vrijdag 30 januari 2009

Calve the Unilever factory in Delft Bart Sorgedrager Company Photography

Delftsche - slaolie design by Rinke, Jan

SORGEDRAGER, BART
De Unileverfabriek in Delft. De Unileverfabriek in Vlaardingen. De Unileverfabriek in Loosdrecht.
Rotterdam, Unilever, 2008 orig cloth 3 volumes issued without dustjacket each 70 pp text in Dutch edition of 500 copies 50 copies of this edition are signed and numbered on one of the titlepages 27 x 22 cm and come with the orig specially made slipcase.
See for more Calve ... & also the best book lists from photo-world luminaries such as John Gossage, Martin Parr, Gerry Badger, Alec Soth, Lesley Martin, Chris Pichler, Darius Himes and many more ... See for a slideshow ...




Oliefabriek Delft, Deltfsche Slaolie design by Breitner, G.H

maandag 26 januari 2009

De grond waarop wij staan Linoleum Krommenie Dick Elffers Emmy Andriesse Cas Oorthuys Graphic Design Company Photograhy

De grond waarop wij staan ontwerp: Dick Elffers druk: Meijer NV fotografie: Emmy Andriesse, Cas Oorthuys opdrachtgever: Linoleum Krommenie
Samengesteld door Dick Elffers, tekst van J.J. Vriend, fotografie door Emmy Andriese, Cas Oorthuys en E.C. van Houten. Vloerontwerpen door Clim Meijer, Kees Keus en Dick Elffers De omslag is geplactificeerd

Zie voor Licht, lucht, linoleum! ...



zondag 25 januari 2009

Man Ray Unconcerned, but not indifferent Photography

Lees verder ...

Man Ray Unconcerned, but not indifferent 24 January 2009 - 19 April 2009 see for the slideshow ...

Man Ray (1890-1976) used his camera to turn photography into an art – no mean feat for a man who tried almost all his life to avoid being described as a ‘photographer’. He preferred to be identified with his work in other media: drawings, paintings and Dadaist ready-mades. The exhibition entitled Unconcerned, but not indifferent at the Hague Museum of Photography is a large-scale retrospective of Man Ray’s art and life. It links paintings, drawings and (of course) photographs to personal objects, images and documents drawn from his estate to paint a picture of a passionate artist and – whatever his own feelings about the description – a great photographer.

Unconcerned, but not indifferent is the first exhibition to reveal Man Ray’s complete creative process: from observations, ideas and sketches right through to the final works of art. By establishing the linkage between art and inspiration, it gives a new insight into the work of Man Ray. The three hundred plus items on display are drawn from the estate of the artist, which is managed by the Man Ray Trust. Some of them have never been exhibited since the artist’s death in 1976 while others are on show for the first time ever.

Man Ray’s real name was Emmanuel Radnitzky. He was born in Philadelphia (USA) in 1890. The family soon moved to New York, where his artistic talent became increasingly apparent. Photography was not yet his medium: Man Ray, as he would later call himself, concentrated on painting and became friendly with Dadaist artist Marcel Duchamp, who persuaded him to move to Paris (France). There, Man Ray moved in highly productive artistic circles full of Surrealists and Dadaists. He began taking photographs of his own (and other people’s) works of art and gradually became more interested in the photographic images than in the originals – which he regularly threw away or lost once he had photographed them.

By this time, commercial and art photography had become his main source of income and he was displaying an unbridled curiosity about the potential of the medium. This prompted a great urge to experiment and the discovery or rediscovery of various techniques, such as the famous ‘rayographs’ (photograms made without the use of a camera). Man Ray left Paris to escape the Nazi occupation of France and moved to Los Angeles, where he abandoned commercial photography to concentrate entirely on painting and photographic experimentation. However, his next real surge of creativity occurred only after he returned to Paris with his wife Juliet in 1951. In the last twenty-five years of his life, he regularly harked back to his earlier work and was not afraid to quote himself. In that sense, Man Ray can be seen as a true conceptual artist: the idea behind the work of art always interested him more than its eventual execution. Man Ray died in Paris in 1976 and is buried in Montparnasse. His widow, Juliet, summed up the artist’s life in the epitaph inscribed on his tombstone: Unconcerned, but not indifferent.




