News from the World of Photography: May 2017


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.

Steve Reinstein Memorial Fund

Our dear friend and colleague, Steve Reinstein, passed away after a brief illness on February 19, 2017. PAC·LA is at work to establish a fund in Steve’s honor to provide financial resources to an artist working in the medium of fine art photography. Steve was a passionate advocate for the art of photography, and was touched when he was informed of our intention to support new work in his name.  

We are now accepting donations for those who wish to honor Steve in this way. 

Please consider making a tax-deductible contribution in any amount below.  We appreciate your support and look forward to making a difference in the life of an artist.  We will announce additional details in the coming weeks.  

Steve was a founding board member of PAC·LA and served an invaluable role in promoting our organization's mission to support fine art photography.  He was instrumental in shepherding two important grants for upcoming exhibitions at the Skirball Cultural Center and the Autry Museum of the American West. 

Steve was admired not only for his expansive knowledge of photography, but also for bringing a passion to his own collection, one he shared with his partner Randy –- a collection that was highly respected for its broad range and high quality.  He was also a great supporter of emerging photographers and helped promote many important careers.  

Prior to his current position, Steve served as Chairman of the Photographic Arts Council at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, working alongside the curator for photography and helping grow the museum’s support group, which was the precursor of our independent PAC·LA.  Steve was also a board member of the Getty Museum Photographs Council.  


News from the World of Photography: January 2017


Old Photographs That Capture America at a Crossroads

The New York Times Style Magazine

"There’s an old French expression: The nearer the gallows, the clearer the truth,” says the documentary photographer Joel Sternfeld. “And my truth began with Walker Evans.” The iconic photographer of the Great Depression was a key inspiration on Sternfeld’s own influential 1987 photography book “American Prospects,” images from which go on display at London’s Beetles+Huxley gallery this week, alongside pictures that have never been shown before.

“It seemed to me that Evans was describing an America in which the physical world was crumbling, but the human spirit was intact,” the photographer says. “And as I looked around at America in the late 1970s, it seemed like the very opposite was occurring. A brand-new physical world was arising of interstate highways, fast-food chains, motel chains, new technology buildings, the new industrial parks — but the human spirit was under assault.”

Sternfeld spent years traversing the country with his camera, looking for ways to capture this dynamic. His photographs show displaced Americans like the Kickapoo man, living in straw huts after centuries of persecution — or a boy perched on a bench in Red Rock State Campground, his family having failed to find work locally. These are contrasted with images that show then-cutting-edge luxuries and innovations such as an Orlando wave park, or a Ferrari parked in front of the pink lawn of a Santa Monica home.

Sternfeld believes that now is the right time to show the work again; in today’s America he sees the same extremes of wealth and poverty, advantage and despair. Of what is perhaps his most famous image — a firefighter shopping for pumpkins while a house blazes in the distance — he says, “It completely embodied what I was trying to say. You know, here it is — Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Here was this graceful old house, and it was being torn down to put up condominiums.”

Image: McLean, Virginia, December 1978. ©Joel Sternfeld

Inside the Harrowing Journeys of Refugee Mothers

National Geographic

When you hear “refugee crisis,” you might envision photos of small boats afloat on dark waters and packed with people wearing neon-orange life vests. You might think of hands reaching for loved ones across fences, of borders being guarded by men with machine guns, of makeshift tent settlements teeming with homeless families. The pictures we think of are high-energy, chaotic, and full of movement.

The photographs of Greek photojournalist Myrto Papadopoulos are different. They’re quiet, still, and intimate. Each of these women is a mother, sometimes pregnant, sometimes holding her child.

Papadopoulos has documented the refugee crisis since 2010. As she spent time in refugee camps in Greece, she noticed that women would often be left behind with the children while their husbands forged ahead to find new lives for them in Europe. “I felt the women were left out and were the ones who were really suffering,” Papadopoulos says. “And on the other hand, I felt that they would keep these people moving, and they were the reason to continue the journey. Their children were the reason to continue the journey.”

And for these women, the journey is incredibly difficult. Some give birth while traveling. Papadopoulos says she’s seen women walking while carrying newborns as young as ten days old. Some mothers miscarry due to the harsh physical conditions, others have abortions, and still others suffer the deaths of their small children. There are NGOs in some refugee camps that help with pre- and post-natal care and provide forms of birth control when available. But as a whole, being pregnant or being a mother to young children compounds the hardships that all refugees face.

She asked each of these women to share their experiences. Their stories (edited for length and clarity) accompany their portraits...

Image: ©Myrto Papadopoulos

Perpetual Revolution: The Image and Social Change

International Center of Photography
New York, NY
27 January - 7 May 2017


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.

Image: #1960Now: Art+Intersection, 2015. ©Sheila Pree Bright


Artist to Photograph Doomed Structures at Los Angeles County Museum

The New York Times

Since 2013, critics have publicly debated the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s plans for a $600 million campus redesign by Peter Zumthor that requires razing three deteriorating 1965 buildings designed by William Pereira and a 1986 addition by Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates. While many, including Christopher Hawthorne, the architecture Critic for The Los Angeles Times, generally support the Zumthor plan, some favor renovation of the existing buildings or have voiced their emotional attachment to the old structures.

