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Art Photo Collector

Posts tagged landscapes:

"Why is Form beautiful? Because, I think, it helps us confront our worst fear: the suspicion that life may be chaos and that therefore our suffering is without meaning."—Robert Adams

Robert Adams, who is widely recognized and who has published more than forty monographs, is one our great, American photographers. His vision of the American West has forever shaped how artists (and indeed many of us) look at these vast spaces. His contemplative, quiet images from the past fifty years have become a new Americana. We can keep returning to his work and still find ourselves asking questions and seeking answers. 

Currently on view in Paris at the historic, Jeu de Paume, Adams’ classic series, “The Place We Live”, will be exhibited until 18 May. (PBS has also released a new video interviewing Adams.) Seeing his handmade prints, with their gracious attention to light and form, is an opportunity not to be missed, and perhaps, a chance to come in from the chaos.—Lane Nevares

"I was stunned and amazed, my childhood memories, slowly swirled past like the wind through the trees…"—Chrissie Hynde

The photographer Todd Hido's latest show, ”Excerpts from Silver Meadows,” opens tomorrow at Bruce Silverstein Gallery. The show coincides with his latest monograph of the same name published by the estimable publisher, Nazraeli Press.

Todd Hido grew up in Kent, Ohio, and as a Midwesterner brings a particular sensibility to his interpretation of suburban American culture. Excerpts from Silver Meadows, named after his old neighborhood, is a collection of memories and loose narratives that let us glimpse into the artist’s own psyche. In this video, Hido tells the tale, especially why creating a book is important to his work, and why he believes, as Lewis Baltz once remarked, that Photography uniquely occupies a profound space between Literature and Film.

Hido shoots analogue. He adores light and embraces its possibilities to convey mood and emotion—though dark and uncomfortable they may be. While his portrait work is even more impactful than his landscapes, Hido’s work transcends the ordinary, because let’s face it: in our world of image saturation, how many artists make work that is instantly recognizable as their own?  Way to go, Ohio. —Lane Nevares

"My goal is to make images that are familiar and dreamlike, evocative of an almost unreachable memory."—Vanessa Marsh 

In photography, as in all forms of art, one must travel their own path. Seeing the work of Vanessa Marsh for the first time, I immediately sensed that this young, Oakland-based artist was following a particular vision. It’s refreshing to see images that ask us to slow down, look and ponder what we see.

Her work, which combines a variety of techniques including drawing, sculpture and photography, is layered and resonant with the subconscious. These landscapes, with their familiar elements and generic titles, maintain a silhouette quality to them, asking us to project our own thoughts and experiences onto what we see, and in effect, transforming them into our stories. 

Marsh discusses her process in this interview, revealing how the series came about and the specific techniques used in creating it. While her work lacks the confrontation and psychological prowess of a Kara Walker, Marsh is, nevertheless, graciously inviting us to enter her world to dream the dream. —Lane Nevares 

“Whatever else a photograph may be about, it is always about time.”—Richard Misrach

Time is an important element in Richard Misrach’s On The Beach 2.0 series currently on display (and ending this Saturday) at Pace/MacGill Gallery in Chelsea. Misrach, who is well known and highly regarded for his landscape work with an 8 x 10 inch view-camera, leaves film behind for the brave new world of digital photography.

Departing from his first On The Beach series from ten years ago, these new photographs, noted with specific dates and times of execution, reflect the “2.0” approach. With digital, the new work has an immediacy Misrach could not capture before in analog.

These large-scale prints emit an understated power. Perhaps it is their size, a heightened perspective and the isolation of the figures in the frame, but there is a mystery underlying them. Seeing them first-hand, you sense a reverence for nature and a melancholy for us. —Lane Nevares

“Life imitates art far more than art imitates Life.” Oscar Wilde

I suppose that an exhibit of contemporary nude photography curated by an artist well known for her work with the nude, can’t really go wrong. Tomorrow, the Flowers Gallery here in New York will open a show curated by the Brazilian-born photographer Mona Kuhn. The list of artists selected by Kuhn is an eclectic gathering of some major players along with some up-and-comings on the contemporary scene.

The show is an exploration, based on Kuhn’s own scholarly research and photographic ambitions, of our relationship to the canon of the nude in fine art. With our 21st Century attention spans and an unending stream of imagery put before us, I think the conversation is worth having. As we adapt, so do our ideas.

“Under my Skin: Nudes in Contemporary Photography” will be on exhibit at the Flowers Gallery until August 24th. —Lane Nevares

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” Marcel Proust

The Italian artist, Ivano Atzori, is a man in pursuit of ideas. An outsider artist, self-taught, and embracing everything from graffiti to fashion to performance art, Atzori’s restless energy and work isn’t readily classifiable. Nor should it be. His work has been featured everywhere from Italian Vogue to the streets of New York City.

