Notes on the Artists, Techniques, and Historical Background
This online resource was produced by the McMullen Museum of Art for use
with the exhibition Hope Photographs. The notes were written by Thea
Keith-Lucas, Exhibition Coordinator, with assistance from Museum Intern
Laura Sutnick '02 and Graduate Research Assistants Lisabeth Buchelt and
Hope Photographs is curated by Alice Rose George and Lee Marks and
is circulated by Curatorial Assistance, Inc.
You will find notes on 83 of the 92 artists in the exhibition here. These
biographical notes are grouped according to the sections of the exhibition:
|BIRTH AND CHILDHOOD
Jane Evelyn Atwood
Reuben L. Cox
Mary Ellen Mark
Mario Cravo Neto
Carl De Keyzer
(Suzanne Bloom and
Cristina Garcia Rodero
Dr. Jeff Hester
Miguel Rio Branco
Chester Higgins, Jr.
To produce the unusual tones of To the Rescue, Elliot Schwartz
(b. 1949) exposed the print to sunlight during the developing process. This
technique, called solarization, reverses the values of the image: highlights
become dark, while shadows appear as bright areas. The resulting image invests
the firefighter with a melancholy dignity, reminding the viewer that this
young man risks losing his own life in order to save others. This photograph
is related to Schwartz's earlier explorations of suits of armor and his
dark, fiery images of industrial foundries.
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|CONNECTION AND ROMANCE
Jane Evelyn Atwood (b. 1947) was born in America, but has lived in
France since 1971. She has dedicated her career to photographing the lives
of outcasts in French society, such as the prostitute and the blind children
in her photographs on exhibit here. In 1996, she joined the Salvation Army,
continuing to photograph the poor as she served them. Atwood's work has
been featured in exhibitions honoring the twentieth anniversary of the medical
aid organization Doctors Without Borders (1992) and the fiftieth anniversary
of the charitable order Little Brothers of the Poor (1996).
Philip-Lorca diCorcia (b. 1951) photographs his friends and relatives
engaged in everyday activities. The images often appear accidental, but
each shot is painstakingly staged and lit. The artist's signature blend
of intimacy and artifice draws on the work of master filmmakers Fritz Lang
and Alfred Hitchcock.
Nan Goldin (b. 1953) began her career in the early 1970s. Goldin's
work is remarkably frank about her experiences, including sex, drug abuse,
the death of friends, and domestic violence. In Self-Portrait, Writing in
Diary During De-Tox (1989), Goldin documents her rehabilitation after a
decade of substance abuse. Her work was widely seen in a 1996 retrospective
at the Whitney Museum of Art in New York. Goldin is a key figure in the
Boston School, an influential generation of photographers who attended art
schools in Boston in the late 1970s and are known for their vivid, highly
crafted images of intimately autobiographical subjects.
Edward Grazda (b. 1947), who studied photography at the Rhode Island
School of Design, is best known for his striking images of daily life around
the world. In addition to his photographs of Thailand and Vietnam, Grazda
has published images taken in Central America, China, India, Pakistan and
Frank Horvat was born in Croatia in 1928 to Jewish Hungarian parents.
His family moved to Italy when he was an infant, but fled to Switzerland
in 1939 to escape Nazi persecution. Horvat returned to Italy in the late
1940's to study photography in Milan. His photographs were first widely
seen in Edward Steichen's legendary exhibition The Family of Man. Horvat
is best known as one of the first fashion photographers to use the techniques
and visual language of documentary photography. Rather than carefully posing
models in a studio, he took them outdoors and allowed them to interact with
the everyday world. In recent years, Horvat has been recognized as an innovator
in the digital manipulation of images.
Czech photographer Josef Koudelka (b. 1948) has made an extended
study of the Rom, or gypsies, in Eastern Slovakia. The artist lived and
photographed in Romani communities from 1962 to 1968. During this period,
the Communist government of Czechoslovakia attempted to assimilate the Rom
into mainstream society. All Romani citizens were required to register with
the state and accept state-subsidized housing and jobs. Otherwise, they
would be imprisoned for up to three years. Dedicated to their thousand-year-old
nomadic traditions, the Rom resisted the state's attempts to destroy their
culture. Faced with high costs and little success, Czechoslovakia abandoned
the assimilation program.
Max Kozloff (b. 1933), a respected art historian, has written extensively
about photography. He is particularly interested in the photograph's power
to freeze time, revealing gestures and juxtapositions that normally escape
our notice. Kozloff recently exhibited his photographs from travels to a
variety of cultures alongside paintings of imagined maps by his wife, Joyce
Early in his career, Martin Parr (b. 1952) realized that most documentary
photography focuses on either the lifestyles of the wealthy elite or the
struggles of the very poor. He decided to photograph the lives of the British
middle class, documenting banal objects and interactions with the meticulous
care of an anthropologist in the field. For example, he trains his eye on
the unremarkable scene of a woman trying on a hat decorated with dried rosebuds.
Parr is famous for using materials usually associated with amateur photography,
such as color Xerox copies and ordinary plastic photo albums filled with
machine-processed prints as limited edition artist's books.
In this untitled image from 1973, French photographer Gilles Peress (b.
