History of Photography



Introduction  

History of Photography

A World History of Photography

The Story Behind the Pictures 1827-1991


Photographers' Dictionary










 

 



Chapter 12

 

 

RUTH THORNE-THOMSEN (collection)
CHRISTIAN VOGT (collection)
OTTO STEINERT (collection)
ADAM FUSS
HENRY HOLMES SMITH
FREDERICK SOMMER
(collection)
RAY K. METZKER
JOYCE NEIMANAS
WILLIAM MORTENSEN
(collection)
JERRY N. UELSMANN (collection)
EIKOH HOSOE (collection)
ROBERT HEINECKEN (collection)
PAUL DE NOOIJER
RALPH EUGENE MEATYARD
(collection)
M. RICHARD KIRSTEL
JOEL-PETER WITKIN
(collection)
ARTHUR TRESS (collection)
LES KRIMS (collection)
DENIS BRIHAT
JEAN DIEUZAIDE
(collection)
LUCIEN CLERGUE (collection)
MiCHIKO KON
JOAN FONTCUBERTA
CHRISTIAN BOLTANSKI


 

 



PHOTOGRAPHY SINCE 1950:



MANIPULATIONS AND COLOR




 


Interventions and Manipulations

Intervention in the physical production of camera images and manipulation of the chemical processes have taken various forms, all of which have as their central principle the freedom of the photographer to be as spontaneous and inventive as the graphic artist while preserving the replicative aspects of the medium and even the tactile qualities of the silver print. Choosing to use a camera with a pinhole instead of a lens (when cameras now come equipped with the fastest, sharpest optical devices) is a simple means of adjusting the photographic process to one's expressive needs; the results can be seen in the strangely elegiac landscapes by Ruth Thorne-Thomsen (pi. no. 747). The kind of camera lens used can also provide photographers with a creative tool, either by giving actual scenes a sense of unreality through subde distortion or by dramatically deforming expression and gesture. In the 1950s, following earlier experiments by Andre Kertesz and others, Berenice Abbott and Weegee—both advocates until then of straight photography—had distorted figures and objects by using special lenses, but their images were, on the whole, tentative.

A more resolved body of work to emerge from experimentation with extremely wide-angle lenses has been that of Bill Brandt (pi. no. 710). Those working in a style more closely related to classical Surrealism include Christian Vogt (pi. no. 748), a successful Swiss photojournalist whose disrortions recall fantasy landscapes by Giorgio de Chirico. The French photographer Claude Nori employed a wide-angle lens to invest both ordinary scenes and his staged enactments with an unnerving sense of infinite depth. Accidental lens distortions can also be used to dramatize gestures and expressions in scenes where no fantasy is intended, as in many examples from straight photography and photojournalism—among them, Otto Steinert's Children's Carnival (pi. no. 749).

Techniques requiring more extensive intervention in the optical process include making images without a camera (which were originally called photograms and have since come to be called light graphics) and joining disparate images together, called collage or montage. Photographic collage involves cropping and recombining camera images, either original or reproduced, by physically gluing them together; montage refers to uniting them in the enlarger or in the computer. Given the experimentalism implicit in these approaches to photography, it is not surprising that all of these techniques, which assert the non-mechanical aspects of the medium and emphasize the individual imagination., had been part of the avant-garde curriculum at the 1920s Bauhaus.

The photogram is a unique cameraless image created either by playing a beam of light across a sheet of sensitized paper or by exposing to a fixed or a moving light source various translucent and opaque objects arranged on sensitized paper. An early-19th-century invention, it was updated during the 1920s (see Chapter 9) and again in the 1940s, when it was sometimes combined with other procedures. In the United States, Carlotta Corpron, Lotte Jacobi, Nathan Lerner, and Barbara Morgan were among those who involved themselves with this procedure, as can be seen in the lyrical abstractions that Jacobi called "photogenics" (pi. no. 554). Morgan, who frequently combined light drawing, photograms, and montage in the same image (pi, no. 556), began her experiments with these techniques in 1938 by photographing the moving light patterns made by a dancer holding a flashlight. During the 1950s, several Europeans, including Herbert W. Franke in Austria and Peter Keetman in Germany, used oscilloscopes and prisms to produce geometric abstractions, a number of which bring to mind the work of the Constructivist sculp-tors Naum Gabo and Antoine Pevsner.

Recently, the flexibility inherent in making photo-grams has inspired work by Floris M. Neusiis, who creates monochromatic, large-scale, flowerlike images that are both decorative and mysterious. Highly colored creations by Adam Fuss arc generated from unorthodox substances—balloons, powder, animals and their entrails (pi. no. 750)—exposed directly on Cibachrome paper; to some, their appeal is aesthetic, to others, their metaphorical meaning is paramount.

747. RUTH THORNE-THOMSEN. Parable, from Songs of the Sea, 1991.
Toned gelatin silver print. Ehlers Caudill Gallery, Chicago.


