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Article

Hilary Gresty

(b Sheffield, July 24, 1941).

English conceptual artist, writer and photographer. He studied painting at the Royal College of Art from 1962 to 1965 and philosophy and fine art at Yale University from 1965 to 1967. From the late 1960s he adhered to Conceptual art using combinations of photographic images and printed texts to examine the relationship between apparent and implicit meaning. In his ...

Article

Judith Zilczer

Journal devoted to photography that was published from 1903 to 1917. Camera Work evolved from a quarterly journal of photography to become one of the most ground-breaking and influential periodicals in American cultural history. Founded in January 1903 by photographer Alfred Stieglitz as the official publication of the Photo-Secession, the journal originally promoted the cause of photography as a fine art. As Stieglitz, its editor and publisher, expanded the journal’s scope to include essays on aesthetics, literature, criticism and modern art, Camera Work fueled intellectual discourse in early 20th-century America.

Camera Work mirrored the aesthetic philosophy of its founder Alfred Stieglitz. The journal resulted from his decade-long campaign to broaden and professionalize American photography. Serving for three years as editor of American Amateur Photographer (1893–6), Stieglitz championed the expressive potential of photography and advocated expanded exhibition opportunities comparable to those available in European photographic salons. In 1897, when the Society of Amateur Photographers merged with the New York Camera Club, Stieglitz convinced the enlarged organization to replace their modest leaflet with a more substantial quarterly journal, Camera Notes, which he edited until ...

Article

W. Iain Mackay

(b Carhuás, Ancash, Oct 2, 1857; d San Miguel de Tucumán, Dec 1922).

Peruvian painter, photographer, teacher and critic. At the age of four he was brought to Lima, where he began to take lessons in art. From 1885 he travelled through France, Italy and Belgium, and on returning to Latin America he settled in Buenos Aires, where he took up photography. In 1905 he returned to Lima, where he set up a workshop and art college at the Quinta Heeren, introducing the latest photographic techniques. On visiting Spain in 1908 Castillo discovered the historical genre paintings of Mariano Fortuny y Marsal, and once back in Lima worked as a painter and as art critic for the magazines Prisma, Variedades, Actualidades and Ilustración peruana. He later supported Daniel Hernández in founding (1919) the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes in Lima (see also Peru, Republic of, §XI). In parallel with the writer Ricardo Palma, Castillo was concerned with recording the traditions of Lima’s colonial past, and such paintings as the ...

Article

Paolo Costantini

(b Lucera, Foggia, Nov 29, 1904; d Senigallia, Oct 25, 1961).

Italian photographer and writer. He graduated in law from the University of Rome in 1926 and practised as a lawyer in Rome (1926–35). He was self-taught as a photographer. From 1935 to his death he worked as a freelance photographer in Senigallia. He was a founding member of three photographic groups of great importance in the theoretical debate on photography in Italy, the Gruppo degli Otto (1941), La Bussola (Senigallia, 1947) and the Gruppo MISA (1953). He was the recipient of numerous international awards and was one of the most important figures in Italian photography between 1940 and 1955.

Cavalli was dedicated to the exaltation of a formal aesthetic in photography, and he discussed his conviction that photography was an art form in numerous articles in the main Italian photographic magazines between 1947 and 1961 (especially Ferrania, Rivista fotografica and Progresso fotografico). His photographs, first published in ...

Article

Hélène Bocard

(b St Germain-en-Laye, July 7, 1859; d Hennequeville, Normandy, Dec 29, 1936).

French photographer, writer and theorist. He was from a banking family and was financially secure, which enabled him to devote all his time to photography from 1880 to 1914. He was especially interested in the gum bichromate printing process, which could be easily hand tinted, and in which he achieved remarkably subtle effects. He tackled all the genres: oriental scenes, nudes, dancers (e.g. Behind the Scenes, 1900; New York, Met.), portraits (e.g. of Mlle D., pubd in Camera Work, 16 Oct 1906), landscapes and scenes from everyday life. In subject-matter his works oscillate between naturalism, as in Académie (1900; New York, Met.), and symbolism as in Struggle. His works were frequently exhibited (Paris, London, Vienna, New York) and were an instant success. In 1904 Alfred Stieglitz devoted a portfolio to Demachy in his review Camera Work.

Demachy was also a theorist of ‘art’ photography, giving numerous lectures, and writing articles for the ...

Article

Ewa Mikina

(b Radomsko, nr Częestochowa, April 24, 1921).

