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Berenice Abbott Ansel Adams Paul Adams Alpern Manuel Álvarez Bravo Diane Arbus The Tears of Things (Objects from a Rubbish Tip), 1990-91 Atget Richard Avedon
Abbott, Adams, Adams (P), Alpern, Álvarez Bravo, Arbus, Arnatt, Atget, Avedon

Berenice Abbott

Berenice Abbott
Berenice Abbott
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman
Negative c. 1930/Distortion c. 1950

b: 1898 Springfield, Ohio / d: 1991 Monson, Maine

Abbott is described in Wikipedia as, "an American photographer best known for her portraits of between-the-wars 20th century cultural figures, New York City photographs of architecture and urban design of the 1930s, and science interpretation in the 1940s to 1960s". MoMA states,

An American photographer, Berenice Abbott was a central figure in and important bridge between the photographic circles and cultural hubs of Paris and New York. She was born in Springfield, Ohio, and in 1918 moved to New York, where she studied sculpture independently, meeting and making vital connections with Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray, leaders of the American avant-garde. In 1921, Abbott moved to Paris and continued her study of sculpture there and, later, in Berlin, before returning to Paris and becoming an assistant at the Man Ray Studio, where she would master photography. Her first solo show was at the gallery Le Sacre du Printemps in Paris in 1926 and featured portraits of the Parisian avant-garde, a practice she continued throughout her years in Paris, as in James Joyce.
It was in 1925 at the Man Ray Studio that Abbott first saw photographs by Eugène Atget. After Atget’s death, in 1927, she collaborated with Julien Levy, of New York’s Julien Levy Gallery, to buy most of Atget’s negatives and prints, bringing them back to New York upon her return in 1929. Abbott’s initiative preserved the archive of this fin-de-siècle French photographer’s studio, which, given its influence on the avant-garde, has become an important chapter of Abbott’s legacy.
Arriving back in New York in 1929, Abbott was struck by the rapid transformation of the built landscape. On the eve of the Great Depression she began a series of documentary photographs of the city that, with the support of the Works Progress Administration Federal Art Project from 1935 to 1939, debuted in 1939 as the traveling exhibition and publication Changing New York, (see Daily News Building, 220 East 42nd Street, Manhattan, Fifth Avenue, Nos. 4, 6, 8, Manhattan, and Cedar Street from William Street, Manhattan. For the rest of her life Abbott advocated for a documentary style of photography as exemplified in this project, while also continuing to promote the work of Atget.
Her work was included in many influential exhibitions of the era, including the Salon de l’escalier, 1928; Fotografie der Gegenwart, 1929; Film und Foto, 1929; and Photography: 1839–1937, 1938; as well as in a solo-exhibition at the Julien Levy Gallery in 1932. In 1970, The Museum of Modern Art hosted a career retrospective. citation
Berenice Abbott Berenice Abbott Berenice Abbott Berenice Abbott Berenice Abbott Berenice Abbott

1. Eugene Atget 1927
2. Pike and Henry Streets, Manhattan, 1936
3. Penn Station, New York , 1936
4. Hot Dog Stand West St and North Moore Manhattan, 1936
5. Flatiron Building, 1938
6. A Gold Ball Bouncing Along a Hard Flat Board …, 1958-61
© the estate of Berenice Abbott

sources - MoMA,Wikipedia

links - tmlarts

Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams
Ansel Adams at work
attr. Cedric Wright

b: 1902 San Fransisco / d: 1984 Carmel, California

Adams, who trained as a pianist, turned to photography after meeting Paul Strand in 1930. Strand promoted "pure" photography and this was at the heart of the f/64 group that Adams founded on the West Coast with Imogen Cunningham, John Paul Edwards, Sonya Noskowiak, Henry Swift, Willard Van Dyke and Edward Weston.
The group opposed the painterly techniques of the Pictorialists and were devoted to maximum depth of field and minimum manipulation of the image. Adams developed the Zone System in the 1940s for calculating exposure and chemical development which held many photographers in thrall prior to the digital era.
He is best know for his photographs of US National Parks.

Although mostly associated with black and white images, Adams used colour as early as the 1940s. The Smithsonian quotes him as saying in 1967, "“I can get—for me—a far greater sense of ‘color’ through a well-planned and executed black-and-white image than I have ever achieved with color photography”.

