TIMELINE OF WORLD HISTORY
 

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  History of photography

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CONTENTS
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History of photography
 
 
     
Abbe James
ABBOTT BERENICE
ADAMS ANSEL
Allen Albert
ARBUS DIANE
ATGET EUGENE
AVEDON RICHARD
Bailey David
BEATO FELICE

Beaton Cecil
BELLOCQ E. J.
BING ILSE  
BLOSSFELDT KARL
BLUMENFELD ERWIN
BOURKE-WHITE
BRADY MATHEW
BRANDT BILL
BRASSAI
BRAVO MANUEL
CALLAHAN HARRY
CAMERON JULIA
CLERGUE LUCIEN
Cunningham Imogen
Carroll Lewis
     
DOISNEAU ROBERT
Drtikol Frantisek
Duhrkoop Rudolf
DUNCAN DOUGLAS
Eisenstaedt Alfred
EVANS WALKER
Feininger  Andreas
FRISSELL TONI
GENTHE ARNOLD
     
Halsman Philippe
HAUSMANN RAOUL
Heartfield John
HINE LEWIS
Horst P. Horst
KARSH YOUSUF
Kasebier Gertrude
KERTESZ ANDRE
Kirkland Douglas
KLEIN WILLIAM
KOUDELKA JOSEF
Lartigue Jacques Henri
Laughlin Clarence John

 

     
Maar Dora
Man Ray
McBEAN ANGUS
MEYER ADOLF

Miller Lee
MODOTTI TINA
MOHOLY-NAGY LAZLO
Munkacsi Martin
MURAY NICKOLAS
MUYBRIDGE EADWEARD
NADAR
NEWMAN ARNOLD

 

Outerbridge Paul
     
PARKS GORDON

 

REJLANDER OSCAR
RIIS JACOB
ROBINSON HENRY
Rodchenko Alexander
SANDER AUGUST
SHERMAN CINDY
Skoglund Sandy
Smith William Eugene
Smith Rodney
STEICHEN EDWARD
STIEGLITZ ALFRED
     
Tabard Maurice
TEIGE KAREL
UELSMANN JERRY VALLOU DE VILLENEUVE JULIEN
     
  Watson Albert
WEEGEE (ARTHUR FELLIG)
WESTON EDWARD
 
 
     
 
 
 

Portraiture

Formal portraiture—a time-honored photographic specialty that still engages photographers everywhere— has been less influenced than other types of photography by changes in theory and in technique during the postwar years (with the exception of digitally produced portraits). The basic treatment of the human face has, in fact, changed little since the medium's infancy. Expression, gesture, lighting, and decor continue to be seen as keys to revealing (neighborhoods) in Beijing the sitter's class, profession, and psychology. This traditional outlook has been encouraged in part by consumers' unsated desire for images of the famous, which in turn has prompted editors and publishers to reproduce such images in magazines and books. There are notable photographers— among them Philippe Halsman, Yousuf Karsh, Arnold Newman, and Annie Leibovitz—who have devoted themselves almost exclusively to this pursuit. Working both in color and in black and white, Newman, for instance, incorporated into richly orchestrated representations emblems that suggest either his sitter's artistic style or subject matter. His approach is exemplified by Georgia O'Keeffe, Ghost Ranch, New Mexico, in which the treatment of space and the props are meant to bring to mind the artist's own preoccupation with the landscape of the American West. Leibovitz has adapted this approach to contemporary sensibilities by placing her sitters in settings that at first glance may seem less formal but are equally artificial and considerably more startling. Richard Avedon, whose interests include portraiture as well as fashion, occasionally uses eye-catching props but always places sitters against a flat monochromatic back-drop. Other notable portraitists, who worked either on commission or from personal choice—including Gisele Freund and Madame D'Ora in France, Brandt in England, Chargesheimer (born Carl-Heinz Hargesheimer) and Fritz Kempe in Germany, and Anatole Sadermann in Argentina— suggested personality by capturing characteristic expression and by manipulating lighting, as in the D'Ora portrait of Colette.

Many photographers have portrayed themselves in the course of their life's work, but within the past two decades or so, there has appeared a distinctive use of the self-portrait to comment upon the anxiety and strangeness of contemporary existence. The Finnish photographer Arno Rafael Minkkinen directs scenes in which his body—or a portion of it-—appears as an integral part of the landscape— such as an outcropping or rock formation. Dieter Appelt, a German former opera singer, also stages scenes to be photographed, tying his nude body to trees or encasing portions of it in cement . Neither has self-portraiture as his primary purpose; rather, like Cindy Sherman, they use drama and ritual in conjunction with photography to make transcendent statements.

Uncommissioned portraits of uncelebrated people, often strangers to the photographer, are largely a 20th-century phenomenon made possible by the camera's having become a commonplace, unobtrusive tool. Street photographers from Carrier-Bresson to Winogrand have frequently had multiple aims for such portraiture: to capture facial expression and gestures that reveal emotional states; to express subjective feelings about a situation; to serve as a vehicle for statements about the irrationality of existence. While some photographers continue to view candid portraiture—whether of strangers in the street or family at home—as a way of effecting a seamless interplay of fact and feeling, others now find directorial techniques to be a more effective means of expressing feelings and ideas about the individual and society. This approach is embodied in portraits by the California photographer Judy Dater, who worked during the 1970s (with Jack Welpott) on a series entitled Women and Other Visions. Those works are emblematic of the photographer's interest in the role of women in American society. The sitters, shot in their own homes, were given a degree of freedom in the choice of pose and costume; the distinctive sense of self they convey, as in Laura Mae, may have been encouraged by their awareness of Dater's involvement in the emerging feminist movement. This chapter has shown that individualized expression in straight photography has expanded considerably during the past several decades. Photographers and the public have come to accept the camera image as a metaphor, as the expression of private experience, as a subjective document, and as a statement about the potential and the limitations of photography In addition, although it is being transformed by electronic technology, the camera continues to play a vital role in journalism. Owing to the fact that photographs are relatively inexpensive and that they easily move from one country to another (either as originals or in reproduction), photographic concepts and styles formulated in one place can quickly become part of an international mainstream. In effect, camera expression has become a language with more or less a common vocabulary throughout the industrialized nations of the world. When one adds the possibilities offered by color and by manipulations of all sorts—to be discussed in the next chapter—this language will be seen to be one or invigorating richness.



Xu YONG. Hutong in the Rain, I989.
Gelatin silver print. Chinese Photographers Association, Beijing




PHILIPPE HALSMAN. Dali Atomicus, 1948.
Gelatin silver print. Neikrug Gallery, New York.

PHILIPPE HALSMAN

Philippe Halsman (Latvian: Filips Halsmans; 2 May 1906 Riga, Latvia - 25 June 1979 New York City) was a Latvian-born American portrait photographer.
Born to a Jewish family of Morduch (Max) Halsman, a dentist, and Ita Grintuch, a grammar school principal, in Riga, Halsman studied electrical engineering in Dresden.
In September 1928, Halsman went on a hiking tour in the Austrian Alps with his father, Morduch. During this tour, Morduch died from severe head injuries. The circumstances were never completely clarified and Halsman was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for patricide. The case provoked anti-Jewish propaganda and thus gained international publicity, and Albert Einstein and Thomas Mann wrote in support of Halsman. Halsman was finally released in 1931, under the condition that he leave Austria for good, never to return.
Halsman consequently left Austria for France. He began contributing to fashion magazines such as Vogue and soon gained a reputation as one of the best portrait photographers in France, renowned for his sharp, dark images that shunned the old soft focus look. When France was invaded, Halsman fled to Marseille and he eventually managed to obtain a U.S. visa, aided by family friend Albert Einstein (whom he later famously photographed in 1947).
Halsman had his first success in America when the cosmetics firm Elizabeth Arden used his image of model Constance Ford against the American flag in an advertising campaign for "Victory Red" lipstick. A year later in 1942 he found work with Life magazine, photographing hat designs, one of which, a portrait of a model in a Lily Daché hat, was his first of the many covers he would do for Life.

In 1941 Halsman met the surrealist artist Salvador Dalí and they began to collaborate in the late 1940s. The 1948 work Dali Atomicus explores the idea of suspension, depicting three cats flying, a bucket of thrown water, and Salvador Dalí in mid air. The title of the photograph is a reference to Dalí's work Leda Atomica which can be seen in the right of the photograph behind the two cats. Halsman reported that it took 28 attempts to be satisfied with the result. Halsman and Dali eventually released a compendium of their collaborations in the 1954 book Dali's Mustache, which features 36 different views of the artist's distinctive mustache. Another famous collaboration between the two was In Voluptas Mors, a surrealistic portrait of Dali beside a large skull, in fact a tableau vivant composed of seven nudes. Halsman took three hours to arrange the models according to a sketch by Dali.
In 1947, he made what was to become one of his most famous photos of a mournful Albert Einstein, who during the photography session recounted his regrets about his role in the United States pursuing the atomic bomb. The photo would later be used in 1966 on a U.S. postage stamp and in 1999, on the cover of Time Magazine, when Time dubbed Einstein as "Person of the Century."