1946) captures a rare moment of sweetness in the midst of an impoverished
immigrant community. During the 1990s, Peress traveled to Bosnia and Rwanda
to bear witness to the horrible suffering caused by genocide. Through his
art, he confronts the people of the world with our passive complicity in
evil, hoping that next time we will intervene before hatred escalates into
Rosalind Solomon (b. 1930) exhibited her portrait of Nick Pippin
and his mother, Nita, along with thirty-one other images of people living
with AIDS. Seeking to show the full range of people affected by the AIDS
epidemic, Solomon chose subjects who were male and female; homosexual and
heterosexual; Caucasian, African American and Latino; old and young. She
showed some people on the verge of death, and others still healthy enough
to participate in a protest march. Taken in the late 1980s, before the advent
of drug treatments to suppress HIV, Solomon's portraits reveal human responses
to a deadly and not fully understood disease. Some of her most poignant
images, like this one, evoke tender moments between parents and the children
they will soon lose to death.
Tree Trunk, Prospect Park, Brooklyn, New York is one of many images
Michael Spano (b. 1949) has created of the urban environment of New
York City. This photograph is unusual for its simplicity. Spano is better
known for his experimental uses of photographic technology, including solarized
prints, photograms, and multiple exposures.
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BIRTH AND CHILDHOOD
In Michelle Agins's work Safe Haven, an infant nestles in
the wide expanse of its mother's chest. Agins was born in Chicago in 1956
and raised by her grandparents after both her parents died. One day when
she was twelve, she was taking pictures of her neighborhood. John Tweedle,
a photographer for the Chicago Daily News, noticed her camera and offered
to teach her about photography. Agins went on to become the first black
woman in the International Photographers of the Motion Picture and Television
Industries Union. Her photographs have been published by the Associated
Press, the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun Times, The New York Times,
Encore, Newsweek, Ebony, and Jet. In the 1980s, Agins served as the official
photographer for Mayor Harold Washington of Chicago. Agins is featured
in the 1986 book Viewfinders: Black Women Photographers by Jeanne
Along with Robert Doisneau and Henri Cartier-Bresson, Edouard Boubat
(b. 1923) is considered one of the premier French photographers of the
post-war generation. Boubat began his career as a photojournalist in 1951,
and worked for the French magazine Réalités from 1952 through 1967.
He traveled the world, capturing images of people engaged in social and
religious rituals. Boubat's works, including Paris Maternité in this exhibition,
reveal a profound respect for the human spirit.
Using atmospheric effects and surprising juxtapositions, Keith Carter
(b. 1948) transforms the everyday world of his hometown in east Texas
into a surreal landscape. Fireflies exemplifies the dreamlike quality
of Carter's work. Although the plants around them are crisply focused,
the two boys and their jar of fireflies seem to shimmer and dissolve.
He shoots with a single-lens reflex camera; its 2.5-inch square negatives
allow him to create large prints without losing any of the rich, velvety
texture of his images.
Reuben L. Cox (b. 1972) creates vibrant, snapshot-like color images
of people in rural North Carolina, where he grew up. Cox was featured
in Twenty-Five and Under, Alice Rose George's 1997 exhibition of
work by promising young photographers.
Mitch Epstein (b. 1952) has been described as a "travel photographer
of note." The artist took Mai and Trinh Tuong, Hanoi, Vietnam during an
extended stay in Vietnam in 1993. His 1994 exhibition of this Vietnam
series in New York was well received. Epstein works in the documentary
tradition of Henri Cartier-Bresson, trying to capture the decisive visual
moment in the chaotic swirl of daily experience. His photographs combine
formal precision and vivid color with a strong interest in the joys and
ironies of daily life.
First Communion is one of Larry Fink's earliest photographs,
yet it already reveals his fascination with the way a person's stance
and gestures reveal his or her character. In the mid-1970s, Fink (b. 1941)
began prowling around parties, weddings and family gatherings with his
camera. He holds a high flash out to the side of the frame, casting deep
shadows across the subject and into the corners of the composition. The
resulting images highlight the tense drama underlying everyday social
encounters. Larry Fink's photographs were widely seen in his 1984 book
Social Graces. He teaches photography at Bard College in Annandale, New
Evelyn Hofer (b. 1937) emigrated from Germany to New York as a young
woman. She has photographed for more than forty years. Her long career
includes early fashion shoots for Harper's Bazaar, books of photographs
taken in Italy and Spain, and portraits and interiors for magazines such
as Vogue and House and Garden. Her photograph Girl in
the Coombe, Dublin was one of many she took for the English novelist
V. S. Pritchett's 1967 work, Dublin: A Portrait.
Chris Killip (b. 1946) is recognized as a leader of the generation
of socially conscious photographers that emerged in Britain in the late
1980s. The son of farmers on the Isle of Man, he apprenticed himself to
a commercial photographer in London and then returned to capture the economic
hardships of his native land. After the publication of his 1988 book
In Flagrante, which chronicled the effects of economic and industrial
decline on the people of northeast England, Killip received the Henri
Cartier-Bresson award for documentary photography. His photographs in
this exhibition reveal the resilient spirit of children in the remote,
struggling coastal communities of England. Since 1991, Killip has taught
photography in Harvard University's Department of Visual and Environmental
In 1985, Reagan Louie (b. 1951) accompanied his father on his first
trip back to China in sixty years. The trip gave the artist a new sense
of what his father had lost when he left his village in Southern China
as a young man and came to find work in the Chinese immigrant communities
of California. Louie's family spoke Chinese at home and maintained many
Chinese traditions. Louie associated his decision to become an artist
with a rejection of his culture, since his parents wanted him to enter
a more traditional profession such as medicine or law. Photographing China
helped him bring together the separate worlds of his family and his art.