Moonrise, Adams Oakland Bay Bridge, Adams Adams
1. Moonrise over Hernandez, New Mexico, 1941
2. Oakland Bay Bridge
3. Late Evening, Monument Valley, Utah, c.1950
© Trustees of the Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust

sources McC, MLC, Smithsonian. Wikipedia

links Smithsonian, Wikipedia

Paul Adams

Logo v.2

b: USA

Adams featured in the December 2019 edition of Black + White Photography Magazine. Adams runs the photography programme at Brigham Young University and creates composite images with whimsical titles some of which evoke fairy tales. The Clam Digger's Wife and her Clandestine Trampoline earned inclusion in the titles of note page, but the images are as good as the titles and are recognised here.

Paul Adams Paul Adams Paul Adams Paul Adams
1. The Clam Digger's Wife and her Clandestine Trampoline
2. Tonto Bought A Boat And Sailed It Out To Sea
3. The Sugar Plum Fairy Has No Wings
4. Clark Kent Finds Religion
© Paul Adams

sources -

links - artist's web site

added - 30Nov19

Manuel Álvarez Bravo

Manuel Álvarez Bravo
Manuel Álvarez Bravo
self portrait

b: 1902 Mexico City / d: 2002

Bravo is cited in the OCA course material (EyV p. 30) for his photographic "meditation on the nature of vision", a term coined by Leonard Folgarit who speculated on the identity and nature of the person depicted in Daughter of the Dancers (fig. 1).

Wikipedia describes his career thus,

[He] was Mexico’s first principal artistic photographer and is the most important figure in 20th-century Latin American photography. He was born and raised in Mexico City. While he took art classes at the Academy of San Carlos, his photography is self-taught. His career spanned from the late 1920s to the 1990s with its artistic peak between the 1920s to the 1950s. His hallmark as a photographer was to capture images of the ordinary but in ironic or surrealistic ways. His early work was based on European influences, but he was soon influenced by the Mexican muralism movement and the general cultural and political push at the time to redefine Mexican identity. He rejected the picturesque, employing elements to avoid stereotyping. Over his career he had numerous exhibitions of his work, worked in the Mexican cinema and established Fondo Editorial de la Plástica Mexicana publishing house. He won numerous awards for his work, mostly after 1970. wikipedia

Manuel Álvarez Bravo Manuel Álvarez Bravo Manuel Álvarez Bravo
1. Daughter of the Dancers, 1933
2. The Good Reputation, Sleeping (La Buena Fama Durmiendo), 1938
3. Bicicletas en Domingo, 1968
© estate of Manuel Álvarez Bravo

Folgarit, L. (2008) Seeing Mexico Photographed. New Haven, CN: Yale University Press

sources - Wikipedia

links - artist's estate web site

Diane Arbus

Diane Arbus
Diane Arbus in Central Park,
Tod Papageorge

b: 1923 New York / d: 1971 New York

The 2019 exhibition, In the beginning, is described here.

One of Peter Stepan's 50 Photographers You Should Know.

