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Article

Italo Zannier

(b Rome, Nov 26, 1925; d Rome, July 24, 1998).

Italian photographer. He was a pupil of Adolfo Porry-Pastorel (1888–1960), and in 1955, three years after becoming a professional photographer, he founded and directed the Roma’s Press Photo agency with Sergio Spinelli (b 1929). After this he worked both as a stills photographer and as the personal reporter of several film stars. His name is linked above all to the term ...

Article

Robin Holmes

(b Paris, April 1, 1963).

French photographer, video artist, and installation artist of Algerian descent, active in the UK. Born in Paris in 1963, Zineb Sedira relocated to England in 1986. In 1995 she earned a BA in critical fine art practice with a focus on post-colonial studies at Central Saint Martins School of Art. She finished an MFA in Media at the Slade School of Art in 1997 and conducted research studies at the Royal College of Art until 2003. Through the use of self-portraiture, family narrative, and images of the Mediterranean, her work has addressed ethnic, religious, and gender identities as well as issues of stereotype, displacement, and migration. She draws on her Algerian heritage in much of her work, evoking North Africa through the integration of traditional Islamic forms and motifs into her installations. In her 1997 work Quatre générations de femmes, Sedira incorporated repeated images of her mother, daughter, and herself into traditional Islamic tile patterns (...

Article

Reinhold Misselbeck

(b Unna, nr Düsseldorf, Sept 26, 1882; d Berlin, Dec 26, 1966).

German photographer. He studied mechanical engineering in Hagen from 1901 to 1903, and thereafter in Berlin, where he associated with artists and began working as an amateur photographer; one of his favourite subjects was the Berlin zoo, as exemplified in his photographs for the book Das Tier im Bild (1929). Between 1914 and 1918 he worked in Zeppelin construction in Potsdam, but he returned to Berlin, studying sculpture from 1919 to 1922 at the Kunsthochschule. In 1930 he became a professional photographer working for, among others, the Berliner Illustrierte Zeitung and the Ullstein publishing house, documenting the life of Berlin with his photographs of workers and, later, of World War II bomb damage. Pfützenspringerin (1925), one of his best-known images, captures the incongruity of a fashionably dressed woman leaping from road to pavement.

Contemp. Phots Documenta 6, 2 (exh. cat. by K. Honnef and E. Weiss...

Article

Paolo Costantini

(b Biella, Aug 28, 1859; d Biella, Aug 12, 1943).

Italian photographer and mountaineer. He was the son of Giuseppe Venanzio (1823–76), an entrepreneur, economist, writer and photographic theorist who wrote one of the first Italian photographic treatises, Plico del fotografo (Turin, 1856, 2/1863), and the nephew of the statesman, scientist and mountaineer Quintino Sella. After finishing his military service in 1878 he attended college in Biella and began to take an interest in photography. Instruction from his father and advice from the professional Biella photographer Vittorio Besso (1828–95) encouraged his enthusiasm for photography, which he combined with his love of mountains.

Sella photographed on his many mountaineering expeditions in the Alps, the Caucasus, Alaska and the Himalayas (e.g. a series of panoramic views of the Alps, 1880–95), taking photographs with exceptional technical and scientific discipline. With the clarity and grandeur of his images he made a considerable contribution to landscape photography. He was elected an adviser to the Società Fotografica Italiana, founded in Florence in ...

Article

Erika Billeter

(b Rothrist, Aargau, Aug 14, 1901; d Berne, April 25, 1953).

Swiss photographer. He emerged as a leading photo-journalist during the 1930s, working for Zürcher illustrierte under the guidance of its editor Arnold Kübler. His work during this period and into the 1940s was primarily concerned with the Spanish Civil War and World War II. Although attached to the German ministry of information from ...

Article

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

(b. Tehran, late 1830s; d. 1933).

