News from the World of Photography: August 2017


Graciela Iturbide talks about going viral, L.A. cholos and shooting Frida Kahlo's bathroom

The Los Angeles Times

Countless photographers hope to produce a single indelible image over the course of their careers, something so unforgettable it is seared onto the collective unconscious. Mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide has made not one but several of these images.

There’s the photograph of a Zapotec woman in a southern Mexican market, her head draped in a crown of iguanas striking a pose. There is the spectral figure of an indigenous Seri woman, clad in a long dress, who floats through the desert clutching only a boom box. And there is the woman, with the seen-it-all stare, having a drink and a smoke in a Mexico City bar — her mortality, and ours, writ large in a mural of a skull that looms large over her shoulder.

There are others who are recognizable too: The Zapotec transgender woman framing her striking features with a mirror. A mask-wearing reveler standing in the middle of a dry field, the party over, out of time.

Iturbide’s images are part of museum collections all over the world, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in the Bay Area and the Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

Photography in Canada: 1960-2000

National Gallery of Canada
Ottawa, Canada
7 April - 17 September 2018

Experience the diversity of Canadian photographic practice and production from 1960 to 2000 in this exhibition organized by the Canadian Photography Institute of the National Gallery of Canada. Bringing together more than 100 works by 71 artists — including Raymonde April, Edward Burtynsky, Lynne Cohen, Angela Grauerholz, Michael Snow, Jeff Wall and Jin-me Yoon — it explores how the medium articulated the role of art and the artist in an ever-changing world, along with differing ideas of identity, sexuality and community.

Formulated around themes such as conceptual, documentary, urban landscape and portrait, this exhibition celebrates the enormous growth of the practice, collection and display of photography over more than four decades. 

Photographic Treasures from India


To mark the 70th anniversary of Indian independence, an exhibition of photographs examines some of the earliest documentation of the country.

The Unsung Hero of South African Photography


Andrew Tshabangu’s two decades-plus visual repertoire, the best of which was showcased earlier this year at Johannesburg’s Standard Bank Gallery and Gallery MOMO in Footprints, is provocative and ultimately liberating. With its exploration of blackness as a lived, if banal and mundane experience (just as it is with any other racial group), Footprints, which was curated by Thembinkosi Goniwe, is also notable for its simplicity and aching, often sweeping quietness, and clarity. In “The Value of Andrew Tshabangu’s Photography,” an essay in the accompanying monograph, published by Fourthwall Books, the curator, critic and novelist Simon Njami tells us that Tshabangu’s journey began in the place where he was born, namely, South Africa. “While biography is never a trivial part of the analysis of any artist’s work,” Njami writes, “in Tshabangu’s case the contextual elements seem to render fundamental clues to a deeper understanding of his universe.”

PHOTOVILLE returns to Brooklyn Bridge Park 

Brooklyn Bridge Plaza
13-17 September & 21-24 September 2017 

Returning to its iconic location at the Brooklyn Bridge Plaza—located in DUMBO’s Brooklyn Bridge Park beneath the majestic span of the Brooklyn Bridge— Photoville will once again create an immersive photography village populated by 55+ shipping containers repurposed into galleries.

The 2017 festival will present five nights of programming in the Beer Garden, numerous hands-on workshops, an education day for New York City middle and high-school students (proudly supported by the New York City’s Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment), three full days of panel discussions and talks presented next door at St. Ann’s Warehouse, tents with family-friendly photo activities, photo publishers, gear demonstrations, a community photo book store run by Red Hook Editions, tintype portraits by the Penumbra Foundation, and a beer garden with a range of food vendors from Smorgasburg and Brooklyn Brewery beers.



British Journal of Photography

Swedish organisation Fotografiska is to open a new centre for photography in London’s Whitechapel. The 89,000 sq ft lower ground space plus office, which is located near Whitechapel Gallery, is due to be completed in the second half of 2018, and has been rented by Fotografiska for 15 years (with a break option at 12 years).

“Fotografiska has for a long time been searching for suitable facilities in London, one of the world’s most dynamic cities when it comes to photography,” said Tommy Rönngren, founding partner and chair of the board of Fotografiska London. “Whitechapel, which is one of London’s most dynamic areas, will be a perfect location. It will be really exciting to bring the concept of Fotografiska to London.”

Fotografiska already runs a 59,000 sq ft contemporary photography centre in Stockholm called The Swedish Museum of Photography, which opened in 2010 and shows four major exhibitions per year. Previous exhibitions include solo shows by Guy Bourdin, Sarah Moon, Annie Leibovitz, Lars Tunbjörk and Anders Petersen. The organisation also reportedly signed a lease this summer for all six floors, 45,000 sq ft, of the 281 Park Avenue South building in New York.

Southern Elegy: Photography from the Stephen Reily Collection

Speed Art Museum
Louisville, Kentucky
17 March - 14 October 2017 


The Speed Art Museum is pleased to present Southern Elegy: Photography from the Stephen Reily Collection, an exhibition of photographs from the Louisville-based collection of Stephen Reily. Reflecting the complex history of the American South, the images in this exhibition address the themes of loss, ruins, beauty, and violence, through evocative images of the South’s natural landscape, architecture, and residents. Southern Elegy features 75 photographs, chiefly spanning from the 1930s to works from the past decade. The 14 photographers represented include George Barnard, William Christenberry, William Eggleston, Walker Evans, Robert Frank, William Gedney, Frances Benjamin Johnston, Clarence John Laughlin, Russell Lee, Deborah Luster, Sally Mann, Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Robert Polidori, and Doug Rickard.

Having researched the photographers who have documented the American South from the nineteenth century to present day, Reily built a collection on the premise of photography as an elegiac
process, or a poetic form of “capturing loss.” As a medium that records the past, photography provides a means of exploring the contested and difficult history of the South through the documentation of specific moments and places. The South provided artists with a landscape shaped by slavery and the Civil War, and in later decades, discrimination, poverty, violence, and human made disaster. Reily explains, “Southern photography is often inspired by its own sense of captured memory, self-aware of the losses that underlie the landscape before us as well as the losses that will transform it once again.”

Longer Ways to Go: Photography of the American Road

Phoenix Art Museum
Phoenix, Arizona
15 April - 15 October 2017

The most recent collaboration between Phoenix Art Museum and the University of Arizona’s Center for Creative Photography (CCP), Longer Ways to Go: Photography of the American Road delves deep into the complex dialogue that photography can enter into with a subject dear to many. This exhibition explores the symbiotic relationship between photography and the folklore of the American highway, including the emblematic Route 66. Longer Ways juxtaposes photographs from different eras, exploring themes related to travel, ideals of small-town life, the national heritage of westward expansion, and personal freedom.


Fondation Cartier pour l'art Contemporain

Thirty years after the exhibition Hommage à Ferrari, the Fondation Cartier will once again focus its attention on the world of cars with the exhibition Autophoto dedicated to photography’s relationship to the automobile. Since its invention, the automobile has reshaped our landscape, extended our geographic horizons and radically altered our conception of space and time, consequently influencing the approach and practice of photographers.

The exhibition Autophoto will show how the car provided photographers with a new subject, new point of view and new way of exploring the world. Organized in series, it will bring together 500 works made by 100 historic and contemporary artists from around the world including Jacques-Henri Lartigue, Lee Friedlander, Rosângela Renno and Yasuhiro Ishimoto. Capturing the geometric design of roadways, the reflections in a rear-view mirror or our special relationship with this object of desire, these photographers invite us to look at the world of the automobile in a new way. 


For artists at the dawn of the 20th Century, the modern world must have seemed like a bright, shiny and inspiring place. Think of FT Marinetti, whose rhapsodic Futurist Manifesto, published in 1909, extolled factories and shipyards, bridges and railway stations, locomotives and racing cars. “A roaring car that seems to ride on grapeshot is more beautiful than the Victory of Samothrace,” he wrote. 

By the time of the artistic maturity of the US photographer Walker Evans (1903-75), though, much of that seductive appeal had worn off. As an important retrospective of more than 400 artworks at the Pompidou Centre in Paris reveals, Evans, unlike Marinetti, was no cheerleader for modernity.

In a way, this is surprising, since the show suggests that Evans’ photographic career began conventionally enough, as a budding modernist. Indebted to formal innovations by avant-garde photographers such as the Russian Alexander Rodchenko, Evans’ boldly framed early pictures, from the late 1920s, eulogised New York’s awe-inspiring architecture. Like many others, he felt compelled to photograph Brooklyn Bridge and Broadway...

The Face of Battle: Americans at War, 9/11 to Now

Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery
Washington DC
7 April 2017 - 28 January 2018

Since September 11, 2001, the United States has been engaged in multiple wars, varying in intensity, locale, and consequence.  After fifteen years, this warfare has become normalized into our social and cultural landscape; it is ongoing, yet somehow out of sight, invisible.

The Face of Battle: Americans at War, 9/11 to Now explores and assesses the human costs of ongoing wars through portraiture. The exhibition title is drawn from John Keegan’s classic military history, which reorients our view of war from questions of strategy and tactics to its personal and individual toll. Featuring fifty-six works by six artists, the exhibition includes photographs by Ashley Gilbertson, Tim Hetherington, Louie Palu, and Stacy Pearsall; site-specific installation of drawings by Emily Prince; and paintings, sculpture, and time-based media by Vincent Valdez.

With this poignant exhibition, the National Portrait Gallery will put a face on recent wars through the work of artists who have pictured the experience of common soldiers. The Face of Battle will also bring to public attention the latest formal developments in the field of portraiture as practiced by a diverse and talented group of artists. The exhibition will place the focus on the identity and experiences of ordinary soldiers who fought and continue to fight for our nation.


Belgian photographer Nick Hannes has been pursuing independent documentary projects for over a decade. His travels (and curiosity) have taken him across the 15 former Soviet Republics as well as all around the Mediterranean Sea, and yet his latest work focuses on a completely different part of the world: the city of Dubai.

In the series, titled “Bread and Circuses,” he focuses on leisure and consumerism in one of the capitals of extravagant consumption. Through his camera, he focuses on the bizarre peculiarities of this unique city—his hope is to tell a more universal story about humanity’s relationship to pleasure and entertainment.

LensCulture managing editor Alexander Strecker reached out to Hannes to find out more about his project and Hannes’ process. Below is an edited transcript of their exchange...

Gösta Peterson, Barrier-Breaking Fashion Photographer, Dies at 94

The New York Times

Gösta Peterson, a self-taught photographer who made fashion history with his magazine covers of a once-spurned black model, Naomi Sims, and an androgynous British waif nicknamed Twiggy, died in Manhattan. He was 94.


At first glance, Kate Ballis’ candy-coloured landscapes are reminiscent of the hand-tinted photographs that were prevalent in the mid-19th century, but these gorgeous popsicle-palette images were created with the aid of a specially converted infrared camera as opposed to a paintbrush. “I first came across the technique at the Venice Biennale in 2013, where Richard Mosse had used the process to represent the violent conflict in the Eastern Republic of Congo,” she explains. “In his work it seems like he’s subverting these horrors and creating something aesthetically beautiful.”

No Longer Seeing the World Through Men’s Eyes

The New York Times LENS Blog

The first Women Photograph grants to support personal projects by female visual journalists have been presented to Alex Potter, Lujan Agusti, Gabriella Demczuk and Néha Hirve. Women Photograph, a new organization, aims to help women gain opportunities in an industry that has historically been dominated by white men and has been rife with sexism.

Most new photography grants or awards are announced with great fanfare promising long-term impact. But if Women Photograph succeeds in helping visual storytellers, there may eventually be no need for it, said Daniella Zalcman, a freelance photographer who founded the group.

“In some perfect world of the future, half of working photojournalists will be women and there will not need to be grants for photographers of color or female photographers,” she said. “But right now, as we work to level the playing field, we absolutely need to create intentional opportunities to address the huge imbalances in the photojournalism community.”

The group’s website and database features 550 female and female-identifying photographers from 87 countries who are available for editorial assignments and have more than five years of professional experience. They have been advocating for more jobs and editorial assignments for women photographers from leading publications, and its private Facebook group has become a forum to exchange professional tips and occasionally to discuss instances of sexual harassment and gender bias...

Elliott Erwitt in Hungary

Magyar Fotográfusok Háza
Budapest, Hungary
15 June - 10 September 2017


Elliott Erwitt, the world-renowned photographer took pictures of Hungary in 1964. A selection of these images will be showcased for the first time in Hungary at the Mai Manó House in the summer of 2017.

News from the World of Photography: July 2017


The First 100 Years of Photography

Europeana Photography

Europeana Photography opens up Europe’s rich photographic heritage to everyone. Photography is a direct and effective connection between history and contemporary society. It allows people to connect with their past, with fellow European citizens, explore remote eras and locations, and better appreciate the value of their continental, national and local cultural heritage.

FOCUS PHOTO L.A. Prize Winners

Finalists: Robert Calafiore, Cody Cobb, Sean Foulkes, Augustin Gonzalez Garza, Jill Hannes, Rowan Ibbeke, Carlos Jaramillo, Dan Lopez, Ole Manus Joergensen, Pat Martin, Deepanjan Mukhopadhyay, Ange Ong, Stephen Rader, Landon Speers, Judith Stenneken, Jessica Thalmann, Sinziana Veliescu

The 20th Edition of PHotoESPAÑA

L'Oeil de la Photographie

Festival PHotoESPAÑA
31 May - 27 August 2017
Different locations in Madrid, Spain

Every two years, during the summer, Madrid becomes a major event for the world of visual arts and photography. With exhibitions in the main museums, halls and art galleries, as well as diverse activities related to the chosen theme of the year, PHotoEspaña offers the possibility to discover the latest tendencies as well as the latest projects of internationally renowned artists.

PHotoESPAÑA reaches its twentieth edition this year, before really turning 20 years old in 2018. This year, the festival presents from May, 31 to August, 27 about 100 exhibitions with works by 514 artists and a program of 20 activities for professionals and for the general public that will take place in 62 venues.

Under the theme “The Exaltation of Being”, the festival has invited Spanish photographer Alberto García-Alix to participate in this edition with a carte blanche. He has proposed six exhibitions and one activity: exhibitions by Anders Petersen, Paulo Nozolino, Antoine d’Agata, Pierre Molinier, Karlheinz Weinberger and Teresa Margolles, as well as a book editing laboratory directed by Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin.

The twentieth edition of the PHotoESPAÑA counts on the involvement of the principal Spanish cultural institutions and on international cooperation, this continues to be one of the characteristics of the festival. Today’s edition of The Eye of Photography offers you a selection of the best exhibitions in town.

World’s Largest and Most Controversial Portrait Competition Goes Digital

British Journal of Photography

National Portrait Gallery’s Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize innovates again by opening up the world-famous competition - with a £15,000 prize - to digital entries, as previous winners discuss how their careers took off despite the award’s ongoing controversial reputation.

