News from the World of Photography: July 2017


The First 100 Years of Photography

Europeana Photography

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

FOCUS PHOTO L.A. Prize Winners

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

The 20th Edition of PHotoESPAÑA

L'Oeil de la Photographie

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

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

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

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

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

World’s Largest and Most Controversial Portrait Competition Goes Digital

British Journal of Photography

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

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

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

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

Walden: Four Views | Abelardo Morell

Concord Museum
Concord, Massachusetts
10 February - 20 August 2017 

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

Ryan McGinley: The Kids Were Alright

MCA Denver
Denver, Colorado
11 February - 20 August 2017 

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

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

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

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

National Galleries Scotland
Edinburgh, Scotland
Until 1 October 2017

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

How the Polaroid Camera Seduced the Art World


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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Arles 2017: Fiona Rogers’ Top Five

British Journal of Photography

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

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

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

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

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

The New York Times

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

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

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

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

Oakland Museum of California
13 May - 27 August 2017

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

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

Wynn Bullock: Revelations

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

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

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

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

The New York Times

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

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

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