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Terence Pitts

(b West Carlisle, OH, April 8, 1871; d Mexico City, July 8, 1925).

American photographer and teacher . A self-taught photographer, he began taking photographs in 1893 and soon developed a style that showed the influence of Whistler, Sargent and Japanese prints. He was elected to the Linked Ring, Brotherhood of the group of Pictorial photographers in 1900 and was a leading member of the Photo-Secession from 1902. His evocative photographs of rural landscapes and of his family celebrate the joys and virtues of the simple, middle-class way of life that existed in the USA before World War I (e.g. Ring Toss , 1899; New York, Met.)

By 1906 White was already a major figure in American photography and moved to New York, where he began a close professional and artistic relationship with Alfred Stieglitz that lasted until 1912. His work was published in Camera Work in July 1903, Jan 1905, July 1908, July 1909 and Oct 1910. In 1908 he began teaching photography, founding in ...

Article

Richard Lorenz

(Martin )

(b Minneapolis, MN, July 9, 1908; d Boston, MA, June 24, 1976).

American photographer and writer. He took his first photographs as a child with a Kodak Box Brownie camera and later learnt darkroom procedures as a student at the University of Minnesota. After graduating in 1933 with a degree in botany and English, he wrote poetry for five years while supporting himself with odd jobs. He moved to Portland, OR, in 1938 and became increasingly interested in photography. During 1938–9 he worked for the Works Progress Administration Federal Arts Project as a creative photographer documenting the early architecture and waterfront of Portland. In 1941 the Museum of Modern Art in New York exhibited several of his images. His first one-man show, photographs of the Grande Ronde-Wallowa Mountain area of north-eastern Oregon, opened at the Portland Art Museum in 1942.

White served in the Army Intelligence Corps from 1942 to 1945, during which time he wrote about photography but took few photographs. He visited Alfred Stieglitz in New York at his gallery, An American Place, in ...

Article

Mary Chou

[ Butter, Arlene Hannah ]

(b New York, March 7, 1940; d Houston, TX, Jan 28, 1993).

American photographer, performance artist, video artist, sculptor and teacher . Wilke earned a BFA and a teaching certificate from the Tyler School of Art, Temple University in Philadelphia (1956–61). She taught at Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School in Plymouth Meeting, PA, until 1965, and then moved to New York City where she taught at White Plains High School, just north of the city, until 1970. From 1972 to 1991 she taught sculpture at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Wilke is well known for examining stereotypes surrounding sexuality, femininity and feminism through the use of her body, language and visual punning.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Wilke created forms that were abstract but highly suggestive of female genitalia, with layered and folded flower-like shapes, modelled from clay, chewing gum, kneaded erasers, laundry lint and latex (e.g. Needed-Erase-Her , 1974). Exhibited in groups on the floor or on the wall, in an ordered and repetitious manner that recalls Minimalism, the forms are organic and sexual—suggestive of reproduction and procreation. In the 1970s Wilke began to use her own body in a series of performances, videos and photographs that confront erotic representations of the female body and cultural stereotypes about female sexuality. Her video ...

Article

Camara Dia Holloway

(b Philadelphia, PA, Feb 5, 1948).

American photographer, curator and scholar. Willis was born in North Philadelphia to a hairdresser mother and a policeman father who was an amateur photographer. Within a familial and communal context, Willis learned that photographs could function as powerful statements of African American identity. These ideas were reinforced by reading her family’s copy of the publication The Sweet Flypaper of Life (1955) that featured the photographs of Roy DeCarava, a major African American photographer. She also attended the Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition, Harlem on My Mind in 1969. Willis earned a BFA from the Philadelphia College of Art in 1975 and an MFA from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn in 1979. Inspired by the quilting and storytelling traditions in her family, Willis developed a practice that combined her photographs, family photographs and other elements into autobiographical quilts. Her later works focused more on the female body.

From 1980 to 1992...

Article

Wilson  

Aurélie Verdier

English photographers, video and installation artists. Jane (b Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 6 Jan 1967) and her twin sister Louise initially studied separately, Jane completing her BFA at Newcastle Polytechnic, Louise at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art at Dundee in 1989. They both went on to Goldsmiths’ College in London, where they graduated in 1992. Their first collaborative works made reference to stereotypes associated with twins. Their early films, such as Normapaths (1995; 16 mm film transferred to video), also scrutinized the boundaries between the normal and the pathological. They focused on elements of repression and transgression through a sophisticated and careful composition. The Wilsons’ approach often entailed the production of works from the same elements: the video installation, related photographic stills and props appearing in the film presented as sculptures in their own right. In Normapaths, the setting of the charred kitchen of the video was recreated. Their sensitivity to the darker side of the psyche led them to choose historically charged buildings as settings. The video installation ...