The exhibition examines the four separate creative phases in Man Ray’s life. Each is closely connected with the place where he was living (New York, Los Angeles or Paris), his friends at the time and the sources of inspiration around him. Using Man Ray’s artistic legacy and – perhaps more particularly – the everyday objects that were so important to him, Unconcerned, but not indifferent reveals the world as he saw it through the lens of his camera. The exhibition is being held in cooperation with the Man Ray Trust in Long Island, New York, and La Fábrica in Madrid.

vrijdag 23 januari 2009

Gerard Fieret (1924 - 2009) Photographer Photography

"Photography in and of itself is, of course, a rather chilly business: camera lenses, power to absorb the image, refractions. Chemistry- strict rules of the game, no? But soon you discover that you really can bend it as you wish, like bamboo, and then it turns out to be supple as water, and you can find and recognize all sorts of graphic gradations in the image. I’m thinking now of Daumier or Rembrandt, for instance - every "ism" can be realized in photography." - Gerard Petrus Fieret

The Netherlands has lost one of the most fascinating artist of our time, Gerard Fieret knew the best how to catch the pure sensual beauty of every women. I am most fortunate to have known him as a kind person,My warmest sympathy to his family and friends.Fieret will never die, and his beautiful images are forever…Eyemazing Susan See for Gerard P. Fieret - 80th birthday ...


Gerard Fieret, 1924 - 2009 door Eddie Marsman NRC

Slechts een jaar of vijftien fotografeerde Gerard Fieret maar het was genoeg om een van de meest oorspronkelijke oeuvres uit de naoorlogse Nederlandse fotografie tot stand te brengen. Wilde zelfportretten, straatbeelden en foto’s van vrouwen maakte hij: bewogen, zelden scherp, bevolkt door schimmen en lichtvlekken, strepen en krassen. En daartussen stempelde hij dan vaak zijn eigen naam, pontificaal in beeld. Ze konden ogen als mislukte foto’s, en toch hadden ze een zelden geëvenaarde vitaliteit.

Behalve fotograaf (in de jaren zestig en vroege jaren zeventig) was Fieret ook dichter en tekenaar. Hij overleed gisteravond, -donderdag 22 januari-, drie dagen na zijn 85ste verjaardag, in een ziekenhuis in Den Haag.

Behalve door zijn werk was Fieret ook bekend door zijn zonderlinge levenswandel. Het grootste deel van zijn leven woonde hij in rommelige souterrains, oude keten of afgedankte depots van gemeentelijke diensten. En tot op hoge leeftijd voerde hij dagelijks de stadsduiven, de emmers met graan bungelend aan het stuur van de fiets waarmee hij zijn rondes deed.

Fieret, die enige tijd een tekenopleiding volgde aan de Koninklijke Academie in Den Haag, kocht eind jaren vijftig een camera voor huis-, tuin- en keukengebruik. Maar die camera bleek ook geschikt voor het vastleggen van wat hij noemde de “caleidoscopische totaliteit van het leven”.
Binnen de kortste keren fotografeerde hij alles wat hem voor de voeten kwam - brommers, eendjes in de vijver, volk op de kermis, een varken aan het spit. En vrouwen, veel vrouwen - kennissen, studentes van de Vrije Academie waar hij enige tijd les gaf, kortstondige vriendinnetjes, wildvreemden die hij aansprak op straat. Hij fotografeerde ze ter plekke of nam ze mee naar de ‘hokken’ waarin hij gewend was te bivakkeren. Het resulteerde in ongedwongen, even sensuele als speelse taferelen vol been, buik, borst en lonkende blikken.


Het leverde hem enkele exposities op, onder andere in het Van Abbemuseum, maar veel verder kwam het niet. Even plotseling als hij begonnen was, stopte hij ook weer met fotograferen. Omdat hij toch niet werd begrepen, omdat anderen zijn werk ‘jatten’, omdat het te duur was of te veel gedoe met al dat papier en chemische middelen, omdat hij zijn foto’s niet meer mocht spoelen in het badhuis. Helemaal duidelijk werd het nooit. Pogingen om nadien nog tentoonstellingen of boeken met zijn werk liepen lang spaak op zijn onorthodoxe levensstijl en groeiende eenkennigheid.

Hoe groot Fierets fotografische oeuvre precies is, is nauwelijks vast te stellen. Hij heeft zijn werk nooit zorgvuldig bijgehouden. Foto’s propte hij in ordeloze kasten of bewaarde ze tussen het vuilnis op de vloer. Hij gaf ze met stapels tegelijk weg (de laatste jaren overigens vooral aan het Fotomuseum in Den Haag dat in 2004 een groot retrospectief van hem toonde), of verkocht nauwelijks gedocumenteerde dozen aan verzamelaars.

Lang werd gedacht dat Fieret zijn negatieven had weggegooid of vernietigd - tot ze onlangs bij het ontruimen van zijn laatste onderkomen (een Portacabin op een landgoed bij Duindigt; de plek werd ter beschikking gesteld door vrienden) samen met 500 onbekende afdrukken tevoorschijn kwamen. Fieret bleek ze in twee jerrycans gepropt te hebben. Een tamelijk onorthodoxe vorm van ‘archivering’. Maar wel een die past bij een fotograaf die ook als mens iedere gebruiksaanwijzing, gewoonte en regel negeerde. Hij had nu eenmaal zijn eigen wetten, zei hij ooit. En mislukte foto’s bestonden niet, vond hij.

