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Article

Mexican, 20th century, male.

Born 4 February 1902, in Mexico City; died 19 October 2002, in Mexico City.

Photographer, photojournalist.

Originally working as a copy clerk, Manuel Alvarez Bravo experienced a dramatic shift in his life trajectory when his father gave him a camera in ...

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

American, 20th century, male.

Born 15 May 1923, in New York City; died 1 October 2004, in San Antonio, Texas.

Photographer, photojournalist. Portraits, fashion, news.

Born to a merchant of women’s clothing, Avedon was exposed to fashion and its consumers from an early age. He greatly admired the work of Hungarian fashion photographer Martin Munkasci, who exploited photography’s new ability to capture the immediacy of motion. After serving in the US Merchant Marines ...

Article

British, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in the UK.

Born 1958, in Georgetown, Guyana.

Video artist, film maker, photographer, journalist, broadcaster. Scratch videos.

George Barber has a BA from St Martin’s School of Art in London (1980) and an MA from the Slade School of Art in London (...

Article

American, 20th century, female.

Born 14 June 1904, in New York City; died 27 August 1971, in Darien, Connecticut.

Photographer, photojournalist. Social documentary, advertisements, landscapes, genre scenes.

Modernism.

Margaret Bourke-White received her first training in photography at the Clarence White School of Photography in 1922, while a student at Columbia University. Bourke-White was intrigued by the American industrial landscape, and her first important industrial series featured the Otis Steel Mills near Cleveland. At this time Bourke-White developed her hallmark style, using the cinema trick of magnesium flares to flood the dark factory floor with bright light. Her commercial images similarly used multiple light sources and crisp focus to highlight repeated forms and shapes....

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

Hungarian American, 20th century, male.

Born 22 Oct 1913, in Budapest; died 25 May 1954, in Thai Binh, Vietnam.

Photojournalist. War, historical events, portraits.

In 1931 Robert Capa left Budapest for Berlin, where he studied political science at the Deutsche Hochschule für Politik. He had intended to pursue a career in journalism, but found a position with the German photographic agency Dephot. With the rise of the Nazi government, Capa immigrated to Paris, where he formed lasting friendships with David Seymour (Chim) and Henri Cartier-Bresson, with whom he founded the photographic agency Magnum in ...

Article

American, 20th–21st century, male.

Born 1973, in Hong Kong.

Video artist, multi-media artist, activist, and publisher. Artists’ books

Paul Chan spent his early childhood in Hong Kong but immigrated to Omaha, Nebraska, in his youth. He began his BFA in video and digital arts at the Art Institute of Chicago in ...

Article

American, 19th–20th century, male.

Born 23 July 1864, in South Dedham, Massachusetts; died 2 November 1933, in Norwood, Massachusetts.

Photographer, publisher. Portraits, nude studies, religious and mythological subjects.

The Linked Ring.

Pictorialism.

During the 1880s F. Holland Day worked for A.S. Barnes and Company booksellers in Boston and began experimenting with the camera. In 1893 he established, along with Herbert Copeland, the Copeland and Day publishing house, and over the course of the decade his photographic work flourished. In 1896 he began making pictures of male nudes, often highly accessorized and posed, and also pursued religious themes, culminating in 1898 with a series of 250 photographs of Day performing the life of Christ. Following this controversial pursuit, he organized a major exhibition of Pictorialist photography, ...

Article

Erika Billeter

(b Buenos Aires, April 18, 1932).

Argentine photographer and publisher. She trained as a painter at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires (1947–53), and took up photography only in the late 1950s. She studied in Buenos Aires first in the studio of Luis d’Amico and then in 1960 under Annemarie Heinrich. In 1960 she opened a studio in Buenos Aires with the Argentine photographer Alicia D’Amico (1933–2001). She contributed to La Nación and Autoclub, and in 1973, together with María Cristina Orive, she co-founded La Azotea, a publishing house specializing in Latin American photography. She was primarily a documentary photographer, whose reputation did not depend on the recording of sensational events. Her photographs were realistic portrayals of the Argentine way of life; they were taken using natural light and were not modified in the laboratory.

Orive, María Cristina

Facio, Sara Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires (Buenos Aires, 1968)Retratos y autorretratos...

Article

American, 19th–20th century, male.

Born 4 April 1843, in Keeseville, New York; died 30 June 1942, in New York City.

Photographer, painter. Landscapes.

William Henry Jackson began his career in 1858 as a retoucher in a photography studio in Troy, New York, and soon moved on to a studio in Rutland, Vermont. Jackson enlisted in the Union Army in ...

Article

American, 20th–21st century, female.

Born 1950, in Prague.

Active in Rosendale (New York).

Printmaker, photographer, draughtsman, paper maker. Installation art, artists’ books.

Women’s Studio Workshop.

Tatana Kellner was born in Prague and grew up in communist Czechoslovakia as the daughter of Holocaust survivors. After the Soviet invasion in ...

Article

or Andor Kertész

American, 20th century, male.

Active in France.

Born, 2 July 1894, in Budapest; died 28 September 1985, in New York City.