The National Portrait Gallery’s Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize manages to divide opinion, inspire debate and even provoke controversy like virtually no other global photographic award. For its detractors, the joke is that the Taylor Wessing competition so often awards prizes to photographers who have taken pictures of girls and women, usually with red hair, holding animals – something that makes the prize repetitive and conservative. For its supporters, the Taylor Wessing portrait prize has a thematic coherence and identity most other photography competitions lack. 

In fact, both viewpoints are a little unfair because in recent years the prize has started to award a far more diverse range of portraits. Take for the example the 2014 winner David Titlow; a fashion photographer who won with his image of his infant son being introduced to a dog, surrounded by friends the morning after an idyllic midsummer party. And more recently Claudio Rasano, who won in 2016 for his image of a young schoolboy in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Now, the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, one of the most revered and competitive photography awards in the world, is going digital. The prize will now accept images uploaded via the competition’s new digital portal, from anyone with an internet connection, anywhere in the world, even accepting images taken on mobile...

Walden: Four Views | Abelardo Morell

Concord Museum
Concord, Massachusetts
10 February - 20 August 2017 

Guided and inspired by Thoreau’s journals and his seminal work Walden, Abelardo Morell has made new panoramic photographic works that suggest fresh new angles from which to look at Walden Pond.

Ryan McGinley: The Kids Were Alright

MCA Denver
Denver, Colorado
11 February - 20 August 2017 

MCA Denver is pleased to announce Ryan McGinley: The Kids Were Alright. The exhibition will feature early photographs by McGinley, whose pioneering, documentary-style approach captured the antics and daily activities of himself, his friends, and collaborators in lower Manhattan in the late 1990s.

Occupying the entire second level of MCA Denver, the exhibition focuses on McGinley’s work from 1998 to 2003, from his earliest forays into photography to his rise to national prominence. The photographs present intimate moments of both exhilaration and introspection, often within a mundane setting, and demonstrate a sweeping range of emotions. McGinley’s works capture the essence of his lifestyle at the time: gritty, daring, and focused on moments of both pleasure and tedium, as well as illicit activities. Unstaged and unedited, McGinley’s use of light imbues all of the works with an intensity and profound emotional depth. They may depict a figure as brooding and contemplative or bursting with joyful exuberance. McGinley’s photos and Polaroids continually elevate these everyday moments and allow them to pulsate with life.

A rare instance of the artist re-examining his earliest major body of work, which was titled The Kids Are Alright, the exhibition at MCA Denver features many never-before-printed images. Additionally, over 1500 of McGinley’s Polaroids, which have never before been exhibited, will wrap the museum’s second floor. For this series, he documented nearly every visitor to his home and studio over the course of four years.

Works by Dash Snow and Dan Colen, two of McGinley's closest collaborators during this early period, complete the exhibition.

National Galleries Scotland
Edinburgh, Scotland
Until 1 October 2017

A Perfect Chemistry: Photographs by Hill & Adamson explores the uniquely productive and influential partnership of David Octavius Hill (1802-1870) and Robert Adamson (1821-1848), which lasted a few short years from 1843 until early 1848. These stunning images, which belie the almost unimaginable technical challenges faced by the duo, are arguably among the first examples of social documentary in the history of photography. 

174 years ago an event that forever changed the course of Scottish history also led to one of the greatest partnerships in the history of photography. When the Free Church of Scotland was established in 1843 it represented a decisive break from the existing church that profoundly influenced the political and cultural landscape of the entire country. It was also the catalyst that brought together David Octavius Hill, an established landscape painter, and Robert Adamson, an engineer. The two men formed a partnership in order to photograph over 400 ministers of the Free Church. Conceived as sketches for a large canvas that Hill was working on these photographs was the beginning of one of the most productive and innovative partnerships in the medium. 

While famous within the history of photography, Hill and Adamson’s groundbreaking collaboration is also among the most mysterious, with many questions left unanswered as to the exact nature of their ‘perfect chemistry’. What is clear is that a series of events, circumstances and opportunities conspired to bring these two men together. In just four and a half years they not only altered the course of Scottish photography, but that of the history of photography around the world—all from their studio at Rock House, Calton Hill.

Using the new calotype process, which was invented by the Englishman William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877) in 1841, the pair made thousands of photographs by hand.

Their subjects included portraits of some of the artists, literary figures, renowned scientific innovators, and groundbreaking religious thinkers at the heart of 1840s Edinburgh. These portraits along with those of family and friends provide a fascinating insight into life in Edinburgh in the 1840s.


Akron Art Museum
Akron, Ohio
25 February- 20 August 2017


         Family is a fundamental social construct in every culture. Most basically, its definition references parents, their children and others related by blood or by law. As well, partners, close friends, neighbors, church members, mentors, colleagues and others special to us may assume the role of family in instilling values, offering protection and establishing and maintaining cherished traditions.

While families afford a source of stability, births and marriages, dissolutions of relationships, aging and death recurrently alter their structures and dynamics. Many of these events are accompanied by formal rites of passage. Other, more subtle changes in family relationships occur from day to day, and may only be fully understood over the course of time.

Formal and informal family relationships are a rich resource for artists and the Akron Art Museum collection features works in many media portraying friends and loved ones. Family shares an array of photographs, most drawn from the Akron Art Museum collection, that record the estranged as well as the fond exchanges that characterize “family.” They offer insights into the intimate, spontaneous, prescribed and strained interactions that distinguish the families we inherit, create and adopt. They were selected within an expansive definition of family, seeking to stimulate conversations about the intentions of the artists and the individual perspectives each visitor brings to the exhibition. Diane Arbus, Walker Evans, TR Ericsson, Larry Fink, Helen Levitt, Danny Lyon, Mary Ellen Mark and Joseph Vitone, are among the photographers featured in Family.

How the Polaroid Camera Seduced the Art World


A January 1973 edition of Popular Science heralded the SX-70 as “perhaps the most fiendishly clever invention in the history of photography”, a sentiment that photobook and touring exhibition The Polaroid Project aims to highlight. Focusing on the phenomenon of the photography and how it intersects with science, The Polaroid Project explores the Polaroid in 360°, as “a corporation, a business, an industry, a technology (or, more accurately, a cluster of technologies), and specific products that stood proudly at the forefront of photographic image-making in a Western post-war world that really believed that easier and faster meant better” photographic curator William A. Ewing writes in the book’s introduction.

Including the history of the Polaroid, its engineering and evolution, the book and 
exhibition also features never-before-seen snapshots taken by Land himself, and other works by eminent artists who have all used – and in some cases, still use – this extraordinary technology.



Shot through with intense melancholy and rich sepia tones, Luis González Palma’s, Escenas is a uniquely engaging photo series. Each of the finished pieces compiles work from several different photographs, and the result—stretched into a panoramic format—hints at a private narrative that floats just out of reach.

Born in Guatemala in 1957, Palma is one of the most significant photographers from Latin America working today. His work is collected by the Art Institute of Chicago, USA; the Museum für Fotografie, Berlin; the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris; The Daros Foundation, Zurich; and the Museo de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires, among other institutions. Despite his prolific photographic career, however, Palma was trained as an architect, a background that influences how he approaches photography. “It is all connected, life and your experiences,” he says. “It all dictates the way you feel and transform your world. Having studied architecture gave me, I believe, the possibility to mentally conceive the idea in relation to the space. My background made me realize that we inhabit ideas; when we experience a work of art, we face it in the context of our own life experiences”.

Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA)
Baltimore, Maryland
17 May - 1 October 2017

Black, White & Abstract considers the work of three of the most important and influential American photographers of the 20th century: Harry Callahan, Aaron Siskind, and Minor White.

The BMA is fortunate to have strong holdings of works by Callahan and Siskind, and now White as well thanks to the recent acquisition of the nine-part series Sound of One Hand Clapping, Sequence 14, never before on view at the Museum.

Born within a decade of one another, Callahan, Siskind, and White each took up photography in the 1930s, with their work coming to the fore in the 1940s and 1950s as they embarked on long teaching careers.

Although they worked primarily in black and white they periodically experimented with color photography, especially Callahan. Each, in his own way, was interested in pursuing abstraction, though their work was always tied to representational subject matter.

All three photographers were also intrigued by exploring formal and/or conceptual themes through series of photographs.

Arles 2017: Fiona Rogers’ Top Five

British Journal of Photography

Magnum Photos' global business developer, and founder of Firecracker, rounds up her five favourites from Arles - from the official programme and the fringe festival.

Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM)
Washington DC.
12 May - 6 August 2017 

America’s urban streets have long inspired documentary photographers. After World War II, populations shifted from the city to the suburbs and newly built highways cut through thriving neighborhoods, leaving isolated pockets within major urban centers. As neighborhoods started to decline in the 1950s, the photographers in this exhibition found ways to call attention to changing cities and their residents. Down These Mean Streets: Community and Place in Urban Photography explores the work of ten photographers—Manuel Acevedo, Oscar Castillo, Frank Espada, Anthony Hernandez, Perla de Leon, Hiram Maristany, Ruben Ochoa, John Valadez, Winston Vargas, and Camilo José Vergara—who were driven to document and reflect on the state of American cities during these transformative years.

Rather than approach the neighborhoods as detached observers, these artists deeply identified with their subject. Activist and documentary photographer Frank Espada captured humanizing portraits of urban residents in their decaying surroundings. Hiram Maristany and Winston Vargas lovingly captured street life in historic Latino neighborhoods in New York City, offering rare glimpses of bustling community life that unfolded alongside urban neglect and community activism. Working in Los Angeles, Oscar Castillo captured both the detritus of urban renewal projects and the cultural efforts of residents to shape their own neighborhoods. Perla de Leon’s poignant photographs of the South Bronx in New York—one of the most iconic blighted neighborhoods in American history—place into sharp relief the physical devastation of the neighborhood and the lives of the people who called it home. John Valadez’s vivid portraits of stylish young people in East Los Angeles counter the idea of inner cities as places of crime. Camilo José Vergara and Anthony Hernandez adopt a cooler, conceptual approach. Their serial projects, which return to specific urban sites over and over, invite viewers to consider the passage of time in neighborhoods transformed by the urban crisis. The barren “concrete” landscapes of Ruben Ochoa and Manuel Acevedo pivot on unconventional artistic strategies—like merging photography and drawing—to inspire a second look at the physical features of public space that shape the lives of urban dwellers.

Canada Debates Whether Gift of Leibovitz Photos is also a Tax Dodge

The New York Times

Someone — and absolutely no one involved seems ready to say who — came up with an idea in 2012 for a patron to purchase 2,070 photos by the American portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz and then donate them to a museum in Canada.

This was a colossal score for the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Halifax, which owned nothing by Ms. Leibovitz at the time.

For Ms. Leibovitz, who had a financial crisis several years earlier, the transaction meant she earned several million dollars. And the donor, a Deloitte Canada partner who said he had bought the collection to honor his mother’s memory, stood to qualify for a generous tax deduction and recognition as an arts patron.

Four years later, though, a Canadian government panel that must sign off on the deduction is still balking at approving it, partly because the panel won’t accept a $20 million valuation for a collection that the donor purchased for just $4.75 million...

Oakland Museum of California
13 May - 27 August 2017

Through the lens of her camera, Dorothea Lange documented American life with riveting, intimate photographs that portrayed some of the most powerful moments of the 20th century. Lange was driven by the belief that seeing the effects of injustice could provoke reform and, just perhaps, change the world. From documenting the plight of Dust Bowl migrants during the Great Depression to illuminating the grim conditions of incarcerated Japanese Americans during World War II, Lange’s photographs demonstrate how empathy and compassion—focused through art—can sway minds and prompt change throughout this nation’s history. See how Lange’s work continues to resonate with millions and inspire new generations of artist-activists, illustrating the power of photography as a form of social activism.

Dorothea Lange: Politics of Seeing presents 130 photographs to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the artist’s gift of her personal archive to the Oakland Museum of California. Drawing upon vintage prints, unedited proof sheets, personal memorabilia, and historic objects, this exhibition takes a unique approach to a beloved American photographer by reuniting photographs with comments and quotes by the people she photographed. Don’t miss a selection of photographs on view by contemporary photographers Janet Delaney, Jason Jaacks, and Ken Light, whose works demonstrate how the issues tackled in Lange’s subject matter are relevant to many of the issues we face today—nationally and globally.

Wynn Bullock: Revelations

Center for Creative Photography (CCP)
Tucson, Arizona
13 May - 25 November 2017

This exhibition represents the most comprehensive assessment of photographer Wynn Bullock’s (American, 1902-1975) extraordinary career in nearly forty years. Bullock worked in the American modernist tradition alongside colleagues and friends Edward Weston, Harry Callahan, and Ansel Adams. The arc of Bullock’s innovative achievements is surveyed through more than 100 prints, from his early experimental work of the 1940s, through the mysterious black-and-white imagery of the 1950s and color light abstractions of the 1960s, to his late metaphysical photographs of the 1970s. 

Bullock's work was guided by an intense interest in the mid-twentieth-century dialogue about the structure of the universe and humanity's place within it. Drawn to the spirit of experimentation that marked scientific and philosophic endeavors of his day, Bullock used knowledge about quantum physics, special relativity, and the space-time continuum as a reference point for his own intuitive and deeply personal explorations of the world. Photography for Bullock was a way of meditating on the frightening and exhilarating idea that there is much more to the world than is commonly understood through ordinary perception, and he was passionate about conveying that revelation to others through his work. 

John G. Morris, Renowned Photo Editor in the Thick of History, Dies at 100

The New York Times

John G. Morris, a renowned picture editor who left an indelible stamp on photojournalism from World War II through the Vietnam War, died on Friday at a hospital near his home in Paris. He was 100. His friend and colleague Robert Pledge, a founder of the agency Contact Press Images, confirmed the death.

Mr. Morris had a long and storied career in picture editing. In one memorable instance, in wartime London, he edited Robert Capa’s historic pictures of the D-Day invasion of Normandy in 1944 and got them printed and shipped to New York in time for the next week’s issue of Life, the country’s largest-circulation picture magazine at the time.

Forceful and sometimes fractious, Mr. Morris had a peripatetic career that included stops at most of the major postwar centers of American photojournalism. In addition to Life, he worked for The New York Times, The Washington Post, National Geographic and the celebrated cooperative agency Magnum Photos.

News from the World of Photography: June 2017


News from the World of Photography: May 2017


A Bygone Era of Big City Life

The New York Times LENS Blog


“Mehr Licht” — more light — were Goethe’s famous last words. That deathbed declaration was also the title of Fred Stein’s only book, featuring images taken along Fifth Avenue, which was published posthumously. What could be more fitting?

The German photographer’s oeuvre has been largely overlooked, but more light is being shed on his work in an exhibition at the Maison Doisneau, just outside Paris, featuring Mr. Stein’s black-and-white images taken on both sides of the Atlantic.

He was born in 1909 to a Jewish family in Dresden, where he developed an early interest in politics and became an anti-Nazi activist. He studied law in Leipzig but was denied admission to the German bar because of anti-Semitism. In 1933, he married Liselotte Salzburg, known as Lilo, and the two fled their native Germany for Paris under the guise of a honeymoon, from which they never returned...

