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Sarah Urist Green

(b Kabul, June 5, 1973).

Afghan video and performance artist and photographer, active also in the USA. After fleeing Soviet-occupied Kabul with her family in the late 1980s, Abdul lived as a refugee in Germany and India before moving to Southern California. She received a BA in Political Science and Philosophy at California State University, Fullerton, and an MFA at the University of California, Irvine, in 2000. Abdul first returned to a post-Taliban Afghanistan in 2001, where she encountered a place and people transformed by decades of violence and unrest. Since that time, Abdul has made work in Kabul and Los Angeles, staging herself in performances and creating performance-based video works and photography that explore ideas of home and the interconnection between architecture and identity.

Beginning in the late 1990s, Abdul made emotionally intense performance art informed by that of Yugoslavian artist Marina Abramović and Cuban-born American artist Ana Mendieta. At the time unable to travel to Afghanistan, Abdul created and documented performances in Los Angeles that probed her position as Afghan, female, Muslim, a refugee and a transnational artist. In ...

Article

Kyla Mackenzie

(b Nelson, 1949).

New Zealand photographer. Aberhart became a leading photographer in New Zealand from the 1970s with his distinctive 8×10 inch black-and-white photographs, taken with a 19th-century large format Field Camera. He is particularly well known for his images of disappearing cultural history, often melancholic in tone, in New Zealand.

Aberhart’s use of an ‘outmoded’ process for picturing subjects in apparent decay or decline paradoxically re-invigorated them. He was inspired by the documenting traditions of New Zealand’s itinerant 19th-century photographers. His generally provincial subjects included vacant architectural interiors and exteriors, such as domestic houses, Masonic lodges, churches, Maori meeting-houses, and cemeteries, war memorials, museum exhibits, landscapes, and horizons (see A Distant View of Taranaki, 14 February 2009, Auckland, A.G.). Aberhart also produced several compelling portraits, especially those from the late 1970s and early 1980s of his daughters (e.g. Kamala and Charlotte in the Grounds of the Lodge, Tawera, Oxford, 1981; Christchurch, NZ, A.G.)....

Article

Rebecca Swift

Advertising uses visuals (predominantly photographic) and copy (text) to convey an idea or make an affective appeal. Typically, specialists in commercial images are commissioned by companies to produce imagery to a specific brief, including such considerations as image size, media placement, and length of campaign. Until the growth in the 1980s of stock libraries, which offer a wide range of images that are licensed for use, commissioning photography was standard in the advertising industry. The proliferation of digital photography in the early 21st century has also prompted the use of consumer-generated or amateur photography in advertising. Finally, whereas most of the history of advertising has been print-based, digital advertising now appears across an array of platforms.

As a commercial practice, advertising photography is client-driven; awards for creativity inevitably go to the whole creative team of an advertising agency and not just to the photographer. Nevertheless, influential photographers have emerged from this commercial realm. Advertising is practised around the globe, but its photographic history centres on London, New York, and Paris where agencies such as J. Walter Thompson, Reynell & Son (now part of TMP Worldwide), and Publicis were established early in the 20th century....

Article

Aurélie Verdier

(b Saïda, Algeria, 1953).

French painter, sculptor, photographer, film maker, writer and installation artist of Algerian birth. Born to Spanish parents, he was much affected by North African as well as Southern European culture. He trained at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Le Havre. Despite a pervasive and diverse use of media, Alberola often stressed the coexistence of his different artistic practices as leading to painting alone. His paintings relied heavily on evocative narratives, at once personal and ‘historical’. Alberola conceived of his role as a storyteller, on the model of African oral cultures. Convinced that narratives could not be renewed, he argued that a painter’s main task was to reactivate his work through contact with his pictorial heritage. The main points of reference for his paintings of the early 1980s were Velázquez, Manet or Matisse, whose works he quoted in a personal way. In the early 1980s he undertook a series of paintings inspired by mythological subjects, which he combined with his own history as the principal subject-matter of his work. The biblical story of Susannah and the Elders as well as the Greek myth of Actaeon provided his most enduring subjects, both referring to the act of looking as taboo, as in ...

Article

Elizabeth Edwards

Photography and anthropology emerged almost simultaneously in the third decade of the 19th century and have been entangled ever since. There are two major strands to anthropological or ethnographic engagements with photography. In the first, photography has functioned as a tool through which to explore anthropological questions about cultural production, from art making to agriculture, as well as the construction of social identity, such as gender and race. Studies that adopt this approach rely on photographs to provide empirical evidence for analysis. The second strand concerns the anthropology of photographic practices. This work has explored different cultural uses, styles, and social expectations of photography as a medium; it has addressed the nuances, similarities, and differences through which photography functions as a social medium. In this body of work it becomes clear how the value of photographs is not necessarily determined through the content of images but through their capacity as social objects to mediate social relationships. Around these issues of social value, memory, and history, anthropological or ethnographic photography has become a site for both cultural critique and cultural recuperation, especially by indigenous, First Nations, and diasporic communities....