Photographer, photojournalist.

Portraits, still-lifes, urban scenes, landscapes, interiors, architecture.

André Kertész first experimented with photography while a young clerk in the Budapest stock exchange. His early photographs are of the Hungarian countryside and feature friends and family members. In 1914, Kertész was recruited into the Austro-Hungarian army and brought his camera to the front, recording the mundane activities of soldiers in camp. When he was wounded in 1915, Kertész recorded his convalescence. After the war, Kertész returned to his clerking position and submitted his photographs to papers and periodicals, such as Erdekes-Ujsàg. Encouraged by the reception of his amateur works, Kertész moved in 1925 to Paris, where he circulated amongst expatriate writers, artists and photographers and published photographs in the periodical press. Café du Dome, Paris (1925) records this environment with the city’s lively cafés at center. His work includes portraits of artists and writers such as Brassaï and Colette. Kertész’s photographs from this era reveal a modernist fascination with patterns and shadows created by streetlamps, city railings and park chairs. He also photographed from unusual or elevated perspectives, as in his ...

Article

American, 20th century, female.

Born 15 April 1947, in Lexington (Kentucky).

Artist, printmaker, writer, teacher, photographer. Artists’ books

Susan King was born and grew up in Kentucky, where she graduated from the University of Kentucky with a BA in art. After college she worked for Byron Temple Pottery in Lambertville, New Jersey. From there she moved to Las Cruces, New Mexico and obtained an MA at New Mexico State University. After hearing Judy Chicago speak at her school, she travelled to Los Angeles to be part of the experimental Feminist Studio Workshop at the Woman’s Building, a public centre for women’s culture. King stayed in Los Angeles and began making artists’ books at the Women’s Graphic Center. She founded Paradise Press and opened her own studio in West L.A. King returned to Kentucky in ...

Article

American, 20th–21st century, female.

Born 1955, in Germany.

Active in England and Brittany, France.

Installation artist, photographer, printmaker, writer, editor, educator. Artists’ books, artists’ multiples.

Sharon Kivland studied at Liverpool School of Art and at the London College of Printing. Later she took a masters degree at Goldsmith’s College, London (...

Article

American, 20th – 21st century, female.

Born 1945, in Wasco (California), United States.

Installation, video, performance, public art, photography, publishing.

Suzanne Lacy is a Los Angeles–based artist whose work addresses topics such as rape, violence, aging, poverty, racism, and issues of gender and youth culture. She focuses on social practise, creating installations, videos, and unconventional performances that often include collaborations with other artists and members of local communities. Lacy’s larger actions include media-outreach programmes and public-policy debates, effectively blurring the line between art and activism. Lacy is the chair of the Public Practices program at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. She is also the cofounder of the Women’s Building, a centre of study and activism for women artists that developed from the Feminist Studio Workshop established by Judy Chicago, Arlene Raven, and Sheila Lavrant de Bretteville in ...

Article

American, 20th–21st century, female.

Born 31 August 1913, in Brooklyn, New York; died 29 March 2009, in New York, New York.

Photographer, filmmaker and film editor. Portraits, documentary photography.

While working for a commercial portrait photographer in the Bronx in 1931, Levitt familiarized herself with documentary photography through books and exhibitions. Inspired by the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson, she bought a Leica, which enabled her to photograph inconspicuously on the streets of New York. She befriended Walker Evans and helped him print work included in his ...

Article

Anne Blecksmith

(b Kiev, Sept 4, 1919; d Miami, FL, Nov 19, 1999).

American painter, photographer and publishing executive of Ukrainian birth. Raised in England and France, he received a degree in philosophy and mathematics from the Sorbonne in 1930. Connected to the Russian exile community in Paris, he was introduced to artists Aleksandr Yakovlev and Marc Chagall. In 1931, he studied painting with André Lhote and enrolled at the Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture, where he was a student of Auguste Perret. Later that year, he transferred to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. While studying architecture, he was apprenticed to graphic artist Cassandre through whom he found work at the newsweekly Vu, where he created photomontage covers with Russian Constructivist sensibilities and later rose to art director. At Vu he worked with imagery by pioneers of 35 mm photography Henri Cartier-Bresson, Brassaï and Erich Salomon. A prolific photographer since childhood, he enthusiastically identified with the candid documentary style of the 35 mm camera.

Arriving in New York in ...

Article

American, 20th–21st century, female.

Born 20 July 1940, in Philadelphia; died 20 June 2015, in New York.

Photographer, photojournalist.

Raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Mary Ellen Mark earned her BFA in painting and art history from the University of Pennsylvania in 1962. Two years later, she earned her master’s in photojournalism at that institution’s Annenberg School of Communication, where she discovered her ardent passion for photography. From ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 30 November 1912, in Fort Scott, Kansas; died 7 March 2006, in New York City.

Photographer and filmmaker, writer, composer. Portraits, photojournalism, social photography.

Gordon Parks broke through racial boundaries in his long career as a photographer, filmmaker, author, and composer. Parks was first drawn to photography through published photographs of migrant workers, and by ...