RUTH THORNE-THOMSEN (see collection)

Ruth Thorne-Thomsen, (American, 1943) in her mastery of pinhole photography, creates scenes that feel like ancient myths. Her work makes tangible imagery from humorous, intriguing or confounding textural sources. Combining the scale of vast landscapes with the intimacy of a well-kept secret, these charming, small-scale works seem to have been made centuries ago. She is the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships and her work is in many major museum collections.


RUTH THORNE-THOMSEN. Two Faces are a Vase, from Prima Materia, Italy


 

748. CHRISTIAN VOGT. Untitled (Metaphysical Scene), 1972.
Toned gelatin silver prim.


CHRISTIAN VOGT (see collection)

( born 1946)


CHRISTIAN VOGT. Untitled


 

749. OTTO STEINERT. Children's Carnival, 1971.
Gelatin silver print. Polkwang Museum, Essen, Germany. Courtesy Mrs. Marlie Steinert.


OTTO STEINERT (see collection)

 

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Otto Steinert (July 12, 1915 – March 3, 1978) was an important German photographer.

Born in Saarbrücken, Germany, Steinert was a medical doctor by profession and was an autodidact in photography. After World War II, he initially worked for the State School for Art and Craft (Staatliche Schule für Kunst und Handwerk, today HTW) in Saarbrücken. From 1959, he taught at a design school (Folkwang Academy) in Essen, where he later died.

His assets are today part of the photographic collection of the Museum Folkwang, Essen.


OTTO STEINERT.
Call, 1950

 

750. ADAM FUSS. Love, 1992.
 Unique Cibachrome photogram. Robert Miller Gallery, New York.

Another type of cameraless imagery that attracted attention in the 1950s combined photogram techniques with a modern version of cliche verre. Random patterns formed on glass by such substances as viscous liquids and crystals provided a negative for printing on sensitized paper. Henry Holmes Smith, one of the first Americans to use this procedure, would manipulate a syrupy mixture on glass plates to create nonobjective images that he would print either on monochromatic silver or on multichrome dye-transfer materials. Although not produced until the mid-1970s, the bold forms and strong colors in Smith's Small Poster for a Heavenly Circus (pi. no. 751) proclaim its connection with the earlier Abstract Expressionist painting style. Smith's onetime student Jaromir Stephany experimented with similar techniques, using ink on film in both 4x5 inch and 35mm formats to create visionary images that suggest galactic events. The imaginative possibilities of cliche verve appealed to the photographer-artist Frederick Sommer, who began to work with glass and cellophane in the 1950s, painting on or filming these materials with smoke to create nonobjective shapes. Sommer, a complex personality as fascinated by putrescence as by living beau-ty, also made montages, assemblages (pi. no. 752), and straight photographs, seeking in all to give visible form to the mysteries he discovered in both the real and the imaginary worlds, which he regarded as one and the same.

In the 1950s, the French photographer Jean-Pierre Sudre explored the aesthetic and metaphorical possibilities offered by random arrangements of chemical salts on glass—a technique he called "crystallography." Heinz Hajek-Halke, who began to work both with cameras and with cameraless techniques after a quarter-century as a successful press and scientific cameraman in Germany, created "luminograms" with moving beams of light and what are called "lightgraphics" by exposing granular and liquid substances on film to directed light sources. The "chemigrams" created by the Belgian photographer Pierre Cordier are produced in normal light without a camera by combining in a novel way the chemicals associated with painting—varnish, wax, and oil—and those used in photography: photosensitive emulsions, colored dyes, developer, and fixer.

In the 1950s and '6os, collage techniques attracted a number of photographers in the United States (many associated with the Institute of Design) as a means of generating fresh visions of commonplace experiences.

These collages generally were created from straight photographs that were cropped, repeated, and rearranged to form a freshly synthesized statement. Arches (pi, no. 753), a typical work by Ray K. Metzker in this mode, although visually pleasing in its patterns, is meant not as a decorative object but as an expression in new form of the emotional texture of the generating experience—in this case the excitement of street life in downtown Philadelphia. Over the past several decades Barbara Crane has worked with cropped and repeated strips of images of built structures and organic matter, combining them with other experimentalist elements such as photograms. Rejecting the usual lenticular description of space as an uninterrupted continuum, Joyce Neimanas collaged sx-70 Polaroid prints, including their borders. In these works she has also sought to extend the biographical data about her subjects by incorporating images of their belongings and surroundings (pi. no. 754). A quite different approach to collage is visible in the work of Carl Chiarenza, who creates miniature still lifes from torn paper and photographic packaging materials, which he then photographs; enlarged greatly, these works take on the aspect of mysterious landscapes.

Both collage and montage were seen by the postwar generation as an especially fruitful method of projecting private visions, of dealing with the possibility that, as the American photographer Jerry X. Uelsmann has written, "the mind knows more than the eye and camera can see." By the early 1930s, printing multiple images on one photographic support had enabled some American photographers to explore mystical realms that seemed impossible to evoke through straight photographs. At that time, William Mortensen, whose "medieval sensibility" led him to imagine scenes that seemed at once bizarre and amusing to many contemporaries, resorted to montage to create his visions of wickedness and lust (pi. no. 755). In the same decade, Clarence John Laughlin, bemused by the "unreality of the real and the reality of the unreal," not only worked with montage but created settings, costumed models, and directed scenarios to give form to his conviction that "the physical object is merely a stepping stone to an inner world" (pi. no. 500). Soon after, Edmund Teskte combined chemical manipulation with montage to make poignant his sense of the melancholy eroticism of small-town American life.
 