Russian photographer active in Iran. The son of Vassil de Sevruguin, an Orientalist who served as a diplomat with the Russian embassy in Tehran, and Achin Khanoum. After his father’s death, Sevruguin followed his Georgian mother to Tblisi, where he met the Russian photographer Dmitri Ivanovitch Jermakov (1845–1916), who had opened a studio there. In 1870 Sevruguin traveled to Iran with his brothers, photographing the landscape, archaeological sites and the people of Azerbaijan, Kurdistan and Luristan. He eventually settled in Tehran and established a studio, becoming an official court photographer to Nasir al-Din Shah (r. 1848–96), and was sought as a portraitist by members of the élite. Sevruguin made annual trips to Vienna to keep abreast of modern photographic developments. The art historian Friedrich Sarre commissioned Sevruguin to photograph Achaemenid and Sasanian monuments in southern Iran for Iranische Felsreliefs, which he published with Ernst Herzfeld (although Sevruguin’s contribution went unmentioned). Sevruguin’s business was damaged during the Constitutional Revolution of ...

Article

M. Sue Kendall

(b Kovno, Lithuania, Sept 12, 1898; d New York, March 14, 1969).

American painter, photographer and lithographer of Lithuanian birth. He was born into a family of Jewish craftsmen who emigrated in 1906, settling in New York. From 1913 to 1917 Shahn served as an apprentice in Hessenberg’s Lithography Shop in Manhattan, and in the evenings he attended high school in Brooklyn. In 1916 he enrolled in a life-drawing class at the Art Students League. After studying biology, first at New York University (1919) and then at City College, New York (1919–22), he entered the National Academy of Design to pursue a career as an artist (1923).

After marrying in 1922, Shahn travelled with his wife to North Africa, Spain, Italy and France (1924–5; 1927–9), where he studied both the art of the past and the works of Matisse, Dufy, Rouault, Picasso and Klee. On his return from Europe in 1925 they moved to Brooklyn Heights. There he met Walker Evans, with whom he began to share a studio. Also in ...

Article

Daniela Mrázková

(Samoylovich)

(b Nikolayev, Ukraine, Sept 9, 1898; d Moscow, Nov 18, 1959).

Russian photographer of Ukrainian birth. He worked as a locksmith in the docks and in 1918 joined the Red Army. He was self-taught as a photographer, working in a Moscow commercial studio from 1922 as a retoucher. In 1923 his own work was published in the periodical Rabochaya gazeta. He began working as a photojournalist for the illustrated weekly Ogonyok in 1924, leaving in 1930 to work as photographer for the pictorial journal SSSR na stroyke, which was intended for foreign consumption.

A faithful chronicler of the changes in Soviet society following the Revolution in 1917, Shaykhet photographed such subjects as the columns of people trekking with their backpacks from all corners of the land to the factories of Moscow to help re-establish the ruined industries (Going to Work in Moscow, 1929; see Morozov and Lloyd, p. 87), peasants waiting patiently outside Kalinin’s office to talk over their problems with him (...

Article

Andrew Cross

revised by Mary Chou

(b London Aug 9, 1962).

British sculptor, painter and installation artist. Born to Nigerian parents, he grew up in Nigeria before returning to England to study Fine Art in London at Byam Shaw School of Art and Goldsmiths’ College where he completed his MFA. Shonibare’s West African heritage has been at the heart of his work since he started exhibiting in 1988, when he began using ‘Dutch-wax’ dyed fabrics, commonly found in Western Africa, both for wall-mounted works (as pseudo paintings) and for sculpted figures. Generally perceived as ‘authentic’African cloth, the tradition of Batik originated in Indonesia, and was appropriated by the Dutch who colonized the country. Manufactured in Holland and Britain, the cloth was then shipped to West Africa where it became the dress of the working class in nations such as Nigeria. Shonibare used the material as a way of deconstructing the more complex histories that determine these and other images of ethnicity. As such, he has been described as a ‘post-cultural hybrid’ or the ‘quintessential postcolonial artist’ by critics as well as the artist himself....

Article

Catherine M. Grant

(b Macclesfield, Ches, Sept 18, 1968).