See for more Gerard P. Fieret Boundless Shoreless Unlimited ...

an Alternative (II) for Snelweg Highways in the Netherlands... Wegen naar Morgen Company Photography

Wegen naar morgen: Uitgave onder auspiciën van de Nederlandse Vereniging van Wegenbouwers. [plaats]. [Text Max Dendermonde; H.A.M.C. Dibbits. Photography Carel Blazer. Illustrations Opland. Layout Mart Kempers].

1962 / 128 p. / hb. / 29x24cm / 114 b&w photographs, in opdracht, uit bedrijfsarchief en uit niet-particuliere archieven / historische en eigentijdse documentaire foto's / vervoermiddelen, voertuigen in de moderne samenleving, autoraces, bermrecreatie, spoorwegaanleg, wegenbouw en stadsbeelden. - (12 b&w photographs, 21 color / striptekeningen, reliëf, prenten, landkaarten, grafieken, schematische tekeningen, stadskaarten, plattegrond / historische vervoermiddelen, tunnels, openbaar vervoer). / NN / Firmenschrift, Festschrift / Photographie - Anthologie - Auftragsphotographie, commissioned photography - Nederland, Niederlande - 20. Jahrh. / Printed by Drukkerij Meijer NV, Wormerveer (boekdruk, offset). - Opdrachtgever: Nederlandse Vereniging van Wegenbouwers (25-jarig bestaan). - Woord-beeld-equivalent. In het eerste deel van het boek ligt de nadruk op de cultuurhistorische aspecten van vervoermiddelen. Fotografie raakt ondergeschikt aan de tekst. Bij de uitgave is promotiemateriaal van de drukker verschenen.



Baart, Theo & Markerink, Cary Snelweg. Highways in the Netherlands. [Text Tracy Metz]. Amsterdam / Ideas on Paper publishers / 1996 / 162 p. / sb. / 28x24cm / ill. / NN / Buch / Photographie - Monographie - Verkehr - Nederland, The Netherlands, Niederlande - 20. Jahrh. - Metz, Tracy - uv / Text nerderl., engl.

Mrs Deane's list of Best Photobooks of 2008 Photography

Now that the excitement about the end of year 'best photo books of 2008' enumerations has died down in an ultimate culmination at photoeye, I can safely launch my own retrospective of books which excited or inspired us last year. Since our means are too limited to buy many books - let alone newly published ones - , our selection will differ in many aspects from the usual lists. Let's start with this odd publication kindly loaned to us by a local colleague, who shares our love for books where the images are glued in by hand. "Fair play with Fina - soccer rules in word and image" is the rather unexciting title (especially unexciting if you are no soccer fan) of this strangely long and narrow (33 x 11cm) publication dating from the seventies. Read for more ...




first catalog from the Otto mail order company - source

Actually, this is not a book we own, it's not even a proper book and it certainly wasn't freshly published last year, yet I wanted it to have a place on my list of best photo books of 2008, as this is the year we first encountered it. The Otto mail order company, established in 1949, is a typical example of the famed Wirtschaftswunder, the rebuilding of the German economy upon the ruins of the second World War. This first catalog had an edition of merely 300 pieces and consisted of 14 hand bound pages with 28 pasted in photographs of shoes. Hard to believe today that this modest publication was the basis and beginning of the success of what grew out to be a giant industry - and that in the following year the company already had a turnover of 1 million german Marks. Read for more ...

woensdag 21 januari 2009

an Alternative (I) for 50 jaar Bruynzeel 1897-1947 ... De Kof gaet voor de baet uit Company Photography

De Kof gaet voor de baet uit: Een verhaal over hout. [Text J. Luger (firm's history), H. Halbertsma (foreword). Photography Willem van de Poll. Illustrations, layout J.F. Doeve].

Grouw / 1941 / 59 p. / hb. / 33x24cm / 40 b&w photographs, in opdracht, uit bedrijfsarchief en uit niet-particuliere archieven / fotomontages, portretten en documentaire foto's / arbeiders aan houtbewerkingsmachines, doorkijkjes in kantoren, vestigingen, van directeuren. - Ill. 27 color, in opdracht en uit bedrijfsarchief / pentekeningen en kleine pictogrammen. / NN / Firmenschrift / Wirtschaft, Firmengeschichte - Photographie - Anthologie - Auftragsphotographie, commissioned photography - Nederland, Niederlande - 20. Jahrh. / Printed by Ervaco, Den Haag (boekdruk). - Opdrachtgever: NV Halbertsma fabrieken (50-jarig bestaan). - Voorloper van bedrijfsfotoboek met kenmerken van beeldverhaal. Het boek bevat aflopende foto's en fotomontages en slaat een brug tussen de stijlprincipes van de Nieuwe Fotografie en de eerste golf naoorlogse bedrijfsfotoboeken. De uitgave is didactisch en instructief van opzet.






