News from the World of Photography: February 2018


The Woman Who Was Robert Capa


The year is 1936. On the outskirts of Barcelona, a small plane crash-lands. Miraculously, everyone on board survives, including two photographers, Robert Capa and Gerda Taro. They were risking their lives to cover the Spanish Civil War that had broken out months prior. Capa would take one of the most famous war photos in history. Taro would become the first female photographer to die in conflict — and be largely forgotten.

But it’s really a story about two identities so intertwined that it’s hard to keep them apart; difficult to know who’s who, who did what, and what it means to be a photographer...


Then They Came for Me: Incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II 

International Center of Photography (ICP)
New York, NY
26 January - 6 May 2018 

Then They Came for Me: Incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II examines a dark episode in US history when, in the name of national security, the government incarcerated 120,000 citizens and legal residents during World War II without due process or other constitutional protections to which they were entitled. Executive Order 9066, signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 19, 1942, set in motion the forced removal and imprisonment of all people of Japanese ancestry (citizens and non-citizens alike) living on or near the West Coast. This exhibition features works by renowned photographers Dorothea Lange, Ansel Adams, and others documenting the eviction of Japanese Americans and permanent Japanese residents from their homes as well as their subsequent lives in incarceration camps. Also included are photographs by incarcerated photographer Toyo Miyatake. This timely exhibition reexamines this history and presents new research telling the stories of the individuals whose lives were upended due to racial bigotry.

Peter Hujar: Speed of Life

The Morgan Library and Museum
New York, NY
26 January - 20 May 2018


The life and art of Peter Hujar (1934–1987) were rooted in downtown New York. Private by nature, combative in manner, well-read, and widely connected, Hujar inhabited a world of avant-garde dance, music, art, and drag performance. His mature career paralleled the public unfolding of gay life between the Stonewall uprising in 1969 and the AIDS crisis of the 1980s.

In his loft studio in the East Village, Hujar focused on those who followed their creative instincts and shunned mainstream success. He made, in his words, “uncomplicated, direct photographs of complicated and difficult subjects,” immortalizing moments, individuals, and subcultures passing at the speed of life.

Peter Hujar: Speed of Life—on view at the Morgan from January 26 through May 20—presents one hundred and forty photographs by this enormously important and influential artist. Drawn from the extensive holdings of his work at the Morgan and from nine other collections, the show and its catalog follow Hujar from his beginnings in the mid-1950s to his central role in the East Village art scene three decades later.

The Age of Gold and Daguerreotypes

The New York Times LENS Blog

The photographic process may depend on silver, but a new exhibit shows how gold — specifically, its discovery in California 170 years ago this week — was just as important as a subject for daguerreotypes. During the later half of the 19th century, gold fever was as intense — and short lived — as the nascent photographic process.

Gold and Silver: Images and Illusions of the Gold Rush, on view through April 2 at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, with a book co-published by the Canadian Photography Institute and RVB Books, explores the symbolism and materiality of precious metals: as a stabilizing element within the history of photography, and holding the promise of prosperity that shaped America...

Catherine Edelman Talks New Media

The Photography Show presented by AIPAD

"Some of the best work in the history of art comes out of anger and artists reacting to what’s happening. And that gives me hope."...

The Photography Show, held April 5-8 at Pier 94 in New York City, will feature more than 100 galleries from around the world. Two newly released videos show how the event brings together a community that fosters exceptional artists, nurtures the field of photography, and showcases the finest photography in the market. 

Roger Fenton: the First Great War Photographer

The New York Times LENS Blog

Robert Capa, the archetypical modern war photographer, once famously declared, “If your photographs aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” Good advice, though it didn’t apply to Roger Fenton, the godfather of the genre, who documented the Crimean War in 1855. That’s not just because he had to haul large cameras and unwieldy glass plate negatives (since fast Leica rangefinders had yet to be invented), but also because he shied away from photographing subjects that are now common: As a proper English gentleman, he wouldn’t photograph the corpses of soldiers, because doing so was unseemly.

Relying on long exposures made it impossible for Mr. Fenton to stop action and capture actual battles. But he did give the British public a view of the war by portraying the lives of British enlisted men and officers, as well as showing the armaments, supply routes and the many, many horses that were the critical military transportation technology of the day. He lived among the troops and traveled in a photo truck that doubled as his darkroom while photographing Russia’s defeat by an alliance that included Britain, France and the Ottoman Empire...

British Journal of Photography

Vanessa Winship’s biggest UK show to date, the first UK retrospective of Dorothea Lange, and a huge group exhibition including work by photographers such as Mary Ellen Mark, Dayanita Singh, Alec Soth, Chris Steele-Perkins, Daido Moriyama, Diane Arbus, Pieter Hugo, Bruce Davidson, and Boris Mikhailov – they’re all coming up this year at London’s Barbican Centre, in a season titled The Art of Change.