Today Mr. Stein’s photographs provide a record of the everyday pageantry of 1940s New York and Paris between the wars, portrayals of a bygone era of big city life. In his time, photographers were more often seen as technicians rather than artists. However, his own consideration of the medium was ahead of the curve: He once gave a lecture at the New York Public Library titled: “Is Photography Art?”

“It is remarkable that Stein chose the purist’s route in his photography,” Ms. Rosenberg noted. “Stein was trying to capture people and the essence of their lives; in so doing, he could not avoid picking up in his images the events and conditions which formed the universe inhabited by his subjects.”

“Fred Stein, Paris-New York” is on view through Sept. 24 at Maison Robert Doisneau in Gentilly.

Image: Fountain. Paris. 1935. Credit Estate of Fred Stein

Reconfigured Reality: Contemporary Photography from the Permanent Collection

Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMOCA)
Madison, WI
2 December 2016 - 12 November 2017 


Reconfigured Reality: Contemporary Photography from the Permanent Collection, drawn from the museum’s permanent collection, presents an overview of developments since 1970 that have helped define contemporary photography. From the time it was commercially introduced in 1839, photography has undergone continuous technical and conceptual changes—from the first daguerreotypes to today’s digital prints.

Through the majority of the twentieth century the film-based, black-and-white print served as the standard format for modern photography. Over the past several decades, however, artists have transformed the medium by exploring new technologies and by adopting older approaches in innovative ways, thereby opening up photography to fresh perspectives. As evidenced by works included in Reconfigured Reality, these contemporary approaches include the adoption of color as a primary means; the large format photograph; an exploration of vintage processes to express contemporary concerns; the staged photograph; the manipulated photograph; and conceptual strategies, among others.

What contemporary photography has amply discredited—and which, in fact, applies retroactively to the entire history of photography—is the narrow view that the camera is a recording device only, not a creative tool, and that its purpose is strictly representational. Laid to rest, too, is the notion that the camera can ever capture objective reality.

Despite the extraordinary technical shifts and proliferation of the photographic image, which has become the pervasive visual language of our time, great photographs continue to be what they have always been. In the hands of gifted and creative photographers, they are personal accounts that manifest poetic or critical reflections about the world.

Image: © Cindy Sherman

Exhibition: New Realities. Photography in the Nineteenth Century

British Photographic History

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
until 17 September 2017

Every so often a photography exhibition comes along which provides a new perspective on what may often be a familiar history of photography and re-excites one as a photo-historian. New Realities is one such show and, if you see no other photography exhibition over the summer, then this is the one not to miss.

Familiar photographs and styles of photography are re-contextualised within a beautifully designed physical space in Amsterdam's refurbished Rijksmuseum and the newly re-opened Philips Wing. Photographically-illustrated books and ephemera are given a rightful prominence (in special cases with glass that eliminates reflections and provide a 360-degree view of the object), and the application of photography is taken beyond science and documentation to its ephemeral use in advertising and mainly through the Steven F Joseph collection which the Rijksmuseum has acquired. 

Using some 300 photographs, photographically-illustrated books and magazines with tipped-in photographs, New Realities tells a story of how photography was put to use after its announcement in 1839. Six themed rooms commence with an introductory room devoted solely to Anna Atkins' British Algae (1843-53). The book itself is displayed with appropriate reverence facing a wall which shows every plate contained within and sets the scene for the way photography changed the way people saw and recorded the world, people and places around them, and created a new art form. 

Getting Others Right

The New York Times Magazine

A woman holds a little dog in the crook of her arm. Her sleeveless open-necked top is richly patterned. She wears lipstick, earrings, a bangle. The dog, a puppy perhaps, is both alert and relaxed, looking directly at the camera, just as the woman does. The photograph has such an informal mood, such disarming warmth, that we might suppose it had been made recently, were it not in antique-looking black and white. It’s wonderful when an old picture lets us in like this, obliterating the distance between its then and our now.

The woman in this photograph was named Trecil Poolaw Unap, and the photographer was her brother, Horace Poolaw. They were Kiowa, born and raised in Oklahoma. Horace Poolaw made the photograph in 1928, near the beginning of a career in which he went on to become an avid photographer of Native American life. His photographs, some of which he sold at fairs, often came with a stamp: “A Poolaw Photo, Pictures by an Indian, Horace M. Poolaw, Anadarko, Okla.” It was clear that he wanted to assert that these were pictures with a particular point of view...

Room 29: A Century of Photography 1840-1940

National Portrait Gallery
London, UK

Photographs have been collected at the National Portrait Gallery almost since the Gallery was founded in 1856. However, it was not until the 1960's that the Gallery embraced photography as an art form, and began collecting for aesthetic, and not simply documentary reasons. Currently, the Collection includes some 250,000 examples, spanning the history of photography and representing a wide variety of techniques. It is designated as the National Collection of Photographic Portraiture.

The photographs in this room have been chosen to illustrate photography's expressive power. The best photographs show us not just what a person looked like, but also provide a window on their character, giving us a sense of what it might have been like to be in their prescience. This is one of the great paradoxes of photographic portraiture – that something of a person's spirit, thought, and feeling might be glimpsed in one, carefully chosen moment in time...

 Image: © The National Portrait Gallery, London


Sonja Hamad, Jin – Jiyan – Azadi (Women, Life, Freedom) 
Athens Photo Festival
14 June - 30 July 2017

It is said that death at the hands of a woman deters a martyr from entering paradise. One-third of all Kurdish fighters in Western Kurdistan are women. Unafraid of death and fulfilled by their passion for their homeland and their love for their families and people, these women muster up the courage to face the heavily armed IS in Syria. One of their most recent victories includes the recapturing of the City of Kobane in northern Syria from the IS. These women refuse to succumb to the patriarchal view of the role of women that regards women as objects, trapped in their homes, and upholding the family’s honor. It is without exaggeration to say that one could describe the current Kurdish feminist movement viewed from a military, ideological, and organizational perspective as the world’s strongest movement on behalf of the rights of women. This series by Sonja Hamad entitled Jin – Jiyan – Azadi (Women, Life, Freedom) pays them homage.

Image: Sonja Hamad

The World According to Black Women Photographers

The New York Times LENS Blog

As a young photographer growing up in Brownsville, Brooklyn, Laylah Amatullah Barrayn was deeply influenced by Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe’s book “Viewfinders: Black Women Photographers.” The 1986 book took a historical look at female photographers from the 1800s to the present day and left her eager to see more.

“I’ve always been waiting for an update,” Ms. Barrayn said. Had she left it to others, she’d still be keeping vigil. Tired of waiting, she and several colleagues finally decided to self-publish “Mfon: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora,” the first of a planned series of biannual journals, which features images by 100 women photographers from around the world. The journal is named in memory of Mmekutmfon ‘Mfon’ Essien, a young black photographer who died from breast cancer in 2001, one day before her show “The Amazon’s New Clothes” was to open at the Brooklyn Museum.

“I feel black women are very underrepresented in the field of photojournalism and fine art photography,” said Ms. Barrayn, who published the journal with her friends Adama Delphine Fawundu, a visual artist, and Crystal Whaley, an Emmy-winning producer. She explained that while there are photography books that feature black men and women photographers, nothing is solely devoted to black women.

Ms. Barrayn was seven when she got her first camera as a gift from her father. Ten years later, she got professional gear and would embark on a career covering arts and culture for local papers and magazines like Vibe. She now travels the world and juggles documentary and fine art photography.

Image: ©Adreinne Waheed

The Force of Photography: Works from the Museion Collection

South Tyrol, Italy
25 November 2016 - 17 September 2017 


The exhibition explores the photographic works in the Museion collection. Portraits and self-portraits – images of others’ bodies and one’s own – investigate the notions of identity and otherness, the body and social space. The exhibition also features a selection of sculptures around the same theme.

A longside the exhibition, photographic works will be presented in the study collection room. These can be described, in the broadest sense of the word, as political works. They express a direct criticism of a socio-political situation and will be counterposed by idealistic and utopic visions.

Artists: Eleanor Antin; Vanessa Beecroft; Günther Brus; Letizia Cariello; Marcel Duchamp; VALIE EXPORT; Michael Fliri; Isa Genzken; Gilbert & George; Nan Goldin;
Douglos Gordon; Roni Horn; Joan Jonas, Elke Krystufek; Ketty La Rocca; Zoe Leonard; Ana Lupas; Santu Mofokeng; Zanele Muholi; Brigitte Niedermair; Luca Patella; Arnulf Rainer; Lili Reynaud Dewar; Niki de Saint Phalle, Jana Sterbak, Wolfgang Tillmans, Nico Vascellari, Francesco Vezzoli.

Image: Santu Mofokeng

A Critical Understanding of Edward Curtis’s Photos of Native American Culture


Edward S. Curtis: The North American Indian 
Muskegon Museum of Art (Muskegon, Michigan)
through 10 September 

Can one come to a revelation through a visit to an art museum, or is it something that can only be arrived at through a more intensive personal journey? This is the question that emerged for me as I visited the Muskegon Museum of Art for Edward S. Curtis: The North American Indian, a massive installation of the 30-year-plus ethnographic survey of surviving Native American culture by turn-of-the-20th-century, Seattle-based photographer Edward S. Curtis.

The North American Indian is a seminal and controversial blend of documentary and staged photography — one which contributes to much of the foundational imagery and, often-stereotypical, understanding possessed by white America about some 82-plus native tribes that the United States eradicated over a century of colonization. Much has been made 
about the complexities, contradictions, and conflicts of interest in Curtis’s masterwork, by Native and non-Native scholars. Some argue that in staging photographs and, at times, adding props or accessories, Curtis took liberties with the concept of ethnography, both imposing and reinforcing white notions of Native American appearances and culture. Others argue that without Curtis, there would be hardly any extant imagery of the cultural heritage of the tribes he worked with.

Teenie Harris Archive

Carnegie Museum of Art 
Pittsburg, Pennsylvania


Charles "Teenie" Harris (1908–1998) photographed Pittsburgh's African American community from c. 1935 to c. 1975. His archive of nearly 80,000 images is one of the most detailed and intimate records of the black urban experience known today.

A Painting? Bruce Berman Prefers Photographs

The New York Times

There is a photograph taken on the coast of Cuba with the lights of Miami in the distance — what a refugee would see just before setting out. Taken by Virginia Beahan, a large-format photographer, it hangs in the home of Bruce Berman, chairman and chief executive of Village Roadshow Pictures and possibly Hollywood’s most ardent photography collector. Mr. Berman said that he acquired Ms. Beahan’s photo because its desolate beauty spoke to him. “A very magical picture — it fit into the collection nicely,” he said.

Mr. Berman has overseen more than 100 movies — including “Ocean’s Eleven,” “Training Day” and Steven Spielberg’s coming “Ready Player One” — but considered becoming a fine-art photographer himself while an undergraduate at U.C.L.A., Bennington College and the California Institute of the Arts in the 1970s, when he shot roll upon roll of Kodak Tri-X and Ektachrome film on road trips. “Those were great opportunities to take photographs of a part of America you don’t see if you’re born and raised in New York,” he said.

Mr. Berman’s collecting aesthetic runs to the unsparing Americana of Walker Evans, William Eggleston and Dorothea Lange, as well as the contemporary acolytes Christian Patterson, Sheron Rupp and Joel Sternfeld, whose haunting photo of a condemned house in the toxic Love Canal neighborhood of Niagara Falls, N.Y., remains a favorite. Mr. Berman and his former wife, Nancy Goliger, amassed 2,600 photographs that they auctioned after their divorce in 2007 or donated (source for the J. Paul Getty Museum’s 2006-7 exhibition “Where We Live: Photographs of America”). This year, Mr. Berman donated 400 additional photos from his collection to the Getty and other institutions.

Image: © Monica Almeida for The New York Times

Edward S. Curtis: Treasures from The North American Indian

Pro Photo Daily  

Edward S. Curtis: Treasures from The North American Indian
The Wittliff Collections at Texas State University (San Marcos) 
17 January - 3 December 2017

In celebration of its recent acquisition of Edward S. Curtis’ monumental publication, the Wittliff has selected more than 50 of his photographs for this special exhibition.

In 1906 Curtis received a large grant from financier J.P. Morgan to record, through photography and the written word, all Native American tribes who maintained some degree of their “primitive” lifestyle. Native Americans were almost wholly confined to reservations by Curtis’ day, and he felt 
passionately that their culture should be chronicled before it disappeared altogether. The North American Indian is one of the most ambitious photographic projects ever undertaken. Published from 1907 to 1930, its twenty bound volumes contain documentation of more than 100 tribes’ languages, stories and songs, along with extensive illustration with Curtis’ photographs. The volumes are paired with large portfolios, from which the framed prints in this exhibition were selected.

Artist or Faker?

A tremendously gifted artist, Curtis made many unforgettable images, and his photography is enjoying a surge of popularity today. Yet Curtis manipulated many of images by retouching his negatives and created “inaccurate” photographs by using the same clothing, accessories or blankets for multiple tribes. For these reasons, Curtis is now regarded by some as a notorious “
faker,” and he is dismissed for romanticizing Native Americans by eliminating signs of Western influence, especially at a time when their forced assimilation into Western culture denied their rights and dignity. Nevertheless, many Native Americans today defend Curtis’ images, often as they are the sole depictions of their forebears, but also because Curtis gave his subjects a dignity they likely did not experience in their daily lives.

Image:  The Chief and His Staff -- Apsaroke by Edward S. Curtis, 1905, published 1909 

The New York Times LENS Blog

Staring into Ironing Board Sam’s smile, beautiful and bright as his fingers dance across a keyboard, one can easily forget that somewhere above him is a man balanced next to a 14-foot-high stand, aiming a large-format camera down at him, waiting for a strobe light to fire.

And that’s just how Timothy Duffy prefers it.

“My goal is to disappear somehow from this experience,” Mr. Duffy said, “so when you see the photo it’s just you and the artist.”

For too long, it was his subjects who were invisible. They are American roots musicians, many of whom were “ignored in their communities for decades,” which prompted Mr. Duffy to step in and help. In 1994, he founded the Music Maker Relief Foundation, which helps them cover basic living expenses as well as promote and develop their careers. By helping them, the foundation has also preserved the work of these musicians, who are the living history of American music’s foundation...

Image: Timothy Duffy

Pérez Art Museum Miami Brings Art to Miami-Dade County Neighborhoods with Inside | Out

Perez Art Museum Miami

Inside|Out is a program generously funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation that brings high-quality reproductions of works from PAMM’s permanent collection to communities throughout Miami-Dade county.

 Miami is the fourth city to host Inside|Out, a program conceived by the Detroit Institute of Arts in 2010. It proved so successful in Detroit, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is providing $2 million over three years to expand Inside|Out to communities across the country, including Philadelphia and Akron, Ohio. 

The program kicked off in Miami in 2016 in the communities of Hialeah, Homestead and West End. A total of 30 reproductions were installed in the selected locations of Hialeah Park; Losner Park; Hammocks Community Park; Olympic Park; Milander Center for Arts and Entertainment; Mayor Roscoe Warren Park; Blakey Park; Robert Is Here; and Westwind Lakes Park.