Re-edited from Wikipedia,

Arbus received her first camera, a Graflex, from [her husband] Allan soon after they married.Shortly thereafter, she enrolled in classes with photographer Berenice Abbott. The Arbuses' interests in photography led them, in 1941, to visit the gallery of Alfred Stieglitz, and learn about the photographers Mathew Brady, Timothy O'Sullivan, Paul Strand, Bill Brandt, and Eugène Atget. In the early 1940s, Diane's father employed them to take photographs for the department store's advertisements. Allan was a photographer for the U.S. Army Signal Corps in World War Two.
In 1946, after the war, the Arbuses began a commercial photography business called "Diane & Allan Arbus," with Diane as art director and Allan as the photographer.
She studied briefly with Alexey Brodovich in 1954. However, it was her studies with Lisette Model, which began in 1956, that encouraged Arbus to focus exclusively on her own work. That year Arbus quit the commercial photography business and began numbering her negatives. (Her last known negative was labeled #7459.) Based on Model's advice, Arbus avoided loading film in the camera as an exercise in truly seeing. Arbus also credits Model with making it clear to her that, "the more specific you are, the more general it'll be.
By 1956 she was working with a 35mm Nikon, wandering the streets of New York City and meeting her subjects largely, though not always, by chance. Around 1962, Arbus switched from a 35mm Nikon camera which produced the grainy rectangular images characteristic of her post-studio work to a twin-lens reflex Rolleiflex. She explained this transition saying "In the beginning of photographing I used to make very grainy things. I’d be fascinated by what the grain did because it would make a kind of tapestry of all these little dots...But when I’d been working for a while with all these dots, I suddenly wanted terribly to get through there. I wanted to see the real differences between things...I began to get terribly hyped on clarity." In 1964, Arbus began using a 2-1/4 Mamiyaflex camera with flash in addition to the Rolleiflex.
Arbus's style is said to be "direct and unadorned, a frontal portrait centered in a square format. Her pioneering use of flash in daylight isolated the subjects from the background, which contributed to the photos' surreal quality." Her methods included establishing a strong personal relationship with her subjects and re-photographing some of them over many years.
Although Arbus’s most famous subjects were outsiders such as transgender people, strippers, carnival performers, nudists, dwarves, and other marginalized people, she was equally drawn to subjects as ordinary as children, mothers, couples, old people, and middle-class families. She photographed her subjects in familiar settings: their homes, on the street, in the workplace, in the park. In his 2003 New York Times Magazine article, "Arbus Reconsidered," Arthur Lubow states, "She was fascinated by people who were visibly creating their own identities—cross-dressers, nudists, sideshow performers, tattooed men, the nouveau riche, the movie-star fans—and by those who were trapped in a uniform that no longer provided any security or comfort." Michael Kimmelman writes in his review of the exhibition Diane Arbus Revelations, "Her memorable work, which she did, on the whole, not for hire but for herself, was all about heart—a ferocious, audacious heart. It transformed the art of photography (Arbus is everywhere, for better and worse, in the work of artists today who make photographs), and it lent a fresh dignity to the forgotten and neglected people in whom she invested so much of herself."
In 1972, a year after she died by suicide Arbus became the first photographer to be included in the Venice Biennale where her photographs were "the overwhelming sensation of the American Pavilion. If one’s natural tendency is to be skeptical about a legend, it must be said that all suspicion vanishes in the presence of the Arbus work, which is extremely powerful and very strange.”
A retrospective organized by John Szarkowski at the Museum of Modern Art in New York had the highest attendance of any exhibition in MOMA's history to date. Millions viewed traveling exhibitions of her work in 1972–1979. The book accompanying the exhibition, Diane Arbus: An Aperture Monograph, edited by Doon Arbus and Marvin Israel and first published in 1972 has never been out of print. wikipedia
Diane Arbus Diane Arbus Diane Arbus
1. Female impersonator holding long gloves, Hempstead, Long Island, 1959
2. Identical twins, Roselle, N.J. 1966
3. Patriotic young man with a flag N.Y.C. , 1967
© the estate of Diane Arbus

sources - Wikipedia, Stepan (2008)


added - 7Dec18

Keith Arnatt

Keith Arnatt
Keith Arnatt

b: 1930 Oxford / d: 2008 Wales

Arnatt is mentioned in the coursework (EyV p.15) in the context of the initial Square Mile assignment. The link provided is to The Tate which has a beiwf biography (taken from Wikipedia) and details of several of Arnatt's projects.

The Wikipedia entry is quite brief.

Keith Arnatt (1930–2008) was a British conceptual artist. As well as conceptual art his work is sometimes discussed in relation to land art, minimalism, and photography. He lived and worked in London, Liverpool, Yorkshire and Monmouthshire. Arnatt was born in Oxford. He had studied painting at Oxford School of Art in the early 1950s and later at the Royal Academy Schools in London. From 1962 he taught at Liverpool and then, until 1969, Manchester. At this time he was living in and working from a farmhouse on the Yorkshire/Lancashire border. In 1969 he moved to Tintern in Monmouthshire. Liverpool (the beach at Formby); the moors around his farmhouse in Todmorden, Yorkshire; and his garden surrounded by woodland in Tintern, are settings for works. By the end of the 1960s Arnatt’s work was associated with the new conceptual art movement. A number of writers connected conceptual art with a general reductionist tendency in contemporary art of the time using phrases like ‘dematerialization’ and referring to the influence of minimalism and in particular the influence of Robert Morris in relating the presentation of art objects to the contexts of their viewing in a way that sought to activate those contexts. wikipedia

