News from the World of Photography: October 2018

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Japan Modern: Photography from the
Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck Collection


Freer|Sackler Galleries of Asian Art
The Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC
29 September 2018 – 24 January 2019

 

Celebrating the Freer|Sackler’s recent acquisition of a major Japanese photography collection, this exhibition features a selection of works by groundbreaking twentieth-century photographers. Whether capturing evocative landscapes or the gritty realities of postwar Japan, this presentation focuses on Japanese artists’ search for a sense of place in a rapidly changing country. The images highlight destinations both rural and urban, in styles ranging from powerful social documentary to intensely personal. A selection of photobooks and experimental films adds to this multifaceted exploration.

How Gordon Parks Became Gordon Parks


The New York Times LENS Blog
 
At the beginning of the 1940s, Gordon Parks was a self-taught fashion and portrait photographer documenting daily life in both St. Paul and Chicago. By the end of the decade he was photographing for Life magazine. While his career has been examined closely, both in his own words and by others, this formative decade has attracted less attention than his experiences as the first black staff photographer at Life, and later as a groundbreaking Hollywood filmmaker.

A new book, “Gordon Parks: The New Tide, Early Work 1940-1950,” published by the National Gallery of Art, The Gordon Parks Foundation and Steidl, examines this transformation...

This is Cas | Vintage photography by Cas Oorthuys


Nederlands Fotomuseum
Rotterdam, Netherlands
15 September 2018 - 13 January 2019

 

Cas Oorthuys (1908-1975) spent his entire life, practically without interruption, taking pictures - and lots of them. He never left home without a camera - usually with two or three and sometimes more of them around his neck. By the time he died, he had accumulated an archive of almost half a million photographs. Like the 17th-century landscape painters who determined the look of the Netherlands for centuries afterward, Cas Oorthuys did this with photography: with wind, water, imposing cloud formations, and an open uncluttered landscape.

Cas Oorthuys did not shy away from anything. Risking his own life, he continued secretly taking pictures during the Second World War. His portrait of a starving woman with a piece of bread became an icon of the Dutch famine winter of 1944/1945. Afterward, his camera recorded Dutch post-war reconstruction in which he so perfectly captured the atmosphere of optimism and hard work. Light, air, and space returned to the Netherlands as reflected in his photography. He also spent this period traveling all over the world. For many people in the Netherlands, his photographs were their first introduction to cities in other countries.

Dorothea Lange: Politics of Seeing

Jeu de Paume
Concorde, Paris
16 October 2018 - 27 January 2019


 The Politics of Seeing features major works by the world-famous American photographer Dorothea Lange (1895, Hoboken, New Jersey–1966, San Francisco, California), some of which have never before been exhibited in France. The exhibition focuses on the extraordinary emotional power of Dorothea Lange’s work and on the context of her documentary practice. It features five specific series: the Depression period (1933-1934), a selection of works from the Farm Security Administration (1935-1939), the Japanese American internment (1942), the Richmond shipyards (1942-1944) and a series on a Public defender (1955-1957). Over one hundred splendid vintage prints taken between 1933 and 1957 are enhanced by the presence of documents and screenings broadening the scope of an œuvre often familiar to the public through images such as White Angel Breadline (1933) and Migrant Mother (1936), which are icons of photographic history. The majority of prints in this exhibition belong to the Oakland Museum of California, where Lange’s considerable archive, donated to the museum after her death by her husband Paul Shuster Taylor, is conserved.
 

Belgian Photographer Bieke Depoorter Receives the 2019 Larry Sultan Award


Pier 24 Photography

In a collaborative partnership with four major Bay Area arts organizations, Bieke Depoorter has been selected to receive the prestigious 2018 Larry Sultan Photography Award. The award, granted through a partnership of California College of the Arts, Headlands Center for the Arts, Pier 24 Photography, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, consists of a $10,000 cash award and an artist residency at Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito, CA. As the 2018 awardee, Depoorter will engage with the Bay Area photography community by working with students at the California College of the Arts this fall and giving a free, public lecture on November 8, 2018.

Photographer Bieke Depoorter (b. 1986, Belgium) travels the world to find her subjects, creating extraordinarily intimate photographs that straddle portraiture, documentary, and fiction. The relationships she creates with those she photographs are the key to her work. As Depoorter describes it, “The relationships I establish with my subjects are the foundation of my artistic practice…The resulting stories are always partially mine, partially theirs.”