This February, PAMM will kick off the second year of Inside|Out. PAMM issued a call to participants to host this year’s Inside|Out program and received 17 applications from communities all over Miami-Dade County. Six communities were chosen for this year’s round of installations that will kick off this spring in Biscayne Park, Opa-Locka and Overtown. Over the summer, the reproductions will rotate to Little Haiti, North Miami Beach and Surfside. 

The New York Times 

Marie Cosindas, a photographer whose painterly, artfully composed still lifes and portraits, made with Polaroid film, broke with the dominant black-and-white aesthetic of the early 1960s and opened up a new world of color, died on May 25 in Boston. She was 93.

The death was confirmed by her nephew Julius R. Teich Jr.

Ms. Cosindas, a painter by training, turned to photography early in her career and was immediately stymied by an unwritten law: For the medium to be true to itself, images must be black and white. Color was for advertising.

She rebelled. “The world in black and white did not totally satisfy me, and color seemed the way to add more feeling and mood to what I was already doing,” she later wrote in an introductory note to the book “Marie Cosindas: Color Photographs” (1978).

A solution arrived when Polaroid, in 1962, asked her to test a new product, Polacolor, that it was planning to introduce for its instant cameras. Within three years, after much experimentation, Ms. Cosindas was working exclusively in color, producing highly stylized images that broke radically with the documentary approach then in vogue...

Artist's Choice: Photographs from the Judy Glickman Lauder Collection

Portland Museum of Art (PMA)
Portland, Oregon
3 February - 30 July 2017


The photographs in this focus exhibition all belong to the artist and collector Judy Glickman Lauder, who has spent her life immersed in photography. She is an acclaimed photographer herself, yet her joy in the medium began during her childhood, when she would model for her father, Irving Bennett Ellis. Lauder began collecting photographs over 40 years ago, visiting the studios of other artists whenever possible and finding community and friendship through photography—both as an artist and an admirer of the works of others. An active participant in the Maine Photographic Workshops (now the Maine Media Workshops) in Rockport, she began swapping photographs with friends she met there in the 1970s and '80s. As a result, one notable aspect of her collection is that it includes art by many of the Workshops' most illustrious alumni.

Artist's Choice presents highlights from Lauder's collection, including prints of some of the most celebrated images of the 20th century. They are mostly, but not exclusively, American, and many works were made either in Maine or in her home state of California. Every collector chooses a path by which to build a collection, ranging from exploring one particular area of art history to offering a comprehensive historical sweep. Lauder's collection is unified by virtue of her interest in the way that photography is closely linked to the human condition in the modern area. While many works in Lauder's collection display dramatic formal properties such as intense contrasts of light and dark, they all convey her profound interest in humanity and suggest a highly personal approach to this most modern of media.

Image: Richard Misrach 

Irving Penn Reinterpreted, by Irving Penn

The New York Times LENS Blog


Irving Penn wasted few days and even fewer images. Over the course of his 70-year career, he often went back to his earlier images from the pages of magazines and reprinted them in platinum, palladium and other alternative processes.

“He treated himself to the pleasure of transforming his images, many of which had already been published in Vogue, some of which were published in black and white, but a lot of them were published in color,” said Jeff Rosenheim, the curator in charge of the department of photographs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where Irving Penn: Centennial — the biggest exhibition of the photographer’s work to date — is up through July 30.

Born in Plainfield, N.J., Mr. Penn studied design in Philadelphia before working as a graphic artist and illustrator in New York. After purchasing and experimenting with a Rolleiflex, he traveled to Mexico in 1942 to focus on painting, but ended up destroying much of his work. When he returned to New York City at year’s end, he was hired as the editor and artist Alexander Liberman’s assistant at Vogue, a position that led to Mr. Penn’s lifelong connection with Condé Nast. Less than a year later, Mr. Penn had his first Vogue cover.

Image: © Irving Penn

The ’60s Photographer Who Captured the Street in Vivid Color

The New York Times Style Magazine


In 1962, Joel Meyerowitz left his job in advertising and set out to be a photographer. He started by venturing outside with two Leica cameras (one loaded with color film and the other with black and white) to snap the world in motion: In one image, a man strides through the streets of New York cradling an enormous dog in his arms; in another, a couple zooms through Greece on a scooter, the woman’s scarf blurred by the wind.

“Along with half a dozen other photographers of his generation, Joel Meyerowitz is responsible for the re-evaluation of color photography as a significant form of art,” says Giles Huxley-Parlour, the director of London’s Beetles+Huxley Gallery, which opens a show focused on the photographer’s influential street photography this week.

Image: Joel Meyerowitz 

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea with Pieter Hugo



Whether directly or not, you’ve almost definitely seen Pieter Hugo’s work – or at least his ideas. The South African photographer shot to prominence in the mid-2000s, most notably with his 2007 series The Hyena and Other Men. It’s this project that’s been appropriated the most: the jaw-dropping similarities in Beyonce’s video for Girls is the most glaring example, though Hugo also claims that Nick Cave’s Grinderman project used “at least a dozen direct visual copies from my Nollywood series” in the video for Heathen Child.

In the ten years that have passed since The Hyena and Other Men, Hugo has learned a lot; not least about being “pigeonholed” as an African artist (his work is far more international in scope than many would realise, encompassing advertorials and fashion as well as fine art), and about ultimately having to relinquish control of the perception of images you create as an artist.

Image: Pieter Hugo

News from the World of Photography: April 2017


A Commitment to the Community: The Black Photographers Annual, Volume I

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA)
Richmond, Virginia
16 February - 3 October 2017

In 1973, a group of African American photographers in New York City published the first volume of The Black Photographers Annual. In a brief forward that succinctly outlined the new publication’s purpose, novelist Toni Morrison wrote: “It was conceived as a commitment to the community of Black artists. . . . There is no higher praise for any project than that it is rare, true, and free. And isn’t that what art is all about? And isn’t that what we are all about?” Emerging from the broader context of the Black Arts Movement, which grew out of the civil rights movement, as well as the more specific context of the collective of African American photographers known as the Kamoinge Workshop (Kamoinge is taken from the Kikuyu language of Kenya and means “to work together”), the Annual featured the work of nearly 50 artists.

This exhibition is the first of four rotations that explore each of the four volumes of The Black Photographers Annual, which ended in 1980. The first installation features 20 photographs by several of the artists whose work appears in the first issue, including Anthony Barboza, Roy DeCarava, Louis Draper, LeRoy Henderson, Beauford Smith, Ming Smith, and Shawn Walker. Curated by Dr. Sarah Eckhardt, Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art.


Image: Boy and H, Louis Draper, 1961

Close-Up: An Extensive Interview with Edward Burtynsky

ProPhoto Daily

Edward Burtynsky is a legendary Canadian fine art photographer who specializes in chronicling the extraction and destruction of the earth and it’s minerals, mines and more. His images bring a painterly beauty to the banal. A photographer and master printer for over forty years, Burtynsky has pioneered a unique way of looking at the planet. I had the opportunity to speak with the artist at the Von Lintel Gallery in Los Angeles, where his latest exhibition "Industrial Abstract" was recently on view.

Image: © Edward Burtynsky

Hiroshi Sugimoto: Illuminating Opera Houses and Abandoned Movie Palaces

The New York Times LENS Blog

Growing up in 1950’s Tokyo, Hiroshi Sugomoto sometimes was brought to tears by the movies he saw with his mother. He still remembers feeling ashamed by those public displays of emotion. Above all, he remembers the emotional connection he felt being inside the theaters.

After teaching himself photography in his early teens, one of his first subjects was Audrey Hepburn — or at least a 20-foot-tall image of her projected onto a theater screen. He discovered that by employing a shutter speed of a 30th of a second he could produce a still image of a single frame of the movie. But he eventually realized, in New York City in 1976, that the light that entranced him on screen could also illuminate the interiors of America’s remaining movie palaces.

This vision led to his seminal, and surreal, “Theater” series that captures the splendor of cinema and is also a meditation on the nature of time. By leaving his shutter open for the full length of a movie to create a single still image with a luminescent white screen, Mr. Sugimoto offers a meditation on impermanence and the fleeting nature of civilization.

Image: © “On the Beach” (1959) at Paramount Theater. Newark. 2015.

Han Young Soo: Photographs of Seoul 1956-63

ICP at Mana
Jersey City, New Jersey
24 February - 9 June 2017 

This exhibition is the first major U.S. showing of the work of Korean photographer Han Youngsoo, who captured the dramatic transformation of Seoul in the years after the end of the Korean War.

After taking part in bitter frontline fighting as a young South Korean soldier during the Korean War (1950–53), Han Youngsoo returned to Seoul at the conflict’s end and found a devastated, impoverished city. Choosing photography as a profession, he witnessed a period of profound transformation in Seoul that saw the rapid creation of a modern city and urban society. His photographs, rarely seen outside of Korea until now, offer a fascinating window onto the changing everyday lives of the city’s inhabitants during a historic moment.

Image: Han YoungSoo, Meongdong, Seoul, Korea, 1958. © HAN YOUNGSOO FOUNDATION

GENESIS: Sebastião Salgado

Museum of Photographic Art (MOPA)
San Diego
24 May - 30 September 2017

Genesis is a quest for the world as it was, as it was formed, as it evolved, as it existed for millennia before modern life accelerated and began distancing us from the very essence of our being. It is a journey to the landscapes, seascapes, animals and peoples that have so far escaped the long reach of today’s world. And it is testimony that our planet still harbours vast and remote regions where nature reigns in silent and pristine majesty.

Through these photographs, Genesis aspires to show and to share this beauty. It is a visual tribute to a fragile planet that we all have a duty to protect. An exhibition organized by Lélia Wanick Salgado, the exhibition Curator. With the support of the Brazilian company VALE. 

Members Opening Reception: Friday, 2 June, 7-9pm
Free to current MOPA members and one guest. Enjoy a hosted bar and dessert. 
RSVP Here 

 Image: Sebastião Salgado, The Mursi and the Surma women are the last women in the world to wear lip plates. Mursi village of Dargui in Mago National Park, in the Jinka Region. Ethiopia. 2007.© Sebastião SALGADO / Amazonas images. Courtesy of the Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego.

Project Space
London, UK
17 May - 10 June 2017

Internationally renowned photographic agency Camera Press celebrates its 70th anniversary this year with a special exhibition entitled ‘Camera Press at 70 – A Lifetime in Pictures’ which will coincide with Photo London 2017. Drawing on an unparalleled collection of images, and featuring work by some of the most iconic figures in the industry, this exhibition offers a fascinating insight into photography from the 1940s to the present day.

The photographs in this exhibition reveal the changing trends in portrait photography as well as the evolution of the role of celebrities and distinguished public figures over the last 70 years.

The more formal studio portraits of the 1940s such as Karsh’s iconic bulldog shot of Winston Churchill are followed by 1950s Hollywood glamour epitomized by stars such as Marilyn Monroe. The swinging Sixties heralds the influence of a more relaxed, intimate, documentry-style of photography, as seen in Jacques Lowe’s seminal photographs of JFK and the work of one of the world’s first paparazzi, Elio Sorci. This is then contrasted with the gritty social-realism of punk and the arrival of Margaret Thatcher in the 1970s.

Image: Yousuf Karsh/Camera Press

Do UK Museums Take Photography Seriously?


         This spring, the collection of the Royal Photographic Society (RPS) was transferred from the National Media Museum in Bradford to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. When news of the move was announced in 2016, there was a good deal of criticism, including a letter to the Guardian signed by a long list of leading photographers, historians, curators, dealers, and critics, as well as protests from two MPs representing constituencies in Bradford. The public controversy surrounding the transfer of objects focused on charges of cultural vandalism and centralisation, but the history of this particular collection – one of the most important in the world – touches on much broader questions of how museums should collect such a varied medium. As Michael Pritchard, the chief executive of the RPS, puts it, ‘Photography’s diversity is its strength, but also its downfall. It’s so ubiquitous in terms of our culture and our history that it sometimes might not be recognised.’...

Image: Shop sign, rue Geoffroy-St-Hilaire, Paris, (c. 1900), Eugène Atget. © Victoria and Albert Museum

Mike Mandel: Good 70s


San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
20 May - 20 August 2017

Good 70s explores the tongue-in-cheek, socially conscious work of conceptual artist and photographer Mike Mandel (American, b. 1950), focusing on projects he made during what was, for him, an incredibly productive decade. This exhibition includes photographs, books, and a film, all made during the same period he was collaborating with his friend, the photographer Larry Sultan. 

Some of Mandel's diverse projects from the 1970s include Myself: Timed Exposures (1971), in which he inserts himself into funny and commonplace situations; Seven Never Before Published Portraits of Edward Weston(1974), which reproduces correspondence he initiated with men named Edward Weston; his Baseball-Photographer Trading Cards (1975), featuring subjects such as Ansel Adams and Imogen Cunningham; and his book SF Giants: An Oral History (1979).

Image: Untitled, from the series Myself: Timed Exposures, 1971 © Mike Mandel

Prix Pictet 2017: Richard Mosse Wins Prize with Heat-map Shots of Refugees

The Guardian

The Irish photographer Richard Mosse has been awarded the 2017 Prix Pictet for his series Heat Maps, made using a military camera that is classified as a weapon under international law. The hi-tech surveillance device, designed to detect body heat from a distance of over 30km, was used by Mosse to track the journeys of refugees from the Middle East and north Africa. The result is a series of large-scale prints – and an acclaimed film, Incoming – that reconfigures the refugee crisis as a spectral, almost sci-fi drama of human endurance and survival.

Given that the Pictet judges have tended
tocanonise work that is grandstanding in ambition and large-scale in presentation – Nadav Kander, Mitch Epstein and Luc Delahaye have all won in recent years – Mosse is an unsurprising winner. His application of state-of-the-art technology to the most urgent and contested issue of our turbulent times makes him very much the photographic artist of the moment.

Image: © Richard Mosse, Prix Pictet 2017

Steve Cagan: Working Pictures

San Francisco Camerawork (SFC)
San Francisco
11 May - 1 June 2017

Steve Cagan, Working Pictures is a career survey and the first solo exhibition on the west coast to highlight Cagan's five decades of work integrating photography and activism. Cagan’s work gives voice to causes both local and international, ranging from the demise of industry and labor issues in his home state of Ohio, to the social and political strife of refugees in El Salvador and Nicaragua, and most recently to issues with indigenous peoples in Colombia fighting to preserve a way of life. 

This exhibition will at once celebrate the aesthetic excellence of his work through beautifully printed photographs, while perhaps more importantly showing his work at work through the many publications, posters, and other forms of distribution he employs to give his images a voice from within. 

This exhibition is curated by Jeanne Friscia and made possible through the generous support of Frank Mainzer and Lonnie Zwerin.

Image: Steve Cagan, School children and their teachers greet a peace caravan down
the Atrato
 River in El Chocó, one of the areas that suffered greatly in Colombia’s civil war, 2003.