The biography on his (estate's) web site states,

The new found broad interest in photography in the nineties was irrelevant, if not quite damaging, to Arnatt. He had consistently, in the early part of his career, confronted lazy orthodoxies surrounding a specific value of art and was accordingly dismissive of a particular or evolutionary value of a distinctly photographic project in relation to art. The very late photographic works anyway have a kind of absolute interiority and abstractness that marked a movement away from that kind of thing in his own mind.
Invisible Hole, Revealed by the Shadow of the Artist, 1968 Howler’s Hill, 1987-88 The Tears of Things (Objects from a Rubbish Tip), 1990-91
1. Invisible Hole, Revealed by the Shadow of the Artist, 1968
2. from Howler’s Hill, 1987-88
3. from The Tears of Things (Objects from a Rubbish Tip), 1990-91
© the estate of Keith Arnatt

sources - Tate - Wikipedia

links - artists' estate web site

Eugène Atget

Atget, 1927
Atget, 1927
by Berenice Abbott

b: 1857 Libourne, nr. Bordeaux / d:1927 Paris

One of Peter Stepan's 50 Photographers You Should Know.

Atget is described in the course material (EyV p. 24) as "pioneer of urban street photography": he is regarded as the first flâneur of photography, although strolling the streets of Paris with an 18x24cm plate camera cannot have made an air of nonchalance easy to carry off.

He developed a market amongst collectors for his prints of architecture and street life and in 1921, to preserve his negatives, he sold 2,621 plates to the École des Beaux-Arts. After his death, Berenice Abbott (then an assistant to Man Ray) bought half of the contents of his studio and in 1967 these were sold to MoMA whose subsequent exhibition ensured Atget's continuing reputation

Atget Atget
1. Versailles, parc, 1901
2. Corsets, Boulevard de Strasbourg, Paris, c.1905

sources - MLC, Gen, Wikipedia, Stepan (2008)

links - Wikipedia, MoMA

Richard Avedon

Richard Avedon
self portrait, 2001

b: 1923 New York / d: 2004 San Antonio, Texas

One of Peter Stepan's 50 Photographers You Should Know.

Biography from Artnet

… an influential American fashion and fine art photographer. His iconic portraits of celebrities, spanned more than half of the 20th century, and included Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, The Beatles, Andy Warhol, and Tupac Shakur. “My portraits are more about me than they are about the people I photograph,” he once observed.
Perhaps Avedon’s biggest stylistic impact was his decision to have his subjects emote—initially working during a time when the prevailing trend had been to present portraits that were still and subdued, his photographs stood out with their intimate viewpoint.
Born on May 15, 1923 in New York, NY, he studied under Alexey Brodovitch at his Design Laboratory at The New School. Avedon got his start working for magazines, landing a job at Vogue in 1964, first as a staff photographer under famed editor Diana Vreeland, and then as its head photographer from 1973–1988.
Outside of his fashion work, Avedon is also known for his series capturing American Western figures such as drifters, miners, cowboys, and others living on the edges of society. A series of these images was later published as the book In the American West (1985), which is widely considered a seminal work in the history of photography.
He died in San Antonio, TX while on assignment on October 1, 2004 at the age of 81. Artnet
Richard Avedon Richard Avedon Richard Avedon Richard Avedon Richard Avedon Richard Avedon
Italy #9 (Boy and Tree), Noto, Sicily, 1947
Shoe by Perugia, Place du Trocadéro, Paris, 1948
The Beatles, London, England, 1967
Andy Warhol and members of The Factory, New York, 1969
Ronald Fischer, Beekeeper, Davis, California, 1981
Brandenburg Gate #17, Berlin, Germany, New Year's Eve, 1989
© the estate of Richard Avedon

sources - Wikipedia, Stepan (2008)

links - The Avedon Foundation

added - 8Dec18


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born - died


quote citation
Figs. n
© text

sources - Wikipedia


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Page created 07-Oct-2018 | Page updated 19-Sep-2021