News from the World of Photography: May 2018

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Robert Adams: Our Lives and Our Children


Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson
Paris, France
16 May - 29 July 2018

Robert Adams (born in 1937) is known for his photographic oeuvre on the changing landscape of the American West and his environmental conscience. This is the first exhibition in Paris to show the entire Our Lives and Our Children series, one of the photographer’s most striking visual essays on environmental destruction. One day, in the 1970s, the photographer noticed a column of smoke rising above the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant near Denver, Colorado and decided to document the potential destruction of a nuclear disaster.

Armed with a Hasselblad, hidden behind a shopping bag, he paced the town and its suburbs, parking lots and shopping malls, photographing people shaped by the consumer society and living their lives under this threat. He was particularly interested in the visible ties between people in the grip of a potential danger, known but invisible. Hidden beneath the apparent tranquillity of these women, men and children, there’s a taut line between the chance that seems to bring them together and the almost imperceptible danger of a nuclear disaster which Robert Adams believes is inevitable.

The Secret Photographer Who Captured Four Decades of Life in St. Petersburg


Hyperallergic

Late last year, 17 years after Masha Ivashintsova’s death, her relatives found a treasure trove of negatives and undeveloped film while cleaning out the family attic in St. Petersburg, Russia. But unlike most long-lost family photos, the 30,000 images show a unique aesthetic, one that Ivashintsova hid from her loved ones, inviting comparisons to Chicago street photographer Vivian Maier...

A Puzzle With No Solution: Roger Ballen’s Quest for Meaning Through Photography


The New York Times

Roger Ballen grew up immersed in the photography world. His mother, Adrienne, was an editor at Magnum, and the walls of his childhood home in Rye, N.Y., were filled with her colleagues’ images. “By the time I went out to photograph seriously, which was around the age of eighteen, I had a clear idea of the level I was aiming at,” Mr. Ballen, 68, writes in “Ballenesque, Roger Ballen: A Retrospective,” the first retrospective book of his career, which Thames & Hudson published in October.

While Mr. Ballen, an internationally renowned artist with nearly a dozen books to his name, has photographed virtually his entire life, he didn’t start thinking of himself as an artist until his late 40s. He stopped working as a geologist only in his 50s. He directed his first viral music video in his 60s...

GETTY MUSEUM APPOINTS JAMES A. GANZ TO SENIOR CURATOR OF PHOTOGRAPHS

The Getty Museum

 The Getty Museum has announced the appointment of James A. Ganz to Senior Curator of Photographs. Ganz will oversee the museum’s renowned collection of nearly 150,000 photographs, which represent the history of the medium from its inception to the present day. He joins the Getty after ten years at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, where he served as Curator of the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts.

“Mr. Ganz’s experience is a perfect fit with the mission and scholarly focus of the Getty’s Department of Photographs. His many years of curating exhibitions and acquiring significant works will greatly enrich our collection and the work of our curatorial staff,” says Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “He brings an energy, enthusiasm, and leadership that will help the department engage with an even broader audience and tell new and thoughtful stories about the history of photography up to the present day.”

“I have long admired the Getty’s commitment to photography, from the depth and breadth of its collections to its spacious galleries and ambitious exhibition and publication programs,” says Ganz. “I look forward to working with my new colleagues on developing and interpreting the museum’s photographic holdings for its diverse audiences, and exploring innovative ways to embrace the public’s special fascination with this dynamic art form.”


Ganz received his Ph.D. in art history from Yale University, his M.A. from Williams College, and his B.A. from Trinity College. His specializations include 19th-century European and American photography, as well as California-based photographers, including Carleton Watkins, Eadweard Muybridge, Willard Worden, Peter Stackpole, and Arnold Genthe. Prior to his time at the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, Ganz was a curator for over ten years at the Sterling & Francine Clark Art Institute in Massachusetts, where he established the collection of photographs. While at the Clark, he taught the history of photography and of prints in the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art. 

Ganz will join the Getty in July 2018. 