751. HENRY HOLMES SMITH. Small Poster for a Heavenly Circus, 1974-75.
Dye transfer (dye imbibition) print from 1974 monochrome refraction drawing in the Henry Holmes Smith Archive,
Indiana University Art Museum. Collection Ted R. Smith.

 

752. FREDERICK SOMMER. The Giant, 1946.
Gelatin silver print. Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, Cal. Light Gallery, New York


FREDERICK SOMMER (see collection)

(b Angri, 7 Sept 1905).

American photographer, painter and theorist of Italian birth. After studying landscape architecture with his father Carlos Sommer in Brazil (1916–25) and at Cornell University (MA 1927), he worked as a landscape architect in Brazil until 1930. While in Switzerland convalescing after tuberculosis in 1930, he became interested in modern art and acquired his first camera. He moved to Tucson, AZ, in 1931 and settled in Prescott, AZ, in 1935. He held his first exhibition, of watercolours, in Chicago in 1934 and discovered the graphic aspect of musical scores. His interest in photography was increased after seeing prints by Edward Weston in 1936. He bought a large-format camera in 1938 and held his first one-man show as a photographer in 1946 (Santa Barbara, CA, Mus. A.). His links with European art were strengthened by his friendship with Max Ernst, whom he met in 1941.
 


FREDERICK SOMMER.
Max Ernst


 

753. RAY K. METZKER. Arches, 1967.
Gelatin silver print.

754. JOYCE NEIMANAS. Untitled, 1981.
Sx-70 (internal dye-diffusion transfer) prints.

755. WILLIAM MORTENSEN. Lamour, c. 1936.
 Gelatin silver print with textured screen.


WILLIAM MORTENSEN  (see collection)

(1897 - 1965)
American art photographer.


WILLIAM MORTENSEN. The Witches Sabbat

 

Uelsmann is one of a group of photographers who, since the 1960s, have consistently used montage to create poetic fantasies. Pieced together from an array of his own negatives, his work achieves a seamless merging of the real and the imagined. While his early images express a lucid if not markedly original perception of women as fertility figures from whom all life radiates, his later montages—among them an untitled interior with clouds (pi. no. 756)—explore less bromidic ideas, despite their obvious relationship to Magritte's paintings. The strange montages by Eikoh Hosoc (pi. no. 757), a Japanese photographer of international renown, reflect their maker's belief that the camera has introduced him to an "abnormal, warped, sarcastic, grotesque, savage and promiscuous world." In like manner, montages by the California printmaker and photographer Robert Heinecken are frill of gritty allusions to the often violent sexism rampant on magazine pages, billboards, and television screens. Produced on a scale that reinforces their affinity to commercial advertising, his images seem to mix condemnation with a certain sense of wish fulfillment (pi. no. 758).

Given the wide acceptance of collage and montage by Surrealist artists in Europe before World War II, it is not surprising that a later generation of European photographers has also turned to these means. Psychoanalytical concepts have engaged the Czech photographers Martin Hruska and Jan Saudek, who are among those who have created dreamlike visions and erotic statements both by staging scenes and by combining images in the enlarger. On occasion their work and that by other individuals concerned with the psyche recalls spatial configurations and symbols invented by the painters Salvador Dali and de Chirico, but their images are also informed by concepts and iconography taken from postwar advertising, popular entertainment, and television. For example, Paul de Nooijer (pi. no. 759) addressed the excesses of consumerist culture by staging and montaging outrageous parodies of bourgeois fetishes and by printing his images in a grainy style that mimics cheap print reproduction.

Montage can serve to extend visual experience beyond that based on a single image taken from one position and at one moment in time. The Germans Rinke and Willman and the Italian photographer Franco Vaccari, among others, have combined complete or partial photographs of the same object, place, or individual taken from different vantage points and at different times. Their aim has been to suggest the "incomplete, unstable and unending forms that reality assumes," and to provide images with such large dimensions that they require the viewer to include time as an element in their perception of them. In societies as disparate as England, Italy, and Russia, a number of photographers—among them, Calum Colvin, Paolo Gioli, and Vitas Luckas—have grasped the possibilities inherent in montage to express the profound sense of instability they experienced as their countries grew more chaotic or underwent catastrophic economic and social change.

The extensive use of models acting out scenes in fabricated settings that suggest the irrational content of dreams and visions is perhaps the most singular change to occur in photography since the 1960s. In common with the montagists, the photographers engaged in such directorial practices have drawn upon ideas that surfaced earlier in the century in graphic art and still- and motion-picture photography, to which they have added elements of post-war popular culture. In constructing their own realities for the camera lens, some alter settings only slightly, while others stage complete fictions, with sets, models, costumes, and action directed entirely by the photographer. As an early example of the former approach, Ralph Eugene Meatyard photographed family and friends posed in unpretentious settings, but here (pi. no. 760) the suggestive presence of an empty' mirror and a mysteriously clothed dress dummy adds a dimension of psychological nuance. In other of his photographs, the shapes of shadows and the blurs caused by movement intimate a ghostly presence.