Louie has returned to China several times.
Martino Marangoni (b. 1950) studied photography at the Pratt Institute
in New York. In 1989 he set up the Studio Marangoni - Iniziative di Fotografia
Contemporanea, a teaching center in Florence. Marangoni acts as a major
proponent of Italian photography, organizing exhibitions at photography
festivals and art institutions around the world.
A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School of Communication,
Mary Ellen Mark (b. 1940) crafts vivid portraits of people on the
margins of society. She has published photo essays on Mother Teresa, homelessness
in the United States, people living with mental disabilities and mental
illnesses, and Indian circus performers. Mark is particularly known for
her perceptive and surprising images of children. This exhibition also
includes a picture from her series on retired seniors in Florida. Mark
says that her most difficult project she ever attempted was a photo essay
on Aryan Nation gatherings, because her distaste for the group's teachings
hindered her from developing the empathy she usually feels for her subjects.
Brazilian-born photographer Mario Cravo Neto (b. 1947) began his
formal art training in sculpture at the age of seventeen. In 1968 Neto
moved to New York to study at the Art Students' League. Camera 35
magazine published a series of his color photographs, "On the Subway,"
In 1975 Neto took a break from photographing street scenes after a car
accident temporarily impaired both of his legs. During this time, he turned
to studio setups including live models and found objects. Today Neto¹s
work covers themes from ethnic and religious heritage, to the aesthetics
of surface structures, to the relationship between spirituality and the
familiarity of every day life. In Akira, Neto creates a luminous
and subtly textured image of an infant's forehead and eye.
Famous for his photographs of Americans and American landscapes, Joel
Sternfeld (b. 1944) here turns his attention to Ireland, country with
historically close ties to the United States. In this photograph, two
young people, perhaps Irish, sit looking out towards the west. They are
facing both the sun and America. However, instead of yearning after the
opportunities traditionally associated with emigration to the United States,
they seem content to stay where they are.
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Belgian photojournalist Carl De Keyzer (b. 1958) was awarded the
W. Eugene Smith grant to help him in his search for images that describe,
in his words, "the very delicate subject of religion in America." De Keyzer
spent thirteen months criss-crossing the United States in a Winnebago
to visit churches and religious rallies. Published as the book God,
Inc., De Keyzer's photographs explore the ways that religion intersects
with American nationalism, commerce, and popular culture. An image of
ice fishers in Leningrad, taken as part of De Keyzer's project on Glasnost-era
Soviet culture, also appears in this exhibition.
English photographer Adam Fuss (b. 1961) is
known for his innovative work with pinhole cameras and photograms. Untitled
(faceless prophet preaching to the masses) is part of a series of
photograms Fuss made of broken stained-glass windows he salvaged from
ruined churches. Photograms are created without a camera: the artist places
objects directly on photographic paper and then exposes the paper to light.
Fuss has created photograms of the tracks left by snakes crawling through
powder he spread on the paper. In another series, he placed a tank of
water over the paper and captured the shadows of babies as they played
in the water. Fuss is particularly interested in the colors that are produced
when the chemicals in organic materials react with the chemicals in the
photographic paper. His Love series featured the brightly-colored
marks left by the entrails of eviscerated rabbits.
Flor Garduno (b. 1957) studied photography at the School of Fine Arts
of the National University of Mexico in Mexico City. In 1986, she settled
in Switzerland, where she works as a free-lance photographer. Her work
has been featured at the Mois de la Photo in Paris (1986) and the Fotofest
in Houston, Texas (1992). In 1987, Garduno received the Special Award
of the Jury at the Fribourg Biennale. Garduño took Taito Marcos, Ecuador
as part of a series of photographs documenting the survival of indigenous
traditions in Central America. This series was published as the book Witnesses
of Time (New York: Thames and Hudson, 1992).
Alex Harris (b. 1949) first came to New Mexico in 1972 to photograph
elderly people for noted psychologist Robert Coles's book The Old Ones.
Drawn to the beauty of the mountains in northern New Mexico and the quiet
strength of the people he met, the artist decided to move to a rural village.
He bought a house and invited his friends, author William deBuys and painter
Anne deBuys, to help him work the land. While Harris has traveled widely,
his photographs in this exhibition were both taken near his home. In
Camposanto, El Valle, New Mexico, Harris depicts the graveyard in
his hometown of El Valle. The soil of the graveyard is hard and pebbly,
so for most of the year, the only flowers on the graves are plastic ones,
like those that hang on the picket fence in the foreground. Only in July,
after the summer rains, do bright yellow sunflowers bloom on the graves.
Harris also shows us religious figures placed alongside the breakfast
cereals in the home of Rosenda Medina, a resident of the nearby village
Suzanne Bloom (b. 1943) and Edward Hill (b. 1935) chose the name Manual
for themselves because it connotes both physical labor and informative
texts. The pair met when they were teaching at Smith College in the mid
1970s. They moved together to the University of Houston, Texas in 1976.
They collaborate on computer-generated images, videos, and installations.
They also promote new investigations into digital art through their online
Digital Image Forum. Bloom and Hill are currently working on a series
of public artworks for the city of Houston.
When he was released from the army after the Korean War, Duane Michals
(b. 1932) trained as a graphic designer at the Parsons School of Design
in New York City. He decided to pursue photography instead after seeing
the images he shot on a trip to the Soviet Union in 1958. By the early
1970s, Michals was mounting solo exhibitions at such prestigious venues
as the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the George Eastman House.