In 1951 Halsman was commissioned by NBC to photograph various popular comedians of the time including Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Groucho Marx, and Bob Hope. While photographing the comedians doing their acts, he captured many of the comedians in mid air, which went on to inspire many later jump pictures of celebrities including the Ford family, The Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Marilyn Monroe and Richard Nixon.
Halsman commented, "When you ask a person to jump, his attention is mostly directed toward the act of jumping and the mask falls so that the real person appears." The photographer developed a philosophy of jump photography, which he called jumpology. He published Philippe Halsman's Jump Book in 1959, which contained a tongue-in-cheek discussion of jumpology and 178 photographs of celebrity jumpers.
His 1961 book Halsman on the Creation of Photographic Ideas, discussed ways for photographers to produce unusual pieces of work, by following three rules: "the rule of the unusual technique", "the rule of the added unusual feature" and "the rule of the missing feature".
Other celebrities photographed by Halsman include Alfred Hitchcock, Judy Garland, Winston Churchill, Marilyn Monroe, Dorothy Dandridge, and Pablo Picasso. Many of those photographs appeared on the cover of Life.
In 1952, John F. Kennedy had two photograph sittings by Halsman. The result was that one photograph from the first sitting appeared on the jacket of the original edition of Profiles in Courage. In the second sitting a photograph was used in the senatorial campaign.
In 1958 Halsman was listed in Popular Photography's "World's Ten Greatest Photographers", and in 1975 he received the Life Achievement in Photography Award from the American Society of Magazine Photographers. He also held numerous large exhibitions worldwide.
 


YOUSUF KARSH. Winston Churchill, 1941.
Gelatin silver print. International Center of Photography.

YOUSUF KARSH

Yousuf Karsh (December 23, 1908 – July 13, 2002) was a Canadian photographer of Armenian heritage, and one of the most famous and accomplished portrait photographers of all time.
Yousuf or Josuf (his given Armenian name was Hovsep) Karsh was born in Mardin, a city in the eastern Ottoman Empire (currently in Turkey). He grew up during the Armenian Genocide where he wrote, "I saw relatives massacred; my sister died of starvation as we were driven from village to village." At the age of 14, he fled with his family to Syria to escape persecution. Two years later, his parents sent Yousuf to live with his uncle George Nakash, a photographer in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada. Karsh briefly attended school there and assisted in his uncle’s studio. Nakash saw great potential in his nephew and in 1928 arranged for Karsh to apprentice with portrait photographer John Garo in Boston, United States. His brother, Malak Karsh, was also a photographer famous for the image of logs floating down the river on the Canadian one dollar bill.
Karsh returned to Canada four years later, eager to make his mark. He established a studio on Sparks Street in Ottawa, Ontario, close to Canada’s seat of government. Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie King discovered Karsh and arranged introductions with visiting dignitaries for portrait sittings. Karsh's work attracted the attention of varied celebrities, but his place in history was sealed on 30 December, 1941 when he photographed Winston Churchill after Churchill gave a speech to Canadian House of Commons in Ottawa.
The image of Churchill brought Karsh international prominence, and is claimed to be the most reproduced photographic portrait in history. In 1967, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada and in 1990 was promoted to Companion.
Of the 100 most notable people of the century, named by the International Who’s Who [2000], Karsh had photographed 51. Karsh was also the only Canadian to make the list.

In the late 90s he moved to Boston and on July 13, 2002 (He was 93 years old) Karsh died at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital after complications following surgery. He was interred in Notre Dame Cemetery in Ottawa. Karsh was a master of studio lights. One of Karsh's distinctive practices was lighting the subject's hands separately. He photographed many of the great and celebrated personalities of his generation. Throughout most of his career he used the 8×10 bellows Calumet (1997.0319) camera, made circa 1940 in Chicago. Journalist George Perry wrote in the British paper The Sunday Times that "when the famous start thinking of immortality, they call for Karsh of Ottawa."
Karsh had a gift for capturing the essence of his subject in the instant of his portrait. As Karsh wrote of his own work in Karsh Portfolio in 1967, "Within every man and woman a secret is hidden, and as a photographer it is my task to reveal it if I can. The revelation, if it comes at all, will come in a small fraction of a second with an unconscious gesture, a gleam of the eye, a brief lifting of the mask that all humans wear to conceal their innermost selves from the world. In that fleeting interval of opportunity the photographer must act or lose his prize."
Karsh said "My chief joy is to photograph the great in heart, in mind, and in spirit, whether they be famous or humble." His work is in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Canada, New York's Museum of Modern Art and Metropolitan Museum of Art, George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, Bibliotheque nationale de France, the National Portrait Gallery in London, the National Portrait Gallery of Australia and many others. Library and Archives Canada holds his complete collection, including negatives, prints and documents. His photographic equipment was donated to the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa.
Karsh published 15 books of his photographs, which include brief descriptions of the sessions, during which he would ask questions and talk with his subjects to relax them as he composed the portrait. Some famous subjects photographed by Karsh were Albert Einstein, Albert Schweitzer, Alexander Calder, Andy Warhol, Audrey Hepburn, Clark Gable, Dwight Eisenhower, Ernest Hemingway, Fidel Castro, Jacqueline Kennedy, Frank Lloyd Wright, General Pershing, George Bernard Shaw, Georgia O'Keeffe, Grey Owl, Helen Keller, Humphrey Bogart, Indira Gandhi, John F. Kennedy, Laurence Olivier, Marian Anderson, Madame Chiang Kai-Shek, Muhammad Ali, Pablo Casals, Pandit Nehru, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Paul Robeson, Joan Baez, Peter Lorre, Picasso, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Pope Pius XII, Pope John Paul II, Princess Elizabeth, Princess Grace, Prince Rainier of Monaco, Robert Frost, Ruth Draper, Field Marshal Lord Alanbrooke, the rock band Rush and, arguably his most famous portrait subject, Winston Churchill.

The story is often told of how Karsh created his famous portrait of Churchill during the early years of World War II. Churchill, the British prime minister, had just addressed the Canadian Parliament and Karsh was there to record one of the century's great leaders. "He was in no mood for portraiture and two minutes were all that he would allow me as he passed from the House of Commons chamber to an anteroom," Karsh wrote in Faces of Our Time. "Two niggardly minutes in which I must try to put on film a man who had already written or inspired a library of books, baffled all his biographers, filled the world with his fame, and me, on this occasion, with dread."
Churchill marched into the room scowling, "regarding my camera as he might regard the German enemy." His expression suited Karsh perfectly, but the cigar stuck between his teeth seemed incompatible with such a solemn and formal occasion. "Instinctively, I removed the cigar. At this the Churchillian scowl deepened, the head was thrust forward belligerently, and the hand placed on the hip in an attitude of anger."
The image captured Churchill and the Britain of the time perfectly — defiant and unconquerable. Churchill later said to him, "You can even make a roaring lion stand still to be photographed." As such, Karsh titled the photograph, The Roaring Lion.
However, Karsh's favourite photograph was the one taken immediately after this one where Churchill's mood had lightened considerably and is shown much in the same pose, but smiling.
Karsh has influenced many other photographers in different styles to become more independent and further motivate other artists.

 


ARNOLD NEWMAN. Georgia O'Keeffe,
Ghost Ranch, New Mexico, 1968.
Gelatin silver print.

ARNOLD NEWMAN

Arnold Abner Newman (3 March 1918, New York, NY —6 June 2006, New York, NY) was an American photographer, noted for his "environmental portraits" of artists and politicians. He was also known for his carefully composed abstract still life images.
Newman graduated high school in Miami Beach and attended the University of Miami studying painting and drawing with an introduction to Modernism. Unable to afford continuing after two years, he moved to Philadelphia, PA to work for a studio making 49-cent portraits. His time there taught the importance of interacting with his subjects and allowed him to develop his technique.

Newman returned to Florida in 1942 to manage a portrait studio in West Palm Beach. Three years later he opened his own business in Miami Beach. In 1946, Newman relocated to New York, opened Arnold Newman Studios and worked as a freelance photographer for Fortune, Life, and Newsweek.
Newman found his vision in the empathy he felt for artists and their work. Although he photographed many personalities — Marlene Dietrich, John F. Kennedy, Harry S. Truman, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso, Arthur Miller, Marilyn Monroe, Ronald Reagan and Mickey Mantle — he maintained that even if the subject is not known, or is already forgotten, the photograph itself must still excite and interest the viewer.
Newman is often credited with being the first photographer to use so-called environmental portraiture, in which the photographer places the subject in a carefully controlled setting to capture the essence of the individual's life and work. Newman normally captured his subjects in their most familiar surroundings with representative visual elements showing their professions and personalities. A musician for instance might be photographed in their recording studio or on stage, a Senator or other politician in their office or a representative building. Using a large-format camera and tripod, he worked to record every detail of a scene.