Article

Julie Lawson

(b Banffshire [now Grampian], Feb 7, 1823; d Aberdeen, March 9, 1893).

Scottish photographer and painter. He served an apprenticeship as a carpenter but decided to become a painter and trained at art schools in Edinburgh and London. After several years as a drawing-master in Aberdeen, he joined the photographic business of John Hay jr in 1853. In 1855 Wilson opened his own photographic studio in Aberdeen. By the 1860s it was one of the most prolific and successful photographic businesses in Scotland. He won international acclaim as a landscape photographer and was particularly famed for his instantaneous photographs such as View in Leith Docks (undated albumen print; Edinburgh, N.P.G.), which makes telling use of contre-jour effects in the silhouetting of ships’ masts against the sky. He received royal patronage, becoming photographer to Queen Victoria in Scotland. At the International Exhibition of 1862, Wilson was awarded a medal for ‘the beauty of his small pictures of clouds, shipping, waves etc. from nature’. From ...

Article

Francis Summers

(b London, 17th April 1963).

English sculptor and photographer. She studied in London at Central St Martins School of Art and Chelsea School of Art, completing her studies in 1987. Her work uses the photographic in a sculptural manner, in that the photograph becomes a kind of object. Her Seamen I (1991; see 1994 exh. cat.), for example, is a composite of floor sculpture and photography. Spreading across the floor in an ejaculative gesture, the work consists of a number of cropped photographs of erect penises taken from pornographic magazines, placed under glass. Having the effect of making each member solitary and isolated from its original body, these penises seem exposed, needing protection. Her Two Points of Speech in Sight (1993; see 1994 exh. cat.) continues her work in using photography to analyse the body and sexuality. Existing as two tiny photographs placed in elaborate poured plaster frames, the photographs resemble eyes, yet on closer examination turn out to be clenched mouths. Confusing vision with orality, Wiltshire metaphorically places the bodily drives in the act of seeing. Her ...

Article

Leslie Heiner

[Carl; Karl] ( Ferdinand )

(b Siegburg, nr Bonn, Feb 19, 1828; d St Louis, MO, Nov 28, 1862).

American painter and photographer of German birth. He arrived in St Louis in 1843. From 1846 to 1850 he studied painting under the St Louis artist Leon de Pomarede (1807–92). In 1852 he continued his studies at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf, where he worked with Josef Fay (1813–75) and Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze until about 1856. In 1858, having once more based himself in St Louis, he travelled up the Mississippi in order to draw and photograph Indians. Wimar joined a party of the American Fur Trading Company and made several journeys between 1858 and 1860 up the Mississippi, Missouri and Yellowstone rivers in search of Indian subjects. His painting, the Buffalo Hunt (1860; St Louis, MO, Washington U., Gal. A.), became one of the original works in the collection of the Western Academy of Art. In 1861 Wimar was commissioned to decorate the rotunda of the St Louis Court-house with scenes of the settlement of the West (mostly destr.)...

Article

revised by Margaret Barlow

(b New York, NY, Jan 14, 1928; d Tijuana, March 19, 1984).

American photographer and teacher. He studied painting at City College, City University of New York, under the GI Bill (1947–8), transferring to Columbia University, New York (1948–51), where he joined the students’ camera club. He abandoned painting and took up photography, studying under Alexey Brodovitch at the New School for Social Research, New York (1951). In 1952 he joined the Pix photographic agency, working with a 35-mm camera and flash. Aside from commercial assignments, his interest in the human body in movement led him to create a series of photographs at Stillman’s Gymnasium, Manhattan. His ‘snapshot’ aesthetic extended to photographing ballet dancers, showgirls, boxers, and bathers on the beach. From 1954 he was represented by Brackman Associates and his work began appearing in Collier’s, Sports Illustrated, and Pageant. Influenced by Walker Evans and Robert Frank, he aimed for instinctive, narrative pictures that required little or no caption. In ...

Article

(b Warsaw, Feb 24, 1885; d Jeziory, Polesie, Sept 17, 1939).

Polish writer, art theorist, painter and photographer . He was the son of the architect, painter and critic Stanisław Witkiewicz (1851–1915), creator of the ‘Zakopane style’ ( see Poland, Republic of §II 3. ). He spent his childhood in Zakopane in the Tatra Mountains and was educated at his family home, a place frequented by artists and intellectuals, and also through his many travels to Eastern and Western Europe. From his wide acquaintance with contemporary art, he was particularly impressed by the paintings of Arnold Böcklin. Witkiewicz’s often interrupted studies (1904–10) under Józef Mehoffer at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków had less influence than his lessons in Zakopane and Brittany with Władysław Slewiński, who introduced him to the principles of Gauguin’s Synthetism. Witkiewicz abandoned the naturalism of his first landscapes, executed under the influence of his father, rejected linear perspective and modelling and began to use flat, well-contoured forms and vivid colours, as in ...

