News from the World of Photography: September 2018


Henry Wessel, Whose Lens Captured Life in the West, Is Dead at 76

The New York Times

Henry Wessel Jr., a distinguished photographer of the American West who captured not so much its vast grandeur as its small moments of daily life — the roadside novelty, the trimmed shrubbery, the man in a business suit on an empty beach — died on Friday at his home in Point Richmond, Calif. He was 76.

The cause was pulmonary fibrosis, Calvert Barron, his partner of 38 years, said. Mr. Wessel had been undergoing treatment for lung cancer, she said.

Mr. Wessel, whose work resides alongside that of the most admired artists of his generation, worked in a classic documentary tradition for nearly 50 years, photographing the world as he happened upon it....

How Garry Winogrand Transformed Street Photography

The New Yorker
A new documentary, “All Things Are Photographable,” traces how the legendarily prolific photographer pulled his art form into modernity...

EyeEm Announces this Year’s 100 Award Finalists

British Journal of Photography

EyeEm have announced the 100 finalist photographers in this year’s award, which saw a staggering 700,000 entries

EyeEm is currently the world’s largest photography competition, and this year it welcomed a record 700,000 entries. The submissions came from more than 100,000 photographers, hailing from over 150 countries, who have now been whittled down to 100 finalists.

The daunting task of selecting the finalists from this number came down to a panel of industry experts that included Nik Schulte, Image Director of High Snobiety; Jose Cabaco, the Global Creative Concept & Storytelling Director at Adidas; Lucy Pike, Director of Photography at WeTransfer; and Sasha Dudkina, last year’s EyeEm Photographer of the Year, among others. Together, they selected the top 10 images from each of the nine categories, and the 10 shortlisted photographers for Photographer of the Year.

The Anxious Hopeful Faces of Young People in Shenzhen, China

The New Yorker

 In Chinese, the name of Shenzhen, the sprawling, coastal megatropolis famed for its affluence and factories, means “deep drains.” A generation ago, Shenzhen was an impoverished fishing village of thirty thousand and relied on these drains, which flowed from surrounding rivers and streams, to feed its paddy fields. Today, the city teems with twenty million inhabitants, a symbol of both miraculous transformation and the excesses of vertiginous development.

In October of last year, the photographer Christopher Anderson received an open commission from Shenzhen’s Daken Art Organization to document life in China. For three weeks, he walked streets that “seemed to have been built overnight,” snapping the photos that are collected in “Approximate Joy,” his book due out in September. (An exhibition at Danziger Gallery, in New York, opens September 13th.) Instead of panoramas of glittering skylines and cloud-piercing towers, though, Anderson chose to tell the story of Shenzhen through the study of faces. Many of his photos are tightly cropped, decontextualized portraits that feel at once unnervingly intimate and otherworldly...


On View: Exploring the "NeoRealismo" Life of Mid-Century Italy


New York is getting real this month. Or rather, it’s getting “NeoRealismo.”

Beginning on Sept. 6 and running through Dec. 8 at New York University’s Grey Art Gallery is “NeoRealismo: The New Image in Italy, 1932-1960,” the first major museum exhibition to spotlight key Italian photographers recording life during the era. The exhibition, curated by critic and journalist Enrica Viganò, pairs work from 60 Italian artists with the original publications in which their images circulated, from illustrated magazines and photography books to exhibition catalogs.

Also on view will be excerpts from important films from post-war neorealism directors Vittorio De Sica, Roberto Rossellini and Luchino Visconti, alongside related movie posters.

On Sept. 12 New York’s Howard Greenberg Gallery will open an exhibition featuring Italian photography from the era, while the Museum of Modern Art will begin featuring post-war Italian photography from its own collection.

The Social Consciousness of Sid Grossman, a Photographer of the People


There’s an iconic photograph of folk singer Woody Guthrie, his skin weathered with sun, cigarette at his lips, the line of his guitar strap on a clean diagonal, as if triangulating man, instrument, and negative space. It was shot by Sid Grossman, of New York’s radical Photo League, in 1948, the year the collective was blacklisted during the Red Scare and declared a subversive organization, both for its documentation of the city’s impoverished communities and its Communist affiliations. (Guthrie, for his part, was long associated with various communist groups — without becoming an official member himself.)