English conceptual artist, draughtsman, photographer, sculptor, painter and installation artist. He studied at the Glasgow School of Art between 1988 and 1991, graduating with a BFA. The concentration in the course on environmental art influenced Shrigley in his presentation of absurd sculptures and notices, as in Leisure Centre (1991; see M. Bracewell, p. 50). Here a small white box with the words ‘Leisure Centre’ written on it is pictured apparently abandoned on a piece of parkland by a road. During the 1990s Shrigley attracted particular attention with his drawings, some of which he published in small runs through his own Armpit Press ( see fig. ). His drawings and accompanying texts are a surreal mixture of mundane observations, ridiculous rules and regulations and violent encounters. These range from a quiz to distinguish television sets from microwaves, which he published in his artist’s book Err (London, 1996), to a comic strip about putting a man in a sack and burning him, under the title ...

Article

(b Paris, Nov 30, 1933; d Paris, Sept 22, 2000).

French photographer. He studied photography at the Vaugirard photographic school in Paris in 1953 and at the photography school in Vevey, Switzerland, in 1954. After this he worked as a fashion photographer for Elle (1955–8) and with the Magnum photographic agency (1959–60). From 1961 he worked freelance, contributing images to ...

Article

Helen Ennis

(b Berlin, Sept 18, 1913; d Melbourne, Aug 7, 2007).

Australian photographer of German birth. His father, Dr Johannes Sievers, was an architectural historian. Sievers trained at the Contempora private art academy in Berlin in 1933. Due to his leftwing sympathies and Jewish descent, Sievers left Germany in 1934 and lived and worked in Portugal. He returned to Berlin in 1936 where he began teaching at the Contempora academy. Sievers developed his interest in architectural photography through his father, who was an expert on the German architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel, and through contact with influential modernist architect Erich Mendelsohn. Sievers applied to migrate to Australia in 1938—one of his sponsors was photographer Axel Poignant (1906–86), then living in Western Australia—but after being called up to the Luftwaffe he fled to England in 1938. He arrived in Australia in August that year and settled in Melbourne. He married Finnish émigré Brita Klarich in 1939 (divorced in 1972), and had two children, Karin (...

Article

Mark Haworth-Booth

(b Nogent-le-Rotrou, Eure-et-Loir, May 18, 1834; d Saint-Maurice, Seine, Feb 2, 1910).

French photographer. Until recently he was known only from a few anecdotes in the autobiography of Nadar, from the English and French periodical literature of his day, and from his surviving photographs. His virtuosity as a landscape photographer in the late 1850s in particular is known only from a handful of prints. His first exhibited and subsequently most celebrated work was River Scene, France (or Vallée de l’Huisne) of 1858. The composition of a river on the outskirts of a town (Nogent-le-Rotrou, west of Chartres) appears to derive from the paintings of Daubigny family, §1. The distinctive clarity of Silvy’s technique, however, was derived from the then relatively new combination of wet collodion on glass negative with albumen-coated printing paper; the latter was placed in a bath of gold chloride for greater richness of tone and permanence. In this print the sky was taken from a second negative. The photograph anticipates important elements of ...

Article

Ismeth Raheem

(fl 1862–1903).

English photographer , active in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). After a period of study at the London School of Photography, he returned to Ceylon in 1862 to work in his family’s photographic business, which had been purchased in 1860 from James Parting, one of the earliest practitioners of daguerreotype photography between 1849 and 1860. It was to dominate the commercial photographic business in the country up to the late 1920s.

The importance of Skeen’s own work lies in its documentary record of a rapidly changing economic and social order. His subjects and themes included the coffee and tea industries, views of ancient Buddhist sites, ethnographical studies, arts and crafts, buildings and railways. Among the most interesting and important are his views of commercial building activity and street scenes in Colombo, Kandy and other provincial towns taken between 1860 and 1880. He was also a skilful portraitist; among his more distinguished sitters was Julia Margaret Cameron, whose portrait was taken after her return to Ceylon in ...

Article

(b London, May 15, 1912; d Saffron Walden, Dec 29, 1971).

English photographer. He studied architecture from 1928 to 1930 at the Northern Polytechnic in Holloway, London. In 1930 he won a scholarship to the Architectural Association School in London, but was forced to leave in 1932 due to lack of money. He then gained a job as an architectural assistant but, finding this too constraining, left after a year. He was an adept painter and draughtsman and taught himself the techniques of photography, mostly under the influence of Eugène Atget. After leaving the architectural office he became a freelance photographer for book work, concentrating on landscape and architectural projects. In 1935 he worked briefly for Vogue and, though not inspired by fashion photography, established his reputation in this field. Between 1935 and 1938 he produced a number of works of the fairground and circus such as Fairground Entertainers, Hampstead (1938; see Cook, pl. 30), as well as a series of images of life in London and elswhere, such as ...