“There’s this real sense of nostalgia for place, even if the place doesn’t function anymore,” said the museum’s director, Michael Govan. Rather than sweeping such sentiments under the rug as he stewards the campus overhaul, Mr. Govan has commissioned the artist Vera Lutter  “to confront these sites that have meaning and preserve them through her work.”

The German artist is known for searing, ghostly photographs of industrial relics made through a camera obscura process that projects an inverted black-and-white image directly onto light-sensitive paper. Mr. Govan calls this project a “bookend” to Ms. Lutter's photographs of a former Nabisco factory in 1999 before its transformation into Dia:Beacon, commissioned by Mr. Govan when he directed that institution.

Over 250,000 Photographs from the George Eastman Museum Go Online


"The George Eastman Museum, among the oldest archives of photography in the world, recently launched an online platform that allows you to search through over 250,000 objects from its collections. Aside from thousands of photographs that date back to the medium’s earliest years, the digital archive also features objects from its massive library of artifacts that together chronicle the history of image-making, from vintage cameras to film splicers to advertisements for the Eastman Kodak Company. There is also plenty of material related to the eponymous founder himself — did you know he was a shooter in more ways than one?

With over 8,000 photographers represented in museum’s holdings, the database is a rich, remarkable resource, particularly for researchers who know exactly what they are searching for. Browsing it can be overwhelming, but the search option has many filters in place, and the museum has also organized the objects by helpful classifications like “Lantern Slide” and “Blueprint.”

One particularly valuable bonus the recent launch offers is unique access to a number of photographers. The museum holds the collections of Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre, Lewis Hine, Alvin Langdon Coburn, Nickolas Muray, and Edward Steichen, so their works are only available here for you to easily browse."

Image: Lewis W. Hine, Women Exercising, Swim (ca. 1918‑1935)

The Boomer List: Photographs by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders 

Photographic Center Northwest
Seattle, Washington
12 January - 12 March 2017

The Boomer List: Photographs by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders will feature 19 large-format portraits of influential baby boomers, including Samuel L. Jackson, actor, Erin Brockovich, environmentalist, Peter Staley, AIDS activist, and Amy Tan, author. Each image represents a year of the baby boom, from 1946 to 1964, chosen by award-winning photographer and filmmaker Timothy Greenfield-Sanders (“The Black List,” “The Latino List” and “The Out List”) to reflect the depth, diversity and talent of the baby boomer generation. Michelle Dunn Marsh, PCNW Executive Director, will share remarks about the exhibition during a Members’ Preview on Thursday, January 12th, 5:30 – 6pm. 

Public and Private: East Germany in Photographs by Ulrich Wust

Chrysler Museum of Art
Norfolk, Virginia
17 November 2016 - 23 April 2017

Peer behind the Iron Curtain to see how creativity resists conformity. Ulrich Wust's photos capture the depersonalization of urban life in cities beset by standardized prefab housing blocks and looming Soviet monuments.  

At the same time, he reveals the creative interior lives of those living 
under the German Democratic Republic. Images of house parties, nightclubs, and shop windows suggest the struggle for self-expression and individuality amid the totalitarian states regime of sameness. In Wust's first U.S. retrospective, the gritty immediacy of 35mm black-and-white street photography gives way to poetic reverie.

Image: Palast der Republik, Berlin. ©Ulrich Wust 

Richard Renaldi: Manhattan Sunday

George Eastman Museum
Rochester, New York
21 January - 11 June 2017

Exhibited at a museum for the first time, photographer Richard Renaldi’s new series consists of portraits, urban still lifes, and streetscapes made in the wee hours of Sunday morning, when post-bacchanalian characters join early-morning workers in New York City’s nooks and crannies. Renaldi uses an 8×10-inch view camera to make his pictures, resulting in meticulous black-and-white images that magnify the uniqueness of each subject while capturing the singular mood that suffuses the city in the hours before dawn. 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.

Image: 04:55 ©Richard Renaldi

Icons & Images: Photographs & Photobooks Auction

Swann Auction Galleries
New York, NY
14 February 2017

Exhibition Dates:
9-11 February: 12pm - 5pm
13 February: 12pm - 5pm
14 February: 10am - 12pm


‘I knew that a battlefield of suffering was in my eyes': The many faces of Frida Kahlo

The Washington Post

Frida Kahlo, known to for her paintings, was also no stranger to the camera. She was one of the most photographed women of her generation, emanating her sensuality, personal fashion, and unique beauty. Her father was well-known photographer Guillermo Kahlo and through sitting for portraits she learned the power of the medium. Kahlo stated: “When my father took my picture in 1932 after my accident, I knew that a battlefield of suffering was in my eyes. From then on, I started looking straight at the lens, unflinching, unsmiling, determined to show that I was a good fighter to the end.”