Polish photographer, writer and painter. He was self-taught as an artist. Just after World War II he founded and became one of the most active members of the avant-garde Club of Young Artists and Scientists (Klub Młodych Artystow i Naukowcow), Warsaw. Club activities, as well as his own ideas concerning possible union between the new, radical left-wing art and the political and social situation in the country, reached an impasse with the rise of Socialist Realism in 1949. He was the editor of the magazine Fotografia from 1953 to 1972 and a lecturer at the Film School, Łódź, from 1966 to 1975. From 1982 he lived in Paris.

In the 1940s Dłubak produced extreme close-up photographs with metaphoric titles. His ‘cool medium’ (deliberately banal) documentary works of the 1950s (e.g. the series Existences, 1955–66) clashed with official, optimistic, propaganda images. Later his work and his numerous theoretical writings were stimulated by studies in ...

Article

Yasuyoshi Saito

[Sugita, Hideo]

(b Miyazaki Prefect., April 28, 1911; d Tokyo, March 10, 1960).

Japanese photographer, painter, printmaker and critic. In 1925 he entered the department of yōga (Western-style painting) at the Japanese School of Art in Tokyo. In 1926 he began writing art criticism and in 1927 he left the School, going on in 1930 to study at the School of Oriental Photography, Tokyo. In 1934 he returned to Miyazaki and studied Esperanto, going back two years later to Tokyo; thereafter he rejected his real name of Hideo Sugita in favour of his pseudonym, which was suggested by Saburō Hasegawa. His first exhibition, a one-man show of photograms (Tokyo, 1936), was based on drawings that used photographic paper. His collection of photograms, Nemuri no riyū, was also published in 1936. In 1937 he was a founder-member of the Jiyū Bijutsuka Kyōkai (Independent Art Society) and in Osaka, of the Demokurāto Bijutsuka Kyōkai (Democratic Art Society); from then on he produced etchings, also making lithographs from ...

Article

Daniela Mrázková

(b Skuteč, Aug 1, 1896; d Prague, March 22, 1945).

Czech photographer and theorist. Together with Josef Sudek and Jaroslav Rössler he was one of the most important representatives of Czech avant-garde photography of the 1920s and 1930s. He studied medicine, law, and philosophy at Charles University in Prague and at the University of Bratislava but did not graduate. As an amateur photographer from 1920 he promoted ‘pure’ photography instead of traditional refined prints resembling the graphic arts and painting. A professional freelance photographer from 1922, he was a leader of the young opposition movement in photography, who founded the Czech Society of Photography (1924) and who wanted photography to fulfil new social functions. In his work Funke managed to combine some of the leading tendencies of European photography between the two World Wars, uniting Constructivism and Functionalism with Surrealism and social commentary. At the same time he managed to retain traditional Czech lyrical qualities. His work was rational, communicative, inventive in design, and emotionally effective. A typical feature is his use of the dynamic diagonal....

Article

Kathryn Morrison

(b May 16, 1878; d Harrow-on-the-Hill, London, Jan 29, 1972).

English writer. He inherited both his interest in medieval art and his photographic skills from his father, the antiquary Samuel Gardner. After graduating from King’s College, Cambridge, in 1901, Gardner entered the family business, the stockbrokers Laurence, Son and Gardner, with whom he remained for 40 years. His contribution to the study of medieval architecture and sculpture was considerable. He travelled throughout the British Isles and the Continent, building up an impressive photographic record of medieval monuments. This collection, now absorbed by the Conway Library of the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, includes many buildings that have since been destroyed, restored or otherwise transformed, and consequently it is of enormous value to scholars. Gardner’s most significant publications were broad surveys of medieval sculpture, which, rather than offering new interpretations of the material, usefully synthesized the findings of other scholars. Many of his works became standard textbooks for students but, by virtue of being so sumptuously illustrated, they also succeeded in making medieval art more accessible to the layman. His first major work, ...

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 Sigmund Freud’s concept of scopophilia (‘pleasure in looking’ or voyeurism) and later in Jacques Lacan’s formulation of the mirror stage and its role in identity formation. Lacan formulated the complex role of the gaze in constructing the relation between interior self and exterior world as two kinds of subjects—not only as a powerful subject gazing at the world but also as a lacking, objectified subject encountering the gaze outside himself. For the most part the link between the gaze and power is entrenched in theories on the gaze, since the directed gaze of the powerful subject has the ability to subjugate and even petrify its objects as exemplified in the terrifying gaze of Medusa in Greek mythology. The construction of the gaze happens within an asymmetry of power. In recent times, the gaze has become a trope within visual culture for the critical analysis of several entwined ideas concerning class, race, ethnography, sex, gender, religion, embodiment, ideology, power, and visuality. In this article the powerful directed gaze is analysed through the categories of the clinical gaze, colonial gaze, touristic gaze, and the male gaze. Finally, theorizing possibilities of going beyond the gaze are considered....