See for 50 jaar Bruynzeel 1897-1947 ...

donderdag 15 januari 2009

Collecting 20th Century Photographs by Daile Kaplan of Swann Auction Galleries Photography

An Interview with Daile Kaplan of Swann Auction Galleries on Collecting 20th Century Photographs

January 14th, 2009 By Maribeth Keane, Collectors Weekly Staff (Copyright 2008)

In this interview, Daile Kaplan talks about collecting 19th and 20th century photographs and photobooks. Daile is Vice President and Director of Photographs at Swann Auction Galleries in New York. She appears regularly as a photograph appraiser on the Antiques Roadshow, and is also featured in a series of short videos on fine photographs for Swann Galleries. Daile can be contacted at dkaplan@swanngalleries.com, or via her website, www.popphotographica.com, which features items from her personal collection of Pop Photographica.


Swann, which is New York City’s oldest specialty auction house, was founded in the late 1940s as an antiquarian book house. In the mid-1970s, as popular interest in photography became more widespread, the specialist at that time realized that Swann should have sales that featured documentary and fine art photography as well as albums and photobooks. Until that time, auctions dedicated to photography and photo literature were unheard of. Therefore, Swann is considered a pioneer of the photographic literature market.

Today, books illustrated with photographs are garnering a lot of attention. In the past few years, there have been a number of excellent coffee table books about the genre by Martin Parr, Gerry Badger, and Andrew Roth. In addition, there are some very serious celebrity photo book collectors who have brought attention to the field. An under appreciated area of collecting for many years, it’s now firmly on the map.



Ansel Adams (1902-1984) "Winter Sunrise, Sierra Nevada, from Lone Pine, California." Silver print 1944; printed 1978


In addition to photographic literature, Swann focuses on vintage and modern 19th- and 20th-century photographic prints. As artists transition to the new digital technologies and examples of those prints appear in galleries, they are being offered at auction. However, we are not yet selling many digital prints but specialize in what are referred to as wet darkroom prints.

Even though photography is incredibly popular today, in the 19th century and even into the 1960s, it was ridiculed as an art form. Needless to say, this didn’t stop artists from exploring photography as a form of self-expression. In the 1950s, important photographers like Robert Frank and William Klein were very focused on working with the book as a creative art form. After all, there were no commercial galleries or museums with regular photography programs, so we’re looking at a field where creative figures interested in making photographs were using the book or album to promote their work.

Photobooks are a great way for someone who’s interested in photography to begin collecting. Books are more affordable than vintage or modern prints, and they’re often designed with artistic integrity, making them very beautiful objects. If a photographer is successful and has strong gallery representation, a trade monograph, which is published in thousands of copies, can sell out very quickly. Books may also be produced in a deluxe edition (that is, issued with an original signed photograph). Such examples tend to be more expensive and the edition size is smaller, say 50 to 75 copies. At Swann, we conduct four sales a year, and two of those feature photographic books.

Collectors Weekly: Are there certain photo books and artists that collectors look for?

Kaplan: Photobooks by master photographers are always very desirable, including Robert Frank, Lee Friedlander, Man Ray, and Walker Evans, for example. All the masters of 20th-century photography are associated with particular monographs and books, and those books are considered works of art in their own right. Photographers like William Klein and Robert Frank were very actively engaged in not only making the pictures for their books but sequencing the pictures and designing the final object.

'CARTIER-BRESSON,

Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004) "Behind the Gare St. Lazare." Silver print 1932; printed 1980s

Swann’s catalogues, which are accessible on our website just before each auction, offer an international roster of photographers. For example, Japanese photographers in the 1960s and 1970s – Hosoe, Moriyama, and Ishimoto, who were influenced by Robert Frank – recognized the importance of the photobook and made remarkable contributions to the form.

Interestingly, the market for photobooks is distinct from that of fine art photographs. There are many photography collectors who are looking to purchase beautiful photographic prints to hang on their wall but who may not have any interest in illustrated books.