The exhibition “Mirror, Mirror . . . Portraits of Frida Kahlo” features fifty-seven photographs by twenty-seven photographers, that range from family to historically recognized photographers such as Imogen Cunningham and Edward Weston. Weston’s portraits of Frida show her at her most regal. He said of her in a journal that though she looked like “a little doll” alongside her husband, muralist Diego Rivera, she was “strong and quite beautiful … and causes much excitement in the streets of San Francisco. People stop in their tracks to look (at her) in wonder…”

Image: Frida Kahlo at 18, Mexico, 1926 (Guillermo Kahlo/Courtesy of Throckmorton Fine Art)

Antony Armstrong-Jones, Photographer and Earl of Snowdon, Dies at 86

The New York Times

Antony Armstrong-Jones, the dapper photographer who became the Earl of Snowdon after he married Princess Margaret, the sister of Queen Elizabeth II, in 1960, and plunged into a life of privileges, parties, quarrels and infidelities that ended in divorce 18 years later, died on Friday at his home in London. He was 86.

His death was confirmed by Buckingham Palace.

Tony, as his friends called him, flouted conventions, flunked out of Cambridge and used his London studio for portrait sittings and parties. He was a talented photographer whose pictures of royalty and world celebrities were widely published and hang in museums and national galleries.

Image: Dame Helen Mirren, Antony Armstrong-Jones/Trunk Archive

111 New Street Photography Discoveries


"Flip through these photographs and you will see the world’s city streets through the eyes of more than 100 remarkable street photographers—photographers and images discovered by our editors in 2016. 

The slideshow provides a bit of a kaleidoscope, jumping from one scene to another, from vibrant neon colors to graphic black-and-white, from bustling metropolis to lonely street corners. It provides a unique way to appreciate the people, forms, colors and cultures that pulse through our daily urban lives on planet earth."

—Jim Casper

Editor’s Note: All of these photographers were discovered by our editors while reviewing submissions for the LensCulture Street Photography Awards 2016. To see more great street photography, be sure to see all of the winners and finalists from the competition.

Image: ©Adam Wong

Hiroshi Sugimoto: Black Box

Foam Fotografiemuseum
16 December 2016 - 8 March 2017


A notably intellectual artist, the work of Hiroshi Sugimoto (b. 1948, Tokyo) contains a highly mediated conceptual element that encourages the spectator towards philosophical reflection. The artist reinterprets some of the principal genres in the classic tradition of photography. Sugimoto is a master craftsman and has rejected digital technology in favor of traditional methods.

In the exhibition Hiroshi Sugimoto - Black Box, Foam presents an overview of the work of the Japanese artist. On display are a total of 34 large-format works that offer a survey of the artist’s last forty years of artistic activity. The exhibition offers a survey of his work through his major series: Theaters (1976-ongoing); Lightning Fields (2006-ongoing); Dioramas (1976-2012); Portraits (1994-1999); and Seascapes (1980-ongoing).

The images are characterized by great visual beauty and notable technical virtuosity, emphasized by his habitual use of large formats. Taken as a whole, Hiroshi Sugimoto’s work constitutes a profound meditation on the nature of perception, illusion, representation, life and death.

Image: Hyena-Jackal-Vulture,1976. ©Hiroshi Sugimoto

Sy Kattelson’s View of Postwar Street Life in New York

The New York Times

Sy Kattelson started taking photographs before World War II, using a camera so big and unwieldy it took two people to operate. His subjects were models for catalogs or magazines, and his images were often used as source material for illustrations. When Mr. Kattelson, who will turn 94 next month, returned from the war, it was with a more portable camera and a sharper eye. He joined the left-leaning Photo League and began documenting the street life of lower-middle-class New Yorkers.

“Most people doing that type of work were doing poverty-stricken people, like on the Lower East Side,” said Mr. Kattelson, who grew up in the Bronx and Queens, the son of an electrician and a shop owner. “I started to think, ‘What about people like me, who were not in poverty?’ So I tried to show people what they were living like.” Often overshadowed by better-known members of the Photo League, such as Sid Grossman or Lisette Model, Mr. Kattelson continued to evolve after the League dissolved in 1951, under suspicion of being a Communist organization. “I didn’t want to keep making the same pictures all over again,” he said from his home in Saugerties in the Hudson Valley. By the 1980s, he said, “I got interested in double exposures and putting pictures together” in collages. He added, “I wanted to get more information in pictures.”

Image: ©Sy Kattelson

Finding a Muse in the Vanishing Neighborhoods of Buenos Aires

The New York Times LENS Blog


Facundo de Zuviría's muse is Buenos Aires, but far from the cosmopolitan climes of this Argentine capital. For him, the city reveals its true character in its barrios, where mom-and-pop stores occupy old, low-slung buildings. He had understood that in the 1980s when he worked in a cultural program that took him all over the city. But it really hit home during Argentina’s economic crisis in 2001.

His images during that period of hardship — when he and many of his compatriots were out of work — led him to notice how many of those small stores that gave neighborhoods a unique flavor were disappearing, sometimes overnight. He started taking pictures of the closed gates, straight-ahead compositions featuring repetitive lines and shapes, sometimes slathered with graffiti or weathered signs, all rendered in black and white. They are graceful, melancholy and almost reverent, in some cases reminiscent of Walker Evans (whose work Mr. de Zuviría did not know when he started seriously taking pictures).

Image: Barracas,1986. ©Facundo de Zuviría