The New Yorker

In her remarkable photo essay “From the Shadows to the Light,” the French photographer Nadège Mazars has emulated the chiaroscuro of the Italian painter Caravaggio to evoke the transition that is under way in Colombia following fifty-two years of civil war. After the signing of a historic peace agreement with the government late last year, the country’s seven-thousand-odd Marxist FARC fighters recently began moving into a series of camps...

In her portraits of a dozen fighters, taken just prior to their move into these disarmament camps, Mazars focusses our eye on the individual fighters by engulfing them in shadow but leaving their facial features illuminated. Each of the subjects (who provided Mazars with their noms de guerre but kept their real names private owing to security concerns) stares arrestingly back at the camera. Some wear smiles and others a more studied wariness, but all are assertive. We immediately sense that these are not the vulnerable members of a defeated group laying down arms in an act of abject submission but, rather, still-proud fighters. Their expressions seem to reflect what their leaders have been saying all along, that while the FARC guerrillas may have agreed to end their violent campaign, they intend to continue fighting for their political ideals even without weapons...


Exhibition: How Cameras and Cars Conquered Time and Space, Together

Pro Photo Daily  

The camera and the car came of age together. And together they altered our relationship to reality — one, noted the British Journal of Photography recently, by stopping time, and the other by speeding everything up.

On view at the Fondation Cartier in Paris through September 24 is the exhibition “Autophoto,” which explores how the automobile and the art of photography have combined to change how humans experience the world. The show brings together 500 works made by 100 historic and contemporary artists from around the world, including Jacques-Henri Lartigue, Lee Friedlander, William Eggleston, Yasuhiro Ishimoto, Bernard Plossu, Juergen Teller, Luciano Rigolini, Stéphane Couturier, Alejandro Cartagena, and Malick Sidibe.

Image: Los Alamos series, c. 1974, by William Eggleston

The Photographer's Gallery
London, UK
3 March - 11 June 2017

This major exhibition is the first since 1999 to show the iconic work of British photographer Roger Mayne (1929-2014). It includes his pioneering photographs of 1950's and early 1960's community life in London’s Southam Street. Mayne’s humanistic approach has influenced subsequent generations of photographers, and made a significant contribution to post-war British photography.

Also featured are examples of Mayne’s less well-known work from outside the Capital, including early work in Leeds where Mayne first developed his photographic interests. These pictures of street life around the city chart his development from pictorialism to his characteristic realist style. Between 1961-65, Mayne was commissioned to photograph the newly developed estate of Park Hill in Sheffield. His photographs captured both the nuance of daily social interactions and the sharp angles, shades and abstract forms of the urban environment.

Image: Girls dressed up for a 'teenage night' at a Sheffield Club, 1961 © Roger Mayne

A Retrospective of a Forgotten 1930s Photographer of Famous Faces


Lusha Nelson’s art career was brief, but prolific. In the 1930s as a staff photographer for Condé Nast publications including Vogue and Vanity Fair, he captured icons like Katharine Hepburn and Jesse Owens with a direct elegance, always avoiding retouching or manipulation of his portraits. He mingled with Alfred Stieglitz and was mentored by Edward Steichen; he was included in the Museum of Modern Art’s 1937 photography survey; he surveyed the streets of Depression-era New York with a documentarian eye; and he even once ran away with the circus, following Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey from Manhattan to Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

So why don’t many people remember his name? After a quick rise from teenaged Latvian immigrant to successful modernist photographer, Nelson died of Hodgkin’s lymphoma at the age of 30 in May of 1938. Most of his archives were stored in private hands, the majority of them later purchased at a 1980s estate sale. It wasn’t until a 2015 acquisition of over 4,000 of his prints, negatives, and archival materials by the Philbrook Museum of Art that the breadth of his work was exhumed. Now the Tulsa, Oklahoma museum is exhibiting Nelson’s first retrospective, called Lusha Nelson Photographs: Celebrity, the Forgotten Man, and 1930s America, part of a decade-long initiative by the institution to retrieve and contextualize his legacy.

Image:  Lusha Nelson, “Jean Arthur” (1935), published in Vanity Fair, August 1935
(courtesy Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, Oklahoma)

The New York Times LENS Blog

On a continent where same-sex relations are illegal in most countries, and where being gay is punishable by death in some states, homosexuality is widely considered “un-African.”

While powerful work on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues in Africa has been done by documentary photographers like Robin Hammond of New Zealand, with his project “Where Love Is Illegal,” the approach of liberal Western media can reinforce the notion that homosexuality in Africa is a “perversion” of traditional African values introduced by foreigners, or a colonial legacy that imposed European religious conservatism and rails against such relations as “unnatural.”

But work such as the Ghanaian artist Eric Gyamfi’s “Just Like Us” project, and that of Zanele Muholi, a South African activist who explores the experiences of black lesbians in her country, shows how homosexuality is an inherent part of African society, and history, said John Fleetwood, the former head of Johannesburg’s Market Photo Workshop and the director of Photo, a new African initiative.

“Their work has done great things for how people think and gives other artists the confidence to make their own expressions,” Mr. Fleetwood said. “And what we’re finding is that the public is suddenly standing in front of exhibitions that show this part of our culture.”

Image: Solly Sefako. Phiri, Soweto, 2012. From the series “uMama. © Jabulani Dhlamini/Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg 

France Allemagnes(s), 1870-1871: A New Perspective on a Little Known War

L'Oeil de la Photographie

Musée de l’Armée
Paris, France
13 April - 30 July 2017

This exhibition aims is to give a new perspective on the Franco-German War of 1870-1871, overshadowed by the two global conflicts, by offering the two countries’ points of view, whether they be immediate or retrospective, and to give this conflict larger perspectives. One starting in 1864, the beginning of the German unification wars, to 1875 with the crisis called the “War in Site” (Krieg in Sicht). The other beginning in 1813, corresponding to the German Liberation wars (Befreiungskriege), followed by the Congress of Vienna in 1815,  up to the Treaty of Versailles in 1919.

The traces left by the war’s witnesses and participants in the arts, literature, or even urban environments are numerous, like the
neighbourhood of La Défense  west of Paris, the Victory Column (Siegessäule) in Berlin, or even the Straße der Pariser Kommune. They are largely addressed throughout this exhibition with a great variety of objects, paintings, sculptures, as well as an exceptional ensemble of photographs from that time. Also evoked are the major transformations born from these events, whether they be political, diplomatic, military, ideological, social, economic, or religious.

Image: Pietro Dovizielli, Temple of Vesta (1855)

Nine Chinese Photographers You Need to Follow

TIME Lightbox

The unprecedented economic boom in China since the early 1980s has also sparked an explosion of interest in photography.

Despite the government’s tightening restrictions on media, young photojournalists and documentary photographers continue to push the limit, investigating issues central of a society under constant transition. The fine arts, a market in general on the rise in recent years has offered a new voice for visual artists looking for new modes of experiment and expression.

This list features the new generation of Chinese photographers and visual artists, all under 35, who were born and raised in a time of sweeping change. As China continues to diversify and assert its influence around the globe, these artists offer a glimpse into the ever-changing country and what it means to be Chinese today.

Image: © Pinglang Zhou 


Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP)

Columbia College, Chicago
13 April - 2 July 2017


Known as one of the world’s most provocative artists, Ai Weiwei (Chinese, b. 1957) creates work that boldly confronts contemporary political and social issues, both in China and abroad. As an outspoken human rights activist, writer and curator, Ai’s practice crosses multiple disciplines including sculpture, public works, film, music, poetry, photography and social media. #AiWeiwei is an exhibition specifically designed for the Museum of Contemporary Photography that focuses on Ai’s early diaristic photographs from the 1980s and 90s in New York and Beijing along with a series of recent social media based installations that center on what Ai refers to as photo activism. Ai’s fame drives over half a million visitors to his twitter and Instagram pages and he uses these tools, sometimes leveraging irony and humor, with disorienting effect, to bring attention to serious humanitarian issues and the constellation of state forces around them. The accompanying publication will feature an interview with Ai Weiwei by MoCP executive director Natasha Egan and texts by graphic designer and lecturer Liz McQuiston and independent curator John Tancock.

Image: Photographs of Surveillance, 2010-2015, Bugs, Beijing, 2015 

A 19th-Century Photographer of Scottish Industrialization Gets His First Survey


Thomas Annan, who opened a photographic firm in Glasgow, Scotland in 1857, was among the first photographers to use the new medium to document urban living conditions. In particular, he focused on the closes, or narrow passageways, of the city where the impoverished lived in crowded squalor. By the end of the century, many of these tenements would be demolished under the Glasgow City Improvements Act of 1867.

Despite the enduring interest in his legacy, such as the National Library of Scotland’s new online platform for navigating his Glasgow plates, there hasn’t been a survey exhibition of Annan’s nearly three decades worth of work. On May 23, the J. Paul Getty Museum’s Getty Center in Los Angeles will open the first, titled Thomas Annan: Photographer of Glasgow.


Image: Thomas Annan, “High Street, from College Open” (1868-71) (courtesy Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal)

Britain in Focus: A Photographic History 

Science and Media Museum
London, United Kingdom 
17 March - 25 June 2017

What does a Victorian carte de visite have in common with a selfie on Instagram? How has photography shaped our ideas about Britain's history, culture and identity?

From the 19th century to the present day, innovations in photography have radically changed the way Britain is represented and understood. Britain in Focus: A Photographic History, created in partnership with BBC Four to complement the TV series of the same name, illustrates how British photographers—amateurs and professionals alike—have documented, reflected and commented on their home country.

Explore some of the earliest examples of social documentary photography: David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson's portraits, and William Henry Fox Talbot's pioneering images of Lacock Abbey. Learn how First World War soldiers doubled as citizen photojournalists, using Kodak's vest pocket camera to create a unique record of the conflict.

Britain in Focus traces the path of an industry: how glass plates gave way to film cartridges, monochrome transformed to colour, and paper was replaced by pixels. From Julia Margaret Cameron to Nadav Kander, discover the visions of photographers whose images have helped define Britain.

Image: Durham Miners Pictured with their Ponies, 1965. © John Bulmer 

On View: Decadent Night Becomes Day in Manhattan Sunday

Pro Photo Daily

Richard Renaldi moved from Chicago to New York in 1986. In his book Manhattan Sunday, Renaldi describes his experiences as a young man who had recently embraced his gay identity and found a home in "the mystery and abandonment of the club, the nightscape, and then finally daybreak, each offering a transformation of Manhattan from the known world into a dreamscape of characters acting out their fantasies on a grand stage.”

In that sense, notes Aperture, which published the book, Renaldi’s work represents New York as “an evolving form onto which millions of people have and continue to project their ideal selves and ideal lives.”

Renaldi’s portraits, streetscapes and urban still life images convey the excitement of nightlife in a city that, as Aperture puts it, “persists in both its decadence and its dreams, despite beliefs to the contrary.” 

But the work, which is on view through June 11 at the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York, also captures the sublime moment when night becomes day.  “Implicit in the work is Renaldi’s personal experience as a gay nightclub denizen in New York during and after the AIDS crisis, as well as his appreciation for the myriad and motley ways that the urban context encourages social awareness and a strong, if temporary, sense of community,” notes the museum.

Image: © Richard Renaldi

Gillian Wearing & Claude Cahun: Behind the Mask, Another Mask

National Portrait Gallery
London, United Kingdom
9 March - 29 May 2017

This exhibition brings together for the first time the work of French artist Claude Cahun and British contemporary artist Gillian Wearing. Although they were born almost seventy years apart and came from different backgrounds, remarkable parallels can be drawn between the two artists. Both of them share a fascination with the self-portrait and use the self-image, through the medium of photography, to explore themes around identity and gender, which is often played out through masquerade and performance.

Rineke Dijkstra Wins 2017 Hasselblad Award

Hasselblad Foundation

The Hasselblad Foundation is pleased to announce that Dutch artist Rineke Dijkstra is the recipient of the 2017 Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography to the sum of SEK 1,000,000 (approx. EUR 100,000). The award ceremony will take place in Gothenburg, Sweden, on October 9, 2017. A symposium will be held on October 10 in honor of Rineke Dijkstra, followed by the opening of an exhibition of her work at the Hasselblad Center.

Rineke Dijkstra is one of the most significant contemporary artists working in photographic portraiture. Her large-scale photographs focus on the theme of identity, typically capturing her subjects at moments of transition or vulnerability. Working in series, Rineke Dijkstra’s images recall the visual acuity of seventeenth-century Dutch portraiture, offering intimate portrayals of her sitters whilst also suggesting the situated aspects of their being. Rineke Dijkstra’s investigations in portraiture also include video. Her fixed-camera video studies yield images that appear to be moving photographs, revolutionizing our understanding of the fluid boundary between the still and moving image.

Image: © Rineke Dijkstra 

The Shape of Things: Photographs from Robert B. Menschel

The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)
Through 7 May 2017

The Shape of Things: Photographs from Robert B. Menschel presents an engaging survey of The Museum of Modern Art’s multifaceted collection of photography. Borrowing its title from the eponymous work by Carrie Mae Weems, the exhibition is drawn entirely from works acquired over the past 40 years with the support of Robert B. Menschel, telling the story of photography from its beginnings.

Covering more than 150 years of photography—from an 1843 view of Paris by William Henry Fox Talbot, the English father of photography, to An-My Lê's depictions of US military exercises in preparation for war in Iraq and Afghanistan—the exhibition underscores an equal attention to the past and the present, and a strong belief that they complement each other; and that each generation reinvents photography. Since Menschel joined the Committee on Photography at MoMA in 1977, over 500 works have entered the collection through his support, including 162 photographs he recently donated from his personal collection.

Image: Roger Fenton, Greek Hero. c.1857

America exports its addiction to bling across the globe; Lauren Greenfield captures it with her camera

The Los Angeles Times

Lauren Greenfield recently stopped at Target with her 10-year-old son. The idea was to grab a coffee and use the restroom. Before she knew it, she had a cart full of stuff, including a $50 jar of anti-aging face cream. Her son made her put it back.

Greenfield tells the story while sitting on a couch inside the Annenberg Space for Photography in L.A. days before the opening of her solo show, Generation Wealth, which runs through Aug. 13. She wears studious black-framed glasses, a black jacket and a breezy lavender blouse, looking very much out of step with the gold-plated luxury in the frames around her.

Greenfield has devoted the last 25 years to documenting the hollow promise of rampant consumer culture and what she calls “the influence of affluence.” The point of her Target anecdote: If someone like her still falls prey to the carefully engineered impulse to buy, buy, buy, imagine how vulnerable the rest of us are.

The people in the 195 prints on display represent seemingly every rung on the socio-economic ladder. They are strippers in Magic City, a club in Atlanta; teens getting a nose job in Hollywood; A-list celebrities partying in Beverly Hills; 6-year-old beauty pageant stars in Oxnard; kids doing sexy dances at fat camp in the Catskills; the new rich in China and Russia; families across the U.S. and Ireland that lost everything in the financial crash of 2008; and much more...

