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Article

Tom Williams

(b East Orange, NJ, March 29, 1947; d Falls Village, CT, June 25, 2013).

American photographer and conceptual artist. Charlesworth received a BA in art history from Barnard College in New York in 1969. During her undergraduate years, she enrolled in a number of studio courses, including those taught by conceptual artist Douglas Huebler, and her work was decisively shaped by late 1960s debates about conceptual art. In 1974–5 she joined with Joseph Kosuth and others to establish and edit the combative conceptualist journal The Fox, to which she made several contributions, including ‘Declaration of Dependence’, her well-known essay about the artist’s place in the larger society. Her photo-conceptualist practice is often associated with the so-called Pictures Generation that included other photographers such as Barbara Kruger, Louise Lawler, and Cindy Sherman, and in this context, she is often regarded as a key figure in the development of appropriation art during the late 1970s and early 1980s. From 1992 she taught at the School of Visual Art in New York and from ...

Article

Chim  

Mary Christian

[Seymour, David; Szymin, David]

(b Warsaw, Nov 20, 1911; d Suez, Nov 10, 1956).

American photographer of Polish birth. Chim studied printing at the Akademie für Graphische Kunst, Leipzig (1929–31), and then at the Sorbonne, Paris (1931–3), with the intention of working for his father, a prominent publisher of Hebrew and Yiddish books. By 1933 he had converted the bathroom of his flat into a dark-room, which he shared with his friends Robert Capa and Henri Cartier-Bresson. At this time he took the name Chim, adapted from his surname. In 1939 Chim immigrated to the USA and changed his surname to Seymour.

In 1934 Chim began to contribute photographs to Regards, a large-format illustrated magazine devoted to the ideals of the Popular Front, for which he eventually became the staff photographer. In July 1936 Chim was sent by Regards to be a correspondent for the Spanish Civil War, recording such images as Loyalist Rally, Spain, 1936 (see Friedberg, pp. 36–7). Some of these and later photographs were published in ...

Article

Xiao Situ

(b Tuscaloosa, AL, Nov 5, 1936).

American painter, photographer, and sculptor. Born and raised in Tuscaloosa, AL, Christenberry received his bachelor’s degree in fine arts in 1958 and his master’s degree in painting in 1959, both from the University of Alabama. He began his artistic career by painting in an Abstract Expressionist style, but soon turned his attention to the landscape of his native Alabama as the primary subject of his art. His photographs, paintings, and sculptures focus on the vernacular architecture, rural roads, commercial signs, and decorative gravesites that characterize the region. As an entirety, his works address themes such as the personal attachment to place and culture, the effects of the passage of time, and the simultaneous fragility and endurance of memory.

After teaching art for six years at Memphis State University (now the University of Memphis), Christenberry moved to Washington, DC, in 1968 to accept a professorship at the Corcoran College of Art and Design. He continued making annual summer pilgrimages to Alabama to photograph local sites and structures such as ...

Article

Jeff Stockton

(b Tulsa, OK, Jan 19, 1943).

American photographer and film maker. He studied photography at Layton School of Art, Milwaukee, WI (1960–63), and later came under the tutelage of Walter Sheffer (1918–2002) and Gerard Bakker. Clark first garnered attention in 1971 with the publication of Tulsa, a book whose graphic and uncensored view of the youth subculture of the Midwest resulted in a lawsuit, bringing Clark notoriety but also recognition as a photographer. In 1973 Clark was awarded a National Endowment of the Arts Photographers’ Fellowship. His later books, Teenage Lust (1982) and Perfect Childhood (1992), continued to be centred on the rituals and obsessions of drug culture and youths dominated by sex, the hypodermic needle, and the gun. A heightening of the voyeuristic element as a result of the growing difference in ages between the subjects and the photographer was particularly apparent in later photographs of young people in New York and by the depiction of teens in his debut feature film ...