As in Grandpa Goes to Heaven and I Build a Pyramid (downstairs),
Michals creates brief sequences of images that tell a story. Charged with
metaphor and humor, each photo story is more like a poem than like a scene
from a movie.
After receiving his MFA from the University of New Mexico, Nicholas
Nixon (b. 1947) moved to Massachusetts to teach at the Massachusetts
College of Art. Tom Moran, G. Braintree, Massachusetts is part
of a continuing series on AIDS patients. Nixon visited people with AIDS
at regular monthly or weekly intervals, creating a vivid record of their
courage and dignity in the face of impending death. This exhibition also
includes Clementine, Cambridge and Mary Lee with Joy Chase,
Sylvia Plachy (b. 1943) left Stalinist Hungary at the age of thirteen,
hiding under the corn in a farmer's cart to make it through the checkpoint
at the border. She brings the same courage to her photography, making
an adventure out of meeting new people and photographing new places. She
took Ghost of A Star, Budapest, an evocative image of a sliver
of light falling on an ornate floor, on a return trip to Hungary.
For thirty years now, Cristina Garcia Rodero (b. 1949) has documented
the religious customs of Spain. During the festival of Corpus Christi,
in the town of Castrillo de Murcia in northern Spain, a man dresses up
as El Colacho, or the devil. At the end of the festival procession, his
mask is removed, symbolizing Christ's victory over Satan. As El Colacho
flees the procession, he leaps over all the infants that were born in
the past year. In this way, the town celebrates Christ's protection of
all children from the power of Satan. While she is better known for her
vivid pictures of masks, processions, and folk rituals, Rodero also explores
the everyday life of believers. In La Confession, Saavedra, she
captures a woman's fervent prayer for forgiveness.
Thomas Roma (b. 1950) discovered photography at the age of nineteen.
Recuperating at home from a severe head injury, he asked his older brother
for a camera. His first photographs were of the neighborhood outside his
window. Since then, Roma has never strayed far from home in his art. Rather
than traveling the globe to find compelling subjects, he explores the
unique visual world of his hometown of Brooklyn. In the early 1990s, Roma
decided that he wanted to bring spirituality into his work. He began by
taking photographs of empty churches and synagogues, but changed direction
after a minister invited him to photograph during the Sunday service.
For the next three years, Roma photographed over 150 Sunday services in
fifty-two African American churches in Brooklyn.Inspired by a pastor's
reference to his parishioners as saints, Roma attempted to bring out the
holiness of ordinary worshippers like the praying woman shown here.
Cindy Sherman (b. 1954) remarks, "My photographs aren¹t really
about any particular story, but about roles." Each image of the Unfinished
Film Stills series teases the viewer, suggesting a larger story but
refusing to offer any further details. Inspired by the enticing advertisements
for B-movies, Sherman created photographs of imagined films, The artist
casts herself as "The Girl," the female lead of second-rate films, often
in some kind of trouble. The series occupied Sherman's artistic energies
for about three years. She says that she only stopped making images when
she "ran out of clichés."
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Robert Adams (b. 1937) moved to Denver, Colorado when he was fifteen.
As a young man, he spent his summers river rafting and working for the
United States Forest Service. Inspired by Ansel Adams's work, he began
photographing the Western landscape in 1963. In this exhibition, his photograph
Dove Eggs, The Pawnee Grasslands, Colorado, 1984 captures the fragile
beginning of life in a harsh desert landscape. Robert Adams' documentary
photographs of life in the Denver suburbs also recall the Depression-era
images of Dorothea Lange.
Circus Performer, Havana, Cuba is part of Ernesto Bazan's project
to document the culture of his native Cuba. In 1998, he won the W. Eugene
Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography to photograph the ways Cuba has
changed since the end of the Soviet Union. According to Bazan (b. 1970s),
"there is a feeling of hopelessness and utter despair, yet Cubans have
maintained reserves of inner strength, a profound sense of dignity. A
great love of life remains."
American photographer Ellen Binder (b. 1960) offers us the surprising
image of a young man carrying a sapling in his backpack. Binder was awarded
the W. Eugene Smith Grant in 1994 to continue her work in Russia. She
began this project on her own initiative in 1991, the last year of the
Soviet Union's existence. Her work explores this deeply wounded nation's
struggles since the end of Communism. Binder focuses on the daily lives
of ordinary Russians, documenting the ways that they work, rest and seek
escape from the degradation of their society.
In 1941, Harry Callahan (b. 1912) attended a photography workshop
led by Ansel Adams. Inspired by Adams' images, he bought a camera and
began to shoot pictures. By 1961, he was the chair of the photography
department at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). In 1976 the Museum
of Modern Art in New York mounted a retrospective of his work. The next
year, Callahan surprised the art world by retiring from RISD and beginning
to photograph exclusively in color. In 1996, Callahan was awarded the
National Medal of Arts and a retrospective of his work was held at the
National Gallery of Art in Washington, D. C. Although Callahan began his
career in the 1940s and 50s, a period known for socially conscious photography,
he produces highly aesthetic images that often verge on abstraction. In
Atlanta, a set of four pristine shots of tree branches against a pale
sky, Callahan emphasizes the bold lines of the branches and the shifting
patterns of the leaves.
