Tag Archives: Vintage Prints

Photo Show – First major UK exhibition of work by Tom Wood to open at The Photographers’ Gallery London

© Tom Wood, Seacombe Ferry 1985, photo courtesy the artist and The Photographers’ Gallery.

© Tom Wood, Ladies Toilet Attendant 1985, photo courtesy the artist and The Photographers’ Gallery.

The first major UK show of Irish-born photographer Tom Wood Men and Women opens at The Photographers’ Gallery on 12 October and runs until 6 January. Wood continuously recorded the everyday lives of the people of Liverpool and the Merseyside area from 1973 until the early 2000s, working in both black and white and later in colour. The exhibition will showcase over sixty previously unpublished portraits as well as a selection of vintage prints and book dummies of his now out-of-print publications Looking for Love (1989), All Zones off Peak (1998) and Photieman (2005).

“Editing from long-term and previously unseen bodies of work, such as the Football Grounds, Shipyard and Docks and Women’s Market, Tom Wood has re-evaluated these images through a creative collaboration with artist Padraig Timoney. Grouping the images in a non-chronological order under the headings Men and Women, the exhibition will showcase a curated selection of these photographs,soon to be published as two separate books by Steidl. The installation of the photographs will reflect the sequencing of the books mixing the different formats, styles and processes. This arrangement will highlight the formal correspondences and relationships between pictures as well as Wood’s prolonged involvement with his subject matter.

“His photographs include both candid and posed portraits of people alone or in groups. Images of strangers are interspersed with those of friends and family and are often made from repeated engagements with particular locales.

© Tom Wood, Maryhill 1974, photo courtesy the artist and The Photographers’ Gallery.

“Trust and empathy are both key elements in Wood’s practice and his photographs are the result of considered observation, offering affirmative responses to moments from the lives of those he pictures.” From the press release.

© Tom Wood, Old Man on bench, Graffiti tiles 1985, photo courtesy the artist and The Photographers’ Gallery.

Men and Women is a collaboration with the National Media Museum, Bradford. It is curated by Stefanie Braun, Senior Curator, The Photographers’ Gallery and Greg Hobson, Curator of Photographs at the National Media Museum.

Filed under: Documentary photography, Photographers, Photography Shows, Portraiture Tagged: documentary photography, Liverpool, london, Men and Women, Merseyside, Padraig Timoney, The Photographers’ Gallery, Tom Wood

Aperture @ First Annual PGH Photo Fair

Emerald Garden Laundromat, 2008, Mark Lyon

You don’t have to travel to Miami or New York to start collecting. This month, photography enthusiasts in Western Pennsylvania will have access to the PGH Photo Fair, the first annual art fair in Pittsburgh promoting the discussion of photography within the contemporary and fine art market, Saturday, April 21–Sunday, April 22, 2012.

Organized by photography collector Evan Mirapaul, the PGH Photo Fair will play host to selection of internationally known dealers, showcasing museum-quality prints and photo-based art spanning the history of the medium, from 20th Century vintage prints to contemporary photography and photographic book art. Visitors will have the unique opportunity to browse and learn about photography from some of the world’s most knowledgeable experts, while shopping works that range from affordable delights to unique rarities.

“I invited the highest quality dealers I knew,” Mirapaul says. “That was the primary criterion … I wanted to invite dealers that could bring a lot of knowledge and expertise to any conversation with a new audience, but without any high-art attitude.”

Aperture is among the six internationally known dealers that the PGH Photography fair will host throughout the weekend. Join us at the former YMCA building in East Liberty to browse and buy limited-edition prints from Graham Nash, Michelle DuBois, Alfred Steichen, Mark Lyon, 2011 portfolio prize winner Sarah Palmer, and Sophie T. Lvoff, among other notable photographers from the Aperture stable.

Aperture at PGH Photo Fair
Saturday, April 21–Sunday, April 22, 2012
Saturday, April 21: 12:00 – 6:00 pm
Sunday, April 22: 11:00 am– 5:00 p
m

FREE

Former YMCA building in East Liberty
120 South Whitfield Street
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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

Danny Lyon: The World Is Not My Home

For the past five decades the photographer Danny Lyon has produced a mix of documentary photographs and film – both politically conscious and personal. As the artist turns 70 this year, a new exhibition called The World is Not My Home: Danny Lyon Photographs will celebrate his lengthy career at the Menil Collection in Houston from March 30 to July 29.

