Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Beneath the surface mood

@ The Economist

In a remarkable, if chequered career spanning seven decades, André Kertész pioneered modern photography. Hovering between abstraction, constructivism and surrealism, yet avoiding any specific avant-garde movement, Kertész, a Hungarian-born émigré, was guided by a personal yet rigorous aesthetic. A new travelling show of 300 images, that begins at the Jeu de Paume in Paris, combines a mastery of shadow and light and eye for geometric shapes with a poetic yet unsentimental vision of life. The largest retrospective since the photographer’s death in 1985, it reveals like no show has done before the power of Kertész’s work.


Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Adobe CS5 fix

Adobe released a fix for CS5 and the color management issue. See: view Adobe Kb

Friday, October 22, 2010


by Donald Kuspit @ artnet

Making a photograph -- a snapshot of a passing scene or the staging of a scene as though for posterity -- has usually been understood as an act of consciousness, what Henri Cartier-Bresson called a ”decisive moment” of consciousness, but I suggest that it has less to do with consciousness than the unconscious. It has to do with that ”critical part of rapid cognition known as thin-slicing” -- ”the ability of our unconscious to find patterns in situations and behaviors based on very narrow slices of experience” -- those thin slices of experience we call photographs.


Friday, September 03, 2010

Landscapes Framed by a Chevy


Mr. Friedlander took his black-and-white, square-format photographs entirely from the interior of standard rental cars — late-model Toyotas and Chevys, by the looks of them — on various road trips over the past 15 years. In these pictures our vast, diverse country is buffered by molded plastic dashboards and miniaturized in side-view mirrors.

Don’t expect the photographs — 192 in all, packed into the Whitney’s fifth-floor mezzanine in Mr. Friedlander’s characteristically dense style — to cohere into an “On the Road”-style narrative. Mr. Friedlander groups images by subject, not geography: monuments, churches, houses, factories, ice cream shops, plastic Santas, roadside memorials.


Friday, August 27, 2010

Land Grab

by Francesca Levy @ Forbes

Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan and fashion giant Vivienne Westwood have an unlikely common muse: a 33-year-old Polaroid instant camera. Make no mistake--this isn't one of those handheld gadgets that became ubiquitous in the 1970s.

The so-called 20x24 Land Camera is a 235-pound behemoth, producing prints nearly 2 feet square. Edwin Land (1909-91), founder of Polaroid, built just seven of them, and only four are still in commercial use. (Two are on exhibit, at MIT and Harvard; the last has been lost. Mammoth Cameras has replicated the original.) Each one-of-a-kind photograph retails for upwards of $3,500 per print--a professional might spend $1,750 a day to rent the camera and $200 on a print--and few but the wealthy and famous can afford to be snapped by the contraption.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Larry Sultan: The king of colour photography

By Michael Collins @ The Independent

Photography tends to deliver an exaggerated account, revealing the familiar with an unfamiliar and unsettling degree of detail – like the experience of listening to a recording of your own voice. When the late American photographer Larry Sultan made a series of pictures of his parents in their home, he was presented not only with the distortions made through the camera lens, but by his lens onto their life
, too.


Thursday, August 05, 2010

Ansel Adams controversy: Will Fresno State's art gallery show disputed photos?

by Mike Boehm @ LOs Angeles Times

Did Ansel Adams take this picture?

And if the answer is in doubt, under what conditions should it and others like it be the subject of an exhibition in a university art gallery?

The question of whether the photos are by Adams has been unanswered since 2000, when Rick Norsigian found a trove of old-fashioned glass-plate negatives of nature scenes from Yosemite and coastal California at a garage sale in Fresno. Then Norsigian started trying to prove that they were lost Adams images from the 1920s or 1930s.


Monday, July 26, 2010

HP launches large-format negatives for fine art photography

by Barney Cox @ printweek.com

HP has premiered the results of a new software tool that enables photographers to produce large-format negatives for contact-printing alternative photographic processes.

Large-Format Photo Negatives, which will be launched at Photokina in September, was used by Magnum Photographer Elliott Erwitt to create a new edition of 76x102cm platinum prints, which were shown at photographic exhibitions Les Recontres d’Arles in France and ArtHamptons in Bridgehampton, New York, USA.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Inner Views

by Kevin Day @ Cool Hunting

With a careful eye, South African artist Zwelethu Mthethwa's highly-saturated, large-format photos of migrant workers and urban natural disasters document the state of his native country and its inhabitants today. Depicting everyday people in their natural environments, Mthethwa's upcoming exhibit, "Inner Views" at Harlem's Studio Museum, shows a particularly human side of the photographer's strength as a portraitist.


Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Elegy for the Polaroid

by Peter Conrad @ The Observer

Polaroids taken by leading artists from Ansel Adams to David Hockney will be auctioned off next month. These images show how a now dead technology brought us a different vision of reality.

Photographs, being infinitely reproducible, shouldn't have an intrinsic commercial value. But the art market over the past few decades has done a fine job of leveraging images and systematically inflating their prices, and the prints on office walls now qualify as a corporate asset. When companies fail, art is among the spoils that the creditors squabble over. The Polaroid Corporation collapsed in 2008. Its share of the photographic market had been eroded by a newer digital technology, but what brought it down was the exposure of a Ponzi scheme – an investment fraud like the one the notorious trickster Bernard Madoff operated – at its parent company. A judge appointed to settle Polaroid's debts decreed that its photographic archive, secreted in what the conservation departments of museums call "deep storage" in a warehouse in Massachusetts, should be handed over to the liquidators.

