

October 2018
« Sep