"I didn't just want to make a photograph with some things in the background," Newman told American Photo magazine in an interview. "The surroundings had to add to the composition and the understanding of the person. No matter who the subject was, it had to be an interesting photograph. Just to simply do a portrait of a famous person doesn't mean a thing."
Newman's best-known images were in black and white, although he often photographed in color. His black and white portrait of Igor Stravinsky seated at a grand piano became his signature image, even though it was rejected by the magazine that gave the assignment to Newman. He was one of the few photographers allowed to make a portrait of the famously camera-shy Henri Cartier-Bresson.
Among Newman's best-known color images is an eerie portrait that shows convicted former Nazi slave labor boss Alfried Krupp in one of Krupp's factories.
Newman taught photography at Cooper Union for many years.



MADAME D'ORA (DORA KALLMUS). The Writer Colette, c. 1953.
Gelatin silver print. Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg.

MADAME D'ORA (DORA KALLMUS)

Dora Kallmus (1881 - October 28, 1963) was an Austrian photographer.

With Arthur Benda, she opened a photography studio under the pseudonym Madame d'Ora in Vienna in 1907. She was popular among the Austro-Hungarian aristocracy, and worked as a salon photographer until she left Vienna for Paris in 1925. In Paris, she became internationally known for her society and fashion photography during the 1930s and 1940s. Her subjects included Josephine Baker, Tamara de Lempicka, Alban Berg, Niddy Impekoven, Maurice Chevalier, Colette, and other dancers, actors, painters, and writers.


DIETER APPELT. Hands, from Memory's Trace, 1978.
Gelatin silver print. Shashi Caudill and Alan Cravitz, Chicago.



EMMET GOWIN. Edith, Ruth, and Mae, Danville, Virginia, 1967.
Gelatin silver print. Light Gallery, New York.

EMMET GOWIN

Emmet Gowin (born 1941 in Danville, Virginia) is an American photographer.
After graduating from Richmond Professional Institute (now Virginia Commonwealth University) in 1965, Gowin attended the Rhode Island School of Design. While earning his MFA, Gowin studied under influential American photographers Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind.
Gowin teaches at Princeton University and lives in Pennsylvania with his wife Edith.
Gowin first gained attention with his intimate portraits of his wife and family. His almost exclusive use of a large format camera led to both optical and darkroom experiments. Using a 4x5 lens with an 8x10 camera allowed Gowin to expose the full image circle, surrounded by a dramatic vignette, in his family portraits and rural landscapes.
Beginning with a trip to Washington State soon after Mt. Saint Helens erupted, Gowin began taking aerial photographs. For the next twenty years, Gowin captured strip mining sites, nuclear testing fields, large-scale agricultural fields and other scars in the natural landscape.
Gowin received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1977 and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 1979.



EMMET GOWIN. Edith


JUDY DATER. Laura Mae, 1973.
Gelatin silver print.

JUDY DATER

Judy Dater is an American photographer. She is perhaps best known for her photograph, Imogen and Twinka, featuring an elderly Imogen Cunningham encountering Twinka Thiebaud nude, in the woods. Dater was born in 1941, in Hollywood. She grew up in Los Angeles, and studied art there, before moving to San Francisco to take a photography course with Jack Welpott, whom she later married. In 1975, they published a joint work, titled Women and Other Visions.

In 1964, Dater met Imogen Cunningham, whose life and work had greatly inspired her. In 1979, three years after Cunningham's death, she published Imogen Cunningham: A Portrait, containing interviews with many of Cunningham's contemporaries, and photos by both Dater and Cunningham.



 

PHOTOGRAPHY SINCE 1950: MANIPULATIONS AND COLOR



INTHE RECENT PAST there has been exceptional interest among photographers in creating images rather than documenting actuality. The emergence of a commercial market for artistic photography since the mid-1970s has meant that manipulative concepts in creative photography have attracted many more practitioners than at any previous time. Reflecting the experimentalist attitudes prevailing within contemporary art as a whole, photographers have invented images by directing the action of the subject before the lens, or by manipulating photographic processes, or by mixing graphic and photographic procedures, or by bypassing the camera entirely. As photographers have become more familiar with the medium's history (as a result of the increased literature in the field), they have become aware that manipulation has been a common practice since the 1920s. The fragmented and reconstituted "realities" visible on magazine pages, billboards, and eventually on television screens—which required constructing sets, directing models, cropping, retouching, and combining photographs—have served (consciously or not) as a pattern book of possibilities. An additional spur to the interest in photographic experimentalism has been the influence of art directors and photography teachers who have promoted to a wide spectrum of students the techniques and ideas used in advertising.

In the United States after the second World War, artists working with unconventional materials (industrial paint, steel, plastics) and trying out unusual techniques (pouring, staining, welding) tended to ignore time-honored distinctions between the various categories of visual expression. Mixed-media performances (part theatrical, part graphic, part photographic) and assemblages (agglomerations of seemingly unrelated elements) made it clear that painting, sculpture, printmaking, and photography should no longer be regarded as discrete processes. At the same time, photographers began to reevaluate their assumptions regarding the distinctions between pure and documentary photography and to consider new ways of expressing their own feelings and private dreamworlds as well as public realities. They adopted new means that ranged from die pairing and sequencing of straight camera images, to the invention of scenes to be photographed, to the manipulation of images either by manually reassembling portions of photographs or by intervening in optical and chemical processes.

Conceptualizing the Photograph

Conceptual photography is a recent approach that regards the medium as a way to make statements about itself rather than about the ostensible subject before the lens. It is based on the belief that photographs are, in essence, uninflected records of information rather than emotionally nuanced experiences or works of art. One way to suggest this idea is to present photographs in pairs or sequences. This presentation not only parallels the way that photographs are commonly shown in picture journals or in advertising but also serves to underline the point of view that how reality is framed in the camera depends on the inherent properties of the medium and on where the photographer is stationed. The photograph, some seem to be saying, is whatever the light reveals, the lens embraces, and the chemical substances make visible. It has little to do with ultimate truths; change the position of the camera, and another angle—just as truthful—will reveal itself. In presenting paired views of the same scene, Eve Sonneman (pi. no. 734) suggests that there is not just one "decisive moment" in documenting reality. With die passage of time or a shift in vantage point, the same situation will take on a different appearance—neither especially decisive.

Producing a series of uninflected images of objects of the same sort arranged in an arbitrary sequence—some-times called a "typology"—constitutes another approach that avoids making a personal comment about the subject matter at hand. Referring to a series of his deadpan photographs of parking lots in a book entitled Thirty-four Parking Lots in Los Angeles—exemplified by die single frame shown here—the California painter-photographer Edward Ruscha claimed to be providing "a catalog of neutral objective facts." The images themselves—suggestive of attitudes implicit in the "new topographies"—also bring to mind the repetition used in advertising photography to emphasize the abundance of material goods. Besides Ruscha, this approach has attracted the American photographers Judy Fiskin and Roger Mertin; the German photographers Thomas Struth and Bernd and Hilla Becher; and the Canadian Lynne Cohen. In addition to achieving their stated goal of description, many typological images are also appealing for their architectonic qualities, which relate them to the work of the Minimalists, who were engaged in producing serial, geometric paintings and sculpture during the 1960s.

Concentrating on size, shape, materials, and topography in their photographs of industrial structures in England, France, Germany, and the United States, the Bechers claim to be documenting similarities rather than celebrating distinctivencss. Moreover, their images, arranged in configurations that juxtapose from three to eight photographs and at times measure some six feet tall or wide, demonstrate that camera images can provide the kind of visual detail that the human eye might be able to take in only over a long period of familiarity with an object. The makers of such informational images, whether they be parking lots or cooling towers, disavow aesthetic intentions, but the appeal of these works undoubtedly is due to their artistic character radier than just to the information they provide.

In fact, it is doubtful that any two-dimensional translation (whether painting or photograph) of the complex interaction of space, volume, and atmosphere that constitutes an architectural experience can be accepted as accurate documentation. Despite the tact that the specialists who document architecture and interiors—notably Lizzie Himmel and Ezra Stoller—have taken views from various angles and in differing light conditions in order to re-create a sense of the actual space, the physical and psychological aspects of the architectural experience cannot be fully apprehended through a photograph. Perhaps that is why contemporary architectural photographers such as Judith Turner deal with the abstract beauty of geometric shapes and forms rather than with the actuality of spatial entities.

Photographers also use sequences, at times combined with texts of their own devising, as a way of communicating subjective experience or commenting on cultural attitudes. Like a significant number of other photographers who wish to reveal private realities, Duane Michals uses himself as model or directs others in staged, preconceived sequences such as Chance Meeting—six visually unexceptional shots that use for private expressive ends the narrative technique common in photojournalism and advertising. Inspired by Surrealist ideas, in particular those of the Belgian painter Rene Magritte, and by the cool irony of Robert Frank's imagery, Michals emphasizes the primacy of subjective vision; his embrace of the sequential format has struck a sympathetic chord among many young photographers in the United States and Europe. A creator of fictions rather than of documents, in the mid-1970s Michals first began to write and then to paint on his photographs, thereby suggesting that the artist may have to go beyond what the camera lens sees in order to deal with phenomena such as chance and death.