Being: New Photography 2018


Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)
New York, NY
Until 19 August 2018


Every two years, MoMA’s celebrated New Photography exhibition series presents urgent and compelling ideas in recent photography and photo-based art. This year’s edition, Being, asks how photography can capture what it means to be human.

At a time when questions about the rights, responsibilities, and dangers inherent in being represented—and in representing others—are being debated around the world, the works featured in Being call attention to assumptions about how individuals are depicted and perceived. Many challenge the conventions of photographic portraiture, or use tactics such as masking, cropping, or fragmenting to disorient the viewer. In others, snapshots or found images are taken from their original context and placed in a new one to reveal hidden stories. While some of the works might be considered straightforward representations of individuals, others do not include images of the human body at all. Together, they explore how personhood is expressed today, and offer timely perspectives on issues of privacy and exposure; the formation of communities; and gender, heritage, and psychology.

Exploring new ground and the many forms that the photographic image can take, New Photography is a key part of the Museum’s contemporary program. Since 1985, the series has introduced new work by over 100 artists from around the world. In 2018, Being brings together an international group of 17 artists at various stages in their careers, all presenting their work at the Museum for the first time.

Lee Friedlander in Louisiana


New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA)
New Orleans, LA
27 April - 12 August 2018

One of the most famous living American photographers, Lee Friedlander has been visiting Louisiana since 1957 to document New Orleans jazz and to make artful street photographs. Lee Friedlander in Louisiana is the first major exhibition in any institution to examine the full scope and influence of Friedlander’s work in the region on the history of photography.


San Francisco Camerawork (SFC)
San Francisco, CA
3 May - 30 June 2018

SF Camerawork is proud to present Focal Points, an exhibition of the inaugural CatchLight Fellowship and Everyday Bay Area photography project, produced by CatchLight in partnership with United Photo Industries. CatchLight is a San Francisco Bay Area-based non-profit that annually recognizes three exceptional photographers who bring awareness to challenging social issues.

Featuring work from the 2017 CatchLight fellows, Tomas Van Houtryve, Sarah Blesener, and Brian L. Frank who were each paired with a media partner—the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting, The Center for Investigative Reporting, and the Marshall Project, respectively, along with local artists from the Everyday Bay Area Collective, this traveling exhibition explores how visual storytelling has the power to drive social change. 

The Big Picture: A Transformative Gift from the Hall Family Foundation


Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Kansas City, MO
28 April - 7 October 2018


In late 2015 the Hall Family Foundation, in continuing its long support of the photography program at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, made a special $10 million grant to broaden and deepen this collection. The Big Picture: A Transformative Gift from the Hall Family Foundation features a selection of the more than 800 photographs acquired thanks to this generous gift.

This gift allowed the curators to build on the photography collection’s existing strengths—primarily its broad holding of American daguerreotypes and prints—and to enhance its representation of 19th-and 20th-century European and contemporary international works. These new pieces span the entire history of the medium, from an 1826 print by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, the inventor of photography, to a 2016 work by legendary musician and artist Patti Smith.

Mariana Yampolsky: Photographs from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

Vincent Price Art Museum
Monterey Park, CA
20 March - 8 December 2018


In conjunction with On-Site: Neighborhood Partnerships with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, LACMA presents an exhibition at the Vincent Price Art Museum featuring a recent donation of works by Mexican photographer Mariana Yampolsky.

Mexican photographer Mariana Yampolsky (1925–2002) captured the beauty and desolation of Mexico and its history. American born, she moved to Mexico at the age of 19 and built an artistic practice honoring the cultural, natural, and architectural elements that fed her spiritually and inspired her to become a Mexican citizen. Combining a straightforward photo-documentary style with a poetic approach, Yampolsky has described her gaze as matching her imagery—precise and delicate, never overtly strident and always respectful.

