Tag Archives: Eugene Atget

Julia Dean: Forty Years Behind the Camera

A dozen years ago, photographer Julia Dean changed my life by asking me to teach at her photography school, The Julia Dean Photo Workshops in Los Angeles. Over the past thirteen years, Julia has taught hundreds of classes, thousands of students, and exposed the Los Angeles community to photographic luminaries and educators such as Keith Carter, Duane Michals, Mary Ellen Mark and many others too numerous to count.  Her school has created a photographic community in Los Angeles, a place to share portolios over a glass of wine, a place to hear lectures, experience wonderful exhibitions, and take a broad array of classes (160 offered each year). Julia’s desire to open our eyes, to see one world, and to bring attention to those who have no voice has been remarkable.  Her generous and enthusiastic spirit is infectious and I feel so lucky to be her friend.  So today I celebrate a woman who has spent a lifetime engaged, enthused, and involved in photography.


Julia has spent the last year revisiting negatives and spending month upon month in the darkroom creating beautiful silver prints in preparation for a 40 year retrospective of her work that opens at the Julia Dean Gallery in Los Angeles tomorrow night, December 15th.  I am featuring work from her General Stores project today — she recently rediscovered the negatives and printed the images for the first time for the exhibition.  Julia is also offering photographs from the exhibition for sale online at a special anniversary price on her site.


Forty Years Behind the Camera: A Retrospective

When I worked as an apprentice to Berenice Abbott’s in 1978, I was 23 years old. Berenice was 80. 


She taught me how to print, among many other photographic skills. She taught me about life in Paris in the 20s, about working with Man Ray, about meeting and photographing people like Eugene Atget, James Joyce, and Jean Cocteau. She even taught me how to do the Charleston. 


I remember using an 8×10 camera with 8×10 film and an 8×10 enlarger. The film had to be processed in complete darkness, one sheet at a time, in 8×10 trays that you lined up just right so you knew what to do in the dark. 


images from General Stores

I learned how to bend light with my hands under an enlarger, how to add light, how to subtract light, how to make a print look just like our eyes saw the subject when the picture was taken. I learned that photography renders 10 tones compared to the hundreds of tones that our eyes can differentiate. I learned that it can take hours to get one good print.

I also learned how to flatten the prints, how to retouch the dust spots, and the patience it takes to produce one beautiful black & white fiber base print.

 I was asked recently what the difference is between the traditional role of film and the digital era. It is very simple. It is much easier to be a photographer today than it was in the past. (Photographers before me would say the same thing!) Though today’s cameras are much heavier than my Leica M6 and have more buttons, once you learn your tools, digital photography makes life quicker and easier.

I don’t look down on those who didn’t learn the hard way. I wouldn’t have minded an easier path myself. But I am grateful for knowing what I know about photography that digital shooters will never know: the craft of the black & white print. 

To me, there is no more beautiful craft in photography than the black & white print from a black & white negative. I learned from a master and for that I am eternally grateful. Printing is a dying art that I hope I never give up, even if I, too, have embraced digital. This retrospective exhibit is in honor of the beautiful black & white print.

New York, Cocteau and a Parabolic Mirror: ‘Berenice Abbott: Photographs’

Though she went to Paris in 1921 to study sculpture, Berenice Abbott would transition to photography when she became Man Ray’s assistant in 1923. Three years later, she set up her own studio, photographing the French capital’s bohemians, artists and intellectuals—and famous friends such as writers James Joyce and Jean Cocteau—before moving back to the States in 1929.

For the next two decades, Abbott focused her lens on Depression-Era New York, producing a number of moving, black-and-white images that would become part of her book Changing New York. This series, along with nearly 120 other images, is being featured in a new exhibition at Toronto’s Ryerson Image Center called Berenice Abbott: Photographs.

“She was an underestimated photographer during her life and even today,” says Gaelle Morel, the exhibition’s curator and author of the accompanying book, Berenice Abbott. “But Berenice has this capacity of mixing different aesthetics, depending on the subject, which was really extraordinary. She can do a more modern, New Vision style when it came to photographing New York buildings, or take a more documentary approach for her portraits.”

Keystone-France / Getty Images

Berenice Abbot standing for a portrait, behind a view-camera, circa early 1900s

Abbott gained acclaim for her own comprehensive career, which would later involve photographic work on physics, commissioned by Boston’s Massachusetts Institute of Technology. But she also became famous for her staunch support of French photographer Eugène Atget, whom she met in 1925 while living in Paris. Atget died two years later, and it was Abbott who would photo-edit a book of his work and help stage an exhibition of his work in New York. She sold her Atget collection to the Museum of Modern Art in 1968.

