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Christina Lodder and Benjamin Benus

Avant-garde tendency in 20th-century painting, sculpture, photography, design and architecture, with associated developments in literature, theatre and film. The term was first coined by artists in Russia in early 1921 and achieved wide international currency in the 1920s. Russian Constructivism refers specifically to a group of artists who sought to move beyond the autonomous art object, extending the formal language of abstract art into practical design work. This development was prompted by the utopian climate following the October Revolution of ...

Article

Meghan E. Grossman

Fashion photography is the use of photography to communicate the latest trends in clothing. It has a long and distinctive history in Europe and the USA, and is now practised around the world. Fashion photography acts as a representation of popular taste and is created to serve a commercial industry, yet it has also served as an avenue for change, pushing the boundaries of acceptability with innovations in style, technique, and the portrayal of fashion. Fashion photography was a democratizing force in the acceptance of photography in the West, as it brought the new form of expression to an audience of every social level, rich or poor, urban or suburban. Via mass media, photography serves to relate changes in fashion over long distances and many cultures, globally disseminating the styles of high fashion....

Article

Amanda du Preez

Term used to indicate the complex visual matrix incorporating the one who looks as well as the one who is looked at. This means the one who imposes the gaze and the one who is the object of the gaze are both implicated in the construction of the gaze. The concept was addressed initially by ...

Article

Richard Lorenz

American group of photographers, active 1932–5. It was a loose association of San Francisco Bay Area photographers who articulated and promoted a modern movement in photographic aesthetics. The group was formed in August 1932 by photographers who shared an interest in pure and unmanipulated photography as a means of creative expression. It derived its name from the smallest possible aperture setting on a camera, the use of which resulted in the greatest and sharpest depth of field, producing an image with foreground and background clearly focused. The original membership consisted of ...

Article

J. P. Ward and Gerald W. R. Ward

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Article

Mary Warner Marien

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Angela H. Moor and Ian L. Moor

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Article

John R. Neeson

Installation art is a hybrid of visual art practices including photography, film, video, digital imagery, sound, light, performance, happenings, sculpture, architecture, and painted and drawn surfaces. An installation is essentially site specific, three-dimensional, and completed by the interaction of the observer/participant in real time and space. The point of contention with any definition concerns the site specificity, ephemerality, and consequently ‘collectability’ of the work itself. One view has it that the category installation is presupposed on the transitory and impermanent, the second that an installation can be collected and re-exhibited as a conventional work of art....

Article

Kitsch  

Denis Dutton

Term used to identify spurious imitations of genuine artistic creations in the fine and applied arts, architecture, literature, fashion, photography, the theatre, cinema, and music. Kitsch is sometimes used to refer to virtually any form of popular art or mass entertainment, especially when sentimental, but, although many popular art forms are cheap and somewhat crude, they are at least direct and unpretentious. On the other hand, a persistent theme in the history of the usage of ‘kitsch’, going back to the word’s mid-European origins, is pretentiousness, especially in reference to objects that simulate whatever is conventionally viewed as high art. As Hauser (...

Article

Montage  

Tom Williams

Term that refers to the technique of organizing various images into a single composition in both film and visual art. It is also frequently applied to musical and literary works that emphasize fragmentation and paratactic construction. In film, the term typically refers to the organization of individual shots to create a larger structure or narrative. This technique was developed most systematically by the film makers of the 1920s Russian avant-garde such as Sergey Eisenstein (...

Article

Jeffrey Martin

Medium on which a series of photographic images are recorded on a flexible plastic base in order to produce the illusion of movement when reproduced by projection through a lens or other means. Although ‘film’ has been used by the general public as a catch-all term for any moving image medium, it actually refers specifically to photochemical reproduction....

Article

J.P. Ward, Mary Warner Marien, Gerald W. R. Ward and J. P. Ward

Term used to describe the technique of producing an image by the action of light on a chemically prepared material. Although used privately as early as 1833, it was not until the public discussion of the first processes in 1839 that the term popularly attributed to ...

Article

Jae Emerling

Throughout its history, photography has been linked to theoretical debates in the fields of philosophy, anthropology, art, and science. These debates tell us about the relation between appearance and truth, about the objectivity versus subjectivity of the photographic image, and most generally about the nature of the photographic medium. Photography requires the ability to think critically about representation. This requirement is not unique to the medium, but it may be that the ubiquity of photographs within the modern world makes it a privileged site for wide-ranging debates about images, modes of address, structures of intention, and the ethics of interpretation....

Article

Hope Kingsley and Dennis Reed

Photographic style that began around 1890 and continued until at least World War II, in which photographers sought to convey subjective emotions rather than depict objective reality. Pictorialism became the first international movement of photography, with artists predominantly working in the USA, Europe and Asia. Pictorialists modelled their photographs after fine art, and they embraced a variety of artistic influences, including Symbolist literature and art, Impressionist and Pre-Raphaelite painting, Art Nouveau and Japonisme. Their works were generally characterized by picturesque subjects rendered in soft focus, with an emphasis on tone rather than line and detail. They employed exotic printing techniques or drew onto their prints, lending a handmade quality to their work and thus demonstrating its technical and aesthetic skill. At the heart of the Pictorialist movement were two primary tenets: a desire to create beauty and the aspiration to establish photography as an art form....

Article

Monica McTighe

American writer and critic. Born Susan Rosenblatt in New York City, she was raised in Arizona and California. She entered college at the age of 15 and received a BA from the University of Chicago in 1951. She earned MA degrees in English and Philosophy from Harvard University in ...

Article

Tirza Latimer and Harriet Riches

Since the medium’s inception, women have been attracted to photography’s ability to narrate the past and to construct the future, as well as its relative freedom from the historical conventions of the fine arts. In Europe and North America, and later in parts of Central and South America and Asia, the evolution of the new technology across the 19th century coincided with feminist challenges to prevailing gender relations. From the 1850s women of the upper and middle classes experimented with photography as a tool of documentation and a space of self-expression, while photographic studios employed working-class women to assist in a variety of tasks. As innovations such as the dry-plate process (1870s) and the Kodak camera (...