Friday, June 22, 2007

Wish Hue Were Here

by Daniel Kunitz @ The Village Voice

For decades, people saw color photography in black and white: It was for amateurs or crass commercialism; it was emphatically not for art. Kodacolor, considered the first true color negative film, was introduced in 1942. As late as 1997, the Oxford History of Art volume on the photograph still claimed, "Color photographs remain problematic. They are central to the snapshot, but are still invariably rejected by the professional and art photographer . . ." By then this assertion was already moldy, yet it gives a sense of how reluctant people were to embrace color. In fact, by 1997, color had become utterly central to photography, in large part because of a renewed appreciation for several American photographers who came to prominence in the '70s. Two current shows presenting work from that decade suggest why our reception of color has been so blurry.


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