In the early 1960s when many photographers where working the poetry of the streets and snubbing their noses at the tradition of “photojournalism,” Lyon embraced both the lyrical potential of photography as well as its ability to raise awareness to current political issues. Some of his earliest images as a staff photographer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) documenting the civil rights demonstrations against segregation in the South (later published in the book The Movement) made their way into the mainstream press and also onto SNCC posters and brochures. “My camera was my entrance into another world…I had the rare privilege to see history firsthand.”

The Menil Collection has played an important role in Lyon’s career as it was one of the first institutions to acquire his prints as early as 1974 and the Collection currently holds 246 of his photographs. “Addie and Ted de Menil [Adelaide de Menil and Edmund Carpenter Snow] made a large contribution of my work to the Collection, and that morphed into this larger show,” Lyons said of the exhibition. The photographer’s cousins Leon and Ginette Henkin also gave the Collection 20 vintage prints that Lyons had given to the them in the sixties and early seventies. The World is Not My Home: Danny Lyon Photographs will consist of approximately 45 photographs covering his career from 1962 to the present including recent montages and his Polaroid albums which have never been shown.

Lyon lived in East Texas and Houston for 14 months while photographing within Texas prisons. This work would eventually be published in his 1969 book Conversations With the Dead: Photographs of Prison Life, with the letters and drawings of Billy McCune #122054. Lyon’s virtually unrestricted access to several prisons and their inmates went as far as conceiving the idea of having his book printed by the inmates working in the Huntsville prison print shop. The fruit of this idea, a smaller and necessarily less ambitious book of 15 images called Born to Lose (printed by Don Moss #150590 and with layout and lithography by ‘Smiley’ Renton #189994 and Ed Carlock #192204) will also be on display in this exhibition at the Menil.

John and Dominique de Menil started their collection in 1945, focusing on European painting and American contemporary works including Minimalism and Pop Art. The collection holds nearly 16,000 works of art. “I met Dominique when she was a teacher in Houston,” Lyon recalls. “She knew of my work in the prisons and helped me get art supplies to Billy McCune. In 1974, Mrs. de Menil was one of the first to ever purchase prints from me, and then in 1975 paid for the making of my film Los Ninos Abandonados. She handed me a check and said, ‘Don’t tell anyone.’” Los Ninos Abandondos is a film about street children in Colombia which has been recently been digitally restored and will be shown at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts as a companion piece to this show.

Los Niños Abandonados (1975) – Restored 2012 (Trailer) from Watchmaker Films on Vimeo.

“Dominique de Menil said to me many years ago that there was always something ‘happy and sad’ in my photographs,” Lyon says. “The announcement card shows a man gleaning coal walking down a long and sad railroad track. It could have been taken in America during the Depression, but it was made in China four years ago as part of my Phaidon book Deep Sea Diver. The hymn The World is Not My Home is a sad one, but it also implies an existential relationship to life and the world around us.”

Danny Lyon is an American photographer. He blogs at this address (http://dektol.wordpress.com) where he posts his current work with the Occupy movement, and more of his work can be seen here on his website. The above photographs are from the show The World Is Not My Home: Danny Lyon Photographs, on view at the Menil Collection in Houston, March 30 – July 29. 

Jeffrey Ladd is a photographer, writer, editor and founder of Errata Editions. Visit his blog here.

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: 

The Loving Story: Loving v. Virginia and the Photographs of Grey Villet

More of Grey Villet’s LIFE photographs of Richard and Mildred Loving are presented in a special gallery at the new Life.com.

Nancy Buirski and Elisabeth Haviland James, the team behind HBO’s The Loving Story, were secretly hoping to get a little more material when they went to show an early trailer of their documentary to the family of the movie’s subjects in the summer of 2010. The film tells the story of Richard Perry Loving and Mildred Loving, the serendipitously named couple behind the landmark 1967 Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia, who were exiled from Virginia for violating the state’s anti-miscegenation laws. (The case overturned all such laws, making interracial marriage legal nationwide.) Buirski, the film’s director and writer, and James, her co-producer, already had a treasure trove of video footage of their subjects, but they thought a few more family snapshots would provide a nice touch.

Peggy Loving, the couple’s daughter, was impressed by what she saw. She told Buirski that she did have some family photographs, left the room and returned carrying 70 10-by-13 prints taken by photojournalist Grey Villet in 1965 for LIFE magazine.

