Harry Callahan (19121999) was one of the most influential photographic artists of the twentieth century. A master of modernist experimentation, Callahan explored a range of subjectsfrom landscapes to city streets to portraits of his wifeand techniques throughout his career.Beautifully designed and produced, this book focuses on understanding how Callahan workedboth his day-to-day photographic explorations and his resulting fifty-year career in photography. Exploring the rich contents of the Harry Callahan Archive at the Center for Creative Photography, the authors look at how Callahan’s choice of subjects and visual ideas emerged from deliberate and improvisational processes, and how such processes might be revealed with archival materials such as negatives, transparencies, proof prints, sequential ordering, and variant printings. This close investigation of Callahan’s individual and experimental approach to materials in turn leads to a larger consideration of his relationship to seemingly contradictory strains in American visual culture of the twentieth century.Reproducing a host of previously unpublished images and documents, this volume juxtaposes select artifactssuch as contact sheets and variantswith final images to explicate Callahan’s life in and influence upon photography. Harry Callahan: The Photographer at Work will offer a rare glimpse into the creative process of an important and fascinating artist.
The New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-Altered Landscape was one of those rare exhibitions that permanently alters how an art form is perceived. Held at the International Museum of Photography in Rochester, New York, in January 1975, it was curated by William Jenkins, who brought together ten contemporary photographers: Robert Adams, Lewis Baltz, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Joe Deal, Frank Gohlke, Nicholas Nixon, John Schott, Stephen Shore and Henry Wessel, Jr. Signaling the emergence of a new approach to landscape, the show effectively gave a name to a movement or style, although even today, the term “New Topographics”–more a conceptual gist than a precise adjective–is used to characterize the work of artists not yet born when the exhibition was held. Although the exhibit’s ambitions were hardly so grand, New Topographics has since come to be understood as marking a paradigm shift, for the show occurred just as photography ceased to be an isolated, self-defined practice and took its place within the contemporary art world. Arguably the last traditionally photographic style, New Topographics was also the first Photoconceptual style. In different ways, the artists thoughtfully engaged with their medium and its history, while simultaneously absorbing such issues as environmentalism, capitalism and national identity. In this vital reassessment of the genre, essays by Britt Salvesen and Alison Nordstrom accompany illustrations of selected works from the 1975 exhibition, with installation views and contextual comparisons, to demonstrate both the historical significance of New Topographics and its continued relevance today. The book also includes an illustrated checklist of the 1975 exhibition and an extensive bibliography.
Stephen Shore’s Uncommon Places is indisputably a canonic body of work―a touchstone for those interested in photography and the American landscape. Remarkably, despite having been the focus of numerous shows and books, including the eponymous 1982 Aperture classic (expanded and reissued several times), this series of photographs has yet to be explored in its entirety. Over the past five years, Shore has scanned hundreds of negatives shot between 1973 and 1981. In this volume, Aperture has invited an international group of fifteen photographers, curators, authors, and cultural figures to select ten images apiece from this rarely seen cache of images. Each portfolio offers an idiosyncratic and revealing commentary on why this body of work continues to astound; how it has impacted the work of new generations of photography and the medium at large; and proposes new insight on Shore’s unique vision of America as transmuted in this totemic series.
Texts and image selections by Wes Anderson, Quentin Bajac, David Campany, Paul Graham, Guido Guidi, Takashi Homma, An-My Leê, Michael Lesy, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Francine Prose, Ed Ruscha, Britt Salvesen, Taryn Simon, Thomas Struth, and Lynne Tillman
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