Article

Francis Summers

American photographers and conceptual artists of Irish and Israeli birth. Collaborating under a corporate-sounding name, Michael Clegg (b Dublin, 1957) and Martin Guttman (b Jerusalem, 1957) began making photographs together in 1980. Using corporate group portraits as their resource material, they made constructed photographs in the manner of 17th-century Dutch paintings. A Group Portrait of the Executives of a World Wide Company (1980; see 1989 exh. cat., p. 33) shows five suited men seated in a brooding darkness, their heads and hands illuminated in a chiaroscuro effect. The reference to historical paintings is made particularly explicit in The Art Consultants (1986; see 1989 exh. cat., p. 37): the figures are posed directly in front of a canvas so as to mirror the painted figures, illustrating Clegg & Guttman’s proposition that within the hierarchies of power, the essential nature of pose, emblems and dress have remained relatively unchanged for centuries. Pushing these images to the point of indetermination, Clegg & Guttman also occasionally carried out actual commissions (although not always successfully), as well as creating collaged and altered portraits such as ...

Article

Margaret Harker

(b Boston, MA, June 11, 1882; d Colwyn Bay, Oct 23, 1966).

American photographer, active also in Britain. Coburn was greatly influenced by his mother, a keen amateur photographer, and began taking photographs at the age of eight. He travelled to England in 1899 with his mother and his cousin, F(red) Holland Day. Coburn developed substantial contacts in the photography world in New York and London, and in 1900 he took part in the New School of American Pictorial Photography exhibition (London, Royal Phot. Soc.), which Day organized. In 1902 he was elected a member of the Photo-Secession, founded by Alfred Stieglitz to raise the standards of Pictorial photography (see Pictorial photography). A year later he was elected a member of the Brotherhood of the Linked Ring, Brotherhood of the in Britain.

Some of Coburn’s most impressive photographs are portraits. He worked for a year in the studio of the leading New York portrait photographer Gertrude Käsebier and became friendly with George Bernard Shaw, who introduced him to a number of the most celebrated literary, artistic, and political figures in Britain, many of whom, including Shaw, he photographed (for example see Gernsheim and Gernsheim, p. 13). Shaw also wrote the preface to the catalogue for the exhibition of Coburn’s work at the Royal Photographic Society, London, in ...

Article

Anne Blecksmith

Term used to describe pictorial representations of objects and data using a computer. The term also implies the creation of and subsequent manipulation and analysis of computer-generated imagery and graphics. Computer-generated imagery was developed shortly after the introduction of the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC) in 1946. In 1950, a mathematician and artist from Iowa named Ben Laposky produced computer-generated graphic images using an electronic oscilloscope and photographed the results using high-speed film. The first interactive man-machine graphics program was Sketchpad, invented by Ivan Sutherland, a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Developed for the TX-2 computer, Sketchpad allowed one to draw on the computer screen using a light pen and processed image manipulation functions through a series of toggle switches.

In 1965, scientists from the USA and Germany organized concurrent computer art exhibitions entitled Computer-Generated Pictures at the Howard Wise Gallery in New York and the Galerie Niedlich in Stuttgart. The American scientists, Bela Julesz and A. Michael Noll worked at Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, NJ, a center of computer graphic development and in ...

Article

Sarah Kate Gillespie

(b Philadelphia, PA, March 1, 1800; d Frankford, PA, Aug 10, 1893).

American photographer and scientist. Cornelius was among the vanguard of experimenters with the new daguerreotype process when it was introduced to the United States in the autumn of 1839. He had a background in chemistry and drawing, and was working in his family’s lamp-manufacturing and metalware business in Philadelphia when he learned of the process. Due to his expertise with metallurgy, fellow early experimenter Joseph Saxton (1799–1873) approached him to assist in the production of daguerreotype plates. Cornelius began to experiment on his own, building a camera and acquiring a lens from optician John McAllister. By October or November of 1839 he had created a self-portrait (see fig.), possibly the earliest one using this method in existence. By December Cornelius was working with Dr Paul Beck Goddard, a University of Pennsylvania chemist and physician. Goddard discovered that bromine could be used as an accelerator to sensitize daguerreotype plates, drastically reducing the exposure times and making commercial portraiture a practical reality. With Goddard as a silent partner, Cornelius opened a portrait studio on ...

Article

Sheryl Conkelton

(b Boston, MA, 1925).

