PAC•LA Newsletter: November 2016

Robert Capa: Layer Color


Circulo de Bellas Artes, Madrid 
20 October 2016 - 15 January 2017


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.

While he did use color for some early World War II stories, Capa's use of color film exploded in his postwar stories. These photographs brought the lives of ordinary and exotic people from around the world to American and European readers alike, and were markedly different from the war reportage that had dominated Capa’s early career. In the late 1940s, Capa traveled to the USSR, Budapest, and Israel to cover postwar life. Capa's technical ability coupled with his engagement with human emotion in his prewar black-and-white stories enabled him to move easily between black and white and color film.

Luther Gerlach’s One-of-a-kind Ambrotype of Royce Hall Greets Visitors in the Lobby of UCLA's Luskin Conference Center

UCLA Newsroom

Just before daybreak on a Sunday in April 2015, professional photographer Luther Gerlach left his Ventura home bound for UCLA. As he drove his portable studio down the 101 freeway, with his large, 1850s-style, mahogany camera in back, he thought about his assignment and the significance of the work he would do that day. 

His creation “Royce Hall” is an amalgam of art and science and a mix of classic and contemporary sensibilities, a perfect complement to a venue designed to draw together leading scholars and thought leaders to share different perspectives and interdisciplinary insight and produce exciting new ideas that will benefit society. It is among the largest images of its kind in the world and is thought to be the only one of its exact size...

100 Photographs: The Most Influential Images of all Time



Though photography is a much younger medium than painting—the first photo is widely considered to date from 1826—the astonishing technological advances since then mean that there are now far more pictures taken every day than there are canvases in all the world’s galleries and museums. In 2016 alone, hundreds of billions of images were made.

We began this project with what seemed like a straightforward idea: assemble a list of the 100 most influential photographs ever taken. How do you narrow a pool that large? You start by calling in the experts. We reached out to curators, historians and photo editors around the world for suggestions. Their thoughtful nominations whittled the field, and then we asked TIME reporters and editors to see if those held up to scrutiny. That meant conducting thousands of interviews with the photographers, picture subjects, their friends and family members and others, anywhere the rabbit holes led. It was an exhaustive process that unearthed some incredible stories that we are proud to tell for the first time, in both written stories and original documentary videos.


Rene Burri: Utopia

Casa dei Tre Oci, Venice 

26 August 2016 - 8 January 2017


Utopia by René Burri (Zurich 1933-2014) collects together for the first time over 100 images devoted to architecture by this great Swiss artist, with shots of famous buildings and portraits of architects. Burri’s photography was born from his need to recount the great transformational processes and the historical, political, and cultural changes of the twentieth century, paying close attention to certain people (his portraits of Che Guevara and Pablo Picasso are unforgettable) who were part of it.

Utopia is being held at the same time as the 2016 Venice Biennale of Architecture and reflects this, inasmuch as Burri conceived of architecture as a genuine political and social operation that conveys and imposes a vision of the world; this impelled him to travel throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America in the footsteps of the great twentieth century architects, from Le Corbusier to Oscar Niemeyer, Mario Botta, Renzo Piano, Tadao Ando, and Richard Meier. Apart from their portraits and their buildings, Utopia also displays images of historical events that are brimful of contrasts and hopes, such as the fall of the Berlin wall and the protests in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, in 1989.

Finalists Announced for $100,000 Prix Pictet Award 

Prix Pictet


The Prix Pictet aims to harness the power of photography – all genres of photography – to draw global attention to issues of sustainability, especially those concerning the environment.  Founded in 2008 by the Pictet Group, the Prix Pictet has become the world’s leading award for photography and sustainability. To date there have been six cycles of the award each of which has highlighted a particular facet of sustainability. The six themes are: WaterEarthGrowthPowerConsumption and Disorder.

Entry to the award is strictly by nomination. There are 300 nominators worldwide who have, over the course of the six cycles, nominated 3,500 artists for the award. Taken together the nominated works present a powerful testament to the fragile state of our planet.  The award plays to a global audience of over 400 million. Since 2008 the six cycles of the Prix Pictet have been shown in 63 exhibitions in 54 different cities including Tokyo, London, Hong Kong, New York, Rome, Moscow and Mexico City. The Prix Pictet Disorder exhibition is currently touring the world.