Clarissa T. Sligh combines images and texts in her series of montages dealing with black childhood experiences (pi. no. 738). The texts she derives from Dick and Jane school readers, in conjunction with family snapshots of children at play, bring together concepts of innocence, deception, and falsehood. A seemingly unmanipulated but in fact artfully staged series of images by Carrie Mac Weems includes key words in boldface type that bring to mind billboards. Their ironic messages commenting on black family relationships are aimed at putting in place "a new documentary" style that "champion[s] activism and change."

Other examples that exploit the replication made possible by photography are the sequential arrangements of figures favored by the German photographers Floris M. Neusiis, Klaus Rinke, and Manfred Willman and the grids assembled from landscape photographs by the Dutch graphic artist Ger Dekkers. An assemblage in grid format of 36 slightly different images of his own cast shadow by die Polish photographer Andrzej Lachowicz, entitled Myself As... , brings to mind the multiple images of the 19th-century carte-de-visite.

Many sequential works, which are considerably larger than traditional photographs, have been influenced by the expanded size of high-art canvases as well as by billboards and cinema screens. Working in large scale has attracted straight photographers as well as those involved with manipulation or directorial strategies. Over the last several decades, as larger sheets of silver-emulsion printing paper became available, Richard Avedon, Robert Mapplethorpe, Cindy Sherman, and others have achieved effects that are more startling for having been realized on an expansive scale.

A large number of European photographer-artists have similarly expanded the size of their work and also share the conviction that by itself the single straight documentary photograph is not adequate for their expressive purposes. Employing a variety of formats and techniques, Gilbert and George in Britain, the Bechers and Joseph Beuys in Germany, Arnulf Rainer in Austria, and Ger van Elk in Holland (among many others) have all chosen to work in dimensions that range between four and nine teet. Conceptual photographers do not always work with sequential images. In staging his wry scenes that show a photograph within a photograph, the American photographer Kenneth Joscphson exemplifies those who comment on the supposed reality that the camera captures—which, in some cases, is just another camera picture. Investigating the relation of photograph to reality, which has become the central theme in such works, has antecedents in Alfred Stieglitz's 1889 image Sun's Rays— Paula, Berlin. In this seemingly descriptive scene, the photographer alluded to the characteristics and potentials of the medium by including a variety of camera pictures of the sitter made at other rimes and in different positions.

In the 1980s, the approach to art-making known as postmodernism evolved from the Conceptual art of the previous decade. In photography, this development represented, in part, an effort to counter the transformation of the photograph from document into aesthetic commodity. At the same time, it sought to formulate a new relationship between the camera image and social realities. Postmodernists claimed that camera images of real life could not claim uniqueness, in that (unlike one-of-a-kind handmade images) they appropriate—that is, replicate—something that already exists. Furthermore, they proposed that since neither photographer nor viewer could reach beyond the shared cultural patterns of their time to invest the camera image with a timeless aesthetic character or an emotional tone that would be invariably understood by all, the photographer should endeavor instead to provoke thought about current social phenomenal

Individuals taking this approach devised a number of different ways to express ironic attitudes toward cultural stereotypes in general and toward the particular claims of the photograph as a highly valued aesthetic object. Some-— including Sherrie Levine, who re-photographed well-known photographic images, and Richard Prince, whose subjects were camera images in slick magazines—sought to impugn the modernist idea of the artist-photographer as a charismatic figure with unique creative powers. Postmodern strategies ran a gamut from mimicking films stills and high-gloss advertising photographs, as in Cindy Sherman's portraits of herself in a variety of guises, to arranging scenes in which live models or dolls imitate photographic illustrations in consumer magazines or impersonate real-life situations, as in Laurie Simmons's tableaux.

Another postmodern approach, which recalls the idea of deforming the image prevalent during the Sate 1910s and the 1920s, endeavored to "deconstruct" the myths of contemporary society by using found photographs and attaching texts intended to make the viewer aware of attitudes implicit in the popular media, for example, the British artist Victor Burgin appended his own messages, set in type, to photographs of common scenes, which he then rephotographed. All of these photographic maneuvers were meant to reposition such imagery in the viewer's awareness, bringing to light underlying consumerist and sexist messages, rather than to appeal to feelings or a sense of beauty. They helped women photographers not only to investigate the ways in which their lives were being transformed into stereotypes in the commercial media but also to examine their own needs and roles. Barbara Kruger denounced cliches about women by adding her own captions, often composed of cutout letters, to large-scale images whose graininess mimicked that of newspaper ads. Autobiographical Stones, a semifictional series of images and texts by the French photographer Sophie Calie, is another visual exploration of a woman's life.

 


EVE SONNEMAN. Oranges,Manhattan, 1978.
Cibachrome (silver-dye bleach) print. Castelli Graphics, New York.
 


EDWARD RUSCHA. State Board of Equalization, 14601 Sherman Way, Van Nuys, California, c. 1967.
From Thirty-four Parking Lots in Los Angeles, 1967. Gelatin silver print;. Leo Castelli Gallery, New York.
 


BERND AND HILLA BECHER. Winding Towers (1976-82), 1983.
Gelatin silver prints. Sonnabend Gallery, New York.
 


DUANE MlCHALS. Chance Meeting, 1969.
Gelatin silver prints.


CLARISSA T. SLIGH. What's Happening with Momma?.
Van Dyke Brown print.
 


CARRIE MAE WEEMS. Jim, If You Choose to Accept, the Mission Is to Land on Tour Own Two Feet, 1987.
Gelatin silver print. PPOW Inc., New York.
 


ANDRZEJ LACHOWICZ. Myself AS . . ., 1976.
Color (chromogenic development) transparency. International Center of Photography, New York.
 


GILBERT AND GEORGE. Eye, 1992.
Four-panel photo piece. Robert Miller Gallery, New York.
 


KENNETH JOSEPHSON. Drottningholm, Sweden, 1967.
Gelatin silver print.
 


CINDY SHERMAN. Untitled (156), 1985.
C-print. Courtesy Metro Pictures, New York.

CINDY SHERMAN

(b Glenn Ridge, NJ, 1954).

American photographer. While still growing up she was drawn to the television environment of the 1960s and fascinated by disguise and make-up. She studied art at Buffalo State College (1972–6), concentrating on photography, which she maintained is the appropriate medium of expression in our media-dominated civilization. Her photographs are portraits of herself in various scenarios that parody stereotypes of woman. A panoply of characters and settings is drawn from sources of popular culture: old movies, television soaps and pulp magazines. Sherman rapidly rose to celebrity status in the international art world during the early 1980s with the presentation of a series of untitled ‘film stills’ in various group and solo exhibitions across America and Europe. Among 130 ‘film stills’ taken between 1978 and 1980 are portraits of Sherman in the role of such screen idols as Sophia Loren and Marilyn Monroe. While the mood of Sherman’s early works ranges from quiet introspection to provocative sensuality, there are elements of horror and decay in the series from 1988–9. Studies from the early 1990s make pointed caricatures of characters depicted through art history, with Sherman appearing as a grotesque creature in period costume. Her approach forms an ironic message that creation is impossible without the use of prototypes; identity lies in appearance, not in reality. In this, the artist has assimilated, even while retaining a critical stance, the visual tyranny of television, advertising and magazines. Sherman’s work has been categorized with that of Sherrie Levine, Robert Longo and Richard Prince (b 1949). Works are held in the Tate Gallery, London, and the Corcoran Gallery, Washington, DC, as well as in the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan and Brooklyn museums, New York.

 


LAURIE SIMMONS. Pink Bathroom, 1984.
Cibachrome print. Courtesy Metro Pictures, New York.

LAURIE SIMMONS

Laurie Simmons was born on Long Island, New York, in 1949. She received a BFA from the Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia (1971). Simmons stages photographs and films with paper dolls, finger puppets, ventriloquist dummies, and costumed dancers as “living objects,” animating a dollhouse world suffused with nostalgia and colored by an adult’s memories, longings, and regrets. Simmons’s work blends psychological, political and conceptual approaches to art making, transforming photography’s propensity to objectify people, especially women, into a sustained critique of the medium. Mining childhood memories and media constructions of gender roles, her photographs are charged with an eerie, dreamlike quality. On first glance her works often appear whimsical, but there is a disquieting aspect to Simmons’s child’s play as her characters struggle over identity in an environment in which the value placed on consumption, designer objects, and domestic space is inflated to absurd proportions. Simmons’s first film, “The Music of Regret” (2006), extends her photographic practice to performance, incorporating musicians, professional puppeteers, Alvin Ailey dancers, Hollywood cinematographer Ed Lachman, and actress Meryl Streep. She has received many awards, including the Roy Lichtenstein Residency in the Visual Arts at the American Academy in Rome (2005); and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (1997) and the National Endowment for the Arts (1984). She has had major exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2006); Baltimore Museum of Art (1997); San Jose Museum of Art, California (1990); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (1987); and has participated in two Whitney Biennials (1985, 1991). Simmons lives and works in New York.



VICTOR BURGIN. Four Word Looking from U.S. 77, 1977.
Gelatin silver print. John Weber Gallery, New York.
 