American photographer. Cosindas studied painting at the Boston Museum School and worked as a designer from 1944 to 1960. Her Boston studio was in the same building as the Carl Siembab Gallery; she gradually became part of the circle of photographers that made up his stable of artists. She attended photography workshops with Ansel Adams in 1961 and Minor White in 1963 and 1964. In 1962 she was one of about a dozen photographers who was invited by Polaroid to test Polacolor film. Since that time she worked extensively with Polaroid film and exclusively in colour, manipulating various components of the process to produce the warm tones she preferred. Cosindas created sensuous portraits of figures and objects (e.g. Conger Metcalf Still Life, 1976; see N. Rosenblum: A World History of Photography, New York, 1984, no. 764) using a view camera, natural light and colour filters and working in the same way whether the images were personal or commissioned. Her colour is muted, harmonious and atmospheric and infuses her images with romance and nostalgia....

Article

Mary M. Tinti

(b Colgate, Jamaica, Oct 16, 1960).

African American photographer of Jamaican birth. Although born in Jamaica, Cox was raised in an upper–middle-class neighborhood in Scarsdale, NY. Interested in both film and photography, Cox favored the latter for its immediacy and began her study of the craft while at Syracuse University. After a brief stint as a fashion photographer, Cox received her MFA from the New York School of Visual Arts in 1992 and participated in the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program from 1992–3.

Cox became a household name in 2001 when New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani took great offense at Yo Mama’s Last Supper (1996), a controversial photographic reinterpretation of Leonardo’s Last Supper, unveiled at the Brooklyn Museum exhibition, Committed to the Image: Contemporary Black Photographers. (The photo featured a nude Cox, with arms outstretched, flanked by 11 black, dreadlocked apostles and a white Judas.) Outraged at the image’s supposedly irreverent, anti-Catholic overtones, Giuliani called for a special commission on decency to oversee organizations whose exhibitions benefited from public funds. The subsequent media frenzy earned Cox (who was raised Catholic) much publicity in the popular press, which in turn brought new critical attention to her works....

Article

Andrew Kagan

(b St Catharines, nr Niagara Falls, Sept 5, 1906; d New York, April 27, 1978).

American painter, printmaker and photographer of Canadian birth. After attending high school in Buffalo, NY, Crawford worked on tramp steamers in the Caribbean. In 1927 he enrolled at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles, CA, and worked briefly at the Walt Disney Studio. Later that year he moved to Philadelphia, PA, where he studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and at the Barnes Foundation in Merion Station until 1930. Crawford’s paintings of the early 1930s, such as Still-life on Dough Table (1932; artist’s estate, see 1985 exh. cat., p. 19), were influenced by the work of Cézanne and Juan Gris, which he had studied at the Barnes Foundation. He was also attracted to the simplified Cubism of Stuart Davis, with its restricted primary colour schemes. After a trip to Paris in 1932–3, where he studied at the Académie Colarossi and the Académie Scandinave, Crawford’s flat, geometric treatment of architectural and industrial subjects in paintings such as ...

Article

Francis Summers

(b New York, Sept 26, 1962).

American photographer. Crewdson obtained a BFA from the State University of New York Purchase, NY, and an MFA from Yale University, New Haven, CT, where he completed his studies in 1988. Creating highly constructed photographs that deal with the duality of culture and nature, Crewdson presented his first major cycle of untitled photographs within the tradition of pictorial dioramas, under the heading Natural Wonder (1992–7). Working with installations he had made in his studio from backdrops and stuffed animals, Crewdson created open-ended ambiguous narratives that took the American suburban landscape as a model for anxiety and desire. Typically, animals are posed in uncanny and unnatural roles; one such work has a ring of eggs (mirroring monolithic structures) surrounded by a gathering of birds in some unknowable ritual (see 1999 exh. cat., p. 34). Taxidermy featured less in Crewdson’s later work, but he continued to explore his interest in pictorial framing. His ...

Article

Constance W. Glenn

(b Worcester, MA, Oct 7, 1943).

American photographer and conceptual artist. He studied painting at the Massachusetts College of Art, Boston (1961–5), and the University of Illinois, Urbana (1965–7). He first won recognition for his 8×10 view camera photographs, for example Chair Trick (1973; see Alinder, pl. 12). In such works as these, where he constructed the objects and their settings and then photographed them, Cumming explored perception, illusion, logic, time and motion. In the 1980s he began using drawing, printmaking and colour photography, for example X-ray Crystallography Mounts (DNA Molecule Research) MIT (photograph, 1986; Cambridge, MA, MIT; see 1988 exh. cat., pl. 24), with the same attention to pragmatic detail and often magical humour. His interest in narrative fantasies first provided storylines for photo-sequences and later led him to write, illustrate, and publish five books including Discourse on Domestic Disorder (Orange, CA, 1975).