Read On

Friday, April 30, 2010

Why street photography is facing a moment of truth

by Sean O'Hagan @ The Observer

It took root in New York in the 60s and 70s with compelling images of street life that captured the heart of the city. But anxieties about privacy, terrorism, and paedophilia have conspired to make the art of street photography ever more difficult. Sean O'Hagan recalls the movement's heyday and charts today's pioneers.

Back in the 1960s, when New York was the centre of street photography, the main practitioners of the form would sometimes cross paths. Lee Friedlander was friends with Garry Winogrand who often met Joel Meyerowitz as they crisscrossed Manhattan and beyond on the prowl for pictures that caught the city's tempo, its myriad everyday dramas, and its citizens at work and at play.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010


by Peter Schjeldahl @ The New Yorker

Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004) was a taker of great photographs. Some three hundred of them make for an almost unendurably majestic retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, from his famous portly puddle-jumper of 1932 (“Behind the Gare Saint-Lazare, Paris”) to views of Native Americans in Gallup, New Mexico, in 1971, one of his last visual essays as the globe-trotting heavyweight champion of photojournalism. (Thereafter, he mostly rested his cameras and devoted himself to drawing—sensitively though not terribly well—in the vein of his friend Alberto Giacometti.) Nearly every picture displays the classical panache—the fullness, the economy—of a painting by Poussin. Any half-dozen of them would have engraved their author’s name in history. Resistance to the work is futile, if quality is our criterion, but inevitable, I think, on other grounds.


Friday, April 16, 2010

James Welling puts five questions to Stephen Shore

@ ArtInfo.com

I came to photography in fits and starts. In the early 1970s, I was entranced by Minimal art. I was particularly interested in Carl Andre’s Quincy Book, published in 1973. Andre hired a photographer to take pictures of his hometown, Quincy, Massachusetts. The book records situations that are isomorphic with Andre’s work: piles of things, quarries, roads. Quincy Book is, above all, a sculptural view of the world, and it is an extraordinarily well-observed set of pictures. I began to think about Andre’s book in relation to the restaging of "New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-Altered Landscape," which opened at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) last month. Ed Ruscha’s work is cited as a touchstone for the photographers in the show. Fair enough. But for me, raised on the East Coast and looking intently at landscapes, Quincy resonated in ways Ruscha’s pieces did not.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Noted photographer probed in misuse of Buffalo State cameras

By Phil Fairbanks @ Buffalo News

Leslie Krims is known across the world as a surrealist photographer with a dark, satirical style.

Unfortunately for Krims, a longtime professor at Buffalo State College, there’s a new unwanted wrinkle on his international resume: allegations that he took two school cameras worth $45,000 and used them solely for personal and private business use.

Krims, a professor for 41 years, could face disciplinary action as a result of the state investigation into his use of school equipment.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Dots Do It Better, Says Phone Camera Chip Designer

By Richard Adhikari @ TechNewsWorld

InVisage Technologies, a venture-backed startup, announced on Monday a technology in the field of digital photography.

Called "QuantumFilm," it uses quantum dot-based image sensors instead of the more traditional silicon.

The new technology will offer four times the performance and twice the dynamic range as silicon, InVisage claims.

The company is targeting the cameras in smartphones first, and it claims its technology will bring professional photography features to these devices.


Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Long Exposure

The death and resurrection of photography in a digitized world

by Jennifer Allen @ FRIEZE

Photography is dead. That news may come as a surprise, since obituaries about art tend to be written about painting. Invented in the 1830s, photo-graphy is still in its infancy as an art form compared to the centuries-old medium of painting. Despite inventions like portable paint tubes and fast-drying acrylic, painting has not undergone the transformations that digitalization is bringing to the medium of photography.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Crusade For Color Photography

By Claire O'Neill @ NPR

Life is in color. So it seems pretty obvious to photograph in color, especially nowadays when black and white seems "classic," i.e. hopelessly retro. But that wasn't always the case. Back in the 60s and 70s -- at least in the art world -- color photography was a source of major contention. In the spirit of revolt, or individuality, or just plain curiosity, a few photographers were on a crusade to permit the polychrome. The images below are from a Cincinnati exhibition that reexamines that period in photography.


Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Edward Burtynsky: Oil – A Ballardian Interpretation

by Paul Roth @ The Ballardian

I recently organized an exhibition of photographs by Edward Burtynsky, bringing together 12 years of his imagery on the subject of oil at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Burtynsky, a Canadian born of Ukrainian heritage in 1955, is respected internationally for his 25-year focus on industrially-transformed landscapes. His photographs of quarries, factories, mining pits, and railcuts are extraordinary for their depiction of mankind’s organization of the land for resource-extraction and profit. Jennifer Baichwal’s 2006 documentary Manufactured Landscapes is an excellent portrait of Burtynsky, and I highly recommend a viewing of both the DVD and his great books, which include Manufactured Landscapes (2003); Burtynsky – China (2005); and Edward Burtynsky – Quarries (2006).