Regardless of the area of interest, there are always different levels of collectors. A collector first starting generally buys what they like. They’re usually not yet familiar with the literature in the field and they acquire what’s familiar to them, what they may have seen in a gallery or a museum. As they become more sophisticated, their tastes become more discerning. Maybe they start buying older material, such as salted paper prints, daguerrotypes or ambrotypes, or maybe they move from painting to photography. Today, the collector community is global and, for the most part, fairly sophisticated.

The Internet has changed the auction business completely. Today, instead of attending the auctions, many of our buyers are bidding via the Internet. They contact us for condition reports to obtain information about lots in a sale.

Collectors Weekly: Do you notice any trends among the collectors of 20th-century photography?

Bill Brandt (1904-1983) Pablo Picasso. Silver print 1957; printed 1960s-1970s

Bill Brandt (1904-1983) Pablo Picasso. Silver print 1957; printed 1960s-1970s


Kaplan:Today the marketplace reflects a representation of more diverse styles and idioms. An artist like Paul Graham, a British photographer who is noted for his pioneering color documentary-style photography in the early ’80s, is accepted as a fine art photographer. A noted fashion photographer like Richard Avedon, whose pictures regularly appeared in glamour magazines, sees his work is offered in fine art galleries and at auction.

Categories that used to segregate the different areas of photography - fashion, art, documentary, press photography, scientific documentation, social record - are falling away. We’re seeing less and less separation between what were once thought of as commercial photography, documentary photography, photojournalism, and fine art photography. Today they’re all considered equally important, and we sell works that would fall into any of those categories.

If we’d look at our October 2008 sale, for example, one of the top lots in that sale was an album of Brazilian photographs from the 1880s. Our sale also featured an Edward Weston photograph from the 1920s that sold for about $45,000 and a Danny Lyon civil rights portfolio that sold for $30,000.

Collectors Weekly: Who were some of the major photographers who dealt with social issues and civil rights?

Kaplan: I’ve written two books about Lewis Hine, a pioneer of social documentary photography in the early 20th century who photographed child labor, immigrants, and the First World War. Photographers associated with the Farm Security Administration (FSA) in the 1930s - Ben Shahn, Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans - are other major talents. They worked for the federal government, photographing conditions during the Depression so that all Americans could be aware of the devistation in the heartland. In the 1960s, Danny Lyon, James Kerales, Charles Moore, Bob Adelman, and Ernest Withers were active in the Civil Rights movement.

In terms of other 20th Century subjects, you have photographers like W. Eugene Smith, who went to Haiti to photograph asylum patients and traveled to Japan to photograph environmental conditions in Minimata. Collectors are interested in celebrity photographs, male nudes, female nudes, architecture, and the Western landscape. Photographers like Ansel Adams, who was an early environmentalist, really made people aware of the fragility and beauty of America’s parks.

Collectors Weekly: How do 20th-century photographs differ from 19th-century photographs?

Walker Evans (1903-1975) Image from the series "Faulkner's Mississippi." Silver prints 1948

Walker Evans (1903-1975) Image from the series "Faulkner's Mississippi." Silver prints 1948

Kaplan: Technique. Most 19th-century photographs worked with cumbersome large-format cameras that utilized glass negatives and produced albumen or salted paper prints, which have a very distinctive patina to them. The first photographs are daguerreotypes, which are unique or one-of-a-kind photographs and are often referred to as hand or cased images. Other examples of cased images are ambrotypes and tintypes.

20th-century photographs were, for the most part, monochromatic, utilizing the gelatin silver or black and white print. In the 1960s and ’70s, a new generation of photographers, including William Eggleston, Joel Sternfeld, and Stephen Shore, began to explore color as a meadium for their photograph. Works by Paul Outerbridge, Jr., who was a major fashion and glamour photographer in the 1930s, employed the color carbro technique, a very stable color format, and also became widely collected.

In terms of appearance, those are very obvious clues, and in terms of content, I don’t think anyone could mistake a 20th-century street photograph for a 19th-century street photograph. I think most people start with 20th century, because they start with what’s familiar to them.

Collectors Weekly: Where do you typically acquire photographs from?

Kaplan: Swann doesn’t acquire photographs or photobooks, but acts an as an agent for consignors who may be private or institutional clients. We select and catalog the works, estimate the property, and promote each of the auctions.

Today the provenance of history of ownership as well as the condition of the photograph are extremely important. Collectors are very discerning about how the photograph has been handled over time.

On the other hand, photographs by Weegee, the great New York photojournalist, were used in newspapers and magazines and frequently manhandled by editors and engravers. In the 1930s and ’40s, there was no awareness of the economic value or importance of these prints. Therefore, when a Weegee print comes to market, if it’s torn or creased, that may not be perceived as a condition issue. However, there are very few photographers for which that would apply. Normally, condition is paramount.

Collectors Weekly: What about signatures or markings on the photographs?