“Berenice always said she had two careers—one of her own, and one championing Atget,” Morel says. “She wanted to be recognized as the Atget of New York, not necessarily his aesthetic, but his intellect.”

Berenice Abbott: Photographs, co-organized by The Ryerson Image Centre in Toronto and the Jeu de Paume in Paris, is on view through Aug. 19 at Toronto’s Art Gallery of Ontario. The accompanying book is published by Editions Hazan and Yale University Press.

Shared Vision: A Conversation with Sondra Gilman, Celso Gonzalez-Falla, and Mitch Epstein

Flag, 2000 (c) Mitch Epstein

In the mid-70s, Mitch Epstein was exhibiting some of his earliest work, some of the images first to elevate color photography into the realm of fine art, joining the ranks of Stephen Shore and William Eggleston. Right around that time, Sondra Gilman, who, along with her husband Celso Gonzalez-Falla, has been repeated ranked among the top photo collectors in the world by ARTnews, purchased her first photograph.

She had “tripped over a [Eugène] Atget show” at MoMA, she tells New York Social Diary in an interview (accompanied by dozens of images of the collection at home in their Upper East Side townhouse), and “literally had an epiphany.” She ended up buying three $250 prints at a time when photographs “had no value.” Since then, the couple’s collection has grown to several hundred vintage prints, and their value, surely to no one’s surprise today, has grown astronomically.

Marcelle Polednik, Director MOCA Jacksonville, Celso Gonzalez-Falla and Sondra Gilman at a walkthrough of Shared Vision during Aperture’s Armory Brunch 2012.

On Wednesday, April 11, 2012 Aperture Foundation presents a conversation with Gilman and Gonzalez-Falla alongside Epstein, whose work features prominently in the Shared Vision collection (at Aperture through April 21, 2012). This ambitious exhibition, organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Jacksonville, curated by Ben Thompson and Paul Karabinis, brings together their most iconic images reflecting the diverse nature of an entire century of photography. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue published by MOCA and produced by Aperture, including historical context for each image and photographer as well as curatorial remarks.

Epstein, who won the Prix Pictet in 2011, the Berlin Prize in Arts and Letters in 2008, and the Kraszna-Krausz Photography Book Award in 2004, also appears in the New York Times Magazine Photographs, edited by Kathy Ryan, and Aperture issue 168. A former student of Garry Winogrand at Cooper Union in the early ’70s, his work has since landed in the collections of the MoMA, the Whitney, the Getty Museum, SFMOMA, and Tate Modern in London. While his projects often start as independent explorations or excursions, he has a strong inclination to “engage with issues beyond self-reflexive ones,” he tells BOMB in a lengthy interview about how some of his latest projects including American Power, progressed from an editorial assignment, to a print series, to a book.

Watch a great video shot at Tate Modern of Epstein discussing his latest series and exploring what makes a strong photograph. Check out photos from our the walkthrough of the Shared Vision exhibition with Marcelle Polednik, Director of MOCA Jacksonville and the collectors, and the VIP walkthrough during last weekend’s AIPAD Photography Show. And find images of the installation as well as an index of the work on view at DLK Collection.

Shared Vision: A Conversation with Sondra Gilman, Celso Gonzalez-Falla, and Mitch Epstein
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 at 6:30 pm
FREE

Aperture Gallery and Bookstore
547 West 27th Street, 4th Floor
New York, New York
(212) 505-5555

From the Desk of a Work Scholar: Opening Reception at Shared Vision

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All photos by Aperture Foundation Work Scholars. The deadline for the summer session application is April 15.

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Sondra Gilman and Celso Gonzalez-Falla’s collection of iconic photography drew a crowd to Aperture Gallery Tuesday night for the opening reception of Shared Vision presented by MOCA, on view through Saturday, April 21, 2012.

The exhibition, featuring work by Robert Adams, Eugène Atget, Minor White, Walker Evans, Loretta Lux, Sally Mann, Richard Misrach and more, was culled from one of the world’s best private collections of photography by the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Jacksonville, a cultural resource of the University of North Florida, curated by Ben Thompson, MOCA’s curator, and Paul Karabinis, assistant professor of photography at UNF. It’s also accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog published by MOCA and produced by Aperture Foundation, featuring a selection of images from the collection, historical context and curatorial remarks.