Article

(b 1811; d 1873).

Irish photographer. He was an Irish landowner of independent means living in County Cork. His importance in photographic history derives from his trips to Southern Europe and the Near and Middle East between 1850 and 1852, when he reached as far as Petra. During this time he took about 300 calotypes of architectural sites, such as Relief on the Temple at Thebes (1851; Austin, U. TX, Human. Res. Cent., Gernsheim Col.). He gave a talk to the Dublin Photographic Society in April 1857 in which he described his photographic method for such difficult, hot climates: he used the calotype process, with an exposure time of seven minutes in sunlight. Though these were technically and artistically superior to the contemporary photographs of the same area by Maxime Du Camp, his works were unknown until 1951, when they were included in an exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London....

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b Bradford on Avon, April 14, 1969).

English photographer . Smith began studying art while he was a soldier based in Germany. He then completed a foundation course (Trowbridge, 1990–91), a degree (Coventry University, 1991–5), and an MA in Photography at the Royal College of Art, London (1995–7). He drew on his experiences in the Armed Forces for his first series of photographs, Artists Rifles (1997), showing scenes of soldiers in woodland and desert staging combat scenarios. The use of digital manipulation, by which he himself appears as all the figures in the scenes, soon became his signature technique. For the next series, Make my Night (1998), he appeared as all the characters in a soldiers’ drinking binge. His self-reproduction in scenes of fighting, urinating and vomiting suggests the group mentality of young males involved in such extreme behaviour. Action (2000), a series of images in which Smith posed as a James Bond-type figure in a variety of cinematic cliches, such as ...

Article

Leif Wigh

(b Visby, Gotland, July 11, 1933).

Swedish photographer. After military service he emigrated to São Paulo, Brazil, where he worked as an industrial photographer and assistant to Leon Liebermann. In 1956 he returned to Sweden. He studied at Kursverksamheten’s School of Photography, Stockholm, and worked as a photographer for an industrial company. He went freelance in ...

Article

Kenneth G. Hay

[Armstrong Jones, Anthony (Charles Robert)]

(b London, July 3, 1930).

English photographer, designer and film maker. He attended Eton College and Jesus College, Cambridge, where he studied architecture. In 1960 he married Princess Margaret of Britain. From the early 1950s he established a reputation as a documentary photographer but is known chiefly for his portraits. His subjects, often public and society figures, actors, dancers and writers, included Laurence Olivier as King Lear (1983; see Mortimer, p. 102), Sir Alec Guinness (1985; see Evans, p. 102), Rudolf Nureyev (1986; see Evans, p. 30), Meryl Streep (1983; see Mortimer, p. 57) and a memorable image of an introspective Sir John Betjeman (1982; see Mortimer, p. 140), where the poet is seated among dust-sheets in the studio.

Snowdon’s preferred method was to take long exposures (up to half a second or more) with a large-format 2¼ inch camera; he used a deliberately contrived theatrical setting, where the sitter is fully aware of being photographed and is carefully controlled. His photographs appeared regularly in ...

Article

Paolo Costantini

(b Frankfurt am Main, 1834; d Naples, 1914).

Italian photographer of German descent. He received a camera as a gift from his father at the age of 16, and serious family economic problems led him to follow the profession of photographer. He began working in Switzerland, where he made relief images of mountains for the Helvetic Confederation. In 1857 he opened a photographic studio in Naples, where he lived for the rest of his life. He was concerned particularly with views, with genre scenes and with the reproduction of works of art. He was active throughout Italy, Austria, Switzerland and Malta. Although he was generally occupied with the tourist trade, in 1861 he produced a series of photographs of the battlefields and fortresses of Gaeta after the siege, and he was commissioned by the government to document the repression of banditry in southern Italy.

Sommer was passionate about archaeology, and he made reproductions of ancient Greek and Roman statuary from the museums of Naples and Rome. He also made reports on the results of the excavations at Pompeii for the archaeologist ...