Bruce Davidson • Magnum

Tuesday, 5 September 2017 Leave a comment

“The MoMA curator John Szarkowski—whose writing [Teju] Cole cites as an influence on Blind Spot—once observed that many of the best photographers ‘served the art in secret, while pretending to be gatherers of merely forensic evidence.’ Those two ambitions are no longer mutually exclusive, but Cole’s book seems pendent between them, its aims as veiled as the many shrouded subjects in his pictures.” Claire Lehmann • Bomb

Advertisements

Paolo Pellegrin • Magnum

Monday, 4 September 2017 Leave a comment

“The Kodak envelopes, for example, are familiar to many Americans, but they’re probably not familiar with the Kodak envelopes with Arabic writing. It creates a psychological space for the work and also a physical memory. Looking through this book and touching these inserts, the reader will probably feel like they’re looking through my personal stuff, which is intentional.” Ayesha Malik in conversation with Annika Klein • Aperture

Claude Iverné • Aperture

Sunday, 3 September 2017 Leave a comment

“Marie Cosindas, who was born in Boston in September 1923 and who died in the same city in May of this year at age 93, made photographs of such potency that they seem magical, dependent on something beyond mere sleight of hand for their mesmerizing effects and unified mood, so that the experience of looking at a selection of them is like watching a single sentence unfurl over several pages, driven along by an invisible inner consistency, not unlike the atmosphere of imaginative abundance that Gabriel García Márquez evoked in his novel “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” an atmosphere he used as the backdrop for the dense saga of the Buendía family in the mythical town of Macondo, and especially in his account of the magician Melquíades, a “heavy Gypsy with an untamed beard and sparrow hands,” a bearer of dazzling and arcane knowledge, including visions of the present and the future, as well as the secrets of optics, telescopes and magnetism, so that many different kinds of insight seem to find a natural unity inside him, and whose work re-emerges in the final pages of the novel in Sanskrit parchments, with “the even lines in the private cipher of the Emperor Augustus and the odd ones in a Lacedaemonian military code,” the inscrutabilities layered on one another to arrive at a startling lucidity of the kind that might be experienced by someone whose tangled dreams, regardless of their wildness or relentlessness, give way to a pure vision of wakefulness, though not the uninflected wakefulness of one who rises in early morning to a hot and innocent white light but rather the shadowed knowingness of one who has slept all day and awakes to the infinitesimally graded colors of a deepening evening, a moodiness recognizable to any viewer of Cosindas’s photographs, which make the most of small, dark spaces, a talent that perhaps originated in her being the eighth of 10 children raised by Greek immigrant parents in a small apartment in Boston’s South End, just as her experience as a child attending her parents’ Greek Orthodox church, with its gilded Byzantine icons and busy walls, was possibly the origin of her luminous sense of color and the suggestion of incense even when there is no smoke to be seen, a dimension of her work which certainly did not arrive instantaneously, though it did finally arrive, after she had worked as a painter and also as a photographer in black and white, including time spent in the workshop of Ansel Adams, whose grayscale lessons she abandoned in order to take up color with an alchemical force that is reminiscent of the great Amsterdam painter Rachel Ruysch, a widely celebrated artist in the very first rank of still-life painters of the Dutch golden age, who was active from the final quarter of the 17th century until shortly before her death in 1750 at age 86, and who, moreover, was one of very few women to be feted in that profession, and who outgrew both her botanist father and painter husband, outshining them in reputation as she consolidated both botanical and artistic knowledge, while raising 10 children, to produce ferociously accurate bouquets of flowers, some of which were literal works of fiction that showed in a single vase blooms that would have been seen in life only in different seasons but which through the magical art of painting could permanently be brought together, each precisely painted and often accompanied by equally fine depictions of marble plinths, tabletops, vases and insects, the entire arrangement set against a dark background, as was the vogue during the maturity of Dutch floral painting, a branch of art that was the elevation of the most modest and domestic material into an intensity that approached the sublime, a gift given to only a few: to leverage the ordinary into the glorious, to turn the soft petals of flowers into a flamelike radiance,” Teju Cole • New York Times Magazine

Laszlo Moholy-Nagy • Atget Photography

Saturday, 26 August 2017 Leave a comment

“This was the beginning of a counter movement: photographers, after having been made over-conscious of tone values and balance, began to be more object-conscious than ever before. The object in the picture became self-assertive; and so did the details of the object. Nothing was without significance. The minuteness of detail became essential … It was the beginning of modern object photography, sometimes called ‘straight’ photography.” Lucia Moholy as quoted by Mary Jo Bang • Paris Review

Taylor Wessing • British Journal of Photography

Friday, 25 August 2017 Leave a comment

“What is certain is that [William Gedney] had an acute understanding of what if felt like to be marginalised and that, too, informed his approach.” Margaret Sartor as quoted by Sean O’Hagan • Guardian

Rinko Kawauchi • Guardian

Thursday, 24 August 2017 Leave a comment

“I thought these photos might tell me something about their past that would otherwise be lost forever. My mother’s face, caught in poses that were never off-guard or random, still does not speak to me. Sometimes she has that immaculate quality of being purified of anything living.” Colin Dayan • Los Angeles Review of Books

Krish Bhalla 

Wednesday, 23 August 2017 Leave a comment

“The development of dye-imbibition printing in the United States was based primarily on consumer culture and was driven by individual interests in color photographic technologies and the desire for truth in pictorial representation rooted in the Renaissance tradition. This would seem to place it at odds with a Maoist project that was dominated by socialist realist rhetoric and aimed to establish a new revolutionary culture in which individual creativities were subordinated to the collective value defined by the ruling communist party.” Zhou Dengyan and Shi Zhimin • Trans-Asia Photography Review