Ara Guler, Poetic Photographer of Istanbul, Dies at 90


The New York Times

Ara Guler, a Turkish photographer who was best known for capturing poignant and nostalgic images of a bygone Istanbul but who also portrayed famous figures and everyday life in far-flung lands, died on Wednesday in the city he so lovingly chronicled. He was 90.

His death was announced by Magnum Photos, his agency, in a statement on its website.

Mr. Guler’s pictures reflected the shadows and sparkle of Istanbul, a city he once described in an interview as a sort of “Madwoman of Chaillot” who had grown old but never neglectful of how she looked: Touch her, he said, “and a jewel will appear.”...


British Journal of Photography

Eugene Richard’s first New York retrospective chronicles 50 years of the respected photographer’s work, covering the crumbling effects of poverty, racism, drug addiction, and death in rural America.

“You’re always looking for that time where everybody forgets you’re there and becomes themselves. Surprisingly they do, sometimes to the detriment of what you knew about them,” says Eugene Richards, who has devoted his career to documenting social injustice in America, and to injecting himself into intensely personal situations.

Richards’ style is up-close and unflinching, “ironically it’s the process of becoming as not there as you possibly can, if you hang around long enough people don’t care”. Though his photography has been described as poetic and lyrical, he has never thought of himself as an artist. “I went in with some knowledge of photography, but mostly with the idea of providing information,” he says...

Eugene Richards: The Run-on of Time


International Center of Photography
ICP Museum, New York, NY
27 September 2018 - 6 January 2019 


One of the most respected photographers of his generation, Eugene Richards has devoted his career to exploring profound aspects of human experience. Birth, death, family, and the grinding effects of poverty and prejudice, as well as the mental and physical health of individuals and communities, are recurring themes of his work. This exhibition—organized thematically, rather than by project—reveals Richards’s enduring concern with these subjects over the course of his nearly fifty-year career.

Richards’s style is unflinching yet poetic, and his photographs are deeply rooted in the texture of lived experience. Through photographs, writings, and moving-image works, Richards confronts difficult subjects with an impassioned honesty that can be challenging, lyrical, beautiful, and melancholy.

His work is informed by the subjective approach of Robert Frank and the social commitment of W. Eugene Smith. It is distinct from these precedents, however, in that it is more intimate and does not disguise its emotional investment. Richards is, in his own words, “very conscious of what it means to go into someone’s house and take very private moments away in pictures. The responsibility of the photographer is to respect people while—and this is most important—utilizing all your skills to reveal something true about their lives and their humanity.” This way of working results in photographs that can be seen as  more honest and more realistic than traditional documentary imagery.

Ultimately, Richards illuminates aspects of American society that are more easily, or more comfortably, ignored. Yet the tender inflection of his strong, unique voice makes encountering his work an unforgettable and rewarding experience.

Blue Prints: The Pioneering Photographs of Anna Atkins


New York Public Library
New York, NY
Until 17 February 2019


Anna Atkins (1799–1871) came of age in Victorian England, a fertile environment for learning and discovery. Guided by her father, a prominent scientist, Atkins was inspired to take up photography, and in 1843 began making cyanotypes—a photographic process invented just the year before—in an effort to visualize and distribute information about her collection of seaweeds. With great daring, creativity, and technical skill, she produced Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions, the first book to be illustrated with photographs, and the first substantial application of photography to science. Ethereal, deeply hued, and astonishingly detailed, the resulting images led her and her friend Anne Dixon to expand their visual inquiry to flowering plants, feathers, and other subjects. This exhibition draws upon more than a decade of careful research and sets Atkins and her much-admired work in context, shedding new light on her productions and showcasing the distinctive beauty of the cyanotype process, which is still used by artists today.

Madame d'Ora, Pioneering Photographer of 20th Century Greats


Pro Photo Daily

Gustave Klimt wanted her to photograph him. So did Pablo Picasso and Marc Chagall. Josephine Baker and Maurice Chevalier turned to her, as did Emperor Charles I of Austria and Coco Chanel.

Dora Kallmus – known professionally as Madame d’Ora – was Austria’s first female photographer, and her client list was a who’s who of preeminent 20th-century artists and intellectuals, along with glittering names of Viennese society and Parisian fashion.