Behind the Mask: Scenes From Nicaragua’s Sandinista Revolution


The New York Times: LENS Blog

A photo of three men wearing traditional Nicaraguan folk masks and holding homemade contact bombs graced the cover of The New York Times Magazine on July 30, 1978. Alan Riding’s article, with photos by Susan Meiselas, chronicled the popular uprising against the dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza Debayle.It was among the earliest significant reports in a major American newspaper of the Sandinista movement that would topple Somoza, a Cold War ally of the United States. It was also the first magazine cover for Ms. Meiselas, then 30. She went on to spend much of the next 10 years covering conflicts and human rights issues in Central America, where tens of thousands of people — mostly civilians — died in civil wars between right-wing governments and leftist insurgents.

Elliott Erwitt: Home Around the World


Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin
15 August 2016-1 January 2017  

Elliott Erwitt (b. 1928) has created some of the most celebrated photographs of the past century. Erwitt's photographs have been published in countless international magazines and newspapers, and, more recently, in delightful books presenting his persistent interests and recurring subjects, such as museums and beaches, women and children, and, of course, dogs.Elliott Erwitt: Home Around the World presents more than 200 of these remarkable images, along with contact sheets, advertisements, books, and magazines, as well as a selection of videos representing Erwitt's work in motion pictures.

Examining the development of Erwitt's unique vision over 70 years, the exhibition presents examples of Erwitt's early experiments in Los Angeles, portraits of children in Europe, and explorations of New York City.

A Matter of Memory: Photography as Object in the Digital Age


George Eastman Museum, Rochester NY
22 October 2016 - 29 January 2017

With the convenience and ubiquity of computers and smartphones, the majority of photographic images are being recorded digitally rather than on film. As this transformation has broadened access to photographic images—both in making and in viewing—in many contexts it has also obviated the need for photographic prints. Snapshooters, photojournalists, and commercial photographers rarely produce material objects as the final step in their process. As a consequence, photographs in the form of image-bearing sheets of paper are scarce outside of the art world.

Because personal and collective memories are so inextricably intertwined with photographs—the result of the medium’s progressive saturation of everyday life for the past century and a half—this revolutionary change in the production and dissemination of photographic images is altering society’s relationship to memory.

In the midst of this change, many contemporary photographers are making work that addresses, either directly or obliquely, the potential consequences of the medium’s metamorphosis. Some artists dig deep into photographic materials as though searching for the locus of memory, while others incorporate found snapshots into their work as virtual talismans of recollection. Both kinds of work highlight the presence of the photographic object and function as self-conscious meditations on photography’s ongoing reorganization of our mental and physical landscape.

Swann October 25th Photographic Auction Results

Swann Auction Galleries


One Year On: The November 13 Paris Attacks

Magnum Photos                

During the evening of Friday, November 13, 2015, multiple attacks were launched simultaneously in Paris and at the State St Denis in the city’s northern suburb. 130 people were killed by attackers. Magnum photographers were in the city at the time, in town to attend Paris Photo photography fair. Magnum’s Patrick Zachmann was in a restaurant not far from the Bataclan, where 89 people lost their lives, when he heard sirens – “too many to be routine”. His first instinct was to follow them where he filmed the police outside the venue. In this short film, Zachmann and other Magnum photographers who were present, Peter van Agtmael, Thomas Dworzak, Paolo Pellegrin, Newsha Tavakolian, Mark Power, David Hurn, Bruno Barbey recount their personal experiences, and their professional responses as photojournalists.

Fox Talbot Museum Acquires James Fenton Collection

British Photographic History             

A collection of early photographic technology and images is being transferred from the British Film Institute to the Fox Talbot Museum at Lacock in Wiltshire, thanks to a £36,100 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and support from Art Council England’s Preservation of Industrial and Scientific Materials (PRISM) fund.

The collection comprises hundreds of cameras, optical devices and toys from the eighteenth century to the late 1980s as well as nearly 3,500 photographic images ranging from the earliest processes through to the first part of the twentieth century. It was assembled by James Fenton, a founder member of the RPS Historical Group who exhibited it as the Fenton Museum of Photography in the Isle of Man for many years  After it closed it was purchased by the Museum of the Moving Image, which closed in 1999. Since then, the collection has remained in storage, but with the support of the British Film Institute, Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England, it will now be brought back into the light at the Fox Talbot Museum at Lacock.