Running throughout the whole of 2018, The Art of Change season will explore “how artists respond to, reflect and potentially effect change in the social and political landscape”. The photography group show, Another Kind of Life: Photography at the Margins, opens from 28 February – 27 May, and includes 20 photographers selected by Barbican curator Alona Pardo. Bringing together over 300 works from the 1950s to now, including specialist magazines and photobooks as well as prints, the show considers photographers’ ongoing fascination with those on the margins of society and how they have engaged with these groups, and touches on themes such as gender, caste, gang culture, and street life.

Auction Results: Icons and Images: Photographs and Photobooks

Swann Galleries
15 February 2018


Joel Meyerowitz’s Career Is a Minihistory of Photography

The New York Times Magazine

1. Now wait a second, is this magic? Or has it all been carefully arranged with actors, lighting and special effects? The truth is more surprising: It’s neither. It’s simply a picture snapped by Joel Meyerowitz on a New York City street one day in 1975. No faces are immediately evident, just figures in camel-colored coats turned away from us, a puff of smoke with two people suspended in it. No, four people, if you count those shadows, six if you count the backs on which the shadows fall. In fact there are seven people, if we count the additional shadow in the foreground, the photographer’s — and further figures emerge as the eye adjusts to the deep background. It is a picture that just won’t sit still...

Multiple Medium: Photographs from the Collection

Cincinnati Art Museum
Cincinnati, OH
23 January - 25 March 2018

Photography is very good at making multiples. The capacity to produce many images and many copies of a given picture has raised doubts about photography’s status as a fine art medium throughout its history. Yet photographers of all kinds use series, sequence, combination, repetition and reproduction as potent artistic tools.

Drawn from the Museum’s rich photography collection, Multiple Medium presents rarely-seen treasures and recent acquisitions that illustrate and raise questions about the medium’s relationship with numerousness.

Ahmed Mater: Mecca Journeys

Brooklyn Museum
Brooklyn, NY
1 December 2017 - 8 April 2018

Ahmed Mater: Mecca Journeys takes visitors through the holiest city in the Islamic world. It presents a compelling portrait of the massive urban redevelopment now under way and its effects on residents and the millions of hajj pilgrims who travel there every year. Saudi artist Ahmed Mater has documented this unprecedented expansion for nearly a decade.

The exhibition is anchored by monumental photographs from his project Desert of Pharan: Unofficial Histories Behind the Mass Expansion of Mecca, alongside large-scale videos and installations. In addition to showing the influx of wealth, photographs detail the lives of workers on construction sites and of migrant groups.

"I need to be here, in the city of Mecca, now, experiencing, absorbing, and recording my place in this moment of transformation, after which things may never be the same again," states Mater. "It has become important for me to identify with this place and to understand how this constellation of change, as well as the forces that are shaping it, will affect the community of which I am a part."

Focusing on Mecca as both a symbolic site of worship and a contemporary urban center grappling with the consequences of unremitting growth, Mecca Journeys presents a portrait of the complex cultural dynamics at work in the city today.

Ellen Carey: Dings, Pulls, and Shadows

Amon Carter Museum of American Art
Fort Worth, TX
17 January - 22 July 2018

Since the 1990s, experimental photographer Ellen Carey has been making photographs that defy photographic conventions of depicting identifiable subjects. Instead, her works depict vibrant fields of color that are meditations on the very nature of photography as an image created by the action of light on a light-sensitive surface. The exhibition Ellen Carey: Dings, Pulls, and Shadows features seven key works that explore the artist’s interest in color, light, and the photographic process as the subject of her practice.

Frida Kahlo: Her Photos

Calgary, Canada
3 February - 21 May 2018

Glenbow is pleased to present the first Canadian showing of Frida Kahlo: Her Photos, an exhibition that has traveled to 12 cities in 7 countries, and has received more than half a million visitors.

For the first time in this country, visitors will be able to see a treasure trove of images previously locked away in the Kahlo estate archives for more than 50 years.

Frida Kahlo’s distinctive, colourful self-portraits and extraordinary life have made her one of the most recognized artists of the twentieth century. Less well known is her special relationship with photography. Throughout her life, Kahlo meticulously collected photographs of herself and her loved ones as well as scenes of Mexican culture, politics, art, history and nature. The exhibition Frida Kahlo: Her Photos gives us the opportunity to better understand the woman behind the artist: her origins, her roots, her friendships and romantic relationships, her constant fight with her fragile health, her political tendencies, and the strong role that photography played in her life and work.

International Center of Photography (ICP)
Caixa Forum Seville

Seville, Spain
7 February - 13 May 2018

This exhibition presents Robert Capa’'s color work for the first time. Capa regularly used color film from the 1940s until his death in 1954. Some of these photographs were published in magazines of the day, but the majority have never been printed, seen, or even studied. Over the years, this aspect of Capa’s career has virtually been forgotten. With over 100 contemporary color prints by the famous photojournalist, Capa in Color presents this work an integral part of his post-war career and fundamental in remaining relevant to magazines...