Buirski, who has worked both as a photo editor at the New York Times and as the director of the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, immediately recognized what she saw. “Elisabeth and I just looked at each other,” she says, “and I think we might have even had tears in our eyes.”

It’s not unusual for a documentary film to rely on photographs to illustrate history, but The Loving Story demonstrates a unique way of doing so. Because Buirski had unearthed Villet’s photos, she was able to use the work of a single photographer to tell the story. And, for the most part, the photos used in the film are scans of the actual vintage prints owned by the Loving family. Buirski says that consistency allowed her to escape from the constraints of documentary style: rather than show a picture to go along with a specific point in the narrative, she was able to set a consistent mood and even, in some cases, to let the images speak for themselves without help of a voiceover.

The photographs also allowed the filmmakers to show the human side of the Lovings’ story, something that was not as present in the video footage. Most of the video used in The Loving Story was filmed by Hope Ryden, a cinema-verité filmmaker who had taken an interest in the case. The Lovings were initially reticent to participate. They were living in Virginia illegally and, rather than attempt to cast themselves as Civil Rights heroes, they were, as Mildred Loving puts it in one of Ryden’s interviews, just “trying to get home.” The couple was convinced by their lawyers, Bernard Cohen and Philip Hirschkop, that Ryden was trustworthy; even so, Buirski feels that the Lovings put up walls when confronted with movie cameras and microphones.

Not so with Villet’s still camera. “A photojournalist like [Villet] tends to be able to disappear in a story like that,” says Buirski. As such, the photographs he took are more intimate than the video was. Rather than answer questions about legal matters, the Lovings kiss, hold hands and play with their children.

“[The photographs] opened up a window on their love,” says Buirski.

The Loving Story premieres on HBO on Feb. 14, at 9 p.m. ET.

An exhibit of Grey Villet’s photographs of the Loving family that were discovered in the course of filming is also currently on view, through May 6, at the International Center of Photography in New York City.

Foto/Gráfica: A New History of the Latin-American Photobook

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“THE LATIN-AMERICAN PHOTOBOOK: THE BEST KEPT SECRET IN THE HISTORY OF PHOTOGRAPHY.” MARTIN PARR

A complex, multifaceted, historical and educational presentation of the history of the Latin-American photobook is currently on display at Le Bal in Paris. It is a lot to absorb in a single visit, but definitely worth the effort.

All of the following text and images were supplied by Le Bal:

“Photography,” wrote August Sander, “is like a mosaic: it only achieves a synthesis when you can display it all at once.”

In order to arrive at such a synthesis, [pre-digital] photographers have two forms at their disposal: the exhibition or the book, two continuous sequences of images structured into a comprehensive argument. FOTO/GRFICA thus constitutes an original approach insofar as it combines these two forms: an exhibition of photobooks as autonomous objects, accompanied by vintage prints, films and mock-ups.

This effort entailed more than three years of interviewing photographers, graphic designers, collectors, researchers and publishers on both sides of the Atlantic and combing rare bookstores and public and private libraries. Tracking down the unknown on a continental scale transformed this investigation into a vertiginously exciting quest which had as its outcome an anthology of 150 books published between 1921 and 2009: The Latin American Photo Book.

The books which came to light are incisive, complex, unsettling and often forgotten, star-crossed or otherwise secret works. The exhibition FOTO/GRFICA presents forty of them, most of which are unknown to the public, and thus serves to reveal Latin Americas remarkable contribution to the world history of the photobook.

The idea of seeking and presenting the best photobooks of Latin America was born during the 2007 Latin American forum on photography in So Paulo. On this occasion we observed the critical lack of a cartography of the books published in the 20th century on the continent. A rigorous investigation was lead to offset this silence by a systematic rescue of unquestionably valuable works. The research focused exclusively on photobooks published in Latin America by Latin American authors involved in carrying out their work. During three years, through 19 countries from Cuba to Patagonia, we interviewed photographers, graphic artists, collectors, scholars, publishers, and sifted through their libraries and archives. Chasing the unknown on the scale of a continent has converted this investigation into a quest both breathtaking and electrifying. The result is surprising. proveedor factura electrnica . Powerful, complex, troubling, often forgotten, cursed or secret books have emerged. Fotografia . Throughout the pages, unfolds something that is part caress, complaint, appeal, complicity, bitter denunciation (Julio Cortazar). Finally, this critical study reveals the remarkable contribution of Latin America in world history of the photobook.