J. Alinder: Cumming Photographs: Untitled 18...

Article

Richard Lorenz

(b Portland, OR, April 12, 1883; d San Francisco, CA, June 23, 1976).

American photographer. Cunningham studied at the University of Washington, Seattle, where she became interested in photography. She had been inspired by the work of Gertrude Käsebier, whose Pictorial images were reproduced in Alfred Stieglitz’s Camera Work and in The Craftsman. Cunningham took her first photographs about 1906 and became a professional photo-technician at the Edward Curtis Studio in Seattle from 1907 to 1909, where she printed Curtis’s negatives of North American Indians. She was awarded a scholarship to study with Robert Luther (1868–after 1932) at the Technische Hochschule, Dresden (1909–10), where she studied platinum printing, art history, and life drawing. In late 1910 Cunningham returned to Seattle and opened a portrait studio. From 1910 to 1915, in addition to her commercial portraiture, she produced a body of Pictorial photography, Symbolist works inspired by the poetry and prose of William Morris. These depict her friends dressed as mythical characters in bucolic settings. She married the etcher ...

Article

Mary Christian

(b White Water, WI, 1868; d Los Angeles, CA, Oct 21, 1954).

American photographer. A self-taught photographer, in 1887 he became a partner in a portrait studio in Seattle, where he experimented with new subject-matter. He decided to make the photography of native peoples his speciality and accompanied anthropologists on the Harriman Expedition to Alaska in 1899 and to Montana in 1900. In 1901 he conceived a vast project to document photographically the lives, customs and folklore of the native American tribes and to record their customs. President Theodore Roosevelt introduced him to J. Pierpont Morgan, who sponsored Curtis’s work and his publication of the luxurious 20-volume compendium The North American Indian (1907–30).

Curtis’s photographs in The North American Indian reflected the contemporary view of American Indians as ‘noble savages’. He judged his methods to be far superior to those of his predecessor, George Catlin. In wishing to document the vanishing culture of the rapidly Europeanized American Indian, he romanticized the settings of his photographs, sometimes adding props consisting of ‘scalps’, head-dresses and ceremonial costume, suggesting, for example, the inherent warrior nature of the men and the promiscuity of the young women. To reduce the intervention of contemporary settings, he freely altered negatives and reduced the depth of field using a large aperture to soften the surroundings of his subject. His portraits adopted the tight cropping and full-face or profile formats characteristic of ethnographic photography. His formal mastery and his concern with creating works of art as well as documents of a culture distinguished him from other contemporary photographers of the ‘vanishing race’. He also made a film of the Kwakiutl people called ...

Article

Sheryl Conkelton

(b Alameda, CA, Nov 19, 1895; d Dec 11, 1989).

American photographer. She studied painting at the San Francisco Art Institute (1914–17), where she was taught by Rudolph Schaeffer (1886–1988), who encouraged her use of strong colour. She later studied design in New York and then architecture at Columbia University, New York (1923). A self-taught photographer, she was inspired to take up photography by the nudes of Anne Brigman (1869–1950). Dahl-Wolfe worked as an interior-design assistant in San Francisco and New York. In 1927–8 she travelled with the photographer Consuelo Kanaga (1894–1978) in Europe. She abandoned interior design for photography, opening a studio first in San Francisco in 1930, and then in Gatlinburg, TN, when she married Meyer (Mike) Wolfe in 1932.

Dahl-Wolfe worked as a freelance advertising photographer with her own studio in New York from 1933 until 1960. Her rise to prominence coincided with a trend towards naturalism in fashion photography. She was one of the first photographers to move beyond studio props and lighting to photograph models outdoors in natural light and on location in exotic places. Her photographic style promoted the new sensibility of American sportswear designers, such as Bonnie Cashin, Claire McCardell and Pauline Trigére, as an alternative to more established and formal French styles. During her career she photographed cultural figures and famous personalities in addition to fashion, among them Josephine Baker and Eudora Welty, as well as ...

