Monday, March 12, 2007

The New Color: The Return of Black-and-White

by CHARLOTTE COTTON @ Tip of the Tongue

The way I look at and think about black-and-white photography has shifted profoundly since the early 2000s. The words to describe my changing perspective are on the tip of my tongue. Let me set the scene for you.

I was living in London, researching a book about contemporary art photography and, given the climate of the time, looking mainly at color and increasingly larger-sized photographs. I was working as a curator for a national collection of photography, curating exhibitions on the history of photography for a dedicated photo gallery, and thrilled that we were going to be a tour venue for the Diane Arbus exhibition. Over at the Tate Modern, their first exhibition dedicated to photography, Cruel and Tender, had opened up a series of debates about the nature and genealogy of contemporary photography. New market heights for photography both old and new were just beginning to be set - and readily broken.


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