Horacio Fernndez, curator

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IN THE BEGINNING…
The exhibition begins with two major works echoing pre-Columbian America: one shows the landscape and its first inhabitants, the other, the cultures destroyed by colonisation.

In Amaznia (1978), by Brazilian photographers Claudia Andujar (Neuchtel, Switzerland, 1931- ) and George Love (Charlotte, North Carolina, 1937-So Paulo, Brazil, 1995), the primeval America, Paradise lost and its inhabitants, the masters of the Earth are evoked through a dramatic, film-like narrative charged with emotion.

Alturas de Macchu Picchu (Heights of Machu Picchu, 1954) brings together one of the major poems of Nobel Prize laureate Pablo Neruda and the photographs of the great master Martn Chambi (Coaza, Peru, 1891-Cuzco, Peru, 1973). These archaeological photographs are devoid of any human presence, unlike Nerudas verses, populated by Juan Stonecutter, son of Wiracocha and other inhabitants of the vast Inca city lost for centuries before its rediscovery in 1911.

HISTORY AND PROPAGANDA
Photobooks of protest and propaganda trace a visual history of Latin America in the twentieth century which is fraught with implacable tensions between conservative and reformist ideologies. This history begins with the period of the great Mexican Revolution of the 1910s as related in the lbum histrico grfico (Graphic history album, 1921) of Agustn Vctor Casasola (Mexico City, 1874-1938).

The political, ideological version of history is propaganda. It found expression in Argentina during the government of General Juan Domingo Pern in anonymous collective works such as Argentina en marcha (Argentina on the march, 1950) and Eva Pern (1952). The same was true in Bolivia during the 1950s, when the government commissioned a heroic narrative on the miners, El precio del estao (The price of tin, 1955) from Argentine photographer Gustavo Thorlichen (Hamburg, Germany, 1905-Mlaga, Spain, 1986). In a more documentary vein, Candombl (1957) by Jos Medeiros (Teresina, Brazil, 1921 LAquila, Italy, 1990) captures the secret, forbidden rituals of Afro-Brazilian culture.

The triumph of the Cuban Revolution in 1959 mobilised an entire generation of outstanding photographers and graphic designers. The books of the early years embody faith in the future and rejection of the past, as seen in Cuba: Z.D.A. (Cuba Agrarian Development Zone, 1960), Sartre visita a Cuba (Sartre visits Cuba, 1960) and El socialismo y el hombre en Cuba (Socialism and man in Cuba, 1965). This revolutionary hope for change spread throughout Latin America, as demonstrated by photobooks such as Amrica, un viaje a travs de la injusticia (America, a journey through injustice, 1970), a synthesis of observation, emotion and culture on a continental scale by Enrique Bostelmann (Guadalajara, Mexico, 1939-Mexico City, 2003).

The victory of reactionary forces in the 1970s set off a spiral of violence. In Chile, the 1973 military coup led by General Pinochet sought to justify itself with Chile ayer hoy (Chile yesterday today, 1975), an archetypal example of right-wing propaganda which was countered by works such as Chile o muerte (Chile or death, 1974), a collage of documents, photographs and caricatures. Uchuraccay: Testimonio de una masacre (Uchuraccay: Testimony of a massacre, 1983) attests to the terrible war between Peru and the Shining Path terrorist guerrilla mouvement, whilst the recent Los que se quedan /Those that are still here (2007) by Geovanny Verdezoto (Santo Domingo de los Colorados, Ecuador, 1984- ) examines the situation of those who choose to remain rather than emigrate.

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Buenos Aires, by Horacio Coppola (1936).

URBAN PHOTOGRAPHY
Latin Americas cities have inspired major photobooks. Doorway to Brasilia (1959), a work by graphic designer Alosio Magalhes (Recife, Brazil, 1927-Padua, Italy, 1982) and North American artist and printer Eugene Feldman, extols the architectural transformation of the landscape by means of an extraordinary demonstration of graphic ingenuity. More reserved, but just as monumental, Buenos Aires (1936) embodies the photographic vision of Horacio Coppola (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1906- ), in an empty urban stage. By contrast, La Ciudad de Mexico III (Mexico City III) by Nacho Lpez (Tampico, Mexico, 1923-Mexico City, 1983) celebrates the street life uniting architecture and city-dwellers.