Article

Matico Josephson

American photography gallery. The first commercially successful photography gallery in New York, founded in 1969 by Lee D. Witkin, and originally located at 237 East 60th Street. Witkin was briefly the only specialized photography dealer in New York. Although this monopoly came to an end in 1971, the gallery played an important role in developing the market for photographic prints in the 1970s and 1980s.

The Witkin Gallery showed a broad range of work by photographers Ansel Adams, Edward Steichen, Berenice Abbott, Margaret Bourke-White, Imogen Cunningham, Harry Callahan, André Kertész, Brassaï, and Jacques-Henri Lartigue, whom Lee Witkin sought out in the United States and in Europe. Witkin did not confine his efforts to the older generation, nor to any single genre. The gallery soon hosted encounters between photographers, collectors, and museum curators. By the mid-1970s, Witkin had also shown the work of avant-garde photographers Duane Michals, Les Krims, Jerry Uelsmann, and Lee Friedlander, photojournalistic work by W. Eugene Smith, Marion Palfi (...

Article

Alexandra Noble

(b Brooklyn, New York, 1939).

American photographer . His first recorded photographs were of freaks on Coney Island made during the 1950s, giving an early indication of his ambition to challenge the boundaries of acceptable taste. His subject-matter included death, blasphemy, sado-masochism, homoeroticism and physical deformities. He presented an extreme, Gothic, nightmare world, which could be said to border on the pornographic. Balancing this taste for the grotesque was a tendency to mysticism and an aestheticism expressed in ironic reworkings of art-historical and literary themes drawn from Rembrandt, Goya, Rubens and the late 19th-century Symbolists.

Witkin studied sculpture at the Cooper Union School, New York, and in 1974 completed an MA in photography at the University of New Mexico. From the early 1970s he worked in series: Contemporary Images of Christ, Images of Women and the Rooftop series are a bizarre testament to his perverse preoccupations. The juxtaposition of Christ with comic-strip heroes, bound and gagged women surrounded by phallic fetishes and the use of masks on subjects of both sexes, withdrawing all individual identity, were central motifs of his work in the 1970s and 1980s. Witkin’s printing technique was complex and meticulous. He frequently scratched his negatives and placed thin tissue on his photographic paper to increase light refraction and soften the image, punching holes in it to emphasize chosen areas of sharpness. On warm toned papers and using a variety of toners, his prints often have a yellowish-brown Old Master look, thereby lessening the shock of such explicit imagery....

Article

Chr. Will

( Arnold )

(b Amsterdam, Aug 13, 1860; d Amsterdam, April 13, 1923).

Dutch painter, printmaker, photographer and critic . He came from an old Amsterdam family of wealthy aristocrats with strong cultural ties. From 1876 to 1884 he was a pupil of August Allebé at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam. J. W. Kaiser (1813–1900) and Rudolf Stang (1831–1927) instructed him in graphic arts. In 1880 he co-founded St Luke’s Society of Artists with Jacobus van Looy and Antoon Derkinderen. In 1882 he visited Paris with van Looy. Between 1883 and 1888 he worked regularly at his family estate, Ewijkshoeve, south of Baarn, often staying there in the company of artistic friends—writers and musicians, as well as painters. With Jan Veth he founded the Nederlandsche Etsclub (Dutch Etching Club), which from 1885 made a strong contribution to the revival of etching in the Netherlands. Witsen was the first among his circle of friends to have his own etching press and also a camera....

Article

Klaus Ottmann

(b Red Bank, NJ, Sept 14, 1954; d New York City, July 22, 1992).

American painter, photographer, writer, film maker, performance artist, and gay rights activist. After an abusive and violent childhood, Wojnarowicz spent his teenage years as a male prostitute in the streets of New York City. He eventually attended the High School of Music and Art in Manhattan and first became noticed as a graffiti artist by stencilling images of burning houses onto buildings in New York, for screening Super-8 films of abandoned buildings, and as a member of a punk band called 3 Teens Kill 4.

In the late 1980s, Wojnarowicz began to create his signature collages—provocative historical allegories to present social and political issues—by combining text, paint, collaged elements, and photography, such as Untitled (Buffalo) (1988–9), an ominous photographic collage picturing a herd of buffaloes being driven over a cliff, which was used in 1992 by the Irish rock band U2 as a cover image for their CD single ...

Article

Reinhold Misselbeck

(b Berlin, Aug 1, 1930; d Hamburg, Nov 10, 1988).