 

756. JERRY N. UELSMANN. Unttled (Cloud Room), 1975.
Toned gelatin silver print. Collection Jain and George W. Kelly, New York.


JERRY N. UELSMANN (see collection)

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Jerry N. Uelsmann (born 11 June 1934) is an American photographer.
Uelsmann was born in Detroit, Michigan. He is a master printer producing composite photographs with multiple negatives and extensive darkroom work. He uses up to a dozen enlargers at a time to produce his final images. Similar in technique to Rejlander, Uelsmann is a champion of the idea that the final image need not be tied to a single negative, but may be composed of many. Unlike Rejlander, though, he does not seek to create narratives, but rather allegorical surrealist imagery of the unfathomable. Uelsmann is able to subsist on grants and teaching salary, rather than commercial work.
Today, with the advent of digital cameras and Photoshop, photographers are able to create a work somewhat resembling Uelsmann's in less than a day, however, at the time Uelsmann was considered to have almost "magical skill" with his completely analog tools. Uelsmann used the darkroom frequently, sometimes using three to ten enlargers to produce the expected effect. Photos are still widely regarded as documentary evidence of events, and Uelsmann, along with people like Lucas Samaras, was considered an avant garde shatterer of the popular conception.
Uelsmann holds a B.F.A. degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology and M.S. and M.F.A. degrees from Indiana University. He began teaching photography at the University of Florida in 1960. He is now retired from teaching and currently lives in Gainesville, Florida along with his fifth wife, Maggie Taylor. Uelsmann has one son, Andrew, who is a graduate student at the University of Florida.
In 1981, a report by American Photographer ranked Uelsmann as being amongst the top ten photographers collected in America. His smaller works presently sell for between $1000 and $2500 at auction.
His photographs can be seen in the opening credits of The Outer Limits (1995).
His artwork is also featured in the progressive metal band Dream Theater's 7th studio album Train of Thought (2003).
 


JERRY N. UELSMANN. Small Woods Where I Met Myself
1967

 

757. EIKOH HOSOE. Ordeal by Roses #29, 1961-62.
Gelatin silver print. Light Gallery, New York.


EIKOH HOSOE
(see collection)
 

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Eikoh Hosoe (Hosoe Eikō; b. 18 March 1933 in Yonezawa, Yamagata) is a Japanese photographer and filmmaker who emerged in the experimental arts movement of post-World War II Japan. He is known for his psychologically charged images, often exploring subjects such as death, erotic obsession, and irrationality. Through his friendships and artistic collaborations he is linked with the writer Yukio Mishima and 1960s avant-garde artists such the dancer Tatsumi Hijikata.
After attending The Tokyo College of Photography in the 1950's Hosoe, joined “Demokrato” an avant-garde artist's group led by the artist Ei Q, while still a student. In 1960, Hosoe created the Jazz Film Laboratory (Jazzu Eiga Jikken-shitsu) with Hijikata, Shuji Terayama, and Shōmei Tōmatsu. The Jazz Film Laboratory was a multidisciplinary artistic project aimed at producing highly expressive and intense works such as Hosoe's 1960 short black and white film Navel and A-Bomb (Heso to genbaku).
With Hijikata, Hosoe created Kamaitachi, a series of images that reference stories of a supernatural being — 'weasel-sickle' — that haunted the Japanese countryside of Hosoe's childhood. In the photographs, Hijikata is seen as a wandering ghost mirroring the stark landscape and confronting farmers and children.
With Mishima as a model, Hosoe created a series of dark, erotic images centered on the male body, Ordeal by Roses (Bara-kei, 1963). The series (set in Mishima's Tokyo house) positions Mishima in melodramatic poses. Mishima would follow his fantasies, eventually committing suicide by seppuku in 1970.
Hosoe has been the director of the Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts (Kiyosato, Yamanashi) since its opening in 1995.

 


EIKOH HOSOE. Embrace No. 60

 

758. ROBERT HEINECKEN. Le Voyeur/Robbe-Grillett #1, 1972.
Photographic emulsion on canvas; bleached; pastel chalk.
International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House, Rochester, NT. Light Gallery, New York.


ROBERT HEINECKEN
(see collection)

(American, 1931-2006)
 


ROBERT HEINECKEN. Strokes/Dark #2


 

759. PAUL DE NOOIJER. Menno's Head, 1976.
Gelatin silver prim.

760. RALPH EUGENE MEATYARD. Cranston Ritchie, 1964.
Gelatin silver print. Collection Jain and George W. Kelly, New York.


RALPH EUGENE MEATYARD
(see collection)

Ralph Eugene Meatyard (1925-1972) was an American photographer.