Of course, the show wouldn’t be complete without the help of our many  indispensable Work Scholars.  Regan Hillman shares what her experience behind the scenes was like.

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As the Exhibitions Work Scholar, I had the great opportunity to handle and hang this amazing selection of photographs from Sondra and Celso’s collection.

Exhibitions Work Scholar Regan Hillman

The process of getting the exhibition on the wall included many steps.  First, paper cut-outs of the works, scaled to one-seventh of the original size (including the frame) were organized into their respective sections and arranged on paper walls also scaled to one-seventh of those at our gallery in Chelsea.  Because we could move our paper replicas into different orders and arrangement, this mock-up version helped us to get a visual of how the photographs would look when installed.  After a paper layout was completed, I made a virtual rendering of the space in a computer program that allows you to build a space using the measurements of the gallery and import the pictures onto the walls.  While the paper mock-up could be moved around easily, the virtual rendering from the computer program gave us a sense of how the space would look in three dimensions.

To prepare the text for the exhibition we worked closely with the Design and Copy Editing departments to produce captions and an extensive gallery guide.  Then the many, many crates and boxes containing the exhibition arrived.  The hanging process, though tedious, went smoothly with the help of our installation team.  I loved walking into the gallery each morning and seeing another section hanging on the wall.

It was extraordinarily rewarding to see the process through from beginning to end.  What had started out as multitude of one-inch square images on a checklist, eventually—with much work and deliberation—became an exhibition: visually engaging, full of information, and with a wealth of original examples from the history of photography.

 

Regan Hillman is a pursuing a Master’s degree in Art History at CUNY Hunter College.  She received her B.A. in Painting and Art History at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.  She plans to write her M.A. thesis this summer on modern and contemporary painters who have made stained glass windows for Gothic cathedrals. When not busy at Aperture or school, Regan enjoys exploring her Brooklyn neighborhood and the green expanses of Prospect Park.

Spring Issue Now Available!

Aperture Issue 206 features:

Dutch photographer Viviane Sassen’s vibrant African dreamscapes.

Lieko Shiga’s visual diary of the days after the 2011 tsunami in Japan.

An intimate look at photography’s patron saint, Eugène Atget.

Arthur Ou plays with representation, dimensionality, and meaning through the manipulation of the negative.

A discussion with Richard Farris Thompson of how Afro-Cuban rhythms stirred the lives of the Beat artists.

Survivor of one of Argentina’s clandestine prisons, Paula Luttringer, finds the courage to look back through objects left behind.

 

Click here to subscribe now and get a FREE book!

Shared Vision: The Sondra Gilman and Celso Gonzalez-Falla Collection of Photography

“Coney Island, NY, July 9, 1993″ by Rineke Dijkstra and “Patrick, Palm Sunday, Baton Rough, Louisiana, 2002″ by Alec Soth

 

Opening reception:
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
6:00–8:00 pm

Exhibition on view:
Friday, March 2, 2012–Saturday, April 21, 2012

Aperture Foundation
547 West 27th Street, 4th Floor
New York, New York
(212) 505-5555

Sondra Gilman and Celso Gonzalez-Falla, two individuals that Art News ranks among the top ten photo collectors in the world, have amassed hundreds of the most iconic images reflecting the diverse nature of the past century of photography. Aperture Foundation pleased to announce the opening of Shared Vision: The Sondra Gilman and Celso Gonzalez-Falla Collection of Photography, featuring over two hundred of those photographs that form one of the world’s best private collections. An exhibition organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Jacksonville, a cultural resource of the University of North Florida, curated by Ben Thompson, MOCA’s curator, and Paul Karabinis, assistant professor of photography at UNF.

Gilman and Gonzalez-Falla’s collaboration hinges on a few underlying principles— mainly, to acquire works of major importance by leading photographers of their generation, and to focus on vintage prints. Although each of the collectors brings a different point of view to the photography—Gonzalez-Falla analyzes color and form, while Gilman responds to images on a more visceral level—these distinct approaches merge into a single, shared vision and emanate from the same goal: to collect photographs that move and inspire them.

Prominet photographers in the collection include Ansel AdamsEugène Atget, Margaret Bourke-White,Walker Evans, Loretta LuxSally Mann, Richard Misrach, Doug and Mike StarnRobert Mapplethorpe, and Alfred Stieglitz.

