Attica, Greece - "A flock of Turkeys being driven along the seaside..." 1953
Henri Cartier-Bresson/Magnum Photos
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Fine art gets tangled in the web. It's been common for years to see websites for commercial photographers as well as sites for photography galleries that are trying to hustle their wares in the market place. It's taken a few more years though for some of the institutions and artists with a personal sense of high renown to offer up their images for consumption on the internet. It follows a typical pattern whenever a new medium is popularized. Serious actors in the early nineteen twenties wouldn't dare act in moving pictures. They were considered vulgar and without merit. Check out
The Museum of Modern Art,
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Monday, November 24, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Joesph Alber's name is synonomous with his simple, attractive and energetic "Homage to the Sqaure" paintings. He made a boat load of them. Every once in a while though some of his photographs find their way into a gallery or museum show. The best place to see a lot of them at once is www.albersfoundation.org It's fun to see how he used some of the same devices for both groups of pictures. I love how narrative and cinematic the photographs are. They feel like small home movies. Personal and a little rough around the edges.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
After an extended stay in Paris, Berenice Abbott returned to New York with the work of Eugene Atget in her hands and on her mind. After introducing his work to the states she then set out to do her own version of capturing a great city during a period of great change. No doubt the city was in the grasp of an economic turmoil that makes our current malaise pale in comparison. What's so interesting to me is that the photographs, simply by depicting a past that we did not experience, take on a kind of upbeat beauty and nostalgic charm. The architecture, the typography, the clothes, etc...The photographer can not take blame or credit for this and it stands aside from our verdict of whether or not the pictures succeed or fail. It's the nature of the medium. Time always rewards photographs from the past. They are inhabited by a dream like quality. They both look like and unlike what we know the world to be. In this case the world of New York City. So take comfort. Things may look shitty out there but if you photograph it it will, with the passage of a few decades, be infused with charm and have the ability to inebriate.
Monday, November 10, 2008
I saw two great shows at the Whitney this weekend. www.whitney.org One was a large career retrospective of the great William Eggleston. It had everything, including the kitchen sink, and was great to see. What really surprised me though was the Alexander Calder show. "The Paris years, 1926-1933. The show focused primarily on his wire sculptures. A few drawings, paintings and additional sculptures are tossed in for good measure but the star of the show are his simple, brilliant and beautiful "drawings" in wire. In addition to being well crafted they are funny and have the kind appeal that makes them universally accessible regardless of age or experience. While some of the Eggleston pictures might require a certain knowledge about his work's place in the context of the history of his medium the same can't be said of the pieces by Calder. They are as inviting and attainable as a sunny day.