Article

Timothy O. Benson

(b Vienna, July 12, 1886; d Limoges, Feb 1, 1971).

Austrian photomontagist, painter, photographer, printmaker, writer, and theorist. He trained in the academic artistic tradition under his father, Victor Hausmann (1859–1920). In 1900 he went to Berlin, where he later became a central figure in Dada. His important friendship with the eccentric architect and mystical artist Johannes Baader (1875–1956) began in 1905. In the first years of the next decade he was associated with such artists as Erich Heckel and Ludwig Meidner and produced numerous paintings, including Blue Nude (1916; Rochechouart, Mus. Dépt.), and woodcuts, several of which were published in his book Material der Malerei Plastik Architektur (Berlin, 1918). These works blended Expressionism with the influences of artists then exhibiting at Herwarth Walden’s Sturm-Galerie: Fernand Léger, Alexander Archipenko, Robert Delaunay and Sonia Delaunay, Arthur Segal, and others. Around 1915 his widening contacts with the writers Salomon Friedländer and Franz Jung led to innumerable theoretical and satirical writings that were published in ...

Article

Kitsch  

Denis Dutton

[Ger.: ‘pretentious trash’; Ger. dialect kitschen: ‘to smear’; verkitschen: ‘to sentimentalize’, ‘to cheapen’]

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 (1974) remarked, kitsch differs from merely popular forms in its insistence on being taken seriously as art or as expressing ‘civilized’ taste. Kitsch can thus be defined as a kind of pseudo, parasitic art, whose essential function is to flatter, soothe, and reassure its viewer and consumer. In his essay ‘Of the Standard of Taste’ (...

Article

Sook-Kyung Lee

One of the characteristics of Korean contemporary art is a continuous effort in employing and interpreting international art practices and discourses. Art movements from Europe and North America in particular, including Abstract Expressionism, Art informel, Minimalism, Conceptual art and Post-modernism, have influenced many Korean artists’ styles and ideas since the 1950s, providing formal and conceptual grounds for critical understandings and further experiments. Whilst some artists who maintained traditional art forms such as ink painting and calligraphy exercised modernist styles and abstract forms largely within the norms and conventions of traditional genres, a large group of artists proactively adapted to Western styles, employing new materials and techniques as well as the notions of avant-garde and experimentalism (see fig.).

A major critique of the reception of Western art and aesthetics came from ‘Minjung art’ (People’s Art) in the 1980s as part of instigating a nationalist and politically charged art strategy. Several art historians and critics who emerged in the 1990s also expanded the scope of the debate with postcolonial and pluralist points of view. The shift in social, economic and political environments played an important role in changing sensibilities in art, along with the advances of technology and new media in the 2000s. The high degree of diversity and sophistication of Korean art in terms of media and subject matters became widely acknowledged within and outside the nation, and an increasing number of artists started to work on the cutting edge of international art....

Article

Elizabeth K. Valkenier

(Nikolayevich)

(b Novaya Sot, nr Ostrogozhsk, June 8, 1837; d St Petersburg, April 6, 1887).

Russian painter and theorist. Born to a lower-middle-class provincial family, he first worked as a copyist clerk, then as a retoucher with an itinerant photographer. From 1857 to 1863 he attended the Imperial Academy of Arts in St Petersburg, then taught for five years at the School of Drawing run by the Society for the Promotion of Fine Arts. In November 1863, while still a student at the Academy, Kramskoy organized a protest against prescribed mythological themes in the competition for the final Gold Medal that carried a six-year stipend for study abroad. This brave gesture asserted the independence of Russian artists from the dictates of the Court and the state bureaucracy that controlled their work and livelihood. It also marked a decisive break with the Academy’s outdated form of Neo-classicism, patterned on Western models, which had lost popularity with the educated public but continued to be taught and favoured at the official level. After the break with the Academy, Kramskoy sustained a group of thirteen independent painters both organizationally and intellectually in keeping with the spirit of reform and renovation that swept Russia during the 1860s after the emancipation of the serfs. He set up a communal workshop (...

Article

Kevin Halliwell

(L’vovich)

(b Moscow, 1819; d St Petersburg, June 22, 1898).