Image: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Vintage Photos of What Made Postwar New York City Tick

The New York Times LENS Blog

By the time Todd Webb arrived in New York City in 1945, he’d lived enough lives for several men. He had lost his fortune in the 1929 crash; hunted for gold in California, Mexico and Panama; worked for Chrysler in his hometown, Detroit; and served in the South Pacific as a photographer’s mate first class. But it was in New York City that his love of photography took off, albeit with a slight detour.

In 1942, on his way to report for duty in the United States Navy, Mr. Webb passed through New York to meet with Dorothy Norman, the manager of Alfred Stieglitz’s gallery, An American Place. He sold three of his photos to her before shipping off to war, only to return in 1945. A year later, he had his first exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York, where he is now having a homecoming in A City Seen: Todd Webb’s Postwar New York, 1945-1960, which opens on April 20. 

The Museum of the City of New York’s exhibit features 131 of Mr. Webb’s prints and related ephemera like journal entries, all put in context by the work of friends and colleagues including Harry Callahan, Georgia O’Keeffe, Alfred Stieglitz, Ansel Adams, Gordon Parks and Roy Stryker.

Image: A soldier getting a shoe shine on 125th Street. 1946.   

Dispatches: Istanbul


“A photograph can be incredibly intimidating for cops,” Tuğba Tekerek, a Turkish journalist, told me recently. “They can use it to crush you.” The last twelve months have seen Turkey navigate an accumulation of violent incidents and growing surveillance; with them, the environment for photographers has changed for the worse. In this country, which occasionally tops the New York–based Committee to Protect Journalists’s annual list of the world’s leading jailers of journalists, taking pictures is an increasingly political and dangerous act.

Tekerek, arrested twice last year for photographing people in public spaces, was speaking from experience. When we met at a Caffè Nero one quiet morning last September, Istanbul had not fully awoken from the nightmares of 2016. ISIS suicide attacks on Istanbul’s main shopping avenue in March and in its airport last June, followed by a coup attempt by a religious cult that ended up killing hundreds of civilians in July, unsettled the city.

“Taking pictures here has turned into a big problem only in the past three years, following Gezi,” she said, referring to violent protests around Istanbul’s Taksim Gezi Park in 2013. Intent on documenting human rights violations, Tekerek often photographs in civic areas—the corridor of a courtroom, the garden of a police station. But these are the kinds of images likely to land the reporter behind bars. On the occasions Tekerek has been taken into custody, police officers have asked whether she is a terrorist studying the area for an attack. Twice, cops confiscated her camera and placed her in a locked room. Tekerek’s supposed crime, meanwhile, stays the same: her pictures contain images of uniformed or plainclothes police officers...

Image: Charlie Kirk, Okmeydani, Istanbul, Berkin Elvan Protest, 2013 

When Does Photography Stop Being Photography?


The British Journal of Photography

What is photography? Over the past few years, contemporary photographers have incorporated sculpture, performance, moving image, analog processes and digital technologies into their practice, stoking a sometimes-heated debate about where exactly the medium begins and ends. But for Catherine Yass, such experimentation is nothing new.

In a conversation with BJP and DACS, the not-for-profit artist rights management organization, Yass explained that she doesn’t, in fact, consider herself a photographer, but an artist who works with photography...

Having the freedom to try out new things is vital to Yass, which is why she values copyright as a way to help support her practice financially. Since 2014 she has been claiming royalties for the secondary use of her work through DACS’s annual Payback scheme, which is currently open for application until 01 May. “Just as I might pay someone for hiring a camera or a meal cooked in a café, DACS provides a way of being paid for the use of my work,” says Yass.

Any photographer or visual artist whose work has ever been featured in a UK book, magazine or shown on TV can make a claim for Payback royalties online. Last year more than 35,000 visual artists, the majority of them photographers, received a share of £5.5m.

“I’ve been claiming Payback for a few years now – it can help to cover pre-production tests and experiments that don’t necessarily get budgeted into production costs,” says Yass. “I am really excited about going back to stills and experimenting with taking photographs without using a lens,” she adds. “It’s very early stages, I don’t know if it will come to anything.”

Image: Decommissioned, 2011. © Catherine Yass. 

PERPETUAL REVOLUTION: The Image and Social Change

International Center of Photography (ICP)
New York, New York
27 January - 7 May 2017 

Organized by ICP Curators Carol Squiers and Cynthia Young, Assistant Curators Susan Carlson and Claartje van Dijk, along with adjunct curators Joanna Lehan and Kalia Brooks with assistance from Akshay Bhoan and Quito Ziegler, Perpetual Revolution: The Image and Social Change continues ICP’s long-standing tradition of exploring the social and historic impact of visual culture.

Today, viewers are barraged by seemingly endless streams of new kinds of media images on an unprecedented scale. Perpetual Revolution explores the relation between the overwhelming image world that confronts us, and the volatile, provocative, and often-violent social world it mirrors.

This exhibition proposes that an ongoing revolution is taking place politically, socially, and technologically, and that new digital methods of image production, display, and distribution are simultaneously both reporting and producing social change. The epic social and political transformations of the last few years would not have happened with the speed and in such depth if it weren’t for the ever-expanding possibilities offered by this revolution.

Perpetual Revolution: The Image and Social Change presents six of these critical issues transformed by visual culture: #BlackLivesMatter, gender fluidity, climate change, terrorist propaganda, the right-wing fringe and the 2016 election, and the refugee crisis.


The New York Times

"Before I paid much attention to photographers’ credits in fashion magazines, I remember the wonderful shock of the slightly crazed, insuperably elegant photographs of foods or fading flowers that I often encountered in Vogue. Exuding an indelible, instantly recognizable style, they were the work of the great Irving Penn — the first modern photographer whose name was fixed in my young brain.

Penn’s images were casual yet exquisite in every way: With their drizzled liquids, spilled spices and other raw ingredients, or their strewn petals, they felt innovative and intimate, as if tossed off by someone who had just exited, smiling. But their contrasting textures and vivid colors, enhanced by the sparkling white seamless background paper, and the wit and poise of their compositions, seemed like art, and almost out of place in a magazine. They evoked the still lifes of Chardin and Manet, but were now and new, with a refinement of detail and color that only a camera could manage. As I browsed through an issue, I would hope to find their wonderful disorder and their bold scale, which was close to actual size. I pored over them, detail by detail.

Two food photographs, taken in 1947, greet you at the entrance of Irving Penn: Centennial at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a crystalline exhibition in which nearly every gallery exhales its own delicious breeze. “Still Life With Watermelon, New York” features a compote of fruit, a rumpled napkin, a loaf of broken bread and even a stray fly atop a lemon, and looks to Spanish and Dutch still life for inspiration, but has some contemporary slovenliness..."

Irving Penn: Centennial
Opening April 24 and running through July 30 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; 212-535-7710,

Sony World Photography Awards 2017 Winners

World Photography Organization

Marking its 10th anniversary in 2017, the Sony World Photography Awards showcases the best photography in the world from the past year. Free to enter and open to all photographers, the awards’ are an authoritative voice in the photographic industry, with the power to shape the careers of its winning, shortlisted and commended photographers.

In 2016 the total number of entries received since the first edition in 2007 surpassed 1 million images, reinforcing its position as one of the most respected and influential photography competitions in existence.

Each year a total prize fund of $30,000 (USD) plus the latest Sony digital imaging equipment is shared between winning photographers. Photographers are taken on a year-long journey, bringing untold exposure and providing a global stage on which to present their work.

The hugely popular Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition, featuring a selection of winning, shortlisted and commended images, is curated at the prestigious Somerset House, London each Spring.

A Photo-Series About Modernist Buildings and the Female Form


A woman stands naked in the desert on the edge of Joshua Tree National Park, in the brittle shadow-lines of a golden Modernist structure. Her name is Jacintha and, stepping back, we can see she has company – Brazilian-born, LA-based artist Mona Kuhn stands behind a camera, capturing her image through a variety of optical planes as the light of the sun morphs her form.

Jacintha is the muse who inspired Kuhn’s latest series, She Disappeared into Complete Silence, named after Louise Bourgeois’ first monograph; Kuhn is adamant that, although her and Bourgeois’ work may appear very different at first, they share “a similar curiosity in using the body and elements of architecture to express the mind and the unconscious”. She’s confident the series is her best work yet; it sees her acclaimed capacity for intimate portraiture fuse with new experimental ways of seeing, an abstraction of the nude that she’s still trying to define...

Image: © Mona Kuhn

Wolfgang Tillmans: 2017

The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) Tate Modern
London, United Kingdom 
Through 11 June 2017

This is Wolfgang Tillmans’s first ever exhibition at Tate Modern and brings together works in an exciting variety of media – photographs, of course, but also video, digital slide projections, publications, curatorial projects and recorded music – all staged by the artist in characteristically innovative style. Alongside portraiture, landscape and intimate still lives, Tillmans pushes the boundaries of the photographic form in abstract artworks that range from the sculptural to the immersive. 

The year 2003 is the exhibition’s point of departure, representing for Tillmans the moment the world changed, with the invasion of Iraq and anti-war demonstrations. The social and political form a rich vein throughout the artist’s work.

German-born, international in outlook and exhibited around the world, Tillmans spent many years in the UK and is currently based in Berlin. In 2000, he was the first photographer and first non-British artist to receive the Turner Prize.

Image: La Palma 2014 © Wolfgang Tillmans

The Art Newspaper
The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) announced last week plans for a new photography center that will house the museum’s collection following the controversial decision to transfer 270,000 photographs from the National Media Museum in Bradford to the London-based institution. 

Under the landmark agreement announced in February last year between the V&A and the Science Museum Group, which runs the National Media Museum, the collection of the Royal Photographic Society (RPS) in Bradford will join the existing collection of 500,000 photographs at the V&A. More than 26,000 publications and 6,000 pieces of camera-related equipment in the RPS collection, which was founded in 1853, will also be transferred to the V&A where the holdings will be digitized.

Opponents of the transfer project included the photographer Martin Parr and the artist David Hockney who signed a letter to the Guardian last year saying that the move stripped Bradford of a major cultural resource. Parr tells The Art Newspaper: “My main concern now is the fate of the collections that still remains in Bradford, such as the Tony Ray-Jones archive, and other works that were given or sold to Bradford, that have local or northern connections.” 
Image: Benjamin Brecknell Turner, The Willowsway, Elfords, Hawkhurst (1852-4) (© Victoria and Albert Museum, London)


Paradise of Exiles: Early Photography in Italy at the Metropolitan Museum of Art begins with the first photographic images to arrive in Italy, a delicate 1839–40 album of botanical negative images sent by William Henry Fox Talbot to botanist Antonio Bertoloni. The ghostly silhouettes of ferns, grasses, and other specimens, created with Talbot’s cameraless “photogenic drawing” technique, set a tone of experimentation for the small show on the inaugural three decades of photography in Italy.

While the dawn of photography may be more associated with England (where Talbot invented his salted paper process) and France (where Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre introduced the daguerreotype), Paradise of Exiles argues that Italy was integral as a place of exchange between travelers and locals working with the new possibilities of the photograph, these two techniques mingling at the same moment. Organized by Beth Saunders, curatorial assistant in the Met’s department of photographs, the exhibition stretches from 1839 to 1871, the year of Italian unification, through nearly 50 objects.

Paradise of Exiles: Early Photography in Italy continues through August 13 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1000 Fifth Avenue, Upper East Side, Manhattan).

Image: Pietro Dovizielli, Temple of Vesta (1855)
(courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gilman Collection, Purchase, the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 2005)

Arnold Newman Prize: Daniella Zalcman


Daniella Zalcman is the 2017 Winner of the Arnold Newman Prize for New Directions in Photographic Portraiture. Her project, Signs of Your Identity, depicts survivors of Indian Residential Schools; each image is accompanied by a quote from the subject. This portfolio of 10 images covers victims in Canada and the United States. Zalcman is already working in Australia and plans to extend the project to various other countries that have iterations of residential schools that indigenous students were forced into. The project delves into the lasting trauma of these schools. She was recently named one of pdn’s 30.

The Arnold Newman Prize for New Directions in Photographic Portraiture was established in 2009 by the Arnold & Augusta Newman Foundation. The Prize is generously funded by the Arnold & Augusta Newman Foundation and proudly administered by Maine Media Workshops + College, where Arnold Newman taught for more than 30 years. The 2017 jurors included Philip Brookman, LaToya Ruby Frazier, and Jody Quon. Finalists were Sophie Barbasch for her project Fault Line, Daniel Coburn for his project The Hereditary Estate, and Jessica Eve Rattner for her project House of Charm.

Image: Rick Pelletier, Qu’Appelle Indian Residential School 1965-1966 © Daniella Zalcman

News from the World of Photography: March 2017


The Getty Museum and National Gallery of Art Acquire Hundreds of Major Gifts for Photography Collections

American Photo

This week the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles and the National Gallery of Art in Washington got a big boost to their photography collections thanks to collectors Daniel Greenberg and Susan Steinhauser. Thanks to the generous donation The Getty added 386 pieces from 17 different photographers to their collection including works from Mary Ellen Mark, Bruce Davidson, and Richard Misrach, while the National Gallery received 143 gelatin silver prints by Dorothea Lange. 

“While collecting is a mysterious endeavor, and living with the art is profound, the act of gifting is a joyous and wonderful moment in time,” Daniel Greenberg said in a press release. “As Susan and I begin a new chapter in our lives, and after decades of acting as temporary stewards for these photographs, we are excited that now is the time that we can share some of the best works we have owned with the public.”

The gifts were the largest that the two collectors have made to date.

Catherine Opie, All-American Subversive

The New Yorker

In the course of a thirty-year career, the photographer Catherine Opie has made a study of the freeways of Los Angeles, lesbian families, surfers, Tea Party gatherings, America’s national parks, the houses of Beverly Hills, teen-age football players, the personal effects of Elizabeth Taylor, the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival, Boy Scouts, her friends, mini-malls, and tree stumps. But her most famous photographs are probably two that she took of herself, early in her working life. In “Self-Portrait/Cutting,” which Opie made in 1993, when she was thirty-two years old, she stands shirtless with her back to the camera in front of an emerald-green tapestry, which offsets her pale skin and the rivulets of blood emerging from an image carved into her back with a scalpel: a childlike scene of a house, a cloud, and a pair of smiling, skirt-wearing stick figures. In “Self-Portrait/Pervert,” made the following year, Opie is faceless and topless and bleeding again: she sits in front of a black-and-gold brocade with her hands folded in her lap, her head sealed in an ominous black leather hood, the word “pervert” carved in oozing, ornate letters across her chest.

They are unnerving images—“ ‘Pervert’ is too intense for me now,” Opie told me recently—and they had a particularly jarring effect at the time she made them. When the photographs were exhibited at the Whitney Biennial, in 1995, they were “like shock troops crashing a mannerly art-world party,” the critic Holland Cotter wrote in the Times...