#GIRLGAZE: A Frame of Mind

Annenburg Space for Photography
22 October 2016 - 26 February 2017

#girlgaze: a frame of mind is an interactive, digitally driven exhibit for all ages that maps the imaginative landscape of young, female and trans-identifying photographers from around the world. Largely sourced through social media, the curated images’ raw vitality is their only constant –  female, WOC, and trans-identifying  perspectives are presented on everything from identity and standards of beauty to relationships, mental health and creativity. While viewing these stunning, never-before-exhibited images, visitors will have the opportunity to create and share their own photos on social media.

Rare 19th Century Photographs of Shanghai

BBC News         

Rare 19th century photographs of Shanghai by English photographer William Saunders go on show in London in first public exhibition devoted to his work.  Saunders travelled to China as an engineer in 1860 and following a brief return to Great Britain where he studied photography, he went back to establish one of the city's first photography studios.  For more than a quarter of a century it became Shanghai's most successful photographic studio.  Saunders is the first known photographer to produce hand-colored photographs of China.  His pictures offer an intimate view of the diverse inhabitants of Shanghai as China was on the cusp of the modern era.

Stories from the Camera

University of New Mexico Art Museum  
28 October 2016 - 11 March 2017  

Stories from the Camera, is an exhibition about pictures and the stories they have inspired. Drawn from the UNM Art Museum’s extensive photography collection these artworks were selected by distinguished former faculty and alumni and are featured in the recently published book, Stories form the Camera: Reflections on the Photograph, (UNM Press 2015). Through their own professional practice, the writers represent different generations of aesthetic voices and intellectual directions. Curated by Michele M. Penhall, this exhibition also provides an opportunity to see and consider firsthand one of the most significant university collections in the country.    

Art News: The Photographic Challenge Facing London's V&A

Pro Photo Daily         

Blame it on Brexit.

In September, Martin Roth announced that he would be quitting his job as director of London’s Victorian and Albert Museum, a move that some have attributed in part to this summer’s Brexit vote calling for the UK to leave the European Union.  Two factors seem to have factored into the German-born director’s decision, reported the Guardian: “One was the Brexit vote, which he was profoundly against. The other was the V&A winning the 2016 museum of the year, which meant he could leave on a high,” noted the newspaper.

During Roth’s tenure, the V&A built itself into a world center for photography. But his departure comes during a challenging time for the museum: Writing recently at the Art Newspaper, Francis Hodgson, a professor in the culture of photography at the University of Brighton, noted that even as the V&A’s photographic reputation grew, other British institutions dealing with photography “were either letting themselves down or being badly let down by others.”

Real American Places: Edward Weston and Leaves of Grass


The Huntington Museum and Gardens

22 October 2016 - 20 March 2017

A new exhibition opening this fall considers a rich dialogue between two iconic figures in American culture: the renowned photographer Edward Weston (1886–1958) and poet Walt Whitman (1819–1892). The 25 photographs included in the exhibition illuminate an understudied chapter of Weston’s career. In 1941, the Limited Editions Book Club approached Weston to collaborate on a deluxe edition of Whitman’s poetry collection, Leaves of Grass. The publisher’s ambitious plan was to capture “the real American faces and the real American places” that defined Whitman’s epic work. Weston eagerly accepted the assignment and set out with his wife, Charis Wilson, on a cross-country trip that yielded a group of images that mark the culmination of an extraordinarily creative period in his career. While Weston believed the photographs to be some of his best (he donated 90 pictures from the series to The Huntington in 1944, along with hundreds of other images), the resulting Limited Editions publication proved a failure on many fronts. As a result, the photographs from the Leaves of Grass project have been relegated to footnote status in Weston’s oeuvre. “Real American Places” seeks to give this unjustly overlooked body of work its due. In addition to selections from the series, the exhibition will include a number of original Whitman items from the Library’s holdings, allowing visitors to explore the creative response of one giant of American culture in conversation with another.

Louis Stettner, Who Photographed the Everyday New York and Paris, Dies at 93

The New York Times 

Louis Stettner, a photographer who explored the streets of the two cities he called his “spiritual mothers,” New York and Paris, recording the daily lives of ordinary people, died on Thursday at his home in Saint-Ouen, France. He was 93.  His death was announced by the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.  Mr. Stettner, a New Yorker, was a product of the Photo League and its emphasis on socially conscious, documentary work, exemplified by members and supporters like Weegee, Berenice Abbott and Robert Frank.
“I have never been interested in photographs based solely on aesthetics, divorced from reality,” he wrote in his photo collection “Wisdom Cries Out in the Streets,” published in 1999. “I also doubt very much whether this is possible.”