William Clift's photographs have been compared to the work of Minor
White, since both artists use photography as a medium for expressing inner,
spiritual realities. A native of Boston, Clift (b. 1944) asked his grandmother
for a camera and home darkroom kit at the age of ten. At nineteen, he
started a professional photography business. His first major commissions
came in the 1970s, when he completed photo essays on the abandoned Boston
City Hall, the capitol buildings of New York State, and courthouses around
the country. In the mid 1970s, Clift moved to Santa Fe. Using an eight
by ten inch view camera, he shoots romantic, monumental, and exquisitely
detailed Western vistas like Rainbow, Waldo, New Mexico.
William Eggleston (b. 1939) was born in Memphis, Tennessee and grew
up on a Mississippi cotton plantation. He began photographing the rural
South at he age of 18. Rejecting the romantic idea of the South as a land
of gracefully decaying mansions and country stores, Eggleston creates
vivid images of shopping malls and suburban sprawl. His work in this exhibition,
Nashville, Tennessee, gently pokes fun at suburban homeowners who have
cut a window into the roof of their modest home to show off their prized
chandelier. In the mid-1970s, Eggleston began photographing exclusively
in color. His 1976 retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York,
William Eggleston's Guide, challenged the prevailing view that
color film was too vulgar to be a medium for artistic expression.
A star is born when a cloud of inter-stellar gas and dust collapses under
the force of gravity, igniting a fusion reaction. The process produces
jets of gaseous material, which burn brightly in this image from the Hubble
Space Telescope. Dr. Jeff Hester began working with the Hubble
team in 1985 as a postdoctoral assistant. When the Hubble's first images
came out blurry, he was part of the team that created a new camera for
the satellite telescope. Dr. Hester is widely respected for his research
on star formation. His space photographs have appeared in many scientific
journals, in popular magazines, and on two postage stamps.
Mark Klett's photograph Contemplating the View at Muley Point,
Utah mimics many of the conventions of nineteenth-century landscape
photography. Klett (b. 1949) encountered the work of early geologic survey
photographers while he was working as a government geologist in Colorado.
In 1977, he brought together a team of artists and scientists to photograph
the same vistas that the photographers William Henry Jackson, Andrew Russell,
and Timothy O'Sullivan took during the 1860-1880 geologic surveys of the
western states. The Rephotographic Survey Project required extensive searches
for the original sites and careful calculation of the nineteenth-century
photographers' exact vantage points. Placed alongside the originals, the
rephotographs provide vivid evidence of changes in the American landscape
over the last century. Since the late 1970s, Klett has continued to rephotograph
early landscape pictures, as well as capturing original images of human
interaction with the western landscape.
Koichiro Kurita (b. 1943) brings a distinctively Japanese aesthetic
sensibility to his photographs of the New England landscape. Cascade,
Massachusetts reveals his fascination with the interdependence of the
natural world. In the constant motion of the flowing stream, the edges
of boundaries of rocks and water seem to dissolve into one another. Like
the surprise ending of a haiku, the photograph rewards the viewer's patience
with a charming detail: in the midst the cascade, a tiny plant is bravely
setting down roots.
Like his contemporaries, Garry Winogrand and Lee Friedlander, Joel
Meyerowitz (b. 1938) worked in the documentary tradition. In the mid
1970s, however, Meyerowitz decided to challenge himself using an eight
by ten inch view camera. The long shutter speeds of the large-format camera
forced him to slow down. Rather than capturing the fleeting instances
of human interaction, he began composing meditative images of the Cape
Cod landscape. Fascinated by the way photography can create a deep sense
of place, Meyerowitz has gone on to create portraits of Saint Louis, Missouri
Richard Misrach (b. 1949) grew up in southern California, where
he developed a love for the desert landscape. Since he began studying
photography at Berkeley in the late 1960s, he has photographed every aspect
of the desert, from the terrain and the clouds to the landfills and the
nuclear testing grounds. He has also founded an organization for nuclear
disarmament activism. Misrach shows a remarkable devotion to photography
despite facing numerous hardships, including a 1982 fire that destroyed
4,000 original negatives.
Patrick Nagatani (b. 1945) is best known for his collaborative
work with Andree Tracey. In his solo projects, Nagatani finds the humor
in such issues as nuclear weapons, mass destruction, and urban isolation.
The piece Solitario / Soledad illustrates Nagatani playing a game of solitaire
while being examined by his own image. Nagatani teaches photography at
the University of New Mexico.
Barbara Norfleet (b. 1926) is the founding director of the Photography
Collection at Harvard University. When the artist's children were young,
she used to take them to Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology. The
children were particularly fascinated by the insects on display. They
began insect collections of their own, and soon were winning prizes at
local fairs. Norfleet attempted many pictures of live insects, but found
that the tiny creatures moved out of the frame too quickly. She ordered
some dried specimens of beetles and other insects from an entomological
catalog instead. Norfleet arranges the insects in humorous scenes reminiscent
of Aesop's animal fables.
Evan Sklar (b. 1965) is just beginning his career as a commercial
photographer. Since 1995, he has published photographs in home, travel
and lifestyle magazines. Sklar's photographs of food have illustrated
two cookbooks and numerous articles in such magazines as Gourmet, Food
and Wine, and Martha Stewart Living.
Hiroshi Sugimoto (b. 1948) left Japan in 1972 to study art in Los
Angeles. He began photographing seascapes from around the world in the
late 1970s. Interested in Minimalism, the artist reduces the sea to simple
planes and minute transitions between shades of grey. Sugimoto's images
of the sea at night are particularly subtle, the rich blackness of the
prints broken only by pale glimmers of moonlight reflecting off the waves.