Kallmus, who died in 1963 in Vienna, left a body of work that, noted the AnOther blog recently, was a “varied and joyful testament to a life stretching across the 20th century’s seminal events; one lived beyond the strictures of society and alongside many of its most interesting characters.”

That work is now being celebrated in the exhibition “Make Me Look Beautiful, Madame d’Ora,” which runs through October 29 at the Leopold Museum in Vienna.

Larry Fink: The Boxing Photographs


Philadelphia Museum of Art
Philadelphia, PA
11 August 2018 - 1 January 2019

Larry Fink’s powerful, unsentimental photographs reveal the heart of close-knit communities. Here, he takes us inside what he calls “the deep fraternity” of the boxing gym, its intimacy and its grit, captured in more than seventy-five luminous gelatin-silver prints. Featured in the series are Philadelphia’s own Blue Horizon—one of the great American boxing arenas—and the local fighters who’ve had their dreams realized, or dashed, within its hallowed walls.

The Many Hats of Ralph Arnold: Art, Identity & Politics


Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP)
Columbia College, Chicago, IL
11 October - 21 December 2018 

 

During the tumultuous 1960s and 70s, the prolific artist Ralph Arnold made photocollages that appropriated and commented upon mass media portrayals of gender, sexuality, race and politics. Arnold’s complex visual arrangements of photography, painting and text were built upon his own multilayered identity as a black, gay veteran and prominent member of Chicago’s art community, hence the title for the exhibition, which is drawn from one of the artist’s more personal pieces. Arnold participated in some of the era’s most provocative exhibitions yet by the mid-1980s he increasingly focused on his teaching and service to the art community. This exhibition brings together Arnold’s most significant contributions to the art of collage, including a recently rediscovered triptych made for the 1968 MCA Chicago exhibition, Violence in Recent American Art. It also includes work by contemporaries and colleagues like Robert Rauschenberg, Ed Paschke, and Barbara Jones-Hogu to add further context and enrich our understanding of Arnold’s legacy.


Crocker Art Museum
Sacramento, CA
16 September 2018 - 6 January 2019


Duane Michals: The Portraitist presents the first comprehensive overview of inventive portraits by this influential photographer who, in the 1960s, broke away from established traditions of documentary and fine-art photography and is still creating original work today. Michals is widely recognized for his eye-catching portraits of actors, artists, musicians, writers, and other public figures. Striving to articulate his own distinct style and vision while distinguishing each subject’s individual personality, the artist empowers his sitters to express themselves in their own environments and through improvisation. He is perhaps best known for the sequences he assembles to convey personal visual narratives, often with handwritten messages and poems added to the photographic print surface. The exhibition spans nearly six decades, featuring more than 125 portraits collectively highlighting the artist’s expansive toolkit — sequenced images, multiple exposures, reflections, uncommon vantage points, collage, hand-painting, and other techniques.

Telfair Museums
Savannah, GA
17 August 2018 - 13 January 2019 


The Language of Vision: Early Twentieth-Century Photography thematically links four photographers from Telfair Museums’ permanent collection who made significant advances in the medium of photography before 1945: Ralph Steiner (American, 1899–1986), Manuel Álvarez Bravo (Mexican, 1902–2002), Walker Evans (American, 1903–1975), and Helen Levitt (American, 1913–2009).

At the turn of the 20th century, most photography was overly-romanticized, staged, or fulfilled a strictly documentary function. Connected historically and socially, the four artists in this exhibition instead employed straight photography, engaging with the camera’s technical capacity to capture what was in front of them without heavy manipulation in the darkroom.

As cameras became more portable during their lifetimes, these photographers literally took to the streets to document modern life on film. While objectively depicting the people and places of their day, they also created images born of their own artistic insight, distinguished by subject matter, cropping, vantage point, lighting, and the types of cameras they used.

Although these artists photographed during much of the 20th century, their work from the 1920s through ’40s elevated the status of photography as a whole. All four demonstrated that while mechanically made, their photographs reflected the subtle expressiveness of the individual, a pivotal development in the genre of photography as a distinct visual art form.

Their ability to capture the contemporary moment created timeless images that still reveal insights about the human condition today.

The Eye of Photography

The people in these photographs are from some of the 34 indigenous communities in the remotest parts of the world that Jimmy Nelson worked to make his second book about the strength and beauty of these cultures, Jimmy Nelson: Homage to Humanity.