Ralph Eugene Meatyard's death in 1972, a week away from his 47th birthday, came at the height of the "photo boom," a period of growth and ferment in photography in the United States which paralleled the political and social upheavals of the 1960s and 1970s. It was a time of ambition, not reflection, a time for writing resumés, not thoughtful and inclusive histories; in the contest of reputation, dying in 1972 meant leaving the race early. It was left to friends and colleagues to complete an Aperture monograph on Meatyard and carry through with the publication of The Family Album of Lucybelle Crater (1974) which he had laid out and sequenced before his death. He was from Normal, Illinois.

While he lived Meatyard's work was shown and collected by major museums, published in important art magazines, and regarded by his peers as among the most original and disturbing imagery ever created with a camera. He exhibited with such well-known and diverse photographers as Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, Minor White, Aaron Siskind, Harry Callahan, Robert Frank, and Eikoh Hosoe. But by the late 1970s, his photographs seemed consigned to appear mainly in exhibitions of "southern" art. In the last decade, however, thanks in part to European critics (who since at least the time of De Tocqueville have forged insights into American culture), Meatyard's work has reemerged, and the depth of its genius and its contributions to photography have begun to be understood and appreciated. In a sense Meatyard suffered a fate common to artists who are very much of but also very far ahead of their time. Everything about his life and his art ran counter to the usual and expected patterns. He was an optician, happily married, a father of three, president of the Parent-Teacher Association, and coach of a boy's baseball team. He lived in Lexington, Kentucky, far from the urban centers most associated with serious art. His images had nothing to do with the gritty "street photography" of the east coast or the romantic view camera realism of the west coast. His best known images were populated with dolls and masks, with family, friends and neighbors pictured in abandoned buildings or in ordinary suburban backyards.

At the same time he often turned from this vernacular focus and, like such photographers as Henry Holmes Smith, Harry Callahan and others, produced highly experimental work. These images include multiple exposures and photographs where, through deliberate camera movement, Meatyard took Fox Talbot's "pencil of nature" and drew calligraphic images with the sun's reflection on a black void of water. However, where others used these experiments to expand the possibilities of form in photographs, Meatyard consistently applied breakthroughs in formal design to the exploration of ideas and emotions. Finally—and of great importance in the development of his aesthetic—Meatyard created a mode of "No-Focus" imagery that was distinctly his own. "No-Focus" images ran entirely counter to any association of camera art with objective realism and opened a new sense of creative freedom in his art.

In short, Meatyard's work challenged most of the cultural and aesthetic conventions of his time and did not fit in with the dominant notions of the kind of art photography could and should be. His work sprang from the beauty of ideas rather than ideas of the beautiful. Wide reading in literature (especially poetry) and philosophy (especially Zen) stimulated his imagination. While others roamed the streets searching for America and truth, Meatyard haunted the world of inner experience, continually posing unsettling questions about our emotional realities through his pictures. Once again, however, he inhabited this world quite differently from other photographers exploring inner experience at the time. Meatyard's "mirror" (as John Szarkowski used the term) was not narcissistic. It looked back reflectively on the dreams and terrors of metaphysical questions, not private arguments of faith or doubt.

 


RALPH EUGENE MEATYARD. Boy in Old Man's Mask with Doll, c. 1960


 

At the other extreme, a large number of photographers—including M. Richard Kirstel (pi. no. 761), Les Krims, Laurie Simmons (pi. no. 744), Arthur Tress, and Joel-Peter Witkin (pi. no. 762) in the United States, and de Nooijer, Bernard Faucon, Joan Fontcuberta (pi. no. 769), and Jan Saudek in Europe—create fantasies that arc entirely fabricated. Krims uses the iconography of both Surrealism and Pop art in his sardonic and at rimes horrifying statements about middle-class life in modern America (pi. no. 764). Tress, who has worked in this mode as well as with montage since the 1970s, has brought a generally morbid sensibility to his stagings of obsessional dramas (pi no. 763), although a later series—published as The Tea-pot Opera— takes a more whimsical tone. Faucon at first devoted considerable rime to creating backgrounds, fabricating figures, and managing lighting effects for energetic works that initially drew upon popular entertainments for their humor. More recently, he has employed special lighting and props to transform real spaces and real persons into a series of images suffused with a romantic aura.

In the past, creating such fabrications could be extra-ordinarily time consuming, but the computer has some-what simplified this way of working (see A Shon Technical History, Part III). Yet whatever the means used to produce them, however the elements are arranged and lighted, and whether they deal with classical psychoanalytic symbolism or idiosyncratic combinations of objects and figures, the effectiveness of the resulting images depends on the viewer's belief that what appears in a photograph must to some degree be truthful.

Of course, staging photographs does not invariably result in conceptual or grotesque imagery, as photographs of both still lifes and the nude prove. Denis Brihat, one of the founders of the French photography group called Expression libre, brought out concordances between flesh and stone by carefully positioning the fruit in William Pear (pi. no. 765) and by intervening in the chemical processing. Similarly, in a series entitled My Adventure with Pitch, Jean Dieuzaide photographed the abstract shapes and forms suggestive of human anatomy (pi. no. 766) produced by the manipulation of this coal by-product. Lucien Clergue, another founder of the same group, posed nude models in a landscape of sea and sand for close-up views that ostensibly are evocations of mythic earth goddesses (pi. no. 767).