Stories of the City: A Magnum Exhibition on the Paris Metro

Magnum Photo

“I’ve always seen cities as somewhat exotic and remote from my experience,” says Alec Soth, who has never lived in a major city. For him, and others like him, visiting a city can be an alien and overwhelming experience. “Being born in a small and very quiet town, I experience mixed feelings in big cities, I feel a sense of fascination for megacities as well as rejection, and sometimes anxiety. I think that this image evokes my vision of the city as a voluntary confinement with the others – loneliness,” concurs Jérôme Sessini.

To mark Magnum’s 70th anniversary, RATP, which runs the famous Paris metro system, is hosting an unprecedented exhibition across their territory of the city. From February 28 to June 30 2017, 174 images by 91 photographers will be displayed across 11 Metro stations. The diverse curation explores the city in all its guises and is showcased to its diverse audience in its public spaces.

Learning to See: Photography at Black Mountain College


The impact of Black Mountain College on the history of twentieth-century arts is still coming to light. A small, liberal-arts institution that ran from 1933 to 1957 in rural North Carolina, the school brought some of the most inventive minds of a generation—including European intellectuals fleeing the ravages of World War II—into contact with an intrepid student body that was ready to change the cultural gears of history.

The backbone of Black Mountain’s curriculum was the arts program, famously shaped and directed by Josef Albers from 1933 to 1949. Before coming to America, Albers had studied and taught at the Bauhaus, where he developed an understanding of Werklehre—the noble, “handicraft” aspect of art. He brought this pragmatic approach to his teachings at Black Mountain College. While at the Bauhaus, Albers created a series of semi-experimental photocollages (a selection of them is currently on view at New York’s Museum of Modern Art). His interest in photography as an art and as a mode of seeing continued upon his move to the States. “Photography,” Albers once observed, “is still a child among the crafts”; indeed, its newness might well have been part of the medium’s allure for him.

One and One Is Four: The Bauhaus Photocollages of Josef Albers

The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)
Through 2 April 2017

Josef Albers (American, born Germany, 1888–1976) is a central figure in 20th-century art, both as a practitioner and as a teacher at the Bauhaus, Black Mountain College, and Yale University. Best known for his iconic series Homages to the Square, Albers made paintings, drawings, and prints and designed furniture and typography. The least familiar aspect of his extraordinary career is his inventive engagement with photography, which was only discovered after his death. The highlight of this work is undoubtedly thephotocollages featuring photographs he made at the Bauhaus between 1928 and 1932. At once expansive and restrained, this remarkable body of work anticipates concerns that Albers would pursue throughout his career: seriality, perception, and the relationship between handcraft and mechanical production.

The first serious exploration of Albers’s photographic practice occurred in a modest exhibition at MoMA in 1988, The Photographs of Josef Albers. In 2015, the Museum acquired 10 photocollages by Albers—adding to the two donated by the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation almost three decades ago—making its collection the most significant anywhere outside the Foundation. This installation celebrates both this landmark acquisition and the publication of One and One Is Four: The Bauhaus Photocollages of Josef Albers, which focuses exclusively on this deeply personal and inventive aspect of Albers’s work and makes many of these photocollages available for the first time.

Controversial and renowned Chinese photographer Ren Hang dies aged 29

The British Journal of Photography

Ren Hang, one of the leading lights of the new generation of Chinese photographers, despite enduring censorship and intimidation from the authorities throughout his career, has died at the age of 29, his gallerist has confirmed.

Championed by Ai Wei Wei, and talked of as China’s answer to Ryan McGinley, Ren Hang’s photography was highly explicit, featuring nude group and solo portraits of men and women often contorted into highly performative positions. They were not models, but his friends, and increasingly, his fans, often shot in his tiny high-rise apartment. “I usually shoot my friends,” he once said. “Because strangers make me nervous.”

Ren Hang endured a long battle with depression throughout his life, an experience he would often document on his website, sometimes in the form of poetry, under a menu item titled My Depression.

Ren Hang was in the process of working on a major solo exhibition at Foam, Amsterdam, after receiving the Outset Exhibition Fund at Unseen
 Photography Festival last September.

Fred Stein: Talking with Photography

L'Oeil De La Photographie

When Peter Stein met us in 2015, we were amazed to discover his father Fred Stein’s images he had brought along. They were vintage press photos, often reframed, which was common practice among professional photographers in the 20th century. Who was this Fred Stein we had never heard of? Who was this American photographer of German-Jewish origin, a socialist and a militant anti-fascist who managed to escape Nazism twice, first in 1933, taking refuge in Paris, then a second time, in 1941, when he migrated to the United States?

The images tell the story of a life caught in the tide of History against the backdrop of two cities—Paris and New York—which the stateless man and his family successively called home. The photographs naturally document places and events, but they also reveal other things, offering a glimpse into the photographer’s mind, his thoughts and ideas. Fred Stein took up photography as a profession out of necessity. Although he was fluent in French, he knew he would not be able to put his education to use and practice law. With no hope of return, Fred and Lilo Stein were forced to adapt and make a living in a country in which they were outsiders and where, as a result, it wasn’t easy to fit in. Fred Stein was an amateur photographer, and since he enjoyed taking pictures, before long he came up with the idea of opening a studio...

Wolfgang Tillmans: 2017

The Tate Modern
Until 11 June 2017

This is Wolfgang Tillmans’s first ever exhibition at Tate Modern and brings together works in an exciting variety of media – photographs, of course, but also video, digital slide projections, publications, curatorial projects and recorded music – all staged by the artist in characteristically innovative style.

The year 2003 is the exhibition’s point of departure, representing for Tillmans the moment the world changed, with the invasion of Iraq and anti-war demonstrations. The social and political form a rich vein throughout the artist’s work. Alongside portraiture, landscape and intimate still lifes, Tillmans pushes the boundaries of the photographic form in abstract artworks that range from the sculptural to the immersive. 

German-born, international in outlook and exhibited around the world, Tillmans spent many years in the UK and is currently based in Berlin. In 2000, he was the first photographer and first non-British artist to receive the Turner Prize.

The Photographic Inspirations behind Moonlight, 2016's Best Picture

Lens Culture

One of the founding myths in the history of cinema (and it is likely a myth) centers on the screening of a 50-second, black-and-white silent film made by the Lumière Brothers showing the arrival of a train at a station. When the film was first shown, in the 1890s, this seemingly banal scene was astonishing. The urban legend goes that the captivated audience was so shocked by the sight of a moving locomotive bearing down on them that many began to panic and flee the cinema.

According to Moonlight cinematographer James Laxton, much of today’s cinema has lost this subjective intensity. For all of the modern marvels of special effects, 3-D glasses, even shaking seats and simulated experience, what these films lack is the capacity to engage our imaginations. If the images on the screen do all the work, Laxton reasons, our brains are left with little space to roam. “All of these visual fireworks are the antithesis of why we enjoy movies: activating our imaginations and being able to feel we are somewhere else.”

By contrast, for Laxton there is one medium where the imagination is given a great deal of free rein: still photography. He says, “When I look at still images, my brain becomes actively engaged and I am able to picture a whole experience, a different world…photography enhances my sense of what happened just before or after the frame was captured.”

Eli Lotar (1905-1969)

Jeu de Palme
Concorde, Paris
14 February - 28 May 2017

French photographer and cinematographer of Romanian origin, Eli Lotar (Eliazar Lotar Teodorescu, Paris, 1905 - 1969) arrived in France in 1924 and rapidly became one of the first avant-garde photographers in Paris. Close to Germaine Krull —Lotar worked as her apprentice for a time —and later to the Surrealists, his work was published in many of the avant-garde publications of the day, and featured in several major international photography exhibitions, including Fotographie der Gegenwart, Film und Foto, Documents de la vie sociale, etc.

The Eli Lotar Retrospective (1905 – 1969) allows visitors to discover the scope of
Lotar’s work from a new light and reveals the role of this important figure in modern photography. The exhibition is organized around key themes ranging from the New Vision Movement to documentary film, as well as Lotar’s urban, industrial and maritime landscapes. A selection of portraits taken by the photographer can also be seen, revealing his interest in having his models adopt various poses for the camera. They also demonstrate the close ties he had to many of the leading artists of his day.

Roger Mayne

The Photographer's Gallery
London, United Kingdom
3 March - 11 June 2017

This major exhibition is the first since 1999 to show the iconic work of British photographer Roger Mayne (1929-2014).

It includes his pioneering photographs of 1950s and early 1960s community life in London’s Southam Street. Mayne’s humanistic approach has influenced subsequent generations of photographers, and made a significant contribution to post war British photography. 

Also featured are examples of Mayne’s less well known work from outside the Capital, including early work in Leeds where Mayne first developed his photographic interests. These pictures of street life around the city chart his development from pictorialism to his characteristic realist style. Between 1961-65, Mayne was commissioned to photograph the newly developed estate of Park Hill in Sheffield. His photographs captured both the nuance of daily social interactions and the sharp angles, shades and abstract forms of the urban environment.

At the Raleigh Cycles in Nottingham in 1964, Mayne embraced the dynamic setting and low lighting of the factory to produce a series of dignified portraits of the workers in his distinctive black and white tonality. Restaged for the first time since 1964 is Mayne’s pioneering installation The British at Leisure. Commissioned by architect Theo Crosby for the Milan Triennale it features three-hundred and ten colour images projected on five screens to a commissioned jazz score by Johnny Scott.

‘Everybody was a dandy then.’ These portraits of celebrities in 1920s Paris launched Berenice Abbott’s career

The Washington Post

It’s not uncommon these days to see images of celebrities, artists and other famous people posing for their friends on social media. Whether they are showing off their latest lipstick, snuggling with a puppy or announcing their pregnancy, Snapchat and Instagram are brimming with images of the cultural elite of our time. While the technology may be new, the phenomenon is not. Decades before the invention of the smartphone, if you were a socialite in Paris in the late 1920s, the person to pose for was Berenice Abbott.

Abbott, an American photographer who was a member of the generation of master photographers that included Man Ray, Andre Kertesz and Ansel Adams, was sometimes called the “semiofficial portraitist of the intelligentsia” in the 1920s. While she is most known for her 10-year photographic effort of New York City’s evolving landscape in the 1930s — a work that critics have called the greatest collection of photographs of New York City ever made — she actually got her start in Paris as an assistant to Man Ray, the well-known American photographer, painter and surrealist. And it was there that she started taking portraits on his balcony. “Everybody was a dandy then. You see all this careless dressing is only in recent years. In Paris men wore white gloves and they dressed up,” Abbott told her biographer Hank O’Neal in the late 1970s.

Henri Cartier-Bresson: Images à la Sauvette

The Foundation Henri Cartier-Bresson, Paris
11 January - 23 April 2017

From January 11 to April 23, 2017, the Foundation devotes an exhibition to Cartier-Bresson’s famous publication Images à la Sauvette. Initated by the French publisher Tériade, the project is finally achieved on October 1952 as a French-American co-edition, with the contribution of Matisse and the American publishers Simon and Schuster. The latter chose “The Decisive Moment” as the title of the American version, and unintentionally imposed the motto which would define Cartier-Bresson’s work. Since its publication in 1952, Images à la Sauvette has received an overwhelming success. It is considered as “a Bible for photographers” according to Robert Capa’s words. The innovative design of the publication stroke the art world with its refine format, the heliogravure quality and the strength of the image sequences. The publication reveals the inherent duality of Cartier-Bresson’s work; between the photographer’s intimate interpretation and his documentary approach.

Images à la Sauvette is the fruit of joined efforts of a famous art publisher, Tériade, a talented photographer, a painter at the peak of his career, Matisse, and two American publishers, Simon and Schuster. From his beginnings, Cartier‑Bresson considers the book as the outcome of his work. In the thirties, he met the publisher of Verve, Tériade, who he would later likely acknowledge to be his mentor. They plan, at the time, to carry out a book project on large cities rough areas together with Eli Lotar, Bill Brandt and Brassaï, but this ambitious project will never see the light of day.

Images à la Sauvette established itself as an extremely pioneering work by its wish to claim the images strength as the unique narrative form and the emphasis on the photographer text. It proposes a daring purity, allowing the 24 x 36 to spread out on its very large format pages. A model of its kind with the heliogravure printing by the best craftsmen of the era, the Draeger brothers, and the splendid Matisse cover has been called “A bible for photographers” by Robert Capa. In Spring 1951, Cartier-Bresson explains, “While our prints are beautiful and perfectly composed (as they should be), they are not photographs for salons […] In the end, our final image is the printed one”. This affirmation definitely proclaims Images à la Sauvette as an artist’s book.

The exhibition presents a selection of vintage prints as well as numerous archival documents to recount the history of this publication, until its facsimile reprint by Steidl Verlag, in 2014. This edition comes with an additional booklet containing an essay by Clément Chéroux.

12 African American Photographers You Should Follow Right Now

TIME Magazine

For Black History Month, LightBox gathered a panel of experts—from major artists such as Carrie Mae Weems to curators such as Azu Nwagbogu and educators like John Edwin Mason—and asked them to each nominate one under-the-radar, exciting African American photographer. By no means a definitive list of panelists or nominees (for that, check out TIME’s “100 Photos” project), this is instead a personal and subjective tribute to the thriving field of contemporary African American photography.

While some artists such as Joshua Rashaad McFadden make use of archival material, others like Jasmine Murrell incorporate sculpture, while Gerald Cyrus’ work is firmly documentary in nature and Shamayim’s is clearly fashion-based.

The nominators include Awol Erizku, artist; Azu Nwagbogu, director African Artists’ Foundation; Carrie Mae Weems, artist; Deborah Willis, chair of the Department of Photography & Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University; Derrick Adams, artist; Jamel Shabazz, artist; John Edwin Mason, Associate Professor at University of Virginia; Rujeko Hockley, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at Brooklyn Museum; Kalia Brooks, Adjunct Professor in the Photography and Imaging Department in the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University; and the staff of The Studio Museum in Harlem.

The Shape of Things: Photographs from Robert B. Menschel

The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)
Through 7 May 2017

The Shape of Things: Photographs from Robert B. Menschel presents an engaging survey of The Museum of Modern Art’s multifaceted collection of photography. Borrowing its title from the eponymous work by Carrie Mae Weems, the exhibition is drawn entirely from works acquired over the past 40 years with the support of Robert B. Menschel, telling the story of photography from its beginnings.

Covering more than 150 years of photography—from an 1843 view of Paris by William Henry Fox Talbot, the English father of photography, to An-My Lê's depictions of US military exercises in preparation for war in Iraq and Afghanistan—the exhibition underscores an equal attention to the past and the present, and a strong belief that they complement each other; and that each generation reinvents photography. Since Menschel joined the Committee on Photography at MoMA in 1977, over 500 works have entered the collection through his support, including 162 photographs he recently donated from his personal collection.

News from the World of Photography: February 2017


Ken Gonzales-Day: Shadowlands

Minnesota Museum of American Art
St. Paul, MN
19 January - 16 April 2017

Ken Gonzales-Day is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice considers the historical construction of race. He supplements his photographs with research and writing that engage critically with history, art history, and Western conventions of race, blending historical tragedies with current events. Using photography and video, he explores trauma and resistance as experienced and embodied by racially oppressed populations in the U.S.