Using only naturally available light, Sugimoto exposes the film of his
eight by ten inch view camera for as long as two or three hours. Because
the seascapes rely on small variations in value, even a small imperfection
in the film, the lens, the photographic paper, or the application of the
photographic emulsions can ruin the finished image.
JoAnn Verburg (b. 1950) grew up in New Jersey. Since the mid-1970s,
she has instigated, curated and co-created a variety of ambitious projects.
She created the visiting artists' program at Polaroid following the invention
of the twenty by twenty-four inch land camera. She worked alongside artists
such as Chuck Close, Jim Dine, Andy Warhol, William Wegman and Jan Groover
amongst others. She also worked with Mark Klett on the Rephotographic
Survey Project. Verburg¹s pictures of Chaco Canyon evoke the sensory pleasure
of the natural world. Through this image of a woman crouching to look
at a pebble, she reminds us of our own physicality. We remember what it
feels like to look carefully at natural forms, breathing in the dust and
pollen, hearing the birds and insects. Verburg hopes to show us the splendor
of being incarnate and of living in the moment.
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To create the images in his Guest series, Christopher Bucklow
(b. 1957) traced the outline of a person onto a sheet of tin or silver
foil. He then punched thousands of tiny holes within the traced shape.
These holes became the apertures for a large pinhole camera. When Bucklow
placed the camera in sunlight, each tiny hole projected a separate image
of the sun onto photographic paper. By varying the size of the holes,
Bucklow creates the illusion of a three-dimensional body made up of discrete
points of light. Bucklow relates his images to Christian mystical writings,
and in particular to the idea that Christ is the Word or Light of God
made flesh. Alongside this religious conception of the body, Bucklow's
work also explores the revelatory power of scientific discovery.
Lee Friedlander (b. 1934) began work as a professional photographer
in 1948, when he was only fourteen. In 1956, he moved from Washington
State to New York City and began photographing jazz musicians for Atlantic
Records. He went on to become one of the most respected documentary photographers
of his generation. He coined the term "social landscapes" to describe
his portraits of American society.
In 1982, American Photographer, a journal for commercial photographers,
devoted an entire issue to Hiro. On the cover, next to the artist's
self-portrait, was the question "Is this Man America's Greatest Photographer?"
Yasuhiro Wakabayashi (b. 1930), known as Hiro, immigrated to the United
States in 1954 and enrolled in the School of Modern Photography in California.
In 1956, Richard Avedon accepted him as an assistant. He progressed so
quickly that within months Avedon decided he should be doing independent
work. Hiro took a job as a staff photographer for Harper's Bazaar, working
under the direction of Alexey Brodovitch from 1956 to 1975. Now a freelance
commercial photographer, Hiro is known for his highly original images
and his ability to precisely manipulate every aspect of his subject, lighting,
and technology to achieve the right effect. Hiro's interest in space led
him to attend the launching of Apollo 11 at Cape Canaveral in 1969. Upon
his return to New York, he convinced Harper's Bazaar to run a full-page
image of the photograph seen in this exhibition. Hiro shot the rocket's
launch with infrared film, producing vivid green and yellow tones that
evoke the visceral roar of the engine.
Karen Kasmauski (b. 1953) studied anthropology and religion at
the University of Michigan before deciding to become a professional photographer.
Her image of a woman holding a bouquet of flowers as she watches workers
clear away the rubble from the 1995 Kobe earthquake was taken as part
of an in-depth study of Japan for National Geographic. Kasmauski is particularly
interested in the ways human beings use science as a tool to better understand
ourselves. Kasmauski's work can be seen in the book Women Photographers
at National Geographic (2000).
Michael Kenna (b. 1953) studied photography at the London College
of Printing. After the death of British photographer Bill Brandt in 1983,
Kenna spent four years photographing the Lancashire industrial sites that
Brandt shot in the 1930s. Kenna creates images of manufactured spaces
devoid of people, but full of the energy of human creativity. As in Eiffel
Tower Study 3, he chooses unexpected vistas and mysterious effects
Jacques-Henri Lartigue (1894-1986) was born into a wealthy French
family. His father gave him his first camera in 1901, when he was only
seven years old. Lartigue immediately decided to capture everything he
could on film. He was particularly fascinated by machines, from racing
cars to the early plane seen in this exhibition. Lartigue continued to
take pictures throughout his life, but put much of his energy into a modestly
successful career as a painter. He was nearly seventy years old before
a small portfolio of his early photographs came to the attention of Jon
Szarkowski, the influential director of photography at the Museum of Modern
Art in New York. He contacted Lartigue to discuss some later pictures,
but quickly became entranced by the photographs from Lartigue's youth.
In 1963, the MoMA mounted a major exhibition of Lartigue's photographs
from the beginning of the century.
Cuban-born photographer Abelardo Morrell (b. 1948), who teaches
at the Massachusetts College of Arts, has received a great deal of attention
in recent years. For example, Boston Magazine named his exhibitions
at the Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum the
best photography exhibitions of 1999. Morrell is known for his photographs
of old books and maps and his experiments with pinhole cameras. He also
illustrated a 1999 edition of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. Like
the great magical realists of Latin American literature, Morrell transforms
ordinary objects and spaces into mysterious scenes.