 

761. M. RICHARD KIRSTEL. From Water Babies, 1976.
Gelatin silver print.

 

762. JOEL-PETER WITKIN. Expulsion from Paradise of Adam and Eve, Now Mexico, 1981.
Toned gelatin silver print.


JOEL-PETER WITKIN
(see collection)

Joel-Peter Witkin (born September 13, 1939, in Brooklyn, New York City) is an American photographer.
Witkin was born to a Jewish father and Roman Catholic mother. He has a twin brother, Jerome Witkin, who also plays a significant role in the art world for his realistic paintings. Witkin's parents divorced when Witkin was young because they were unable to transcend their religious differences. He attended grammar school at Saint Cecelia's in Brooklyn and went on to Grover Cleveland High School. He worked as war photographer between 1961 and 1964 during the Vietnam war. In 1967, he decided to work as a freelance photographer and became City Walls Inc. official photographer. Later, he attended Cooper Union in New York where he studied sculpture and became Bachelor of Arts in 1974. After the Columbia University granted him a scholarship, he ended his studies at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, where he became Master of Fine Arts.
Witkin claims that his vision and sensibility were initiated by an episode he witnessed when he was just a small child, a car accident that occurred in front of his house in which a little girl was decapitated.

"It happened on a Sunday when my mother was escorting my twin brother and me down the steps of the tenement where we lived. We were going to church. While walking down the hallway to the entrance of the building, we heard an incredible crash mixed with screaming and cries for help. The accident involved three cars, all with families in them. Somehow, in the confusion, I was no longer holding my mother's hand. At the place where I stood at the curb, I could see something rolling from one of the overturned cars. It stopped at the curb where I stood. It was the head of a little girl. I bent down to touch the face, to speak to it -- but before I could touch it someone carried me away."

He also claims that the difficulties in his family were an influence for his work too. His favourite artist is Giotto, but the most obvious artistic influences on his work are Surrealism (particularly Max Ernst) and Baroque art. His photographic techniques draw on early Daguerreotypes and on the work of E. J. Bellocq.
His work often deals with such themes as death, corpses (or pieces of them), and various outsiders such as dwarfs, transsexuals, hermaphrodites, and physically deformed people. His complex tableaux often recall religious episodes or famous classical paintings. Because of the transgressive nature of the contents of his pictures, his works have been labeled exploitative and have sometimes shocked public opinion. His art was often marginalized because of this challenging aspect.
He employs a highly intuitive approach to the physical process of making the photograph, including scratching the negative, bleaching or toning the print, and an actual hands-in-the-chemicals printing technique. This experimentation began after seeing a 19th-century ambrotype of a woman and her ex-lover who had been scratched from the frame.


JOEL-PETER WITKIN.
Untitled


 

763. ARTHUR TRESS. The Actor, 1973.
Gelatin silver print.


ARTHUR TRESS
  (see collection)
 

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Arthur Tress is a notable American photographer born on November 24, 1940 in Brooklyn, New York. He is well known for his staged surrealism and exposition of the human body.
First photograph at age 12. Arthur Tress' first subjects were circus freaks and dilapidated buildings around Coney Island where he grew up. The youngest of three children in a divorced family, Arthur spent time in his early life with both of his parents: his father who re-married and lived in an upper class neighbourhood, and his mother, who remained single after the divorce and whose life was not nearly so luxurious. In high school, he also studied the art of painting.

After graduating from Bard College with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1962, Arthur moved to Paris, France to attend Film School. While living in France, Arthur traveled to many locations, including Japan, Africa, Mexico, and through most of Europe. While on these journeys, he observed many secluded tribes and cultures. He was fascinated by the roles played by the shaman of the different people groups he visited. The cultures he was introduced to would play a permanent role in his later work.


ARTHUR TRESS.
Girl with Dunce Cap, New York


 

764. LES KRIMS. Homage to the Crosstar Filter Photograph, 1971.
Gelatin silver print on Kodalith paper.


LES KRIMS
(see collection)
 

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Les Krims is a conceptualist photographer living in Buffalo, New York. He is noted for his carefully arrange fabricated photographs (called "fictions"), various candid series, a satirical edge, dark humor, and long-standing criticism of what he describes as leftist twaddle.

Les Krims was born in Brooklyn, NY, on August 16, 1942. He studied at a science high school (Stuyvesant High School, in NYC). Richard Ben-Veniste ("Benti," as he was called in home-room at Stuyvesant), famous for prosecuting Richard Nixon, and A.D. Coleman, the former photography critic for The New York Times, were two of Krims' Stuyvesant classmates. Krims studied art at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, and Pratt Institute. For the last 39 years he has taught photography, first at the Rochester Institute of Technology, and for the last 37 years at Buffalo State College, where he is a professor in the Department of Fine Arts. In describing his staged pictures, and the parodies of candid journalistic propaganda photographs he makes, Krims said, "It is possible to create any picture one imagines." Krims's latest project is a website (leskrims.com) where he sells archival ink jet prints of a wide selection of his pictures. Krims claims new digital printing technology and capitalism make it possible to "own the means of production, rendering moot wall-to-wall delusional Marxist posturing in the culture community."