In Buenos Aires Buenos Aires (1958) by Sara Facio (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1932- ) and Alicia DAmico (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1933-2001), the only decoration is the crowd, the hustle and bustle of ordinary people. Similarly privileging the public over the setting, Avndaro (1971) by Graciela Iturbide (Mexico City, 1942- ) recreates the energy of Mexicos first rock festival through the reframing and repetition of the images. Both of these books are distinguished by their graphic design, the work of Oscar Cesar Mara and Antonio Serna, respectively. Color natural (Natural colour, 1969) by Venezuelan photographer Graziano Gasparini (Gorizia, Italy, 1924- ), meanwhile, celebrates the gleaming, artificial colour of the city of Maracaibo.

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Buenos Aires Buenos Aires, by Sara Facio (1958).

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Sistema Nervioso, by Barbara Brndli (1975).

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Sistema Nervioso, by Barbara Brndli (1975).

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Sistema Nervioso, by Barbara Brndli (1975).

PHOTOGRAPHIC ESSAYS
A certain number of Latin American photobooks stand out for the complexity of their narratives and the uniqueness of their form.

El rectngulo en la mano (The rectangle in the hand, 1963), for example, is a moving little artists book with a marvellous form, a fragile masterpiece by the mythical photographer Sergio Larrain (Santiago, Chile, 1931- ).

In Sistema nervioso (Nervous system, 1975), Venezuelan photographer Barbara Brndli (Schaffhausen, Switzerland, 1932- ), graphic designer John Lange and writer Romn Chalbaud present the city of Caracas like a puzzle composed of enigmatic signs reflecting the chaos, the improvisation, the humour, the grotesqueness . . .

In Fotografas (Photographs, 1983), photographer Fernell Franco (Versalles, Colombia, 1942-Cali, Colombia, 2006) sheds light on endless mysteries: I liked to photograph the way the shadows gradually disappeared into total darkness and the light died. Dissatisfied with the quality of the printing, Franco decided to destroy his book, and only a few copies are to be found today.

El cubano se ofrece (These are the Cubans, 1986), an essay by Ivn Caas (Havana, Cuba, 1946- ) on life in a Cuban village, shows the other side of official propaganda stereotypes. Retromundo (Retroworld, 1986), by Venezuelan photographer Paolo Gasparini (Gorizia, Italy, 1934- ) in close collaboration with graphic designer lvaro Sotillo, contrasts two ways of looking: that of Europe and North America, which proliferates in a flood of chaotic images, and that of the New World, which goes beyond appearances to privilege direct contact with beings and things.

The more theatrical photographs of Brazilian artist Miguel Rio Branco (Las Palmas, Spain, 1946- ) refer explicitly to film and painting and, with the blood-red bestiary Nakta (1996), undertake a journey of pain, of the material nature of suffering.

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Auto-photos by Gretta (1978).

ARTISTS BOOKS
During the 1960s, many artists considered the process of creation more important than its outcome, the final work. Photographs were thus a means of documenting creative acts which left no other trace. Among Latin American artists books stemming from this movement, we find records of performances like Auto-photos (Self-photos, 1978) by the Brazilian artist Gretta (Athens, Greece, 1947- ) or works on the body like Autocopias (Self-copies, 1975) by Venezuelan artist Claudio Perna (Milan, Italy, 1938-Holgun, Cuba, 1997), designed by lvaro Sotillo.

There were also growing numbers of experimental works on the urban space, such as Sin saber que existas y sin poderte explicar (Without knowing you existed and without being able to explain, 1975) by Eduardo Terrazas (Guadalajara, Mexico, 1936- ) and Arnaldo Coen (Mexico City, 1940- ), which is at once an inventory of merchandise, a chromatic adventure and a celebration of graphic design.

The questioning of artistic language is at the heart of such outstanding books as Fallo fotogrfico (Photographic verdict, 1981), a conceptual work by Eugenio Dittborn (Santiago, Chile, 1943- ), or Ediciones econmicas de fotografa chilena (Affordable editions of Chilean photography, 1983), a short lived project for photocopied books which gave rise to works by photographers Paz Errzuriz (Santiago, Chile, 1944- ), Mauricio Valenzuela (Santiago, Chile, 1951- ) and Luis Weinstein (Santiago, Chile, 1957-).