BARBARA KRUGER. Untitled (Ton Get Away with Murder), 1987.
Dye-coupler print with silkscreen lettering. The Hallmark Photographic Collection, Kansas City, Mo.
Courtesy Mary Boone Gallery, New York.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Interventions and Manipulations

Intervention in the physical production of camera images and manipulation of the chemical processes have taken various forms, all of which have as their central principle the freedom of the photographer to be as spontaneous and inventive as the graphic artist while preserving the replicative aspects of the medium and even the tactile qualities of the silver print. Choosing to use a camera with a pinhole instead of a lens (when cameras now come equipped with the fastest, sharpest optical devices) is a simple means of adjusting the photographic process to one's expressive needs; the results can be seen in the strangely elegiac landscapes by Ruth Thorne-Thomsen. The kind of camera lens used can also provide photographers with a creative tool, either by giving actual scenes a sense of unreality through subde distortion or by dramatically deforming expression and gesture. In the 1950s, following earlier experiments by Andre Kertesz and others, Berenice Abbott and Weegee—both advocates until then of straight photography—had distorted figures and objects by using special lenses, but their images were, on the whole, tentative.

A more resolved body of work to emerge from experimentation with extremely wide-angle lenses has been that of Bill Brandt. Those working in a style more closely related to classical Surrealism include Christian Vogt, a successful Swiss photojournalist whose disrortions recall fantasy landscapes by Giorgio de Chirico. The French photographer Claude Nori employed a wide-angle lens to invest both ordinary scenes and his staged enactments with an unnerving sense of infinite depth. Accidental lens distortions can also be used to dramatize gestures and expressions in scenes where no fantasy is intended, as in many examples from straight photography and photojournalism—among them, Otto Steinert's Children's Carnival.

Techniques requiring more extensive intervention in the optical process include making images without a camera (which were originally called photograms and have since come to be called light graphics) and joining disparate images together, called collage or montage. Photographic collage involves cropping and recombining camera images, either original or reproduced, by physically gluing them together; montage refers to uniting them in the enlarger or in the computer. Given the experimentalism implicit in these approaches to photography, it is not surprising that all of these techniques, which assert the non-mechanical aspects of the medium and emphasize the individual imagination., had been part of the avant-garde curriculum at the 1920s Bauhaus.

The photogram is a unique cameraless image created either by playing a beam of light across a sheet of sensitized paper or by exposing to a fixed or a moving light source various translucent and opaque objects arranged on sensitized paper. An early-19th-century invention, it was updated during the 1920s and again in the 1940s, when it was sometimes combined with other procedures. In the United States, Carlotta Corpron, Lotte Jacobi, Nathan Lerner, and Barbara Morgan were among those who involved themselves with this procedure, as can be seen in the lyrical abstractions that Jacobi called "photogenics". Morgan, who frequently combined light drawing, photograms, and montage in the same image, began her experiments with these techniques in 1938 by photographing the moving light patterns made by a dancer holding a flashlight. During the 1950s, several Europeans, including Herbert W. Franke in Austria and Peter Keetman in Germany, used oscilloscopes and prisms to produce geometric abstractions, a number of which bring to mind the work of the Constructivist sculptors Naum Gabo and Antoine Pevsner.

Recently, the flexibility inherent in making photo-grams has inspired work by Floris M. Neusiis, who creates monochromatic, large-scale, flowerlike images that are both decorative and mysterious. Highly colored creations by Adam Fuss arc generated from unorthodox substances—balloons, powder, animals and their entrails—exposed directly on Cibachrome paper; to some, their appeal is aesthetic, to others, their metaphorical meaning is paramount.


RUTH THORNE-THOMSEN. Parable, from Songs of the Sea, 1991.
Toned gelatin silver print. Ehlers Caudill Gallery, Chicago.

RUTH THORNE-THOMSEN

Ruth Thorne-Thomsen, (American, 1943) in her mastery of pinhole photography, creates scenes that feel like ancient myths. Her work makes tangible imagery from humorous, intriguing or confounding textural sources. Combining the scale of vast landscapes with the intimacy of a well-kept secret, these charming, small-scale works seem to have been made centuries ago. She is the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships and her work is in many major museum collections.


CHRISTIAN VOGT. Untitled (Metaphysical Scene), 1972.
Toned gelatin silver prim.


OTTO STEINERT. Children's Carnival, 1971.
Gelatin silver print. Polkwang Museum, Essen, Germany. Courtesy Mrs. Marlie Steinert.

OTTO STEINERT

Otto Steinert (July 12, 1915 – March 3, 1978) was an important German photographer.

Born in Saarbrücken, Germany, Steinert was a medical doctor by profession and was an autodidact in photography. After World War II, he initially worked for the State School for Art and Craft (Staatliche Schule für Kunst und Handwerk, today HTW) in Saarbrücken. From 1959, he taught at a design school (Folkwang Academy) in Essen, where he later died.

His assets are today part of the photographic collection of the Museum Folkwang, Essen.
 


ADAM FUSS. Love, 1992.
Unique Cibachrome photogram. Robert Miller Gallery, New York.
 

Another type of cameraless imagery that attracted attention in the 1950s combined photogram techniques with a modern version of cliche verre. Random patterns formed on glass by such substances as viscous liquids and crystals provided a negative for printing on sensitized paper. Henry Holmes Smith, one of the first Americans to use this procedure, would manipulate a syrupy mixture on glass plates to create nonobjective images that he would print either on monochromatic silver or on multichrome dye-transfer materials. Although not produced until the mid-1970s, the bold forms and strong colors in Smith's Small Poster for a Heavenly Circus proclaim its connection with the earlier Abstract Expressionist painting style. Smith's onetime student Jaromir Stephany experimented with similar techniques, using ink on film in both 4x5 inch and 35mm formats to create visionary images that suggest galactic events. The imaginative possibilities of cliche verve appealed to the photographer-artist Frederick Sommer, who began to work with glass and cellophane in the 1950s, painting on or filming these materials with smoke to create nonobjective shapes. Sommer, a complex personality as fascinated by putrescence as by living beau-ty, also made montages, assemblages, and straight photographs, seeking in all to give visible form to the mysteries he discovered in both the real and the imaginary worlds, which he regarded as one and the same.

In the 1950s, the French photographer Jean-Pierre Sudre explored the aesthetic and metaphorical possibilities offered by random arrangements of chemical salts on glass—a technique he called "crystallography." Heinz Hajek-Halke, who began to work both with cameras and with cameraless techniques after a quarter-century as a successful press and scientific cameraman in Germany, created "luminograms" with moving beams of light and what are called "lightgraphics" by exposing granular and liquid substances on film to directed light sources. The "chemigrams" created by the Belgian photographer Pierre Cordier are produced in normal light without a camera by combining in a novel way the chemicals associated with painting—varnish, wax, and oil—and those used in photography: photosensitive emulsions, colored dyes, developer, and fixer.

In the 1950s and '6os, collage techniques attracted a number of photographers in the United States (many associated with the Institute of Design) as a means of generating fresh visions of commonplace experiences.

These collages generally were created from straight photographs that were cropped, repeated, and rearranged to form a freshly synthesized statement. Arches, a typical work by Ray K. Metzker in this mode, although visually pleasing in its patterns, is meant not as a decorative object but as an expression in new form of the emotional texture of the generating experience—in this case the excitement of street life in downtown Philadelphia. Over the past several decades Barbara Crane has worked with cropped and repeated strips of images of built structures and organic matter, combining them with other experimentalist elements such as photograms. Rejecting the usual lenticular description of space as an uninterrupted continuum, Joyce Neimanas collaged sx-70 Polaroid prints, including their borders. In these works she has also sought to extend the biographical data about her subjects by incorporating images of their belongings and surroundings. A quite different approach to collage is visible in the work of Carl Chiarenza, who creates miniature still lifes from torn paper and photographic packaging materials, which he then photographs; enlarged greatly, these works take on the aspect of mysterious landscapes.

Both collage and montage were seen by the postwar generation as an especially fruitful method of projecting private visions, of dealing with the possibility that, as the American photographer Jerry X. Uelsmann has written, "the mind knows more than the eye and camera can see." By the early 1930s, printing multiple images on one photographic support had enabled some American photographers to explore mystical realms that seemed impossible to evoke through straight photographs. At that time, William Mortensen, whose "medieval sensibility" led him to imagine scenes that seemed at once bizarre and amusing to many contemporaries, resorted to montage to create his visions of wickedness and lust. In the same decade, Clarence John Laughlin, bemused by the "unreality of the real and the reality of the unreal," not only worked with montage but created settings, costumed models, and directed scenarios to give form to his conviction that "the physical object is merely a stepping stone to an inner world". Soon after, Edmund Teskte combined chemical manipulation with montage to make poignant his sense of the melancholy eroticism of small-town American life.


HENRY HOLMES SMITH. Small Poster for a Heavenly Circus, 1974-75.
Dye transfer (dye imbibition) print from 1974 monochrome refraction drawing in the Henry Holmes Smith Archive,
Indiana University Art Museum. Collection Ted R. Smith.

 


FREDERICK SOMMER. The Giant, 1946.
Gelatin silver print. Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, Cal. Light Gallery, New York

FREDERICK SOMMER

(b Angri, 7 Sept 1905).

