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Article

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

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

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

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

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

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

Manuel Cirauqui

(b Mexico City, 1981).

Mexican conceptual artist. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Bonillas started his career before, and instead of, undertaking an official fine arts education. Widely and internationally exhibited before he reached age 20, his work began with highly analytical studies of ordinary photographic procedures such as printing (in his foundational piece, Trabajos fotográficos, 1998) or pressing the shutter (Diez cámaras documentadas acústicamente, 1998).

Bonillas’s work investigates the materiality and semiotic depth of the photographic medium in a somewhat topographic manner: starting, and never ending, in a periphery that stands ambiguously as both the material margins of photography as well as its self-reflective dimension. However, the “peripheral” nature of Bonillas’s inquiry quickly reveals itself as a strategy to address core aspects of a medium whose substance lies, precisely, on its surface. As the artist exerts infinite variations on generic aspects of the photographic practice, alternately related to structure and meaning (primary colors, family photographs, erasures, captioning, fiction, archival habits, etc.), he delivers a paradox with each of his works. In them, background becomes foreground, face becomes pigment, anecdote becomes the main theme, stain becomes signature, and vice versa....

Article

Elva Peniche Montfort

(b Guadalajara, Mar 22, 1939; d Mexico City, Dec 3, 2003).

Mexican photographer. His work combines the production of documentary images with artistic experimentation. In Mexico he pioneered the expressive use of color photography, three-dimensional supports, non-traditional printing techniques, photomontages, and large formats, as well as the creation of “environments.” Unlike most of his colleagues, Bostelmann had formal training in photography. He received a scholarship to study at the Bayerische Staatslehranstalt für Photographie in Munich (1958–1960), where he first came into contact with such movements as subjective photography. Upon his return to Mexico in 1960 he began working as a professional, developing twin careers as an artist and as a commercial photographer in the fields of advertising and industrial and artwork photography, where he created images of great technical and aesthetic value.

In 1970 he published América: Un viaje a través de la injusticia (“America: A journey through injustice”), one of the first Latin American photobooks ever to be printed. The book is consistent with the rhetoric of social criticism that was dominant in photography at the time. It comprises a selection of images that he took during his travels through Mexico and Central and South America, unified by a strong and consistent aesthetic approach. Bostelmann was one of the first photographers to exhibit his work in museums traditionally oriented towards painting and sculpture (such as the Museo de Arte Moderno in Mexico City). He was also one of the first to send an exhibition abroad, as in the case of ...

Article

Cruz Barceló Cedeño

(b Río, Sucre, March 20, 1945).

Venezuelan photographer. He took courses in cinema at the Ateneo in Caracas, where his interest in photography began. After winning second prize in the National Salon of Photography, he went to Rome on a scholarship to study at the Centro de Adiestramiento Profesional ‘Don Orione’. His black-and-white photographic work is distinctive in its capturing of physical details and gestures of people in the street, such as their hands, feet and faces, obliging the spectator to complete the figure with his imagination; examples include ...

Article

Monica McTighe

(b St Louis, MO, 1948).

American photographer and multimedia artist. Using newly developed computer technologies in the 1970s, Burson designed ways to manipulate photographs digitally. She relied on this technique to produce images of people at an older age, fantastical composites of humans and animals, as well as composites of celebrities and politicians. She has also worked in the media of painting, drawing, and printmaking.

Burson began her career as a painter, studying for two years in the mid-1960s at Colorado Women’s College in Denver, CO. In 1968 she moved to New York City where she saw the Museum of Modern Art exhibition titled The Machine as Seen at the End of the Mechanical Age, which focused on the connections between art and technology. This exhibition helped inspire her development of ‘The Age Machine’, an interactive device that allowed viewers to see images of their aged faces. For help with this project, she approached Experiments in Art and Technology...

Article

Isobel Whitelegg

(b La Vega, Mantanzas, 1959).

Cuban painter, photographer, installation and performance artist, active also in the USA. Campos-Pons studied at the Higher Institute of Art, Havana (1980–85). Initially a painter, her graduation show Acoplamientos (1985; Havana, HIA) was concerned with representations of the female body as a device for prohibition and control, and her early work focused on the role of women in society and their representation within the history of art. In 1988 she went to the USA as a visiting artist at the Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, and in 1991 she settled permanently in Boston. Using shaped canvases, her first works displayed an interest in the interrelationship between painting and three-dimensional media. While living in the USA she also expanded her interest in sculpture and installation to include elements of video and performance.

Living abroad also brought her relationship to Cuba into sharper relief; work produced in the early 1990s addressed her own displacement in relation to the enforced migration of her ancestors as slaves, and the way in which an imagined Africa is collectively created in contemporary Cuba by story-telling, the cultivation of traditional medicinal plants and the practice of the Afro-Caribbean Santería religion. Using performance and video as a form of self-portraiture, another aspect of her practice focuses on her attempt to build a coherent identity as an Afro-Cuban woman living in the USA. With the aim of achieving simultaneity between performance and its immediate capture in the production of an unalterable image, her self-portraits employ large-format colour Polaroid photography, as in the diptych ...

Article

Andrew Cross

(b Lansing, MI, Sept 17, 1953).

American photographer and installation artist. Casebere made his first photographs of constructed models in 1975 while completing a BFA at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. This method of image-making, a kind of no-man’s land between reality and constructed fiction, became his trademark. By the time he graduated from the California Institute of Fine Arts in Valencia, CA, he was part of a generation of American artists, including Cindy Sherman and Richard Prince, that was redefining the use of photography in art. Casebere’s early work directly referenced Hollywood films and television, depicting scenes in American domestic interiors or the popular conception of the Wild West. His primary concerns at that time were the exploration of personal and collective memories and the presentation of myths of a past that continue to inhabit the present. Always showing places without people in them, these images take on a charged atmosphere reminiscent of ...

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

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

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

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....