LITERATURE AND PHOTOGRAPHY
Literature plays a central role in Latin American culture, which is often described as being more literate than visual. Photobooks combining texts and images are noteworthy for their numbers and quality alike. When poetry reaches out to photography, the result goes beyond the impact of the words alone and the photographs read like a text, far from any attempt at illustration.

In Venezuela during the 1960s, the collective El Techo de la Ballena (The roof of the whale) devoted itself to terrorism in the arts. One of the results of their activity is Asfalto-Infierno (Asphalt-Inferno, 1963), by writer Adriano Gonzlez Len and artist Daniel Gonzlez (San Juan de los Morros, Venezuela, 1934- ), which shows the full extent of the collective hell recorded on the pavements of Caracas.

Through the graphic design and photographs of Wesley Duke Lee (So Paulo, Brazil, 1931-2010), the poems of Robert Pivas Parania (Paranoia, 1963) constitute a hallucinatory vision of So Paulo.

With Versos de saln (Salon verses, 1970), Chilean poet Nicanor Parra invites readers on a roller-coaster ride which designer Fernn Meza joyously interprets through the flip-book style appearance, carving up, resurrection and final.

CONTEMPORARY BOOKS
Photobook publishing has met with great success in Latin America these past years. More than ever, as Brazilian artist Rosngela Renn puts it, the idea is “to use the book as an ‘exhibition space,’ with its own graphic characteristics.”

Urban photography has enjoyed a revival with Siesta argentina (Argentine siesta, 2003) by Facundo de Zuvira (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1954- ) and Noturno So Paulo (So Paulo nocturnes, 2002) by Cssio Vasconcellos (So Paulo, Brazil, 1965- ).

Among noteworthy artists photobooks are the performance anthology created by Carlos Amorales (Mexico City, 1970- ), entitled los Amorales (The immoral ones [which is also a play on the artists name], 2000), and the surprising family album Miguel Caldern (2007) by the artist of the same name (Mexico City, 1971- ).

The archive is also a veritable genre in the visual arts of this new century, with such ambitious works as O arquivo universal (The universal archive, 2003) by Rosngela Renn (Bela Horizonte, Brazil, 1962- ) and the compilation of photographs showing strollers from another time in Archivo porcontacto (Archive by contact, 2009) by Oscar Muoz (Popayn, Colombia, 1951- ).

Last of all, several books demonstrate the renewed interest in documentary photography, such as On the Sixth Day (2005) by Argentine photographer Alessandra Sanguinetti (New York, US, 1968- ).

Foto/Grfica: A New History of the Latin-American Photobook
Curator: Horatio Fernandez
January 20 – April 8, 2012
Le Bal
6, Impasse de la Dfense
75018 Paris

Report from Buenos Aires Photo 2011

This weekend is the annual photography fair here, Buenos Aires Photo. I went on Friday and snapped a bunch of pictures of stuff I liked. Here’s a brief report:

The fair takes places at the Palais de Glace, a building in Recoleta from Argentina’s golden era. It originally housed an ice-skating rink [in 1911] and today features a rotating schedule of art fairs and exhibits. The architecture of the building is fascinating.

Buenos Aires Photo at Palais de Glace

Buenos Aires Photo at Palais de Glace

It’s cool to dis art fairs like this because they’re very commercial and filled with mediocre crap. While true, I go anyway because I always discover stuff I like, even stuff that blows me away.

One of the things I like the most about this fair [and other photography fairs I’ve been to] is the amount of vintage black & white prints by long established [or long dead] masters. If you happened to have missed so-and-so’s retrospective in 1987 [or whenever] these fairs are basically your only shot and seeing beautiful, vintage, black & white prints.

Wall featuring vintage prints by Anatole Saderman, Annemarie Heinrich, Alex Klein, Grete Stern, Juan Di Sandro, and Fred Schiffer

Vintage print by Pierre Verger

A while back I wrote a post about Pierre Verger. I love his photos.

Oscar Pintor is a classic of Argentine photography. Active in the 1970s and 1980s mostly, his black & white photos have a balance of dry-ness and romanticism. My friend Emma commented that they seem very contemporary. I think I’ll need to write a post just about his photos. They’re that awesome.

Oscar Pintor prints

Aldo Sessa is equal parts Annie Leibovitz and Ansel Adams. He makes big, technically perfect photographs of obvious subjects, utterly lacking in soul. He produces massive coffee table books featuring tango dancers and gauchos. For most people in Argentina, outside of the photo-ghetto, Sessa IS photography. He has his own vanity-gallery at this year’s fair, and, believe it or not, I was actually taken with a small set of color photographs of the industrial side of Buenos Aires taken in the late 1950s [take that Eggleston!].