The exhibition of the same name opens today (Wednesday, 19 Sept) at Atlas Gallery, in London W1. In both the exhibition and the book, the British-born photographer pays tribute to the thirty-four communities he encountered while traveling across five continents, from the Sharchop in the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan to the Mundari in South Sudan.

His first book about indigenous peoples, Before They Pass Away (2013), was a bestseller and helped spark a global debate. Jimmy Nelson: Homage to Humanity, extends both the artist’s practice but also pushes the limits of technology, as he introduces readers to his subjects, through interviews, background material and then, via a mobile app triggered by the photographs in the book, behind-the-scenes 360 films shot on location...

Arch Daily

The shortlist for the 2018 Architectural Photography Awards have been revealed, bringing together 20 atmospheric images of the built environment. Categories this year ranged from a “portfolio of an individual building to a single abstract: with a professional camera or on a mobile phone.”

The 2018 edition saw a record number of entries, with photographs from 47 countries, including the UK (28%), USA (20%), Germany (6%), and China (5%). The 20 photographs were selected from four categories: exteriors, interiors, sense of place, and buildings in use.

The images will be exhibited at the World Architecture Festival in Amsterdam from 28th-30th November, where visitors can cast their vote for the winner, to be announced at the WAF Gala Dinner.

Public voting for the Mobile category is open until Friday 30th November. The awards are supported by the World Architecture Festival and PICSEL, and sponsored by Sto and Dornbracht.

The Boston Globe

The Museum of Fine Arts announced Thursday a major addition to its photographic holdings: the Howard Greenberg Collection. Greenberg is a longtime New York gallery owner. The acquisition, which was purchased for an undisclosed sum, comprises 447 photographs from 191 artists. Among them are 80 previously unrepresented at the MFA, including Jacob Riis, Frances Benjamin Johnston, and Inge Morath. Overall, the photographers are a who’s who of the medium: André Kertész, Walker Evans, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Lewis Hine, Dorothea Lange, Robert Frank, and Diane Arbus, among them.

“This acquistion is going to be truly transformational for us,” Anne Havinga said in a telephone interview. Havinga is the museum’s Estrellita and Yousuf Karsh chair, department of photography. “There are so many important photographs in this collection — and really extraordinary prints of the photographs.”

The MFA has some 15,000 photographs in its holdings, so the new acquisition increases that number by nearly 3 percent. An exhibition drawn from the Greenberg Collection is scheduled to open at the MFA in August. MARK FEENEY


New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA)
New Orleans, LA
7 September 2018 - 6 January 2019


NOMA celebrates its century-long relationship to photography with Past Present Future: Building Photography at the New Orleans Museum of Art. This three-part presentation will include first, a partial recreation of a groundbreaking 1918 show at the Delgado Museum of Art (later renamed the New Orleans Museum of Arrt), presenting vintage prints of photographs that were included in the original exhibition. The second component of the exhibition presents an impressive group of works acquired within the past seven years that demonstrate the museum’s commitment to expanding its representation of diverse cultural perspectives from around the globe. The final section will consist of works that have been promised to the institution, signaling how the collection will continue to grow into the future. Past Present Future, along with the recent release of a new book about the collection, Looking Again: Photography at the New Orleans Museum of Art, mark this important moment in the institution’s long relationship with photography, looking at its past with an eye towards its future.

The Wittliff Collections
Texas State University, San Marcos, TX
August 27 - December 18, 2018


Dubbed a “poet of the ordinary” by the Los Angeles Times, Keith Carter came of age during the turbulent sixties and seventies. From his experiences, he has developed a singular, haunting style that captures both the grit and the glory of the human spirit. Showcasing a broad array of his work, Keith Carter: Fifty Years spans delicate, century-old processes as well as digital-age techniques yielding an enduring vision of the world around us. These photographs use contrasts of natural light and darkness to explore the mythos of time and terrain, the familiar, the magical, and the varied creatures that inhabit our earth. The human form—depleted or energized, solitary or with a beloved partner— becomes a meditation on aging and loss, which have affected Carter profoundly in recent years. Yet these losses have spurred in him a sense of discovery, not despair.