While taking close-up photographs of animals in the 1950s, the Swedish
photographer Lennart Nilsson (b. 1922) began to wonder how one
would take a photograph of internal organs. Working with a team of doctors
and advanced medical technology, he has meticulously photographed every
aspect of human biology, from our immune response to bacteria to the internal
structures of the lungs and the intestines. His most famous photographs
appeared in the book A Child is Born, which chronicled the development
of the human fetus from conception to birth. He is widely respected both
for his innovative photography and for his efforts to educate the wider
public about human biology and health.
Museum visitors are a recurring theme in the work of German photographer
Thomas Struth (b. 1954). The artist works in a documentary style,
capturing the chance interactions of urban environments. In the early
1980's, the artist discovered that the galleries of public art museums
were as rich with human drama as any city street. When Struth juxtaposes
living human beings with painted images of people, both take on new meaning:
the museum visitor becomes an object of aesthetic contemplation, while
the painted figures appear to participate in the world outside the canvas.
Catherine Wagner (b. 1953) investigates the intersection of art and
science. Her subject matter spans from post-industrial landscapes to the
invisible natural phenomena that influence human life. In the photographs
exhibited here, she explores the forms of chemical beakers and the textures
of the compounds they contain.
Garry Winogrand (1928-1984) was introduced to photography in his twenties
at Columbia University. He was soon shooting freelance assignments for
a variety of clients, including Collier¹s and Harper¹s Bazaar. After seeing
the book American Photographs by Walker Evans and taking his first cross-country
trip in 1955, Winogrand began to challenge the boundaries of journalistic
practice. Every day, Winogrand strapped on his Leica, lens pre-focused,
and shot ten rolls of film capturing daily activities around him. His
images have a spontaneous quality, and were often shot at odd angles.
Winogrand's obsessive process yielded new ways of viewing American life
that, in the words of one curator, "brought a new visual order to the
chaos of modern street life and contemporary American culture."
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RISK - TAKING
In 1985, Henry Horenstein (b. 1947) took photographs
at eleven racetracks around the United States, including the Keeneland
track in Lexington, Kentucky. He was inspired by his own love of horse
racing: he has lost as much as $600 and won as much as $2500 on a day's
bets. Horenstein is the author of two photography textbooks and several
children's books, including Sam Goes Trucking (1989), How are
Sneakers Made? (1993), My Mom's a Vet (1994) and A is forþ?:
A photographer's alphabet of animals.
Andrea Modica's best-known body of work is a series of intimate
yet enigmatic photographs of an overweight young girl, Barbara, in a rural
area of upstate New York. Modica (b. 1960) moved upstate from Brooklyn
in 1986, when she accepted a teaching job at the State University of New
York in Oneanta. Oneanta, New York is part of a series of images she took
of the players on the minor league team in Oneanta, which at that time
was a farm team for the New York Yankees.
From 1985 to 1997, Christine Osinski (b. 1948) created images of
female swimmers from age seven to age seventy. Many of her subjects were
members of an amateur synchronized swimming club in Staten Island, New
York. Osinski's portraits present a vision of female beauty and athleticism
that includes women of all ages and all body types.
In addition to being a respected photographer, Miguel Rio Branco (b.
1946) is an award-winning director and cinematographer of Brazilian films.
His photographs often have a cinematic quality, with fluid edges that
suggest motion and intense, saturated colors. Rio Branco explores life
on the streets of São Paulo, revealing his subjects' dignity in the face
of poverty, loneliness, and violence. The artist is particularly interested
in violent sports such as boxing and the Brazilian martial art capoeira.
Brad Richman (b. 1971) spent four years photographing at basketball
courts in and around his hometown of Silver Spring, Maryland. Beginning
with a thirty-five millimeter camera, Richman soon switched to a four
by five inch camera. Richman would set up his camera just to the right
or left of the basket and wait. His goal was not to catch the game-winning
basket or the perfect play, but to capture the culture of basketball and
the inherent beauty of the game. Richman went on to photograph neighborhood
pickup games in forty states over nine years. America's Game: Basketball
Photographs by Brad Richman is on display through December 31, 2001
at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA.
Finnish photographer Stig Stasig (b. 1961) has traveled to Russia
many times beginning in 1988. He published his early pictures from Russia
as The Experiment - Images of the Soviet Union. This photograph
was taken on the beach at Sochi, a Russian resort town on the eastern
shore of the Black Sea.
Arthur Aviles is related to images of dancers Philip Trager
(b. 1953) made for Persephone, a piece choreographed in 1991
by Ralph Lemon. Trager worked with Lemon to create a series of photographic
tableaux based on the choreography. Set in the natural beauty of the Berkshires,
the photographs capture the dancers in moments of joyful movement. Comfortably
and capably suspended between earth and sky, the figure in this photograph
recalls the inherent hopefulness of moments of transition.
Geoff Winningham (b. 1943) is a native of Texas, where high-school
football is almost a way of life. In 1969, after he finished his studies
at the Institute of Design in Chicago, Winningham returned to Houston
and took a teaching position at Rice University. Over the next ten years,
he explored Texas culture, taking pictures of rodeos, livestock shows,
professional wrestling matches, and high school football games. He was
particularly interested in the ritual aspects of football, from the prayer
before the game to pep rallies and victory celebrations. In this image
from his series Rites of Fall, Winningham captures a match between
Lexington and Franklin, two neighboring towns that lie northwest of Houston.