This photo is not part of Sid Grossman: Photography, Politics, and the Ethical Image, an exhibition dedicated to the photographer’s life and work from the late 1930s and mid-1940s, now on view at the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM).


In the best tradition of great artists, John Chiara creates art that makes the old and familiar seem fresh, new and alive with possibilities and wonder. For his latest series of one-of-a-kind mural-size photographs of New York City, he designed and hand-built a giant camera that barely fits in the bed of a large rental pickup truck. Always looking up toward the skyline, he scouts through the city for the right combination of iconic architecture, perfect light and shadows, and surprising bits of pleasing chaos in the foreground...

Four to Follow #10


Sharing stories from across the African continent by the talented members of the African Photojournalism Database (APJD).

In this ‘Four to Follow’, meet the CaiRollers, Egypt’s own roller derby team; ask what it means to ‘move on’ for survivors of terrorism and violent conflict in Nigeria; find out about the women working for ‘semolina and gas’ in esparto fields in Tunisia; and glimpse daily life on the streets of the Republic of Congo.

While the issues, regions
and approaches of this month’s stories are incredibly diverse, a passion for visual storytelling links the four APJD members — Eman Helal, Nourredine Ahmed, Etinosa Yvonne and Victoire Douniama. Each began a career in a different field before deciding to pursue photography full time...

Picturing Mexico through the Eyes of Lola Alvarez Bravo

Feature Shoot

Lola Álvarez Bravo (1903-1993) was a singular figure in twentieth-century art, a woman whose independence defined the spirit of the era. “I had a strange need for something and I didn’t know what it was. I was in intense rebellion against certain things that they thought I should do because I was a ‘little woman’ and a ‘young lady,’” Álvarez Bravo told Olivier Debroise for Sin título [Biography of Lola Álvarez Bravo] in 1979.

“They thought I would respond to a predetermined social plan. But I felt a strange rebelliousness. I wanted to be something. . . . It was an internal rebellion.”

That something propelled her to tremendous heights, with a career that spans more than half a century as an artist, curator, activist, and educator. As one of the few leading women artists in Mexico during the post-revolutionary renaissance, Álvarez Bravo would become an integral figure in a coterie that included Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and David Alfaro Siqueiros...

Walter Bosshard / Robert Capa – The Race for China

The Eye of Photography

Walter Bosshard (1892–1975) was the first Swiss photojournalist to become internationally famous as a result of his reportages. As early as 1930, his photo reportages had already reached an audience of millions. Starting in 1931, Bosshard concentrated on China. As a photographer and writer, he followed the devastating war with Japan and the power struggle between nationalists and communists but also dedicated himself to everyday life and street scenes. As well as the classics, this exhibition by the Fotostiftung Schweiz also presents many unknown photographs, which have only recently come to light. These are juxtaposed with China photos by the star reporter Robert Capa. Capa worked in the same places as his friend Walter Bosshard and competed with him for features in the magazine Life.

Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize Shortlist Announced

British Journal of Photography

Photographs of a woman holding her baby, two shoppers, a drum majorette, and a child from a remote village in Sierra Leone have all been shortlisted for the National Portrait Gallery’s prestigious Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize this year. The prize winners will be announced at an award ceremony at the NPG on 16 October, with the overall winner receiving £15,000 and other cash prizes awarded to the shortlisted photographers at the judges’ discretion.

Two of the images were shot in London, with Max Barstow behind a striking photograph of two women in a busy shopping street in the city centre (above). The image comes from his series Londoners and in it, he says, his aim has been to “make unposed portraits with the intensity of images made by great studio photographers such as Richard Avedon and Irving Penn”.

Written in Light: Early Photography

Moderna Museet
Stockholm, Sweden
26 May 2018 - 13 January 2019

The exhibition Written in Light – Early Photography explores Moderna Museet’s collection of photography from the second half of the 19th century. Here you can see works by a few of history’s most prominent and fascinating photographers: Julia Margaret Cameron, Nils Strindberg, Carleton E. Watkins and many more.