On-Site: Neighborhood Partnerships with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is a community engagement initiative that creates ways to make LACMA’s programs and collection accessible to the communities of Los Angeles County with the goal of broadening participation in cultural experiences. The exhibition and LACMA’s partnership with the Vincent Price Art Museum and East Los Angeles College are important components of the On-Site program.

Shape of Light: 100 Years of Photography and Abstract Art


Tate Modern
London, UK
Until 14 October 2018

Shape of Light is the first major exhibition to explore the relationship between the two, spanning the century from the 1910s to the present day. It brings to life the innovation and originality of photographers over this period, and shows how they responded and contributed to the development of abstraction. 
 
Key photographs are brought together from pioneers including Man Ray and Alfred Stieglitz, major contemporary artists such as Barbara Kasten and Thomas Ruff, right up to exciting new work by Antony Cairns, Maya Rochat and Daisuke Yokota, made especially for the exhibition.

State of the Art: Christopher Burkett's Race To Finish Decades of Work


ProPhotoDaily

The Oregon-based photographer is best known for producing large-format film prints of American landscapes. Over the past four decades, Burkett and his wife Ruth have lugged cumbersome photo gear across all 50 states to capture scenes ranging from blueberry fields in Maine to sunsets in his home state.

“It is awkward. It’s heavy. It’s a struggle with depth of field, a struggle with wind motion. But if you get an image you really have something really in-depth to work with,” Burkett told the PBS Newshour.

He added, “If you are really trying to work with photography you find out real rapidly that seeing things and photographing them can be quite different. And in fact, you have an image that is from that viewpoint of the camera is actually higher resolution than you normally experience the world from that viewpoint on that angle. So you have essentially a certain element of — I can’t really call a super realism because it’s real but it’s more real than what we normally see.”...

A Rare Collection of 19th-Century Photographs of Native Americans Goes Online


Hyperallergic

Between 1879 and 1902, a man named John N. Choate served as official photographer for the Carlisle Indian School, a federally-funded boarding school in Pennsylvania established to assimilate Native American children into Euro-American culture. Enrollment of indigenous youth was essentially a way to “civilize” them; the pithy motto of its founder, General Richard Henry Pratt, was “Kill the Indian, and save the man.” Choate, who was non-Native, often documented how students changed over as they received new haircuts and attire and shed aspects of their own culture.

Some of his records of this thorny past are among a collection of 19th-century photographs of North American Indians recently digitized and uploaded by the American Antiquarian Society as a scholarly finding aid...


IMDB

Set during the final days of the admired photo development system known as Kodachrome, a father and son hit the road in order to reach the Kansas photo lab before it closes its doors for good...

Willy Ronis, the heart and the eyes of Paris


The Eye of Photography

A key figure in the history of French photography, Willy Ronis is among the giants of so-called “humanist” photography devoted to capturing, with a brotherly eye, the essence of everyday life. In 1985, Willy Ronis began to scour his photography archive to select what he considered to be the essence of his work. He put together six albums, which thus constitute his “photographic testament.”

These albums are being shown to the public for the first time and make up the matrix of the exhibition which can be seen and heard from April 27 to September 29, 2018 at the Pavillon Carré de Baudouin, a venue located in the heart of the artistic Ménilmontant district and celebrating its tenth anniversary this year...


British Photo History

The world’s first photographic experiments, pictures by 20th-century greats Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Steichen, recent acquisitions by Linda McCartney gifted by Paul McCartney and his family, and newly commissioned works by Thomas Ruff, will go on display this autumn as part of the V&A’s new Photography Centre.

Opening on 12 October, the first phase of the Photography Centre, designed by David Kohn Architects, will more than double the space dedicated to photography at the V&A. The inaugural display will trace a history of photography from the 19th century to the present day through the theme of collectors and
collecting. Drawn from the V&A’s significantly expanded holdings, following the transfer of the Royal Photographic Society (RPS) collection, the display will show seminal prints and negatives by pioneers William Henry Fox Talbot, Julia Margaret Cameron and Frederick Scott Archer, alongside camera equipment, photographic publications and original documents to tell a broader story of international photography. It will also feature a digital wall to show the most cutting-edge photographic imagery.