Les Krims has published numerous offset works. Two of these, "Fictcryptokrimsographs," and "Making Chicken Soup" were published by Humpy Press, which he founded and incorporated in the mid-1970s, and has since been dissolved. Krims has also published original print portfolios such as, "Idiosyncratic Pictures," and "Porsch Rainbows." Most recently (November 2005), a Photo Poche monograph, "Les Krims," edited by Robert Delpire, with an introduction by Bernard Noel, was published by Actes Sud, in France.
In The Little People of America (1971), Krims received permission to photograph people belonging to a national organization founded by the actor Billy Barty, called "The Little People of America. " Many of the pictures were made at national conventions of the L.P.A, in Oakland, CA, and Atlanta, GA. Krims sought to show that the people he photographed were brave, normal people, having more in common with the Mid-West than the Upper-West-Side, unlike the way the dwarf was portrayed in the history of art or contemporary photographs.
In his portfolio The Deerslayers (1972), Krims took pictures of deer hunters who had voluntarily stopped at "deer check stations" so that NYS conservationists could examine the general health of the deer. Pictured posing with their kills, Krims suggested the hunters had much in common with performance art, and odd manifestations of sculpture. He also attempted to underscore the American nature and long tradition of deer hunting as one aspect of a criticism of animal rights and anti-Vietnam War activists.
In The Incredible Case Of The Stack O'Wheat Murders (1972), Krims both parodies forensic photography, and points to it as a remarkable archive of incredible and moving images (the various, successful CSI television series attests to his prescience). In each "Wheats" crime scene, a Stack O'Wheats (pancakes) is placed near each "victim" (he used friends and family to pose for the pictures). Each stack is topped with pats of butter and syrup, the number of pancakes in the stack signifying the number of the crime. Hershey's chocolate syrup was used to simulate blood in the photos, which was formed into words and celestial shapes. Krims originally included 8 ounces of Hershey's syrup in a heat sealed plastic bag with the original print portfolio, as well as "enough pancake mix to make one complete Stack O' Wheats".
In Making Chicken Soup (1972), Krims published pictures of his mother preparing her traditional chicken soup recipe, while nude. These pictures were published as a small book, some say giving rise years later to the popular Chicken Soup series. The book contained a dedication, which underscored the real point of the satire: "This book is dedicated to my mother and concerned photographers, both make chicken soup." Krims felt that "socially concerned" photography was a palliative, just as chicken soup was—in the long run, an ineffective remedy for serious disease.
In Fictocryptokrimsographs, published in 1975, Krims used a Polaroid SX-70 camera to make a series of 40, titled pictures. The SX-70 was chosen, because of the ability to literally move and work the not yet dry, viscous, film emulsion much like paint after the picture developed. Included are various odd and humorous pictures, which are often puns or parodies of fashion trends.
Krims has also steadily been adding pictures to an overarching project spanning three decades called, "The Decline of the Left."
He is sometimes displayed in exhibition in the U.S. and internationally.
In 2004, he had a two-month exhibition at Laurence Miller Gallery in NYC titled "Fictions 1969-1974". In 2007, he had a retrospective at Galerie Baudoin Lebon in Paris and has been part of a dozen other group exhibitions of photography in the years 2000-2007 with others planned.In 1971, a young boy was kidnapped in Memphis, Tennessee. The ransom requested for his return was the removal of Les Krims's photographs then on exhibition in Memphis. Krims' pictures were removed and the boy was released unharmed. A few years later, Light Gallery, in New York City, published an original print portfolio containing the Krims photographs on view at that exhibition. Light Gallery titled the portfolio, "The Only Photographs in the World to Ever Cause a Kidnapping." Krims had nothing to do with the kidnapping.
Krims has been criticized by some anti-porn feminists and feminist photographers as being fetishistic, objectifying, body despising and a misogynist who uses his photography to humiliate predominantly women. Even though Krims does include men (often himself, nude) in his photos, these critics contend that his primary viciousness is reserved for women. However, Krims displays captions with his images that place the work in context.
On March 31, 1980, anti-porn activist Nikki Craft destroyed a portfolio of "The Incredible Case Of The Stack O'Wheat Murders," belonging to a library, by tearing the pictures to pieces and pouring chocolate syrup over them. Craft faced felony conspiracy and malicious mischief charges at University of California, Santa Cruz. However charges were later dismissed and she was nominated for a chancellor's award by her arresting officer, the provost of her college (the then mayor of Santa Cruz) and hundreds of students. Craft maintained that her action was a work of art and an act of disobedience and was not an act of censorship because it resulted in more discussion about the prints. Several months later, after a community dialog in the media and art national art journals, she donated an exact duplicate set of prints back to the Special Collections Dept of the UCSC library where it remains to this day.