Article

Monica McTighe

American photography foundation and publisher. Aperture magazine was founded in San Francisco in 1952 by American photographers Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, Barbara Morgan, Minor White, Ernest Louie, Melton Ferris, and Dody Warren, with writer–curators Beaumont Newhall and Nancy Newhall. They intended the organization to serve as a forum for discussing photography, to exhibit photographers’ work, and to raise the profile of art photography in the United States.

The journal Aperture, which began publication in 1952, dedicated itself to the practice of photography as a fine art and thus distinguished itself from popular and commercial photographic periodicals. In this way the journal emulated Alfred Stieglitz’s Camera Work (1903–17). Photographer Minor White was the journal’s first editor and, under his tenure, it became concerned with the capacity of photography to deal with spirituality and profound human experiences. The first issue included the work of Dorothea Lange, Ansel Adams, and French photographer Lisette Model. All contributors were urged to write about their own work. In ...

Article

Mitra Monir Abbaspour

[Fondation Arabe pour l’Image]

Non-profit organization established in 1997 in Beirut, Lebanon, with a mission ‘to collect, preserve, and study photographs from the Middle East, North Africa, and the Arab diaspora’. Its growing collection contains more than 400,000 photographs that date from the mid-19th century to the present. Today the Arab Image Foundation serves as both a public research archive and a repository for its members’ art and scholarship.

The Arab Image Foundation was co-founded by Lebanese photographers Fouad Elkoury (b 1952) and Samer Mohdad (b 1964), and artist Akram Zaatari (b 1966). Executive Director Zeina Arida (b 1970) has since overseen its administration and fundraising. A group of artists and scholar members, along with Arida, form the Board of Directors, which is responsible for the acquisition of photographs, approval of archival projects, and conceptual direction of the Arab Image Foundation. Members of the foundation, including artists such as ...

Article

Iizawa Kohtaro

(b Tokyo, May 25, 1940).

Japanese photographer. He graduated from the engineering department of Chiba University in 1963 and in the same year received the Taiyō prize for Satchin (Tokyo, 1964), a photographic series whose title was the pet name of a little girl. In 1971 he published the privately printed photographic collection Senchimentaru na tabi (‘Sentimental journey’; Tokyo, 1971) in which his own private life, in particular his wedding and honeymoon, was displayed in diary form. At first glance they seem to be naive records but in fact are staged. He also gave a performance in 1972 called the Super-Photo concert in which these photographs were reproduced on a photocopier, bound and sent, as a collection, by post. He later became very popular through photographs that skilfully anticipated public demand, accompanied by essays written in a risqué style. A prolific worker, he published many collections of essays and photographs, including Otoko to onna no aida ni wa shashinki ga aru...

Article

Micheline Nilsen

Genre of Photography that encompasses both practical documentation of Architecture and aesthetic expression. The scope of the genre has been broad, including exterior and interior views of élite, industrial, or vernacular buildings, and groups of structures in urban or rural settings. Although the beginnings of architectural photography date back to the origins of photography, the study of its history and a critical discourse are more recent developments. Study and discourse accompanied the emergence of an art market for photographs in the 1970s, the collection of architectural photographs by museums, and the ensuing publication of scholarship that investigated the intellectual significance and cultural contingency of photographers’ points of view when their lenses have focused upon architectural subjects.

Article

Gustavo Navarro-Castro

(b Caracas, 1952).

Venezuelan photographer. He was self-taught and dedicated himself to photography from 1972, first working for the magazine Escena (1974–6) and then for the Galería de Arte Nacional in Caracas (1976–8). His first exhibition, Acercamiento a Zitman, was held at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Sofía Imber, Caracas, in ...

Article

Jason E. Hill

(b Philadelphia, PA, April 21, 1912; d London, Jan 4, 2012).

British photojournalist of American birth. A full member of Magnum from 1957 until her death in 2012, she was, with Inge Morath (1923–2002), one of the first two women to join the agency. Best known for her unique, decade-long photographic relationship with the actress Marilyn Monroe, Arnold produced a major body of photojournalism for such magazines as Life, Picture Post, and Sunday Times Magazine of London on subjects ranging from African American culture and politics in the 1950s and 1960s to rural conditions in China in 1979.

While Arnold was studying photography under Harper’s Bazaar art director Alexey Brodovitch at New York’s New School for Social Research (beginning in 1948), she produced a portfolio on Harlem’s vibrant culture of fashion shows. Brodovitch was so impressed with the Harlem portfolio that he recommended Arnold to the London illustrated Picture Post, which syndicated the series in 1950, launching her career. Arnold soon after turned her photographic attention to African American migrant workers operating amidst pervasive housing discrimination in Long Island, New York. Throughout her career she was acutely attuned to her subjects’ calculated self-presentation before the camera and marshalled this sensitivity to foster cooperative relations with potentially recalcitrant subjects. One such subject was Marilyn Monroe; the ‘candid’ portraits Arnold made on the set of John Huston’s ...