Carter is an internationally recognized artist and educator who holds the endowed Walles Chair of Art at Lamar University. He has received the Texas Medal of Arts, the Lange-Taylor Prize from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, and the Regent’s Professor Award from the Texas State University System. His photography has been shown in more than 100 solo exhibitions in thirteen countries.

This exhibition, featuring well over 100 images taken from every phase of Carter’s career, was organized by The Wittliff Collections, which hold the major archive of Keith Carter’s photography.

Nevada Museum of Art
Reno, NV
September 29, 2018 - January 27, 2019 


This major retrospective exhibition rediscovers and celebrates the work of Anne Brigman (1869-1950), who is best known for her iconic landscape photographs made in the early 1900s depicting herself and other female nudes outdoors in the Sierra Nevada. Brigman’s photography was considered radical for its time. To objectify her own nude body as the subject of her photographs at the turn of the twentieth century was groundbreaking; to do so outdoors in a near-desolate wilderness setting was revolutionary. Although the term feminist art was not coined until nearly seventy years after Brigman made her first photographs, the suggestion that her camera gave her the power to redefine her place as a woman in society establishes her as an important forerunner in the field.

Brigman’s significance spanned both coasts: in Northern California, where she lived, she was known as a poet, a critic, a proponent of the Arts & Crafts philosophy, and a member of the Pictorialist photography movement. On the East Coast, her work was promoted by Alfred Stieglitz, who elected her as a fellow of the prestigious Photo-Secession. From 1903 to 1944 Anne Brigman maintained ongoing correspondence with Alfred Stieglitz, exchanging nearly 100 letters during this time. Brigman is also noted for her honest art criticism and opinioned voice on cultural and fine art topics, and as a published poet.

Museum Ludwig
Cologne, Germany
Au­gust 31, 2018 – Jan­uary 6, 2019


Diane Ar­bus, Boris Beck­er, Karl Bloss­feldt, Walk­er Evans, Lee Fried­lan­der, Can­di­da Höfer, Gabriele and Hel­mut Noth­helfer, Ta­ta Ronkholz, Al­bert Renger-Patzsch, Au­gust San­der, Hu­go and Karl Hu­go Sch­mölz, Gar­ry Wino­grand, Pi­et Zwart—across gen­er­a­tions, all th­ese pho­to­g­ra­phers cont­in­u­al­ly fol­lowed themes over de­cades in their work. In the case of San­der, th­ese se­ries formed an at­las of Peo­ple of the Twen­ti­eth Cen­tu­ry, while Höfer has cre­at­ed an archive of public spaces and their codes of rep­re­sen­ta­tion, and Bloss­feldt ca­t­a­logued the for­mal va­ri­e­ty of fau­na and flo­ra. “S­traight pho­tog­ra­phy” brought to­gether the vary­ing re­cep­tion of pho­tog­ra­phy as artis­tic and doc­u­men­tary in a par­tic­u­lar way.

This sur­vey ex­hi­bi­tion pre­sents the mu­tu­al in­flu­ence be­tween Ger­man and Amer­i­can po­si­tions in the dense cul­tu­r­al land­s­cape of the Rhine­land from the 1960s to the 1990s. This is where the first pho­tog­ra­phy gal­leries were lo­cat­ed in the 1970s, which were en­thu­si­as­tic sup­port­ers of Au­gust San­der, Flo­rence Hen­ri, Pi­et Zwart, and Karl Bloss­feldt, as well as Amer­i­can pho­to­g­ra­phers in the 1960s such as Walk­er Evans, Diane Ar­bus, Lee Fried­lan­der, and Gar­ry Wino­grand, and pop­u­larized them by cont­in­u­al­ly en­gag­ing with the public. At the same time, Bernd and Hil­la Bech­er were high­ly in­flu­en­tial through their teach­ing at the Kun­s­takademie Düs­sel­dorf. And, not least, im­por­tant so­lo and group ex­hi­bi­tions had a last­ing im­pact on the re­cep­tion. In the 1950s, L. Fritz Gru­ber showed Au­gust San­der in the Pho­tok­i­na pho­tog­ra­phy shows. In 1976 the Kun­sthalle Düs­sel­dorf ex­hibit­ed pho­to­graphs by Walk­er Evans, and around the same time Klaus Hon­nef cu­rat­ed im­por­tant group ex­hi­bi­tions of doc­u­men­tary pho­tog­ra­phy at the Rheinisch­es Lan­des­mu­se­um in Bonn.