 


LES KRIMS.
Mom's Snaps


 

765. DENIS BRIHAT. William Pear, 1972.
Gelatin silver print.

766. JEAN DIEUZAIDE. My Adventure with Pitch, 1958.
Gelatin silver prim.


JEAN DIEUZAIDE
(see collection)

(1921-2003), French photographer.


JEAN DIEUZAIDE. Dali dans l'eau, Port-Lligat, 1953

 

767. LUCIEN CLERGUE. Nude, 1962.
Gelatin silver print. Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, Mass.


LUCIEN CLERGUE
(see collection)

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Lucien Clergue (born August 14, 1934) is a French photographer.
Clergue was born in Arles. From the age of 7, Lucien Clergue learnt to play the violin. Several years later, his teacher revealed to him that he had nothing more to teach him. From a family of shopkeepers, he could not pursue further studies in a conservatory. In 1949, he learns the rudiments of photography. Four years later, at a corrida in Arles, he showed his photos to Pablo Picasso, who though subdued demanded to see others. Within a year and a half, young Clergue worked with the goal of sending photos to Picasso. During this period he worked on his series of photographs of traveling entertainers, acrobats and harlequins, the « Saltimbanques ». He also worked meanwhile on a series whose subject is carrion.
On 4 November 1955, Lucien Clergue visited Picasso in Cannes. Their friendship lasted near 30 years, until the death of the Master. The book, Picasso my friend retraces the important moments of their relation.
Clergue has taken many photographs of the gypsies of southern France, and he was instrumental in propelling the guitarist Manitas de Plata to fame.
In 1968 he founded, along with his friend Michel Tournier the Rencontres d’Arles photography festival which is held in Arles in July.
Clergue has illustrated books, among these a book by writer Yves Navarre.
In 2007, the city of Arles honored Lucien Clergue and dedicated a retrospective collection of 360 of his photographs dating from 1953 to 2007. He also received the 2007 Lucie Award.
He is named knight of the Légion d'honneur in 2003 and elected member of the Academy of Fine Arts of the Institute of France on the 31 May 2006, on the creation of a new section consecrated to photography. Clergue is the first photographer to enter the Academy to a seat devoted to photography.
 


LUCIEN CLERGUE. Nu Zebre, New York

 

Nearly all still-life images are the result of prearrangements or staging. Usually their objectives are fairly simple: to make an aesthetic statement unencumbered by political or social issues, as exemplified by the belief that "associations in the real world simply do not matter in photography." Works by Zeke Berman, which comprise both solid and linear forms, share this intention, except that they also play with the conventions of creating spatial perspective.

Still-life photographs may have more than aesthetic aims. Those by Michiko Kon (pi. no. 768), which consist of strange conjunctions of organic matter—fish scales, vegetables—arranged in the form of ordinary garments, may be simply banal statements that one is what one eats or they may suggest a more profound relationship between organic and manufactured entities. Fontcuberta has evolved "new" species with new "Latin" denominations from a mixture of organic materials (pi. no. 769), which he photographs with clinical clarity against plain backdrops.

The staging of scenes for the camera has been influenced not only by print advertising but also by cinema and television, so it is not surprising that photographers have sometimes given their productions greater impact by installing them in specific configurations. Nan Goldin has projected her images in prearranged sequences accompanied by words and music; Lorie Novak, using a number of projectors, combines images of personal history and public events. In installations by other photographers, articles and images of all sorts—newspaper clippings, stuffed animals, snapshots, bits of clothing—have been hung on walls or on specially built structures to create a nuanccd environment that conveys a personal or political message, as in recent work by the French photographers Christian Boltanski (pi. no. 770) and Annette Messager.
These expedients suggest that, for some artists, dealing with profound and difficult themes such as family life, sexuality, or the Holocaust (which has engaged Boltanski for more than ten years) is beyond the scope of direct documentation and the single image.

The various methods and procedures used to give form to a landscape of the imagination often overlap. Collages and montages at times include negative and positive versions of the same or different photographs; some elements may be distorted or solarized (the latter is a technique for partially reversing the tonality of the negative by exposing it to light during development). Photographers using these techniques often manipulate the chemical development process to make the image foggy or grainy, or they may add tone to it. The photographer thus asserts the

right to make imaginative or conceptual as well as realistic statements with the camera, an attitude toward the medium that can be traced back to the work of Julia Margaret Cameron, Oscar Gustav Rejlander, and Henry Peach Robinson in the 19th century.

 

768. MiCHIKO KON. Dress of Peas, 1994.
Gelatin silver print. Robert Mann Gallery, New York.


769. JOAN FONTCUBERTA. Lavandula Angustifolia, c. 1984.
Gelatin silver print. Zabriskie Gallery, New York.

770. CHRISTIAN BOLTANSKI. The Drawer; 1988.
Gelatin silver print, lightbulb, and metal box filled with clothing, 37 x 24 x 16 in.
Marian Goodman Gallery, New York.

 
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