This exhibit will be a concise survey of the artist’s career, including works from the Erased LynchingSearching for California Hang Trees, and Run Up series. His most recent work draws parallels between historical lynchings and high profile cases of police brutality affecting communities of color today. The core of the Run Up series is a cinematic restaging of the 1920 lynching of Charles Valento. Utilizing details drawn from the coroner’s report and his own archival research, Gonzales-Day chose to focus on this particular event in order to draw attention to the police presence at the scene that tacitly condoned the extralegal violence.

Harlem Heros: Photographs by Carl Van Vechten

Smithsonian American Art Museum, Renwick Gallery
Washington DC
26 August 2016- 2 April 2017

At the height of the Harlem Renaissance, Carl Van Vechten (1880–1964) picked up a camera and discovered the power the photographic portrait has over the photographer himself. Over the decades, his fascination with the medium remained strong and he asked writers, musicians, athletes, politicians, and others to sit for him—many of them central figures in the Harlem Renaissance whose accomplishments fueled not only the New Negro movement but also transformed the broader American culture throughout the twentieth century. These groundbreaking men and women included James Baldwin, Ossie Davis, W.E.B. Du Bois, Ella Fitzgerald, Althea Gibson, Langston Hughes, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Bessie Smith, and others. Some of the portraits capture their subjects on the cusp of success as they were full of ambition but before they became famous; others depict men and women looking back on long and varied careers, tested by the fickleness of fortune.

In 1980, concerned that Van Vechten’s fragile 35 mm nitrate negatives were fast deteriorating, photographer Richard Benson, in conjunction with the Eakins Press Foundation, transformed fifty of the portraits into handmade gravure prints. The album ’O, Write My Name’: American Portraits, Harlem Heroes was completed in 1983. That year, the National Endowment for the Arts transferred the Eakins Press Foundation’s prototype albums to the museum. This installation features thirty-nine of Van Vechten’s images, all works from SAAM’s permanent collection. This is their first presentation as a whole since they were acquired. These portraits, spanning more than thirty years, record a vital aspect of the American Century.

Resistance, Protest, Resilience

Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia)
5 November 2016 - 2 April 2017 

Featuring about 60 photographs from Mia’s collection, this exhibition traces protests in select 20th-century movements and events that triggered important social and political changes, among them the Civil Rights Movement, Japan’s U.S. security treaty conflictthe Iranian Revolution, Vancouver’s Gastown riots, and the 1984 Democratic National Convention. Pushing against nostalgia, these pictures renew the question of narrative construction in a photograph of documentary nature, and suggest their relevance in today’s political, social, and racial conflicts. Featured photographers include Gordon Parks, Danny Lyon, Gilles Peress, Shomei Tomatsu, Thomas Arndt, and Stan Douglas. The photographs will be accompanied by two media installations: Waiting For Tear Gas (1999–2000) by Allan Sekula; and Untitled (Structures)(2012) by Leslie Hewitt in collaboration with Bradford Young.

The William Henry Fox Talbot Catalogue Raisonne 

The Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford

There are very few arts, indeed very few human endeavours, so well documented as is William Henry Fox Talbot’s invention of photography. Talbot (1800-1877) conceived of the art of photography in 1833, achieved his first images by 1834 and revealed the art to the public in 1839. By the time he ceased taking photographs in 1846, Talbot and his close associates had created more than 4500 distinct images. Miraculously, much of this prodigious output still survives. Collectively, they map out the technical and aesthetic progress of the new art from the first days of its infancy to the eve of its maturity. Equally, they dramatically document the emergence of Talbot himself as the first photographic artist. Trapped in silver are cities that have changed, people long since passed on, objects of virtue and those of everyday utility, timeless scenes of light and shade and much more.

Over a span of four decades, Professor Schaaf has examined more than 25,000 original Talbot negatives and prints in collections worldwide. The Catalogue Raisonné project seeks to make this corpus of material freely available to scholars and to the general public. The Catalogue will be the image-based cousin to The Correspondence of William Henry Fox Talbot, which has already mounted full searchable transcriptions of more than 10,000 Talbot letters online. Founded and directed by Schaaf, this resource is widely used in both academia and by the general public and is a highly successful completed project.

The Long Journey to the Great Wall of Mexico

TIME Lightbox

Walls – literal and figurative – are a prominent part of today’s global landscape. In 1989 there were 15 border walls worldwide, today there are almost 70. In a new project called A Wall In Between, photographer Alessandro Grassani sought to document our modern fixation with border control and the human stories caught on either side. “I want my photographs to reveal a sense of fear,” says Grassani. “They should reveal the fear of the people living in the rich countries who are supposed to accommodate the migrants. But also the fear of the migrants who are risking their life to cross those walls.”

Grassani started his project at the heavily politicized U.S.-Mexican border in 2016. “Many of the people I met during my journey to the U.S. border were leaving countries like El Salvador or Honduras because of violence, mostly gang violence,” he says. The journey can be as dangerous as the countries they are fleeing from; walking on foot through cartel land or boarding a treacherous train known as The Beast. Approximately 20,000 migrants every year are victims of murders, robbery, kidnapping and rape and 6,000 lose their lives, according to the International Organization for Migration.

The Photo Series That Inspired Jeff Nichols' Loving



In 1965, Grey Villet documented the powerful story of Richard and Mildred Loving – an interracial couple fighting for the right to love. Here we meet his wife, Barbara, to discuss a newly released book of the beautiful images.

In early 1965, Life photographer Grey Villet set off from his New York home and headed for rural Virginia on a covert commission. He was going to photograph Richard and Mildred Loving, a working-class, interracial couple who were living in hiding with their three young children in an isolated farmhouse in King and Queen County. The Lovings were in the midst of a groundbreaking court case against the state of Virginia, which seven years earlier had proclaimed their marriage, in the state of Washington, illegal according to Virginia’s miscegenation laws. They were cast out of the state – leaving behind their family, friends and contented country life – and banned from returning for 25 years.

The pair had temporarily relocated to a D.C. ghetto, but with Richard out working all day as a laborer, and her children forced to play in the dangerous city streets, Mildred had finally snapped and sent a letter about their predicament to Bobby Kennedy. Kennedy referred the Lovings to the American Civil Liberties Union, thus setting the wheels in motion for what would prove a vital milestone in civil rights history. Two years after Villet shot the pair, they would win their case at the US Supreme Court, and finally see mixed-raced marriage legalised in Virginia, but when the photographer first met them on a mild spring day, they were twitchy, frustrated and tired of living in secrecy – but, most noticeably of all, they were deeply in love.

The 2017 World Press Photo Contest Winners are Announced

British Journal of Photography

World tensions show in the winning images in the prestigious award for photojournalism and documentary photography

The contest attracted 80,408 images, from 5034 photographers from 125 countries, and the jury gave prizes in eight categories to 45 photographers from 25 countries – Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Iran, Italy, Pakistan, Philippines, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Syria, New Zealand, Turkey, UK, USA.

The World Press Photo of the Year is a shot by Turkish Associated Press photographer called Burhan Ozbilici, with an image he has simply titled An Assassination in Turkey. Showing Mevlut Mert Altintas shouting after shooting Andrei Karlov, right, the Russian ambassador to Turkey, at an art gallery in Ankara, Turkey, on 19 December 2016, the image is drawn from a wider series shot that night which won first place in the Spot News – Stories category.

Other notable wins include Thomson Reuters photographer Jonathan Bachman’s photograph (pictured above) of 28-year-old nurse Ieshia Evans, standing in front of riot police during a protest against police brutality outside the Baton Rouge Police Department in Louisiana, USA, on 9 July 2016, which one first prize in the Contemporary Issues – Singles category. The first prize for Contemporary Issues – Stories also went to a series showing protestors and riot police in the US – Amber Bracken’s story on the opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline. 

Legendary Photographer Ansel Adams Visited a Japanese Internment Camp in 1943, Here’s What He Saw

The Washington Post

In 1943, Ansel Adams set out to document life inside the Japanese-American internment camp at the Manzanar War Relocation Center in California. It was a departure for Adams, who at the time was known as a landscape photographer and not for social-documentary work. When Adams offered this collection of images to the Library of Congress, he said, “The purpose of my work was to show how these people, suffering under a great injustice, and loss of property,businesses and professions, had overcome the sense of defeat and dispair [sic] by building for themselves a vital community in an arid (but magnificent) environment….All in all, I think this Manzanar Collection is an important historical document, and I trust it can be put to good use.”

On Feb. 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued his five-paragraph Executive Order No. 9066, “Authorizing the Secretary of War to Prescribe Military Areas” from which “any or all persons may be excluded.”

The order further stated: “I hereby further authorize and direct all Executive Departments, independent establishments and other Federal Agencies, to assist the Secretary of War or the said Military Commanders in carrying out this Executive Order, including the furnishing of medical aid, hospitalization, food, clothing, transportation, use of land, shelter, and other supplies, equipment, utilities, facilities, and services.” The Supreme Court upheld the order and the subsequent deportation and incarceration of Americans of Japanese ancestry.

Tribute to Palmyra Is the Getty’s First-Ever Online Exhibition


Satellite images, cellphone images, and video footage spliced together by members of ISIS — these are the familiar visuals we see that emerge out of a war-torn Palmyra today. They record how much its landscape has changed only in the past two years as militants have destroyed much of the city’s ruins, erasing what stood for centuries. But Palmyra’s visual record extends far, far back, and it is through early drawings, prints, and photographs now made available online that we may better understand its history, which often risks getting lost in present-day discourse focused not only on warfare but also on “saving” cultural heritage.

This archive resides on The Legacy of Ancient Palmyra, an online exhibition the Getty Research Institute (GRI) launched this week as a tribute to the legendary caravan city. Intended as both a reference and teaching tool for the public, it is divided into sections that relay the history of Palmyra, from its status as a prominent cosmopolitan center of trade during the 1st and 3rd centuries CE to its present-day period threatened by violent destruction. Much of the historic imagery arrives from GRI’s own collections, including the earliest known photographs of Palmyra captured in 1864 by French naval officer Louis Vignes. GRI acquired these rare albumen prints in 2015, the year ISIS seized the city and quickly moved to obliterate its structures, viewing them as blasphemous.

The Forgotten History of the Koreans of Mexico and Cuba

Feature Shoot

To many it might come as a surprise to learn that there are Korean-Mexicans and Korean-Cubans, though with this revelation it becomes imperative to come to terms with the largely forgotten tragedy which befell their ancestors. In 1905, 1,033 Koreans boarded the SS Ilford to Mexico. It was imagined and portrayed as a journey towards prosperity in the new world—a departure from what was then an impoverished country, and in the same year was already falling into the clutches of Imperial Japan. The reality that awaited these migrants was a life of indentured servitude in the Henequen plantations of Mexico, harvesting an agave that was then known as “the green gold” of Mexico. Many fled to Cuba with dreams of getting a foothold in the then lucrative sugar cane industry, though by the time they arrived the industry had already plummeted. Their homeland already a Japanese colony, they were again destined to hard labour in Cuban henequen plantations.  Argentinian-American-Korean photographer Michael Vince Kim pursued this story as a natural progression from his previous work focusing on language, identity and migration, entitling the series Aenikkaeng, (Korean for ‘Henequen’).

Making Jamaica: Photography from the 1890's

Rivington Place
London, United Kingdom
24 February - 22 April 2017

Making Jamaica explores how a new image of Jamaica was created through photography in the late nineteenth century.

More than 70 historical photographs, lantern slides and stereocards reveal the carefully constructed representation of this transitional period in Jamaica’s history. For the first time, its people are depicted as an industrious nation post-emancipation, and their surroundings as a desirable tourist destination and tropical commodity.

These photographs present an intriguing vision of the ‘unspoiled beauty’ of one of the Caribbean’s major islands during a period of economic and social change, and illustrate the efforts of its local ruling white mercantile elite to bring the island’s valuable resources to the attention of the wider world.

These archival images are exhibited in London for the first time courtesy of the Caribbean Photo Archive, alongside a new commission by contemporary artist Ingrid Pollard.

Life and Labor: The Photographs of Milton Rogovin

San Jose Museum of Art
18 August 2016 - 19 March 2017

Milton Rogovin (1909–2011) was proud to call himself a “social-documentary photographer.” For more than four decades, he photographed those whom he referred to as “the forgotten ones.” He was working as an optometrist in Manhattan in the early 1930s when he became increasingly involved in leftist causes. Distressed by the rampant social upheaval and widespread poverty caused by the Great Depression, Rogovin attended night classes sponsored by the New York Workers School and became an advocate for social equity. He read the Communist Party newspaper The Daily Worker and was introduced to the social documentary photographs of Jacob Riis and Lewis Hine. In 1957, he was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee, whose hearings had led to the blacklisting and public persecution of many artists. A year later, he devoted himself fulltime to photography: his art became the vehicle for his egalitarian ideals. 

Drawn entirely from the permanent collection of the San Jose Museum of Art, this exhibition presents thirty-eight photographs from three series: “Lower West Side, Buffalo” (1972–84), “Working People” (1976–87), and “Family of Miners” (1988– 89). Rogovin shed light on important social issues of the time: the plight of miners; the decline of the once-robust steel industry in upstate New York; the everyday struggles of the poor and working class in Buffalo, New York, where he lived. Life and Labor marks the public debut of these photographs, which were gifted to the Museum’s collection in 2011. Rogovin often grouped his pictures into diptychs and triptychs to produce compelling narratives of the people he photographed. He believed deeply in photography’s ability to be an agent of social change. In addition to their aesthetic value, Rogovin’s photographs serve as important records of the changing workingclass neighborhoods and multi-ethnic communities he documented over the course of many decades, until well into his 90s. Rogovin’s powerful and provocative portraits raise questions that remain equally prescient today, amid current concerns over employment and income gaps. 

A Stratigraphic Fiction

Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College
Collegeville, PA
18 August 2016 - 19 March 2017


A Stratigraphic Fiction presents a constellation of sculptures, photographs, films, and works on paper from 1970 to the present, all keyed to the underlying hum of recent discussions surrounding the theory of the Anthropocene—the newly coined term for the most recent epoch in geologic time.

As a concept that comes from specialist scientific circles but which has much broader cultural applications, the Anthropocene retains a uniquely speculative nature. Though it has yet to be formally adopted by the geologic field’s various governing bodies, many argue that the profound impact man has made upon the Earth’s crust since the Industrial Revolution leaves little doubt that a significant boundary has been transgressed.

A Stratigraphic Fiction features artwork by 10 international contemporary artists: Julian Charrière, Nadja Frank, Kelly Jazvac, Mary Anne Kluth (pictured above), Laura Moriarty, Elise Rasmussen, Robert Smithson, Nick van Woert, Julius von Bismarck, and Jennifer West. Together these works reflect the beauty, fear, contradictions, and questions that come with forcefully etching ourselves into the language of stones.