To mark the opening, the V&A has commissioned internationally renowned German photographer Thomas Ruff to create a new body of work. Known for taking a critical and conceptual approach to photography, Ruff’s new series will be inspired by Linnaeus Tripe’s 1850s paper negatives of India and Burma from the V&A’s collection...

Tate Modern
London, UK
Until 3 December 2018


Ruwedel has spent many years photographing the North American landscape. The works in this display span 1995–2012 and include images of abandoned railways, nuclear testing sites and empty desert homes.

Each series explores how past events have been inscribed onto the earth’s surface, reflecting the artist’s belief that ‘at this point in history, pure nature is no longer a viable subject.’ He explains: ‘I have come to think of the land as being an enormous historical archive. I am interested in revealing the narratives contained within the landscape, especially those places where the land reveals itself as being both an agent of change and a field of human endeavour.’

Ruwedel merges documentary and conceptual methods of imagemaking. He repeatedly photographs the same subject or type of subject, an approach that relates to conceptual art practices of the 1960s and 1970s. He is also influenced by land artists who created large-scale outdoor artworks in the late 1960s using materials such as earth and rock.

Flint Institute of Arts
Flint, Michigan
21 April - 12 August 2018


This exhibition reexamines the important contemporary art movement that found its roots in the late 1960s in California and New York and continues today known as Photorealism. Aligned with Pop Art, Photorealism features ordinary elements of contemporary life such as vehicles, buildings, streets, and consumer products in an objective, often clinical, manner. Artists Richard Estes, Audrey Flack, and Ralph Goings use photography as a tool to help them reproduce the image as realistically as possible on canvas. 

The paintings in the exhibition demonstrate that Photorealism remains undiluted, conceptually coherent, and consistently compelling. The works can be appreciated for their technique, finesse, and appealing subject matter; but viewers can go deeper and enjoy the complexity and contradictions, the multiple means of an entrance that Photorealism affords. 
Smithsonian National Museum of African History and Culture
Washington D.C.

The Museum acquired Bill Adler’s Eyejammie Hip Hop Photography Collection in 2015, which provided the impetus to create the recent exhibition, Represent: Hip-Hop Photography. The Eyejammie Hip Hop Photography Collection consists of nearly 500 images from more than 40 photographers. This is the largest collection of hip-hop images held by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture.

Recognizing hip-hop as a culture that permeates many aspects of modern society, this is a timely show to include at the Museum. Created in the Bronx, New York, in the 1970s, hip-hop is nearly fifty years old. The local, youth based art form, has grown into an international phenomenon over the years. Using the four elements of hip-hop (MCing, breakdancing, graffiti, and DJing) as an organizational tool, I created four exhibition areas to highlight aspects of hip-hop: identity, community, activism, and creativity...

The New York Times

On an August morning in 1951, two American women met for the first time in the corridor of the Hotel Berchielli in Florence. Ninalee Allen, who was known as Jinx, was a vacationing nursery-school teacher. Ruth Orkin was a freelance photojournalist who, after chatting with Ms. Allen, asked if would she would pose for a photo essay about women traveling alone.

Jinx agreed, and they set off on what Jinx called a “photographic lark.” As they came to the Piazza della Repubblica, 15 men were loitering. Some were leaning on a wall. Two sat on a motor scooter. Nearly all were staring at the 6-foot-tall Ms. Allen. One leered and grabbed his crotch...

Washington D.C.
7- 10 June 2018

Join us June 7 – 10 in the nation’s capital as we celebrate the art of photography and the stories behind the images. For four days, Focus on the Story will convene some of the top names in photography. We want to bring together a community of photography lovers for a series of outstanding keynote presentations, panel discussions, workshops, exhibits, portfolio reviews, photo walks and community events.

Whether you are a professional, amateur, enthusiast or curious, here is your chance to spend four days celebrating, learning, seeing, living and breathing photography. What could be better, right?