Article

Julieta Ortiz Gaitán

(b Mexico City, April 25, 1944).

Mexican photographer. She studied art at the Universidad Motolinía and at the Universidad Anáhuac, both in Mexico City, and undertook specialist studies at the Club Fotográfico de México. Ascher’s work showed the influence of such photographers as Yousuf Karsh, Sam Haskins (b 1926) and Richard Avedon, but it was also more generally stimulated by the work of Eugène Atget, Alfred Stieglitz, Paul Strand, Manuel Alvarez Bravo and Henri Cartier-Bresson. She made frequent trips to New York, where she acquired experience from photographers and artists that not only enriched her own visual concepts but also the technical aspects of her work. Ascher consolidated her position in Mexican photography through her work, particularly in the acute sensitivity of her many portraits of personalities from the artistic and cultural world. Her series of José Luis Cuevas and Juan Rulfo are among her most outstanding works. After several years of work she collected the material that was published as ...

Article

Carol Magee

(b Bamako, 1959).

Malian photographer. He began his career in 1983 when he began documenting cultural patrimony for the Musée National du Mali, where he was staff photographer. His photographs present both broad and intimate views of life, and he is equally skilled in capturing a place empty of people as he is with close-ups, for example of hands or feet. Suggesting both absence and intimate presence, he evokes a powerful sense of the human condition. His aesthetically stunning works offer views that might otherwise go unnoticed: feet pedaling a bicycle, a faint reflection of a colourful boat on creamy white water. Working in both black and white and colour, he almost never shows the faces of his subjects as he captures them at work or in everyday pursuits, for example in Le bol de lait (1997). He suggests people through their interaction with their surroundings; although they remain anonymous, they have an overpowering presence. Light is important both technically and compositionally: in photographed reflections off the land and buildings, one senses the overpowering Malian sun, and such conditions enable him to create images rich in saturated colours....

Article

Elaine E. Sullivan

(b Lubumbashi, Dec 29, 1978).

Congolese photographer. Baloji’s photomontages explore themes of memory, architecture, and the environment. Such subjects are frequently treated through the use of archival photographs and watercolours, juxtaposed with contemporary photographs taken by the artist. By foregrounding archival images of labourers and overseers against contemporary urban and rural landscapes, Baloji’s work humanizes the colonial industrial history of his native Katanga province.

Sammy Baloji grew up in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where he attended the University of Lubumbashi and in 2005 received degrees in Information Sciences and Communication. While working as a cartoonist he borrowed a camera to photograph scenes to use as source material for his drawings. This sparked his interest in photography, which he began to study in the DRC. In 2005 he moved to France, where he continued to study photography as well as video at the Ecole Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Strasbourg.

Baloji’s work explores the history of Katanga through photography of both the natural and built environment. The locations Baloji photographs display the colonial and industrial pasts that continue to inform present-day politics and everyday life. Abandoned factories remind the viewer of Katanga’s prosperous mining past, and photographs of recently burnt fields where colonial outposts once stood shed light on a post-colonial reality....

Article

Mark Haworth-Booth

(b Newport Beach, CA, Sept 12, 1945; d Paris, Nov 22, 2014).

American photographer . He was a major force in the New Topographics movement in American photography and devised a technique that is cool, subtly considered, surgically executed and ironic. His principal photographic series, The New Industrial Parks near Irvine, California, Park City and San Quentin Point, together comprising the Industrial Trilogy, fuse Minimalist art conventions with cultural observation reminiscent of novelist Norman Mailer (1923–2007) in such works as The Executioner’s Song. His apparently expressionless but obsessive recording of industrial deserts takes on metaphorical overtones as a representation of an American wasteland. Baltz’s bleak vision of ‘landscape as real estate’ has found echoes in the work of many later photographic artists around the world. His work in the 1990s reflected his interest in surveillance and cybernetics. In 2003 Baltz became a Professor of Art at the University IUAV in Venice, Italy.

Baltz, Lewis The New Industrial Parks near Irvine, California...

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b Nigeria, 1963).