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The son of Jewish immigrants from Belarus, Leonard Freed (b. 1929)
originally wanted to become a painter. In his early twenties, he discovered
the work of the documentary photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson and was inspired
to capture human experience as it really is. Freed has shown a strong interest
in people on the margins of society throughout his career. His first pictures
were of a neighboring community of Hasidic Jews in New York. In the late
1960s, he traveled to Germany to photograph the Jews who still lived there
after the Holocaust, to Israel to capture the aftermath of the Six Day War,
and to the American South to document the lives of African Americans. Over
the years, he has created many images of African American children in New
York, including A Policewoman Playing Games with Community Children.
Chester Higgins, Jr. (b. 1946) discovered photography
as a medium for creativity and social commentary while he studied with P.
H. Polk at Tuskegee University. Higgins worked for Look magazine in the
early 1970's, and later became a staff photographer for The New York Times.
His photograph An Egg Vendor, Ghana appeared in his collection of
images from the African diaspora, Feeling the Spirit: Searching the world
for the people of Africa (New York: Bantam Books, 1994). Higgins has traveled
the world, documenting the complex interconnections between peoples of African
descent in Europe, the United States, the Caribbean, South America, and
Since its first appearance in Look magazine, James Karales's
photograph of marchers striding over the crest of a hill during the 1965
march in Selma, Alabama has become an icon of the civil rights movement.
Karales (b. 1930) won the National Press Photographers Association award
for his story, which focused on the role of churches in the movement. The
photograph was also featured prominently in the documentary series ''Eyes
on the Prize.'' From 1955 to 1958, Karales honed his skills as an assistant
to documentary photographer W. Eugene Smith. Karales worked for Look from
1960 to the magazine's closure in 1971, covering the Vietnam War, the civil
rights movement, and many other important events in our nation's history.
While working as a staff photographer for the New York Times, Edward
Keating (b. 1956) captured this image of a homeless man reading a book
in the midst of garbage. Keating's work for Lois Smith Brady's weddings
column was recently published in the book Vows: Weddings of the Nineties
from the New York Times.
Witold Krassowski (b. 1956) studied linguistics at the University
of Warsaw. After he became a documentary photographer at the age of twenty-five,
he found that his talent for learning languages helped him gain access to
countries around the world. Krassowski went to Rwanda in 1994 to capture
the aftermath of genocide. With the support of the Belgian colonial government,
the Tutsi people, who make up ten percent of the population, dominated the
Hutu majority for decades. The Hutus seized power in 1962, when Rwanda became
an independent nation. President Juvenal Habyalimana, a Hutu, began peace
talks with Tutsi rebels in 1990. After Habyalimana was assassinated in April
1994, Hutu militia groups swept through the country, killing 800,000 Tutsis
over the next three months.
Vik Muniz (b. 1961) makes photographs of his own works of art, which
he often creates from such unstable materials as thread, dirt or chocolate
syrup. Muniz immigrated to the United States from Brazil in 1983. Shortly
after he arrived, he bought a copy of The Best of Life, a collection
of iconic photographs from Life magazine, at a yard sale. He treasured the
book and looked at it often. When he lost it five years later, he made drawings
based on his memories of the photographs. Memory Rendering of Tianenman
Square is a continuation of the Best of Life series. Muniz has photographed
his drawing of Stuart Franklin's 1989 photograph of a single Chinese protestor
facing down a row of tanks.
When Ann Rhoney (b. 1953) began taking photographs with color film,
she was frustrated that the finished prints couldn't capture the richness
of certain colors or the unique sensation of certain casts of light. She
began taking black and white photographs and then painstakingly adding the
colors to each print. Rhoney leaves the borders of her photographs unfinished,
calling attention to her hand-tinting.
Anthony Suau (b. 1956) began his career as a photojournalist in 1979.
Ten years later, after the Berlin Wall was torn down and Eastern Germany
reunited with Western Germany, Suau decided to travel to Eastern Europe.
In his photographs from that trip, he attempted to capture the rapid changes
in Eastern European societies after the fall of Communism. In 1995, Suau
was in the city of Grozny, the center of the conflict between Russia and
the Islamic indigenous groups of Chechnya, a region on the border between
Russia and Georgia. In 1991, the Chechens attempted to secede from Russia
and form a sovereign nation. Tensions escalated into war by 1994, and battles
between Russian troops and Chechen guerrilla fighters continue today.
Ruth Thorne-Thomsen (b. 1943) is known for her surreal landscapes.
She creates miniature compositions from paper cutouts and found objects,
and then photographs them with a simple pinhole camera she built herself.
Because the pinhole camera distorts scale and perspective, tiny scraps of
paper appear to be life-sized figures, buildings and terrain.
Canadian photographer Larry Towell (b. 1953) first traveled to El
Salvador in 1986 as a member of a human rights delegation. In 1979, a military
group deposed the Salvadoran president and took power. Leftist groups formed
a rebel army to resist the repressive military government. Fighting continued
until 1992, when the United Nations intervened to negotiate peace and oversee
democratic elections. By that time, 50,000 people had been killed and twenty-five
percent of the population were refugees.
Alex Webb (b. 1952) is widely recognized as one of the United States¹s
foremost color photographers. Webb majored in history and literature at
Harvard University, and studied photography at the Carpenter Center for
the Visual Arts. His early work appeared in Time, the New York
Times Magazine, and National Geographic. In 1979, Webb began
photographing cultural and political changes in Mexico and the Caribbean.
He was in Haiti in 1994 when American troops arrived to help restore Haiti's
democratically elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, to power after
a military coup.
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