The exhibition, organized by MOCA, a cultural resource of the University of North Florida, curated by Ben Thompson, MOCA’s curator, and Paul Karabinis, assistant professor of photography at UNF, is supported by Sondra Gilman and Celso Gonzalez-Falla, The Haskell Company, Marilyn and Charles Gilman III, and Joan and Preston Haskell. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog published by MOCA and produced by Aperture Foundation. This catalog features selected photographs from the exhibition, with historical context about each image and the photographer, curatorial remarks from Ben Thompson and Paul Karabinis, and an exclusive interview with the collectors.

Related Items: 

Eugène Atget’s ‘Documents Pour Artistes’

Outside his studio in 19th-century Paris hung a sign that declared “documents pour artistes”—documents for artists—a statement that captured the modest intent of Eugène Atget. His legacy, the result of a career that spanned more than 30 years and nearly 8,500 photographs, is one of relentless curiosity, devout investigation and masterful craftsmanship. Drawing from its expansive collection of Atget’s work, the Museum of Modern Art in New York will present a selection of more than 100 images from Feb. 3 through April 9, as an exhibition titled with inspiration from the artist himself: Documents Pour Artistes.

The exhibition, which is divided into six sections, examines the various subjects the artist approached during his life. Atget is primarily known for his images of the streets of Paris, romantic landscapes and images of storefronts (which inspired Surrealists such as Man Ray and Tristan Tsara, although Atget denied any ties to the movement)—but, in this show, MoMA includes a refreshing display of his rare photographs of people, which are equal in their formal rigor and topographical, objective approach.

Atget’s approach is paradoxically both intimate and anonymous; despite having photographed seemingly every inch of the streets of Paris, from whole buildings to window displays, Atget never photographed the Eiffel Tower. His sense of dedication to detail, found in his street photographs, extends into his images from the abandoned Parc de Sceaux, from March and June of 1925. During this time, Atget took vast images of the serene landscapes, all while taking dutiful notes of times of day of the photographs, revealing his highly proximate relationship with documentation.

Drawing inspiration from Atget’s vision of objectivity for his photographs, it is perhaps best for viewers to develop a more personal relationship with his work, undistracted by the perceptions of the outside world. The scenes captured in Atget’s images cannot be adequately illustrated with words—luckily for us, he took pictures instead.

Documents Pour Artistes is on display from Feb. 3 through April 9 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

Diffusion Magazine Call for Entry

It’s no secret that I am a big fan of Diffusion Magazine. Published by photographer Blue Mitchell, it’s an annual publication and worth a subscription. Here is this year’s call for entry.

Call for Entries

Group Showcase 2012.

‘Muse’ is a concept deeply seeded in the exploration of photography. Tina Modotti was the well-documented muse of Edward Weston. Paris was the muse of Eugene Atget, while some might argue that Edward Steichen’s muse was photography itself.

For this call we are considering works that address the concept of ‘The Muse.’ Your interpretation of what ‘muse’ means is entirely personal and we challenge you to think beyond the more common notions of the concept. Please provide a short artist statement explaining your ideas on what ‘muse’ is for you and how you’ve incorporated it into your work.

This call for art is open to all photographers internationally. All processes and techniques are welcomed but understand we are looking for unconventional photographic methods and alternative photographic processes.

Awards

All published photographers will receive a complimentary copy of Diffusion, Volume IV, 2012.

Best of Show will also receive a copy of Diffusion Volume II, III and a feature spread in “Editor’s Selection”.

1st and 2nd place photographers will receive a feature spread in “Editor’s Selection”.

Image specifications

Learning to Feel by Blue Mitchell

Submit images (300 ppi) in JPEG or TIFF format, sized to approximately 12” in the longest direction. Images should be titled with photographers first name then last name and image title. For example, If the title of my photograph is “Learning to Feel” then my file name should look like: Blue_Mitchell_Learning_to_Feel.tiff

Submit files on CD only.

Submission fee

20.00$ submission fee for 5 images. $5.00 for each additional image with no maximum. Submission fees are non-refundable.

Payable to One Twelve Publishing (we accept check or money order)

What to send us

No entry form is required, but please enclose a text document or PDF that includes your name, address, email (mandatory for notification), image titles, photographic process, website, artist statement (discussed above) and any other information pertinent to your submittal.

All entries must be received by December 1st, 2011

Send entries to:

One Twelve Publishing
1631 NE Broadway #143
Portland, OR 97232

**International Submission**

If you are outside of North America and wish to save money on shipping, please email us at [email protected] and we will work with you to gather your information electronically.