Nigerian photographer, film maker, installation artist and writer active in Scotland. He studied Chemical Engineering at Strathclyde University, Glasgow (1981–85), before completing an MA in Media, Fine Art, Theory and Practice at the Slade School of Fine Art, London (1996–8). Bamgboyé’s earliest work was photographic: The Lighthouse series (1989; see 1998 book, p. 65) initiated his interest in the representation of black masculinity by depicting his own naked body in often theatrical contortions, amid mundane domestic rooms; the frames of the photographs are attached to coat hangers, underlining the theme of domesticity and pointing to his interest in the changeable character of subjectivity. These themes were further explored in films, which he began to make in 1993: Spells for Beginners (1994; see 2000 exh. cat., p. 74) explores the breakdown of his long-term relationship with a woman through a broken mix of confessional dialogue and fleeting images of their home. The installation of which this film is a part takes the form of an ordinary living room and is typical of Bamgboyé’s technique of adumbrating his imagery with sculptural motifs that emphasize his themes. In other films he explored the issue of migration: ...

Article

Janet Bishop

(b San Francisco, CA, May 14, 1932).

American painter. Native of the San Francisco Bay Area, known for careful observation and explicit use of snapshot-like photographic source material for paintings of family, cars, and residential neighborhoods. The artist rose to national and international prominence in early 1970s as part of the Photorealist movement (see Photorealism).

From the 1960s, Bechtle pursued a quiet realism based on the things he knew best, translating what seem to be ordinary scenes of middle-class American life into paintings. Following an early childhood in the Bay Area and Sacramento, his family settled in 1942 in Alameda, an island suburb adjacent to Oakland where his mother would occupy the same house for almost 60 years. The neighborhood appears in many of Bechtle’s paintings.

Bechtle earned both his BFA (1954) and his MFA (1958) at Oakland’s California College of Arts and Crafts, where he studied graphic design and then painting. During his student years and into the 1960s, Bechtle was influenced by Pop art’s precedent for the use of commercial subject matter and techniques. He was likewise interested in Bay Area figuration, especially the subjects and structure of paintings by ...

Article

Camara Dia Holloway

[Smikle, David Edward]

(b Queens, NY, Nov 25, 1953).

African American photographer. Bey was born and raised in the neighborhood of Jamaica, in Queens, New York City. His interest in photography was cemented by viewing the now infamous exhibition, Harlem on My Mind, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1969. He studied at the School of Visual Arts during 1976–8, later earning his BFA from Empire State College, State University of New York in 1990, followed by his MFA from Yale University School of Art in 1993.

Bey launched his career in 1975 with the Harlem, USA series, following in the footsteps of street photographers who found the predominantly African American community a compelling subject. This series of black-and-white portraits became the subject of Bey’s first solo exhibition at the Studio Museum in Harlem in 1979.

During the 1980s, Bey continued making portraits expanding his terrain beyond Harlem. Sensitive to the politics of representing African Americans, he developed strategies to equalize the photographic encounter. Bey began using a large-format view camera on a tripod that he set up in the street. He established a dialogue with his sitters and gifted them with a print of their portrait. This was facilitated by his discovery of 4×5 Polaroid positive/negative Type 55 film that yielded virtually instant prints....

Article

Susan Kart

(b Mbarara, 1963).

Ugandan photographer, film maker, and installation artist of Indian descent, active in the UK. Bhimji was born in Uganda to Indian parents. The family fled Uganda to England in 1972 due to President Idi Amin’s expulsion of all Asians and Asian-Ugandans from the country along with seizure of their property and businesses as part of his ‘economic war’ on Asia. Bhimji studied art at Goldsmiths College and the Slade School of Art in London and her photographic work primarily consists of close-up, sometimes abstracted glimpses of seemingly abandoned spaces, objects, and landscapes. Bhimji’s work focuses on India and Uganda, which are treated as almost anthropomorphic subjects that appear restless, unfinished, abandoned, or frozen in her photographs, films, and film stills. Bhimji was one of four shortlisted finalists for the Turner Prize in 2007, and her work has been exhibited alongside such artists as El Anatsui, António Olé, Yinka Shonibare, and ...

Article

Aurélie Verdier

(b Antwerp, March 19, 1946).

Belgian photographer and installation artist. He studied theatre and cinema in the late 1960s, creating a fruitful ground for his future installations and later dividing his work into four categories with the aim of blurring the frontiers of art and social reality. One such category, ‘Transformation–Installation’ was rooted in a spoof governmental pamphlet written by the artist in 1979 announcing the bankruptcy of art: he argued that art was unnecessary since it was inherently non-functional. From that point on, this ironic point of view was built into his recreations of everyday environments injected with incongruous elements, as in Driving School Z (1979; see 1998 exh. cat, p. 44), an installation in an Antwerp gallery that recreated the soulless premises referred to in the title. At once bleak and dramatic in its painstaking reconstruction, it contained furniture from a real driving school as a way of blurring the distinction between art and reality. Bijl’s polished installations have an unsettling atmosphere, as they lack any sense of human presence. Tackling issues of mass culture and its vehicles, he reconstructed some institutions in tableaux that mixed the artificiality of highly stylized objects with the tangible reality of everyday artefacts. By so doing, he questioned the identity and meaning of environments once they have been relocated to an institutionalized art context. In ...