German photographer . He studied art history and literature in Paris, Hamburg and the USA. Influenced by his encounter with American photography, he studied at the Bayerische Staatslehranstalt für Lichtbildwesen (until 1956). He then became an independent photographer in Hamburg, teaching at the Staatliche Meisterschule für Mode Photographie and setting up a studio-house in ...

Article

Wols  

Philip Cooper

[ Schulze, Alfred Otto Wolfgang ]

(b Berlin, May 27, 1913; d Champigny-sur-Marne, nr Paris, Sept 1, 1951).

German painter, draughtsman, photographer and illustrator . In 1919, when his father was appointed head of the Saxon State Chancellery, the family moved from Berlin to Dresden. The following year Wols started taking violin lessons, showing a precocious musical talent. Having finished his studies at a grammar school in Dresden in 1931 he was too young to take the Abitur examination and so decided to abandon it. Fritz Busch, the conductor of the Dresden Opera, then offered to get him a post as a first violinist with an orchestra. Instead he worked for a few months in the studio of the photographer Gena Jonas in Dresden while also spending time as a garage mechanic.

In 1932 Wols travelled to Frankfurt am Main to study anthropology under the German ethnologist Leo Frobenius, a friend of the family, at the Afrika-Institut, though without his Abitur the plan was short-lived. He then moved to Berlin and entered the ...

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 (...

Article

Helaine Posner

(b Denver, CO, April 2, 1958; d New York, Jan 19, 1981).

American photographer . From the age of 11, Woodman spent summers at her parent’s farmhouse in Tuscany and later studied art in Rome through the European honours programme at the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, from which she graduated. Her highly personal and intimate photographs have attracted a strong following, particularly among younger women artists, critics and curators. From 1972 to 1981 she created nearly 500 elegant black-and-white photographs in which an astonishingly prescient and mature aesthetic viewpoint emerges, one that centres on her self-portrait as a means of elaborating the ongoing fetishishization of the female body in Western culture. Filled with irony and grace, Woodman’s photographs of her youthful body, either nude or adorned with feminine accessories such as jewellery, garter-belts and high-heeled shoes, reveal an intense preoccupation with cultural construction of femininity, especially as it has been shaped by the erotic fantasies of men. Unlike the critical representations of Cindy Sherman, which expose the objectification of the female body, Woodman readily presents herself as an elusive, fragile being, entrapped by male expectation and by the realization that sexual identity is both socially and psychologically inscribed. Her photographs, however, are not simply performances staged for a male viewer, their consistent emotional intensity suggests something even more compelling. Woodman’s compulsion to scrutinize her nude form also expresses her remarkably courageous yet vulnerable quest for self-knowledge....

Article

International movement that documented social and political conditions from the viewpoint of the working class and flourished from around 1926 to 1939. Worker photography first appeared in the Soviet Union and Germany in the mid-1920s, with the organization of amateur photography groups and the publication of specialized magazines that encouraged workers to take up the camera for the documentation of their socio-economic reality. Its appearance was linked to the rise of the modern illustrated press, which flourished after World War I, and the creation of popular proletarian newspapers and magazines in opposition to the mainstream bourgeois press. Organized worker photography functioned as an avant-garde movement, in both the artistic and political senses of this term; it had a distinct group identity and was guided by proletarian ideology in employing new media and techniques not merely to communicate messages but to achieve the revolutionary transformation of the world. As a working class movement, it advocated collective practices and published photographs that were often anonymous. As an international political movement, its activities were promoted by the Moscow-based Communist International (Comintern). With the rise of Stalinism and the Third Reich, organized Soviet and German worker photography came to an end in the early 1930s, at the same time that its activities began to appear in other European countries and the United States. The international movement collapsed by the start of World War II in ...

Article

Patricia Masse

(b Chicago, Sept 6, 1925; d Mexico City, May 2, 2002).

Mexican photographer, printmaker, and writer of American birth. After studying humanities in Chicago, in 1944 she emigrated to Mexico. From 1945 to 1958 she worked as an engraver in the Taller de Gráfica Popular with Leopoldo Méndez. She was a founder-member in 1951 of the Salón de la Plástica Mexicana. As a photographer Yampolsky studied under Lola Álvarez Bravo at the Academia de San Carlos Mexico City. Álvarez Bravo’s influence can be seen in Yampolsky’s photographs of rural Mexico, in particular vernacular architecture and harmonious depictions of sites used for either daily or ceremonial functions. She also photographed Indian or mestizo peasants engaged in domestic activities and celebrations, and she published educational and art books.

La casa que canta: Arquitectura popular mexicana. Mexico City, 1982.Estancias del olvido. Mexico City, 1987.La raíz y el camino. Mexico City, 1988.Mazahua. Toluca, 1993.Haciendo Poblanas, text by R. Rendón Garcini...