'Andre

Andre Kertesz (1894-1985) "Shadows of the Eiffel Tower." Silver print 1929; printed 1970s

Kaplan: As a collector, you need to do your homework. Talk with auction house specialists, gallerists, and curators about what to look for with regard to a photographer’s body of work. Some photographers never signed their photographs, but we know the sorts of paper as well as the style and format of their pictures. For example, it’s very uncommon to see a signed Alfred Stieglitz photograph, but Edward Weston almost always signed his pictures. André Kertesz would sign the back of his pictures, not the front, and he would note the negative date, not the date that the photographic print was actually made.

So there are a lot of considerations, and it can be complex. Obviously if a photographer was known to have signed his or her prints, you want to find those examples. Since there wasn’t an international marketplace for photography until the 1970s, vintage prints were gifted by artists to friends and family members. In the 1970s, market conditions dictated that photographers be less casual.

Collectors Weekly: Can you talk more about 20th century photo processes?

Kaplan: The most popular is what was called the gelatin silver print, your black and white photograph. This was a very stable process, believed to last at least 100 years, that doesn’t have the fragility associated with some of the color techniques. If a gelatin silver print is well maintained - that is, not displayed by a window where artificial light is going to damage it or in an attic or bathroom where there’s too much moisture or changes in temperature - it will have a good, long lifespan.

Paul Outerbridge is probably the most famous photographer from the 1930s who worked in color, and then of course in the 1960s and ‘70s you see photographers like Richard Avedon and Irving Penn exploring color as an idiom. Of course, family members enjoyed taking snapshots (vernacular photographs) of their daily lives. Artists Stephen Shore, William Eggleston, and Joel Sternfeld photographed modern American life in transition. By the 1980s and ’90s, you begin to see photographers from the German school, like Andreas Gursky and Thomas Ruff, using color. It’s certainly expanded.

Collectors Weekly: Do collectors tend to display the images in their collections?

Kaplan: Sure.The important point is to frame your photographs archivally. Work with a professional framer who will use the appropriate materials. It’s best to use Plexiglass and make sure the frame is taped on the back to ensure that no dirt or pollutants migrate into the picture frame. Nielsen Bainbridge is a company that has developed state-of-the-art mounts, mattes, and wooden frames.

Collectors Weekly: Do you collect photographs personally?

'Alfred

Alfred Eisenstaedt (1898-1995) "Potential Ballerinas at the Truempy Dance School, Berlin." Silver print 1931; printed 1995

Kaplan: I collect what I call pop photographica, an area that I’ve pioneered of three-dimensional decorative and functional objects highlighted with photographs. It’s material that relates to popular culture, folk art, African American art, decorative arts. and casts a very wide net. I just fell in love with these wonderful objects a long time ago. I’ve curated shows about it and have been collecting for about 20 years. I have a very large collection – over a thousand objects – and I have an educational website devoted to this material.

Many of the works are on display in my studio, and I have collector groups, college students, and graduate students come to see this material, which represents a different history of photography. Instead of emphasizing theframed photograph on the wall, pop photographica focuses on freestanding three-dimensional objects that you live with - a tintype photograph on a chair or a family portrait on your bracelet or earrings. It demonstrates how photography converges with popular culture.

It’s been interesting to see how many contemporary photographers are working in this mode, making scarves, furniture, and decorative objects from an artisanal perspective. They’re using their own pictures and working with craftspeople to make elegant jewelry and beautiful apparel highlighted with photographic images. Artists like Robert Mapplethorpe, Cindy Sherman, Vik Muniz, and Damien Hirst have all made multiples featuring photographic images.

Collectors Weekly: You’ve done some appraisals on Antiques Roadshow, as well.

Kaplan: Yes. My colleagues in the poster and works on papers departments and I appear on Antiques Roadshow. I’m the photograph specialist. Like many individuals in the field, my background is as a photographer. I became a curator and wrote about photography, and I have published two books about Lewis W. Hine – the first with Abbeville Press and the second with the Smithsonian. My third book, entitled Premiere Nudes, Albert Arthur Allen, was published by Twin Palms. My most recent book is about pop photographica and was published by the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Collectors Weekly: When someone brings you a photograph to appraise, what’s the first thing you look at?

'Margaret

Margaret Bourke-White (1904-1971) "State Farm (Soukhoz) No. 2, U.S.S.R." Warm-toned silver print Circa 1932


Kaplan:I look at the condition of a photograph to see how well it’s been cared for. Then content, signature, paper stock. What is the image like? Is it in the right format? Is it the right paper stock for the period?