Capa in Color will explore how he started to see anew with color film and how his work adapted to a new postwar sensibility. The new medium required him to readjust to color compositions, but also to a postwar audience, interested in being entertained and transported to new places.

Capa in Color is drawn entirely from the Robert Capa Archive in ICP’s permanent collection. The Archive contains roughly 4,200 color transparencies - 35mm Kodachrome, 21⁄4 Ektachrome, and some larger Kodachrome sheet film. It also includes thousands of vintage black-and-white prints, negatives, tearsheets, and papers.

World Press Photo 2018 Photo Contest

World Press Photo

View the entire collection of images nominated for the 2018 World Press Photo Contest. The winners of the 61st World Press Photo of the Year and first, second and third prizes will be announced on the evening of Thursday 12 April at the World Press Photo Awards Show in Amsterdam.

The Guardian

The Representation of the People Act 1918 added 8.5 million women – those over 30 who owned property or were graduates voting in a university constituency – to the electoral roll. It extended the parliamentary vote to some women and paved the way for universal suffrage 10 years later. It also gave the vote to 5.6 million more men after their voting age was lowered to 21 and the property qualification abolished. The general election in December 1918 consulted an electorate three times the size of the one before it...

Photography: The First 150 Years

Dominic Winter Auctioneers
Gloucestershire, UK
9 March 2018


The Lesser-Known Photos of Gordon Parks, from Fashion to Artists’ Portraits


A perplexed giraffe peers from behind a woman bundled in a purple printed headscarf. She’s holding an umbrella, whose pattern of brown shapes framed by yellow borders mimics that of the animal. Photographer Gordon Parks captured the giraffe mid side-eyed glance, as if it’s thinking, “who is this woman and why is she stealing my look?” In a nearby image, a woman wearing a tiered wedding cake of a red ball gown, her diamond barrette like frosting, nestles into her date. They’re standing in the middle of busy Park Avenue, but they might as well be the only two people in the world...


feature shoot

The Print Swap, a worldwide initiative by Feature Shoot, is heading to the Month of Photography Los Angeles (MOPLA) this April in an exhibition curated by Paul Kopeikin, the director of the internationally renowned Kopeikin Gallery. All images included in The Print Swap are printed and mailed at random to participating photographers around the world, and thirty standout photographs from the last few months are part of this exhibition. Selected artists hail from points around the map, with exhibiting photographers based in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the UK, Germany, Norway, Ireland, Switzerland, and Malaysia.

A dreamlike thread runs through Kopeikin’s selections, from Cameron Karsten’s upside-down Puget Sound and Ellen Jantzen’s digitally altered New Mexico to the snow-covered street scenes of Stephen Chong and Navid Baraty, Merethe Wessel-Berg, and Garrod Kirkwood. Reflections of various sorts appear in work by Tori Gagne, Brindha Anantharaman, Andy Grant, Asher Carey, Cristian Ordonez, and Molly McDonough Mahler. Don Hudson takes us back in time with his 1974 photograph from Ann Arbor, Michigan. Wherever they roam, these 29 photographers bring with them a magical sense of the surreal.

The definitive Brassaï show, curated by ex-MoMA star Peter Galassi

The British Journal of Photography

It would be an understatement to say that the legacy of Gyula Halász – better known by his pseudonym, Brassaï – has been the object of extensive research and countless curatorial  projects. Yet the Fundación Mapfre, the private institution that has shown the highest devotion to photography in Spain, has entrusted Peter Galassi, the former chief curator of photography at Museum of Modern Art, to conduct what will probably be the definitive exhibition about the Hungarian-French photographer at its Barcelona gallery, the Garriga i Nogués exhibition hall (19 February to 13 May).

The exhibition could be considered to be Galassi’s biggest curatorial endeavour so far since he retired from MoMA, and the catalogue, published by Fundación Mapfre, can attest to the pertinence of this major survey of Brassaï, even after previous approaches carried out by John Szarkowski, Agnès de Gouvion-Saint-Cyr, Peter Pollack, Sylvie Aubenas, Quentin Bajac, Manuel Borja- Villel, Alain Sayag and Catherine Troiano, to name but a few...


Auction Result: MOMA: Bill Brandt

Online Auction

16 - 24 January 2018

‘MoMA: Bill Brandt’ is part of the next installment of online-only auctions of photographs from The Museum of Modern Art, New York, being sold to benefit the acquisition fund for the Museum’s Department of Photography. This auction brings together images by influential British photographer Bill Brandt (1904–1983) that span both his important reportages as well as his bold explorations of the female nude. Most of the prints in this grouping were made on the occasion of the landmark exhibition Bill Brandt presented by the Museum in 1969, signaling the first major exhibition in the United States dedicated to the artist’s work. This auction contains 43 photographs ranging from $2,000 to $10,000.