Photography means “written in light”. Ever since it was first invented, photography has continued to develop and is constantly finding new applications and purposes. With the breakthrough of digital images, and their omnipresence in social media, photography is once again in a period of change. This gives all the more reason to reflect on how the history of photography impacts on contemporary photographic culture.

Thanks to two significant acquisitions in the mid-1960s, the Helmut Gernsheim Duplicate Collection, and the Helmer Bäckström Photohistorical Collection, some of the most prominent and admired photographers in history are represented at Moderna Museet, including portrait photographer Julia Margaret Cameron, Hill & Adamson, and landscape photographer Carleton E. Watkins.

Other fascinating photographic portfolios in the Moderna Museet collection are Nils Strindberg’s documentation of Salomon August Andrée’s Arctic Balloon expedition in 1897. And the exhibition also shows the Danish artist Joachim Koester’s work Message from Andrée (2005), which borrows its visual material from Strindberg’s documentation of the expedition.

Portland Art Museum
Portland, Oregon
9 December 2017 - 21 October 2018

Long before co-founding Aperture magazine or establishing the groundbreaking photography program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, renowned modernist photographer Minor White (American, 1908-1976) moved to Portland, where he sowed the seeds of what would become a forceful artistic vision. This exhibition of White’s rarely exhibited early works celebrates the artist’s influence on the region, and honors the Museum’s dedication to acquiring and exhibiting photography as the institution enters its 125th year.

...The first phase of In the Beginning (on view December 9, 2017, through May 6, 2018) presents approximately 60 photographs of waterfront industrial buildings, Portland Civic Theatre portraits, night scenes, and images of Minor White teaching workshops in Oregon during the late 1950s and early 1960s. The second phase of the exhibition (on view May 12 through October 21, 2018) will feature downtown and Front Street scenes, photographs of Eastern Oregon, and images of two historic houses that White photographed for the Museum in 1942.

Philadelphia Museum of Art
Philadelphia, PA
26 June - 14 October 2018

Billie Holiday with her pit bull. Jacob Lawrence in his Coast Guard uniform. Georgia O’Keeffe with her Model A Ford. See how photographers helped craft the public personas of their creative subjects in this stunning collection of rare photographs from the Museum’s collection. The exhibition features works by Dorothy Norman, Man Ray, Richard Avedon, Alice O’Malley, and many others who captured some of the most fascinating artists and performers of the past 150 years.

LSU Museum of Art
Shaw Center for the Arts

Baton Rouge, LA
12 June - 14 October 2018 

Confluence by Jerry Uelsmann features sixty-five photographs from the artist’s recent series of work, produced from 2014 to 2017. 

While the aesthetics of these artworks align with Uelsmann’s esteemed and unique imagery, these black-and-white photographs evoke a new conversation, one inspired by an unlikely friendship with European art history scholar, Moa Petersen, Ph.D. Confluence demonstrates the natural flow of Uelsmann’s and Petersen’s intellectual friendship. Dealing with personal themes touching on the nature of love and loss, inner strength and self-love, this exhibition provides an intimate view of Uelsmann in his current chapter in life.

Uelsmann is renowned for his mastery of images that are visually fabricated silver prints. These photographs start with a camera, but are constructed in the darkroom. With his keen eye, he assembles these works with unrivaled dark room skills. Using multiple negatives and several enlargers, he creates single analog images through the dodging and burning of light and the masking of images from different negatives to make single works. Uelsmann takes pictures and makes new negatives as a catalog of images for future visual montages. No single negative made is to be printed alone; instead, each negative is like a sketch waiting to be realized in an entirely new work. His masterful works are precursors to the electronic manipulation now rendered by computers in photo-shopped images. 

Photography challenged the veracity of paintings in the 19th century and later was seen by American modernist “straight” photographers to reveal “truth” by artists like Ansel Adams and Edward Weston. In opposition to that stance, a post-modern Uelsmann manipulates images to seek surreal and poetic “truths.” Thematically his photographs explore nature and the human condition.