Photography was invented in 1839 and took the Western world by storm, but due to technological and cultural constraints, didn’t appear in Asia and Africa until the 1860s to 1880s. We appraise photos from around the world - America, Europe, and Asia. Swann sells albums of Egyptian and North African photographs, but they’re largely from the 1870s through the 1890s. There’s a sophisticated market for hand-tinted Japanese photographs from the 1880s and 1890s. Pictures of Australia and New Zealand are also desirable, as well as those from subcontinental India. Russian and Chinese material is very rare.

Daguerreotypes are a very specialized area of collecting in which buyers are looking for occupational images, portraits of notable figures, or outdoor scenes. With regard to 20th-century images, interest in a particular photograph may be based on the beauty of the photographic prints in addition to its history: was the photograph published in a book? Did it appear in a museum show? Was it previously in a prominent collection?

Collectors Weekly: What advice would you have for somebody who is new to collecting photographs?

Kaplan: It’s important to see as many exhibitions as you possibly can. Go to museums and galleries. Find an original photograph and then look at it in magazines and books. Educate your eye to the nuances of photography. Be sensitive to what you’re drawn to emotionally, that way you can begin to understand what you like. If you like flowers, buy pictures of flowers. It’s always a good idea to start collecting as an experiment in learning. It’s very important to educate yourself.

Very few collectors today are focused on a particular theme, though there are collectors who love nudes or the American landscape or fashion. Usually, people tend to be more diverse in subject matter. While there is a private collector with an impressive collection of Edward Weston’s vintage prints, he also collects other imagery.

Lately, there are serious collectors of photojournalism. These collectors usually focus on the iconic hard-hitting images, such as Nick Ut’s heart-wrenching image of the child running from a Napalm attack in the Vietnam War, or Robert Jackson’s photograph of Jack Ruby assassinating Lee Harvey Oswald.

Collectors Weekly: Tell us about some popular landscapes.

'Stephen

Stephen Shore (1947- ) "Desert Street, Van Horn, Texas." Chromogenic print 1975; printed 1978


Kaplan: Moonrise Over Hernandez by Ansel Adams is one of the most popular photographs that we see at auction. This print is available in different formats or sizes that were printed during different periods in Adam’s career. In fact, a cesus indicates Adams made almost 2,000 copies of this photograph. However, whenever the image appears at auction, there’s competitive bidding on the lot. With regard to buyers of 19th century American landscape photographs, William Henry Jackson photographed Yellowstone and Carleton Watkins photographed Yosemite. We have collectors that just really love this material.

There have been numerous records for important 19th-century photographs at auction. The French photographer Gustav Le Gray, who created gorgeous marine landscapes in the south of France, have sold for more than $700,000. Photographs by Carleton Watkins have realized $500,000. Daguerrotypes have sold for $975,000. However, most collectors don’t start by buying 19th-century photograhy, but ultimately they do recognize the beauty of it.

Collectors Weekly: Where do you see photography collecting going in the future with the introduction of digital images?

Kaplan: I think with the digital age there will be more of an appreciation of analog techniques and an understanding of the creative imagination and effort involved in making a photograph. After all, it wasn’t a point-and-shoot kind of thing. Until the digital age, photography was a hands-on medium. Working in the dark room is different from working on your computer.

Today, just about any contemporary artist is using digital technologies to make prints, but there aren’t any galleries that specialize in digital work. Commercial galleries sell both traditional and digital work.

Collectors Weekly: Thanks Daile for taking the time to talk with us.

(All images in this article courtesy Swann Auction Galleries

dinsdag 13 januari 2009

Raimond Wouda School Snappy new year: photography books for 2009

Snappy new year: photography books for 2009 guardian.co.uk home

Continuing her series on photography books, Liz looks at a catalogue offering a closeup of Robert Frank's The Americans, while she reviews British photographer Paul Graham's long overdue retrospective volume



Pittsburgh Man Cutting Grass

Pittsburgh (Man Cutting Grass), 2004 (30 x 40", 76.2 x 101.6 cm). One of nine pigmented inkjet prints, from A shimmer of possibility, Photographs by Paul Graham, MoMA, New York © 2009 Paul Graham

On 25 January, it will be 170 years since photography was invented. Considering its influence, that doesn't seem like a very long time. From photographs came first cinema, then magazines, advertising, television and, by extension, the promotion of goods and people that drives consumerism and celebrity. It has brought all kinds of good things, too: bodies of scientific, medical, criminal, judicial and military evidence, and the identification and visual classification of people, plants, machines, houses, birth, death and everything in between. Its so-called democracy can be a curse as well as a blessing, but – though one can try – it's almost impossible to imagine a world in which some sort of photographic image doesn't exist.