Russian photographer, writer and critic. He began taking daguerreotypes in 1839 as soon as the process became known. After graduating from the faculty of law of Moscow University he entered the office of the Ministry of the Interior in St Petersburg. In 1843 he was sent on a government survey of mineral water in the Caucasus, where he took 25 daguerreotypes of Piatigorsk, Kislovodsk, Mount Meshuk and Beshtan (untraced). Five of these reached the lensmaker Charles Chevalier (1804–59) in Paris, who displayed two in his shop window. As a result of his success Levitsky decided to become a full-time daguerreotypist in 1844 and travelled to Vienna, Rome, Paris and London in order to study art, chemistry and physics. In 1845 he made his pioneering daguerreotype group portrait of N. V. Gogol’ among a Group of Russian Artists in Rome (see Morozov, 1986, p. 23), the first of a number of group portraits and portraits of writers and artists, which became his speciality. In Paris in ...

Article

John Milner

[Lisitsky, El’ ; Lisitsky, Lazar’ (Markovich )]

(b Pochinok, Smolensk province, Nov 23, 1890; d Moscow, Dec 30, 1941).

Russian draughtsman, architect, printmaker, painter, illustrator, designer, photographer, teacher, and theorist.

After attending school in Smolensk, he enrolled in 1909 at the Technische Hochschule, Darmstadt, to study architecture and engineering. He also travelled extensively in Europe, however, and he made a tour of Italy to study art and architecture. He frequently made drawings of the architectural monuments he encountered on his travels. These early graphic works were executed in a restrained, decorative style reminiscent of Russian Art Nouveau book illustration. His drawings of Vitebsk and Smolensk (1910; Eindhoven, Stedel. Van Abbemus.), for example, show a professional interest in recording specific architectural structures and motifs, but they are simultaneously decorative graphic works in their own right and highly suitable for publication. This innate awareness of the importance of controlling the design of the page was to remain a feature of Lissitzky’s work throughout radical stylistic transformations. He also recorded buildings in Ravenna, Venice, and elsewhere in Italy in ...

Article

Terence A. Senter

(b Bácsborsod, Mohol Puszta, Hungary, July 20, 1895; d Chicago, Nov 24, 1946).

American painter, sculptor, photographer, designer, film maker, theorist, and teacher, of Hungarian birth. Moholy-Nagy’s importance in the 20th century is based as much on his theories as on his practical work. His ideologies related to the relationship between space, time, and light, and the interaction of man with these forces. His great achievement was that he applied his mystical outlook to highly practical enterprises and always recognized the purpose behind his creativity.

Moholy-Nagy’s ambition developed when he exchanged village life for the city of Szeged after his father left his family. Academically outstanding, Moholy-Nagy read law for a year at Budapest University before joining the artillery in World War I. Influential praise for his war sketches converted his aspiration from literature to art. His Expressionist style, social conscience, and investigation of light paralleled trends in the Hungarian avant-garde, from ...

Article

Jessica S. McDonald

(b Lynn, MA, June 22, 1908; d Santa Fe, NM, Feb 26, 1993).

American art historian, curator, museum director, educator, and photographer. In his unprecedented seven-decade career as the preeminent historian of photography in the United States, Newhall established the medium’s vital role in art history and advanced its status as an independent art. Born into a prosperous family in Lynn, MA, Newhall studied art history at Harvard University, finishing his undergraduate studies in the spring of 1930 and returning in the fall as a graduate student. He enrolled in Paul J(oseph) Sachs’s course ‘Museum Work and Museum Problems’, the first such course offered in the United States. When Newhall completed his master’s degree in 1931, Sachs helped him obtain short-term employment at the Pennsylvania Museum of Art (now the Philadelphia Museum of Art), and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, before recommending him for the position of librarian at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), New York, in 1935...

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.

The mid-19th-century invention of photography was shaped by a theoretical discourse that extended back to antiquity and the Renaissance. It provided the medium’s inventors with a descriptive language for their achievements. Before John Herschel’s term ‘photography’ became standard, the phrases used to denote the medium evince ideas already established in texts on nature, optics, and philosophy. ...

Article

Shana Gallagher Lindsay

Shana Gallagher Lindsay

Post-structuralism is a term given to a critical movement that formed in succession to the structuralist theories of the 1960s, in some cases propounded by the same, mostly French, philosophers, but in which some of the basic hypotheses challenge those of Structuralism.

Post-structuralism in the USA was a hybrid. In the American art world, transformed in the post-war period through the rise of the professionalized art school, with its increased emphasis on reading theory and philosophy, post-structuralism became a guiding force. The term ‘post-structuralism’ denotes various developments in the fields of continental philosophy and critical theory. It can be said to be one of the many interdisciplinary threads that formed the complex fabric of Post-modernism. Though the tendency originated in Europe, it was never clearly defined. Indeed, the term is more widely used in American academic circles, and very few practitioners accept the label ‘post-structuralist’. Post-structuralism involves a critique of metaphysics, of the concepts of causality, of identity, of the subject, and of truth....