American photographer, painter and theorist of Italian birth. After studying landscape architecture with his father Carlos Sommer in Brazil (1916–25) and at Cornell University (MA 1927), he worked as a landscape architect in Brazil until 1930. While in Switzerland convalescing after tuberculosis in 1930, he became interested in modern art and acquired his first camera. He moved to Tucson, AZ, in 1931 and settled in Prescott, AZ, in 1935. He held his first exhibition, of watercolours, in Chicago in 1934 and discovered the graphic aspect of musical scores. His interest in photography was increased after seeing prints by Edward Weston in 1936. He bought a large-format camera in 1938 and held his first one-man show as a photographer in 1946 (Santa Barbara, CA, Mus. A.). His links with European art were strengthened by his friendship with Max Ernst, whom he met in 1941.


RAY K. METZKER. Arches, 1967.
Gelatin silver print.

 


JOYCE NEIMANAS. Untitled, 1981.
Sx-70 (internal dye-diffusion transfer) prints.

 


WILLIAM MORTENSEN. Lamour, c. 1936.
Gelatin silver print with textured screen.

Uelsmann is one of a group of photographers who, since the 1960s, have consistently used montage to create poetic fantasies. Pieced together from an array of his own negatives, his work achieves a seamless merging of the real and the imagined. While his early images express a lucid if not markedly original perception of women as fertility figures from whom all life radiates, his later montages—among them an untitled interior with clouds—explore less bromidic ideas, despite their obvious relationship to Magritte's paintings. The strange montages by Eikoh Hosoc, a Japanese photographer of international renown, reflect their maker's belief that the camera has introduced him to an "abnormal, warped, sarcastic, grotesque, savage and promiscuous world." In like manner, montages by the California printmaker and photographer Robert Heinecken are frill of gritty allusions to the often violent sexism rampant on magazine pages, billboards, and television screens. Produced on a scale that reinforces their affinity to commercial advertising, his images seem to mix condemnation with a certain sense of wish fulfillment.

Given the wide acceptance of collage and montage by Surrealist artists in Europe before World War II, it is not surprising that a later generation of European photographers has also turned to these means. Psychoanalytical concepts have engaged the Czech photographers Martin Hruska and Jan Saudek, who are among those who have created dreamlike visions and erotic statements both by staging scenes and by combining images in the enlarger. On occasion their work and that by other individuals concerned with the psyche recalls spatial configurations and symbols invented by the painters Salvador Dali and de Chirico, but their images are also informed by concepts and iconography taken from postwar advertising, popular entertainment, and television. For example, Paul de Nooijer addressed the excesses of consumerist culture by staging and montaging outrageous parodies of bourgeois fetishes and by printing his images in a grainy style that mimics cheap print reproduction.

Montage can serve to extend visual experience beyond that based on a single image taken from one position and at one moment in time. The Germans Rinke and Willman and the Italian photographer Franco Vaccari, among others, have combined complete or partial photographs of the same object, place, or individual taken from different vantage points and at different times. Their aim has been to suggest the "incomplete, unstable and unending forms that reality assumes," and to provide images with such large dimensions that they require the viewer to include time as an element in their perception of them. In societies as disparate as England, Italy, and Russia, a number of photographers—among them, Calum Colvin, Paolo Gioli, and Vitas Luckas—have grasped the possibilities inherent in montage to express the profound sense of instability they experienced as their countries grew more chaotic or underwent catastrophic economic and social change.

The extensive use of models acting out scenes in fabricated settings that suggest the irrational content of dreams and visions is perhaps the most singular change to occur in photography since the 1960s. In common with the montagists, the photographers engaged in such directorial practices have drawn upon ideas that surfaced earlier in the century in graphic art and still- and motion-picture photography, to which they have added elements of post-war popular culture. In constructing their own realities for the camera lens, some alter settings only slightly, while others stage complete fictions, with sets, models, costumes, and action directed entirely by the photographer. As an early example of the former approach, Ralph Eugene Meatyard photographed family and friends posed in unpretentious settings, but here  the suggestive presence of an empty' mirror and a mysteriously clothed dress dummy adds a dimension of psychological nuance. In other of his photographs, the shapes of shadows and the blurs caused by movement intimate a ghostly presence.



JERRY N. UELSMANN. Unttled (Cloud Room), 1975.
Toned gelatin silver print. Collection Jain and George W. Kelly, New York.

JERRY N. UELSMANN

Jerry N. Uelsmann (born 11 June 1934) is an American photographer.
Uelsmann was born in Detroit, Michigan. He is a master printer producing composite photographs with multiple negatives and extensive darkroom work. He uses up to a dozen enlargers at a time to produce his final images. Similar in technique to Rejlander, Uelsmann is a champion of the idea that the final image need not be tied to a single negative, but may be composed of many. Unlike Rejlander, though, he does not seek to create narratives, but rather allegorical surrealist imagery of the unfathomable. Uelsmann is able to subsist on grants and teaching salary, rather than commercial work.

Today, with the advent of digital cameras and Photoshop, photographers are able to create a work somewhat resembling Uelsmann's in less than a day, however, at the time Uelsmann was considered to have almost "magical skill" with his completely analog tools. Uelsmann used the darkroom frequently, sometimes using three to ten enlargers to produce the expected effect. Photos are still widely regarded as documentary evidence of events, and Uelsmann, along with people like Lucas Samaras, was considered an avant garde shatterer of the popular conception.
Uelsmann holds a B.F.A. degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology and M.S. and M.F.A. degrees from Indiana University. He began teaching photography at the University of Florida in 1960. He is now retired from teaching and currently lives in Gainesville, Florida along with his fifth wife, Maggie Taylor. Uelsmann has one son, Andrew, who is a graduate student at the University of Florida.
In 1981, a report by American Photographer ranked Uelsmann as being amongst the top ten photographers collected in America. His smaller works presently sell for between $1000 and $2500 at auction.
His photographs can be seen in the opening credits of The Outer Limits (1995).
His artwork is also featured in the progressive metal band Dream Theater's 7th studio album Train of Thought (2003).


EIKOH HOSOE. Ordeal by Roses #29, 1961-62.
Gelatin silver print. Light Gallery, New York.

EIKOH HOSOE

Eikoh Hosoe (Hosoe Eikō; b. 18 March 1933 in Yonezawa, Yamagata) is a Japanese photographer and filmmaker who emerged in the experimental arts movement of post-World War II Japan. He is known for his psychologically charged images, often exploring subjects such as death, erotic obsession, and irrationality. Through his friendships and artistic collaborations he is linked with the writer Yukio Mishima and 1960s avant-garde artists such the dancer Tatsumi Hijikata.
After attending The Tokyo College of Photography in the 1950's Hosoe, joined “Demokrato” an avant-garde artist's group led by the artist Ei Q, while still a student. In 1960, Hosoe created the Jazz Film Laboratory (Jazzu Eiga Jikken-shitsu) with Hijikata, Shuji Terayama, and Shōmei Tōmatsu. The Jazz Film Laboratory was a multidisciplinary artistic project aimed at producing highly expressive and intense works such as Hosoe's 1960 short black and white film Navel and A-Bomb (Heso to genbaku).

With Hijikata, Hosoe created Kamaitachi, a series of images that reference stories of a supernatural being — 'weasel-sickle' — that haunted the Japanese countryside of Hosoe's childhood. In the photographs, Hijikata is seen as a wandering ghost mirroring the stark landscape and confronting farmers and children.
With Mishima as a model, Hosoe created a series of dark, erotic images centered on the male body, Ordeal by Roses (Bara-kei, 1963). The series (set in Mishima's Tokyo house) positions Mishima in melodramatic poses. Mishima would follow his fantasies, eventually committing suicide by seppuku in 1970.
Hosoe has been the director of the Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts (Kiyosato, Yamanashi) since its opening in 1995.


ROBERT HEINECKEN. Le Voyeur/Robbe-Grillett #1, 1972.
Photographic emulsion on canvas; bleached; pastel chalk.
International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House, Rochester, NT. Light Gallery, New York.


PAUL DE NOOIJER. Menno's Head, 1976.
Gelatin silver prim.

 


RALPH EUGENE MEATYARD. Cranston Ritchie, 1964.
Gelatin silver print. Collection Jain and George W. Kelly, New York.

RALPH EUGENE MEATYARD

Ralph Eugene Meatyard (1925-1972) was an American photographer.

Ralph Eugene Meatyard's death in 1972, a week away from his 47th birthday, came at the height of the "photo boom," a period of growth and ferment in photography in the United States which paralleled the political and social upheavals of the 1960s and 1970s. It was a time of ambition, not reflection, a time for writing resumés, not thoughtful and inclusive histories; in the contest of reputation, dying in 1972 meant leaving the race early. It was left to friends and colleagues to complete an Aperture monograph on Meatyard and carry through with the publication of The Family Album of Lucybelle Crater (1974) which he had laid out and sequenced before his death. He was from Normal, Illinois.