In this performance piece, “Experience,” Atzori uses an arsonist’s crime scene as his canvas. Having discovered and fought the fire, he would later return, shrouding his identity in paper, and once again physically confront the landscape—feeling, digging, scraping, and eventually setting himself free. A meditation on life, death and transformation, Atzori’s “experience” may be ephemeral, but his ideas of nature, destruction, resurrection and release are as old as life. —Lane Nevares

"I do not mistrust reality, of which I know next to nothing, but I am suspicious regarding the image of reality which our senses convey to us, and which is incomplete and limited. Our eyes have developed such as to survive. It is merely coincidence that we can see stars with them as well."—Gerhard Richter

Luigi Ghirri, who passed away in 1992, was many things in his 49 years: a writer, curator, land surveyor, photographer, and conceptual artist. It is through his color photography that he is best known. His 1978 self-published monograph, Kodachrome, has influenced numerous artists and was re-printed to great acclaim last November. Currently (and for the first time in the United States), the accompanying exhibit of 25 vintage works is on display at Matthew Marks in NYC. 

Ghirri pursued his philosophical ideas using photography as a medium for deciphering form and meaning. His cool, smooth, Kodachrome view of the world is an attempt to mine significance from the signs surrounding us. Engaging with his work is to join him in grappling with universal questions of identity, place, and reality. Are his photographs, then, aspirations for some cathartic truth? Don’t let the ironic, understated images fool you, Luigi Ghirri is enjoining us to think deeply and critically about what we see and know. —Lane Nevares

"Nature is a mirror in which I am reflected, because by rescuing this land from sad devastation (through recreating it in photographs), I am in fact trying to save myself from my own inner sadness." —Mario Giacomelli 

The Israeli born, South African reared, and London-based artist Nadav Kander’s latest solo exhibit at Flowers Gallery in New York, takes us on a journey deep into China. Following the Yangtze River, from mouth to source, Kander’s images are vast and melancholy. We see a river, vital to its country and people, in perilous transformation.

We are all aware of the breathtaking economic expansion taking place in China, but the consequences of that progress, taking its toll on the land and people, is overlooked and underestimated. Kander, widely respected for his landscape work, is giving us a glimpse of the future and its terrible costs.  —Lane Nevares

"Am I looking at a mask or am I the mask being looked at?" —Ralph Eugene Meatyard

On this Fourth of July holiday I’m reminded of the work of Ralph Eugene Meatyard. I’ve always admired him as a great American photographer, one whose time came too soon.

Born in Normal, Illinois in 1925, Meatyard lived a happy Family-man-life: wife, kids, Navy veteran, steady job as an optician, and a suburban home in Kentucky. Before his passing in 1972 (just shy of his 47th birthday) Meatyard had enjoyed great success, having exhibited in important museums and alongside other major-league photographers. He proved then that, despite his “conventional” lifestyle, creating meaningful and resonant work comes from deep within.

The photos of family and friends donning strange masks and his uneasy landscapes have always made me feel a restless tension—one that I must say I enjoy.  Not fully grasping how Meatyard is able to capture this disquiet is part of the magic.

Two concurrent exhibitions, one on view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art  and another at Peter Freeman, Inc. in New York attest to the staying power of Meatyard’s work. Often considered ahead of his time, Meatyard’s photographs, while being highly regarded by collectors, have never enjoyed popular posthumous acclaim. But who cares? See the shows and appreciate, first-hand, the work of a unique American photographer who continues to inspire, and to unsettle.  —Lane Nevares

"The truth is that anyone can make a photo. The trouble is not that photos are hard to make. The trouble is that photos are hard to make intelligent and interesting." —John Szarkowski 

I recalled this quote recently while visiting the NY Photo Festival last week in Brooklyn. I enjoyed many of the exhibits, but I came away feeling that the Tokyo-Ga show was the stand-out.  The founder and curator, Ms. Naoko Ohta, has assembled quite a fantastic selection of contemporary Japanese photographers, many of whom were unknown to me.  I am happy to discover the work of two young photographers in particular, Masami Yamamoto and Junpei Kato .  

Yamamoto’s images offer mystery and chiaroscuro, while Kato’s clean lines and colors transcend banal, urban surfaces.  Both photographers are distinctly different, but are alike in how they capture Beauty by taking simplicity and giving it meaning—not an easy thing to do, but the results are intelligent and interesting. —Lane Nevares