Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Bernd Becher 1931-2007

Bernd & Hilla Becher, Lubeck-Herrenwyk, 1983

Monday, June 25, 2007

Sze Tsung Leong

Sze Tsung Leong, Seine I, 2006

Sze Tsung Leong photographs a perfect world in which the light is crystalline and people do not exist.

Sze Tsung Leong, Avebury II, 2002

On the other hand, who knows what evil lurks in the minds of sheep?

Friday, June 22, 2007

Nan Goldin

Nan Goldin, Greer and Robert on the Bed, NYC, 1982

Isn't this a great picture?

(The only photographer I can think of doing work like this today is Zoe Strauss, whose pictures are so real they're sometimes hard to look at.)

Monday, June 18, 2007

Friday, June 15, 2007

Ben Gest

In recent work, Ben Gest photographs individuals in private and pensive moments. At first glance, the pictures have considerable emotional power.

Ben Gest, Kate Fixing Her Earring, 2005

On closer examination, though, it becomes apparent that there is something spatially amiss here. In fact, we are told, Gest has photographed his figures from multiple points of view, and combined those views by digital means.

Why? Who knows. Perhaps to emulate painting's historic rejection of single-point perspective. (If so, he's about 100 years late.)

J.-A. Ingres, Madame de Haussonville, 1851

For me, the distortion in these photographs is most strongly reminiscent not of Braque or Picasso but of
certain paintings by Ingres. Ingres's distortion, however, is generally understood to have been the product of his own rather strange sensuality. Gest's intent is less clear.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Monday, June 11, 2007

Friday, June 08, 2007

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Maybe It's the Color (4)

Mark Ruwedel is that rare photographer who works seriously in both black and white and color.

Mark Ruwedel, Antelope Valley # 7, 2005

What interests me about him is how much better he is in color.

Mark Ruwedel, Coachella Valley # 1, 2004

Coachella Valley No. 1, though every bit as bleak, has a unity and naturalness that eludes Antelope Valley No. 7. (And if you have a copy of the current Blindspot, compare Ruwedel's black and white work with the color photograph in the advertisement for Gallery Luisotti, his dealer. The difference is striking.)

So there's another thing color's good for: working against the apparent intent of a photograph, in this case countering desolation with delicacy.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Friday, June 01, 2007