While he lived Meatyard's work was shown and collected by major museums, published in important art magazines, and regarded by his peers as among the most original and disturbing imagery ever created with a camera. He exhibited with such well-known and diverse photographers as Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, Minor White, Aaron Siskind, Harry Callahan, Robert Frank, and Eikoh Hosoe. But by the late 1970s, his photographs seemed consigned to appear mainly in exhibitions of "southern" art. In the last decade, however, thanks in part to European critics (who since at least the time of De Tocqueville have forged insights into American culture), Meatyard's work has reemerged, and the depth of its genius and its contributions to photography have begun to be understood and appreciated. In a sense Meatyard suffered a fate common to artists who are very much of but also very far ahead of their time. Everything about his life and his art ran counter to the usual and expected patterns. He was an optician, happily married, a father of three, president of the Parent-Teacher Association, and coach of a boy's baseball team. He lived in Lexington, Kentucky, far from the urban centers most associated with serious art. His images had nothing to do with the gritty "street photography" of the east coast or the romantic view camera realism of the west coast. His best known images were populated with dolls and masks, with family, friends and neighbors pictured in abandoned buildings or in ordinary suburban backyards.

At the same time he often turned from this vernacular focus and, like such photographers as Henry Holmes Smith, Harry Callahan and others, produced highly experimental work. These images include multiple exposures and photographs where, through deliberate camera movement, Meatyard took Fox Talbot's "pencil of nature" and drew calligraphic images with the sun's reflection on a black void of water. However, where others used these experiments to expand the possibilities of form in photographs, Meatyard consistently applied breakthroughs in formal design to the exploration of ideas and emotions. Finally—and of great importance in the development of his aesthetic—Meatyard created a mode of "No-Focus" imagery that was distinctly his own. "No-Focus" images ran entirely counter to any association of camera art with objective realism and opened a new sense of creative freedom in his art.

In short, Meatyard's work challenged most of the cultural and aesthetic conventions of his time and did not fit in with the dominant notions of the kind of art photography could and should be. His work sprang from the beauty of ideas rather than ideas of the beautiful. Wide reading in literature (especially poetry) and philosophy (especially Zen) stimulated his imagination. While others roamed the streets searching for America and truth, Meatyard haunted the world of inner experience, continually posing unsettling questions about our emotional realities through his pictures. Once again, however, he inhabited this world quite differently from other photographers exploring inner experience at the time. Meatyard's "mirror" (as John Szarkowski used the term) was not narcissistic. It looked back reflectively on the dreams and terrors of metaphysical questions, not private arguments of faith or doubt.

 

At the other extreme, a large number of photographers—including M. Richard Kirstel, Les Krims, Laurie Simmons, Arthur Tress, and Joel-Peter Witkin in the United States, and de Nooijer, Bernard Faucon, Joan Fontcuberta, and Jan Saudek in Europe—create fantasies that arc entirely fabricated. Krims uses the iconography of both Surrealism and Pop art in his sardonic and at rimes horrifying statements about middle-class life in modern America . Tress, who has worked in this mode as well as with montage since the 1970s, has brought a generally morbid sensibility to his stagings of obsessional dramas, although a later series—published as The Tea-pot Opera— takes a more whimsical tone. Faucon at first devoted considerable rime to creating backgrounds, fabricating figures, and managing lighting effects for energetic works that initially drew upon popular entertainments for their humor. More recently, he has employed special lighting and props to transform real spaces and real persons into a series of images suffused with a romantic aura.

In the past, creating such fabrications could be extra-ordinarily time consuming, but the computer has some-what simplified this way of working. Yet whatever the means used to produce them, however the elements are arranged and lighted, and whether they deal with classical psychoanalytic symbolism or idiosyncratic combinations of objects and figures, the effectiveness of the resulting images depends on the viewer's belief that what appears in a photograph must to some degree be truthful.

Of course, staging photographs does not invariably result in conceptual or grotesque imagery, as photographs of both still lifes and the nude prove. Denis Brihat, one of the founders of the French photography group called Expression libre, brought out concordances between flesh and stone by carefully positioning the fruit in William Pear and by intervening in the chemical processing. Similarly, in a series entitled My Adventure with Pitch, Jean Dieuzaide photographed the abstract shapes and forms suggestive of human anatomy produced by the manipulation of this coal by-product. Lucien Clergue, another founder of the same group, posed nude models in a landscape of sea and sand for close-up views that ostensibly are evocations of mythic earth goddesses.



M. RICHARD KIRSTEL. From Water Babies, 1976.
Gelatin silver print.

 

JOEL-PETER WITKIN

Joel-Peter Witkin (born September 13, 1939, in Brooklyn, New York City) is an American photographer.
Witkin was born to a Jewish father and Roman Catholic mother. He has a twin brother, Jerome Witkin, who also plays a significant role in the art world for his realistic paintings. Witkin's parents divorced when Witkin was young because they were unable to transcend their religious differences. He attended grammar school at Saint Cecelia's in Brooklyn and went on to Grover Cleveland High School. He worked as war photographer between 1961 and 1964 during the Vietnam war. In 1967, he decided to work as a freelance photographer and became City Walls Inc. official photographer. Later, he attended Cooper Union in New York where he studied sculpture and became Bachelor of Arts in 1974. After the Columbia University granted him a scholarship, he ended his studies at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, where he became Master of Fine Arts.
Witkin claims that his vision and sensibility were initiated by an episode he witnessed when he was just a small child, a car accident that occurred in front of his house in which a little girl was decapitated.

"It happened on a Sunday when my mother was escorting my twin brother and me down the steps of the tenement where we lived. We were going to church. While walking down the hallway to the entrance of the building, we heard an incredible crash mixed with screaming and cries for help. The accident involved three cars, all with families in them. Somehow, in the confusion, I was no longer holding my mother's hand. At the place where I stood at the curb, I could see something rolling from one of the overturned cars. It stopped at the curb where I stood. It was the head of a little girl. I bent down to touch the face, to speak to it -- but before I could touch it someone carried me away."

He also claims that the difficulties in his family were an influence for his work too. His favourite artist is Giotto, but the most obvious artistic influences on his work are Surrealism (particularly Max Ernst) and Baroque art. His photographic techniques draw on early Daguerreotypes and on the work of E. J. Bellocq.
His work often deals with such themes as death, corpses (or pieces of them), and various outsiders such as dwarfs, transsexuals, hermaphrodites, and physically deformed people. His complex tableaux often recall religious episodes or famous classical paintings. Because of the transgressive nature of the contents of his pictures, his works have been labeled exploitative and have sometimes shocked public opinion. His art was often marginalized because of this challenging aspect.
He employs a highly intuitive approach to the physical process of making the photograph, including scratching the negative, bleaching or toning the print, and an actual hands-in-the-chemicals printing technique. This experimentation began after seeing a 19th-century ambrotype of a woman and her ex-lover who had been scratched from the frame.

 


763. ARTHUR TRESS. The Actor, 1973.
Gelatin silver print.

ARTHUR TRESS

Arthur Tress is a notable American photographer born on November 24, 1940 in Brooklyn, New York. He is well known for his staged surrealism and exposition of the human body.
First photograph at age 12. Arthur Tress' first subjects were circus freaks and dilapidated buildings around Coney Island where he grew up. The youngest of three children in a divorced family, Arthur spent time in his early life with both of his parents: his father who re-married and lived in an upper class neighbourhood, and his mother, who remained single after the divorce and whose life was not nearly so luxurious. In high school, he also studied the art of painting.

After graduating from Bard College with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1962, Arthur moved to Paris, France to attend Film School. While living in France, Arthur traveled to many locations, including Japan, Africa, Mexico, and through most of Europe. While on these journeys, he observed many secluded tribes and cultures. He was fascinated by the roles played by the shaman of the different people groups he visited. The cultures he was introduced to would play a permanent role in his later work.

 


LES KRIMS. Homage to the Crosstar Filter Photograph, 1971.
Gelatin silver print on Kodalith paper.

LES KRIMS

Les Krims is a conceptualist photographer living in Buffalo, New York. He is noted for his carefully arrange fabricated photographs (called "fictions"), various candid series, a satirical edge, dark humor, and long-standing criticism of what he describes as leftist twaddle.

Les Krims was born in Brooklyn, NY, on August 16, 1942. He studied at a science high school (Stuyvesant High School, in NYC). Richard Ben-Veniste ("Benti," as he was called in home-room at Stuyvesant), famous for prosecuting Richard Nixon, and A.D. Coleman, the former photography critic for The New York Times, were two of Krims' Stuyvesant classmates. Krims studied art at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, and Pratt Institute. For the last 39 years he has taught photography, first at the Rochester Institute of Technology, and for the last 37 years at Buffalo State College, where he is a professor in the Department of Fine Arts. In describing his staged pictures, and the parodies of candid journalistic propaganda photographs he makes, Krims said, "It is possible to create any picture one imagines." Krims's latest project is a website (leskrims.com) where he sells archival ink jet prints of a wide selection of his pictures. Krims claims new digital printing technology and capitalism make it possible to "own the means of production, rendering moot wall-to-wall delusional Marxist posturing in the culture community."