Article

Miwako Tezuka

(b Kien Giang, Vietnam, Oct 9, 1977).

American photographer of Vietnamese birth. Danh’s family fled Vietnam as refugees when he was two years old and eventually immigrated to the USA in the early 1980s. In 2004 he received Master of Fine Arts from Stanford University, California. Danh worked with photography to excavate, revive, and preserve forgotten stories in history, particularly those of manmade atrocities such as the Vietnam War.

Photographic images of disasters, tragedies and figures associated with them have also been the focus of works by such artists as Andy Warhol and Christian Boltanski. Both of these artists use the power of photography to arrest the moment that triggers affective interpretation of pain and sorrow of the subjects of their work. However, Danh’s scientific experiments regarding the process of photography led him to develop a technique that he called “chlorophyll printing.” Danh took photographs found in old magazines and historical archives, created negatives out of them, placed them over still-growing plant leaves and then exposed them to sunlight (for several days or weeks) in order to activate photosynthesis. As the leaf gradually changes color, parts that are not blocked from the sunlight by the overlying negatives remain leafy green, causing an image to emerge in shapes of what had been captured in the original photographs. The leaf can then be encased in resin to preserve the image. For example, in his series ...

Article

Donna Stein

(b Hollywood, CA, June 21, 1941).

American photographer, educator, and author. She attended the University of California Los Angeles (1959–62), where she studied drawing and painting. She completed her education at San Francisco State University (BA 1963, MA 1966) where she studied with Jack Welpott (1923–2007), whom she married (1971–7). Dater’s perceptive portraits of women and men and challenging photographs of the nude secured her international reputation.

Her earliest self-portraits date from 1963, using her own image to consider issues of gender, sexuality and the female role in society as well as the hidden side of herself. In 1980, she took the first of 10 trips throughout the Southwest, creating a series of black-and-white self-portraits in the landscape. She also photographed herself in color creating staged tableaus, not unlike Cindy Sherman’s fictional archetypes that satirize iconic roles thrust upon women by society.

Dater has explored the interpretive portrait genre from the beginning of her career to the present. Living and working in the Haight-Ashbury District of San Francisco during the 1960s, she was stimulated by feminism and other counter-culture movements (...

Article

Maria Elena Buszek

(b Toronto, 1958).

Canadian photographer, video artist, and writer, active in USA. Davey variously studied design, drawing, and painting at Montreal’s Concordia University, finally settling on photography, in which she received a BFA in 1982. She later earned an MFA at the University of California San Diego, and began post-graduate studies at the Whitney Independent Study Program in 1988. Frustrated by the tendencies of such contemporaries as Andreas Gursky and Gregory Crewdson to, as she put it, ‘overproduce, overenlarge, overconsume’, Davey sought rather to draw on ‘the inherently surrealist, contingent, “found” quality of the vernacular photograph’(Davey 2014).

Davey’s photographs and videos consist predominantly of quiet vignettes from everyday life: homes filled with dusty, over-stuffed shelves, crammed with books, albums, bottles, and art supplies, and tables with momentary arrangements of these objects in use; lovingly rendered still-lifes of the near extinct, ad-hoc displays of button vendors, newsstands, and hi-fi equipment; always suggesting but rarely depicting the acquisitive, inquisitive people living and working in these humble, very much lived-in spaces. Her breakthrough ...

Article

(b Chicago, IL, Sept 5, 1933).

American photographer. While still at school he took photography lessons using a Rolleiflex. He studied photography at Rochester Institute of Technology, NY (1951–4), then philosophy, painting, photography and (under Josef Albers) graphic design at Yale University, New Haven, CT (1955). While serving in the US Army (1955–7), he was stationed in Paris where he met Henri Cartier-Bresson and photographed Montmartre, Les Halles and other areas, in the style of Alfred Stieglitz. In 1958 he joined Magnum Photos, working as a fashion photographer and becoming a prominent photojournalist. He covered the race riots in the American South during the 1960s, and his work appeared in many leading international magazines. He is best known for numerous photographic essays on people living on the fringe of society (e.g. Clown, 1958; Rochester, NY, Int. Mus. Phot.), recorded with sensitivity and a visual richness, which were hallmarks of his style. A photographic essay of the 1990s looked at the peopled landscape of New York’s Central Park, and in ...