Aldo Sessa, early color

Aldo Sessa, early color

There’s a group of photos documenting artistic actions by conceptual artist Luiz Pazos, from 1973. They look like they were a lot of fun to make. 1973 was an interesting year for Argentina. Perón was elected again as president after 18 years of exile. There was a brief flowering of arts and culture that was snuffed out in 1976 following the militar coup.

Luiz Pazos

Perhaps my favorite photo in the entire fair was this one by Roberto Riverti. Taken in 1987 in the rural city of Chascomus, it’s a night photograph of an old cinema showing a double bill of Back to the Future and D.C. Cab [starring Mr. T!!]

Roberto Riverti, movie theatre in Chascomus

Then, of course, there’s a lot of contemporary stuff in color.

Marcos Lopez

I once read a quote by Marcos Lopez stating something to the effect that he can only make images in Latin America. I was interested, then, to see these photos, made this year in Lithuania. The photos are pared down from the high-baroque style of Lopez’s recent photos, but still recognizably Marcos.

res

A very large photo by res of an abstract color pattern painted on the side of a shack in a shantytown.

Santiago Porter

Santiago Porter’s giant photo shows the ever-so-slight inclination in the generally very flat pampas landscape. I’ve been sort of fascinated lately with flatness in landscape photography. I’m reminded of this quote from Charles Darwin’s Voyage of the Beagle:

For many leagues north and south…the country is really level. Scarcely anything which travelers have written about its extreme flatness can be considered as exaggeration…. At sea, a person’s eye being six feet above the surface of the water, his horizon is two miles and four-fifths distant. In like manner, the more level the plain, the more nearly does the horizon approach within these narrow limits; and this, in my opinion, entirely destroys that grandeur which one would have imagined that a vast level plain would have possessed.

With Porter’s photograph, we don’t even get that far because it’s shrouded in fog.

Emma Livingston

Emma Livingston’s lovely tree portraits.

Esteban Pastorino

A kite photograph by Esteban Pastorino. He builds his own cameras and has a bunch of cool projects.

Guido Chouela

A nocturnal ochava by Guido Chouela. He’s got an interesting series of factories that I’ve been meaning to blog about for awhile.

Hans Stoll

Peruvian photographer Hans Stoll shares my fascination with Buenos Aires rooftops.

Daniela Trajtenberg

Interesting still lifes by Daniel Trajtenberg.

Sebastian Desbats

Sebastian Desbats does these retrofuturistic photos involving rocks, sea water and objects suggestive of space ships.

Roberto Huarcaya

Roberto Huarcaya, detail

Roberto Huarcaya’s panoramic photo depicts the divide in economic class on Lima’s outskirts between a gated community ringed with barbed wire and the humble houses on the other side. A similar panorama, showing a public and private beach, won last year’s Petrobras prize, which is an important prize given annually as part of the fair.

This year the prize went to Eduardo Gil and Nacho Iasparra who won 1st and 2nd place, respectively. They are the two photographers here in Argentina I’ve been taking workshops with for the last two years, so this was very exciting.

Eduardo Gil

Nacho Iasparra

Here’s a list of 2011 honorable mentions for the Petrobras prize. For me the winner of the nicest prints goes to Martin Weber’s color work.

Martin Weber

Martin Weber

Both of these photos come from Weber’s series Echoes from the Interior. I love the subject matter and the quality of his prints is stunning. Good printing is starting to seem like a lost art.

Finally, one of my favorite things was this small side exhibit by Eduardo Carrera. Called naturaleza it features photos of potted plans, girls and zoo animals. While this sounds random, I found it really worked well together and had this whimsical grace about it. It was a nice relief to the bombast of so much of the large work one sees at fairs like this.

Eduardo Carrera

Eduardo Carrera

I really like Carrera’s work in general, especially his series Verano Porteño, which I’ve blogged about before.

And that’s about it. I went during the afternoon and the place was empty. I felt like I had the whole place to myself and it let me really see all the stands. The low attendance probably had something to do with the glorious spring weather here in Buenos Aires at the moment.

Primavera Porteña

Only a geek like me would choose to spend a sunny afternoon like this in a dark hall looking at photographs. I loved it, though.