Les Krims has published numerous offset works. Two of these, "Fictcryptokrimsographs," and "Making Chicken Soup" were published by Humpy Press, which he founded and incorporated in the mid-1970s, and has since been dissolved. Krims has also published original print portfolios such as, "Idiosyncratic Pictures," and "Porsch Rainbows." Most recently (November 2005), a Photo Poche monograph, "Les Krims," edited by Robert Delpire, with an introduction by Bernard Noel, was published by Actes Sud, in France.
In The Little People of America (1971), Krims received permission to photograph people belonging to a national organization founded by the actor Billy Barty, called "The Little People of America. " Many of the pictures were made at national conventions of the L.P.A, in Oakland, CA, and Atlanta, GA. Krims sought to show that the people he photographed were brave, normal people, having more in common with the Mid-West than the Upper-West-Side, unlike the way the dwarf was portrayed in the history of art or contemporary photographs.
In his portfolio The Deerslayers (1972), Krims took pictures of deer hunters who had voluntarily stopped at "deer check stations" so that NYS conservationists could examine the general health of the deer. Pictured posing with their kills, Krims suggested the hunters had much in common with performance art, and odd manifestations of sculpture. He also attempted to underscore the American nature and long tradition of deer hunting as one aspect of a criticism of animal rights and anti-Vietnam War activists.

In The Incredible Case Of The Stack O'Wheat Murders (1972), Krims both parodies forensic photography, and points to it as a remarkable archive of incredible and moving images (the various, successful CSI television series attests to his prescience). In each "Wheats" crime scene, a Stack O'Wheats (pancakes) is placed near each "victim" (he used friends and family to pose for the pictures). Each stack is topped with pats of butter and syrup, the number of pancakes in the stack signifying the number of the crime. Hershey's chocolate syrup was used to simulate blood in the photos, which was formed into words and celestial shapes. Krims originally included 8 ounces of Hershey's syrup in a heat sealed plastic bag with the original print portfolio, as well as "enough pancake mix to make one complete Stack O' Wheats".
In Making Chicken Soup (1972), Krims published pictures of his mother preparing her traditional chicken soup recipe, while nude. These pictures were published as a small book, some say giving rise years later to the popular Chicken Soup series. The book contained a dedication, which underscored the real point of the satire: "This book is dedicated to my mother and concerned photographers, both make chicken soup." Krims felt that "socially concerned" photography was a palliative, just as chicken soup was—in the long run, an ineffective remedy for serious disease.
In Fictocryptokrimsographs, published in 1975, Krims used a Polaroid SX-70 camera to make a series of 40, titled pictures. The SX-70 was chosen, because of the ability to literally move and work the not yet dry, viscous, film emulsion much like paint after the picture developed. Included are various odd and humorous pictures, which are often puns or parodies of fashion trends.

Krims has also steadily been adding pictures to an overarching project spanning three decades called, "The Decline of the Left."
He is sometimes displayed in exhibition in the U.S. and internationally.
In 2004, he had a two-month exhibition at Laurence Miller Gallery in NYC titled "Fictions 1969-1974". In 2007, he had a retrospective at Galerie Baudoin Lebon in Paris and has been part of a dozen other group exhibitions of photography in the years 2000-2007 with others planned.In 1971, a young boy was kidnapped in Memphis, Tennessee. The ransom requested for his return was the removal of Les Krims's photographs then on exhibition in Memphis. Krims' pictures were removed and the boy was released unharmed. A few years later, Light Gallery, in New York City, published an original print portfolio containing the Krims photographs on view at that exhibition. Light Gallery titled the portfolio, "The Only Photographs in the World to Ever Cause a Kidnapping." Krims had nothing to do with the kidnapping.
Krims has been criticized by some anti-porn feminists and feminist photographers as being fetishistic, objectifying, body despising and a misogynist who uses his photography to humiliate predominantly women. Even though Krims does include men (often himself, nude) in his photos, these critics contend that his primary viciousness is reserved for women. However, Krims displays captions with his images that place the work in context.

On March 31, 1980, anti-porn activist Nikki Craft destroyed a portfolio of "The Incredible Case Of The Stack O'Wheat Murders," belonging to a library, by tearing the pictures to pieces and pouring chocolate syrup over them. Craft faced felony conspiracy and malicious mischief charges at University of California, Santa Cruz. However charges were later dismissed and she was nominated for a chancellor's award by her arresting officer, the provost of her college (the then mayor of Santa Cruz) and hundreds of students. Craft maintained that her action was a work of art and an act of disobedience and was not an act of censorship because it resulted in more discussion about the prints. Several months later, after a community dialog in the media and art national art journals, she donated an exact duplicate set of prints back to the Special Collections Dept of the UCSC library where it remains to this day.


JEAN DIEUZAIDE. My Adventure with Pitch, 1958.
Gelatin silver prim.

 


JEAN DIEUZAIDE. Dali dans l'eau, Port-Lligat, 1953

 

LUCIEN CLERGUE

Lucien Clergue (born August 14, 1934) is a French photographer.
Clergue was born in Arles. From the age of 7, Lucien Clergue learnt to play the violin. Several years later, his teacher revealed to him that he had nothing more to teach him. From a family of shopkeepers, he could not pursue further studies in a conservatory. In 1949, he learns the rudiments of photography. Four years later, at a corrida in Arles, he showed his photos to Pablo Picasso, who though subdued demanded to see others. Within a year and a half, young Clergue worked with the goal of sending photos to Picasso. During this period he worked on his series of photographs of traveling entertainers, acrobats and harlequins, the « Saltimbanques ». He also worked meanwhile on a series whose subject is carrion.
On 4 November 1955, Lucien Clergue visited Picasso in Cannes. Their friendship lasted near 30 years, until the death of the Master. The book, Picasso my friend retraces the important moments of their relation.
Clergue has taken many photographs of the gypsies of southern France, and he was instrumental in propelling the guitarist Manitas de Plata to fame.
In 1968 he founded, along with his friend Michel Tournier the Rencontres d’Arles photography festival which is held in Arles in July.
Clergue has illustrated books, among these a book by writer Yves Navarre.
In 2007, the city of Arles honored Lucien Clergue and dedicated a retrospective collection of 360 of his photographs dating from 1953 to 2007. He also received the 2007 Lucie Award.
He is named knight of the Légion d'honneur in 2003 and elected member of the Academy of Fine Arts of the Institute of France on the 31 May 2006, on the creation of a new section consecrated to photography. Clergue is the first photographer to enter the Academy to a seat devoted to photography.

 

Nearly all still-life images are the result of prearrangements or staging. Usually their objectives are fairly simple: to make an aesthetic statement unencumbered by political or social issues, as exemplified by the belief that "associations in the real world simply do not matter in photography." Works by Zeke Berman, which comprise both solid and linear forms, share this intention, except that they also play with the conventions of creating spatial perspective.

Still-life photographs may have more than aesthetic aims. Those by Michiko Kon, which consist of strange conjunctions of organic matter—fish scales, vegetables—arranged in the form of ordinary garments, may be simply banal statements that one is what one eats or they may suggest a more profound relationship between organic and manufactured entities. Fontcuberta has evolved "new" species with new "Latin" denominations from a mixture of organic materials, which he photographs with clinical clarity against plain backdrops.

The staging of scenes for the camera has been influenced not only by print advertising but also by cinema and television, so it is not surprising that photographers have sometimes given their productions greater impact by installing them in specific configurations. Nan Goldin has projected her images in prearranged sequences accompanied by words and music; Lorie Novak, using a number of projectors, combines images of personal history and public events. In installations by other photographers, articles and images of all sorts—newspaper clippings, stuffed animals, snapshots, bits of clothing—have been hung on walls or on specially built structures to create a nuanccd environment that conveys a personal or political message, as in recent work by the French photographers Christian Boltanski and Annette Messager.
These expedients suggest that, for some artists, dealing with profound and difficult themes such as family life, sexuality, or the Holocaust (which has engaged Boltanski for more than ten years) is beyond the scope of direct documentation and the single image.

The various methods and procedures used to give form to a landscape of the imagination often overlap. Collages and montages at times include negative and positive versions of the same or different photographs; some elements may be distorted or solarized (the latter is a technique for partially reversing the tonality of the negative by exposing it to light during development). Photographers using these techniques often manipulate the chemical development process to make the image foggy or grainy, or they may add tone to it. The photographer thus asserts the

right to make imaginative or conceptual as well as realistic statements with the camera, an attitude toward the medium that can be traced back to the work of Julia Margaret Cameron, Oscar Gustav Rejlander, and Henry Peach Robinson in the 19th century.
 


MiCHIKO KON. Dress of Peas, 1994.
Gelatin silver print. Robert Mann Gallery, New York.


JOAN FONTCUBERTA. Lavandula Angustifolia, c. 1984.
Gelatin silver print. Zabriskie Gallery, New York.



CHRISTIAN BOLTANSKI. The Drawer; 1988.
Gelatin silver print, lightbulb, and metal box filled with clothing, 37 x 24 x 16 in.
Marian Goodman Gallery, New York.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
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