The technologies of photography and printing might have changed beyond recognition in 170 years, but the photographic book is still essentially the same: a series of pictures with or without a written commentary. Last year's big photobook celebration was the 50th anniversary of Robert Frank's The Americans, which was first published in France. The German publishing house Steidl embarked on a programme of reissuing all of Frank's books and films. This year, the anniversary celebrations continue, since the US edition of The Americans – the one with the famous introduction by Jack Kerouac, describing how Frank "sucked a sad poem right out of America onto film" – was actually published in 1959. Later this month, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, which holds Frank's archive, opens a new exhibition, Looking In: Robert Frank's The Americans. The show will examine Frank's background, influences, contact sheets and photo selections, and will include essays and commentaries – everything, in fact, you might wish to know. The catalogue will be published in a soft-cover edition (£28) and an expanded hardback (£47). The show opens on 18 January and travels to San Francisco's Museum of Modern Art in May and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in September.

The British photographer Paul Graham has two major exhibitions this year: a 25-year retrospective that opens at the Folkwang Museum in Essen in January (and comes to the Whitechapel Gallery in London in 2011) and a show of recent work at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, which opens in February. This means the publication of the first retrospective book of Graham's work (SteidlMACK, £40), including his early projects A1 – The Great North Road (1981-2) and Beyond Caring (1984), a study of unemployment offices in Britain. At the beginning of the 1980s, Graham radically altered both the language and effect of social documentary photography when he chose colour rather than black-and-white. It had an immediate, galvanising effect, returning to reality what had become a nostalgic cipher for social commentary.

Since then, Graham has continued to explore the potential of colour in making new kinds of documentary pictures. The New York show is based on his most recent series, published last year under the title The Shimmer of Possibility. Graham records short sequences of mundane incidents: a man walks across a stretch of waste ground past a ginger cat; a man mows a grass verge in the rain; a couple carry their shopping home from the supermarket; an overweight man in a patterned shirt leans against a wall and smokes a cigarette; a man clutches his head on a New York street. Often several stories are intercut within one volume; sometimes there is a dominant single image, sometimes not. Graham's camera acts as a framing device, but in each case we feel the presence of the photographer as a voyeur, observing the non-dramas of other people's lives. The people in these pictures are mostly poor, often black, always vulnerable. This is the class that lives on the street, shops in mini-markets, travels by bus and still (perhaps most revealingly) relies on public telephones. The middle classes are symbolised by large, immaculate, detached houses, large shiny saloons and SUVs, all equally fortified against attack.

Jim Goldberg has worked in America for most of his career, and has never settled into any definable category. In his early books, such as Rich and Poor (1977-85) and Raised By Wolves (1995), which told the story of a couple of homeless teenagers in Los Angeles, his subjects were involved in telling their own stories, creating a new style of collaborative photo-documentary. In 2007 Goldberg received the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation award, which enables a photographer to carry out a difficult project he or she would otherwise be unable to complete. The result is a new book, Open See (Steidl/FHCB Paris, £30), which began as a project in Greece in 2004, and tells stories of social, economic and political migration, in which people from countries including Iraq, Nigeria, Somalia, China, Congo, Poland, Afghanistan and Albania try to make a new life in Europe.

Following the ground broken by Martin Parr and Gerry Badger in their two-part history of the photobook (Phaidon), June sees the publication by Aperture of Japanese Photobooks of the 1960s and 70s (£40) (see also ...). Until recently, this period of Japanese publishing, although favoured by collectors, has been overlooked by the main photography presses. This book explores an era in which standards of photography, printing and bookmaking came together to produce works of high quality. In February, Martin Parr continues his own list of commissioned titles for the Nazraeli Press with the Dutch photographer Raimond Wouda's School ($60), a study of the communal areas in which schoolchildren meet and interact. Also in February, Phaidon is publishing a complete set of American photographer Danny Lyon's photo essays, with accompanying text, entitled Memories of Myself (£45). Lyon is famous for documentary books including the Bike Riders (1967), a record of his time riding with the Chicago Outlaws, and Conversations with the Dead (1971), which focused on the Texas penal system. At the end of April, the British photographer Chris Killip's first book of colour photographs, Here Comes Everybody: Chris Killip's Irish Photographs, is published by Thames & Hudson (£29.95).

Yale University Press continues to publish fine works in association with the Yale University Art Gallery. In preparation for a touring show that opens in 2010, two new editions of books by the American photographer Robert Adams are published in July. Denver (£30), first published in 1977, and What We Bought (£35), first published in 1995, form a trilogy with The New West, probably Adams's most famous book. All three examine the reckless suburban sprawl of cities such as Denver, Phoenix and Salt Lake City, which have depleted the surrounding natural resources as they have grown.

Finally, the French historian François Brunet is the author of Photography and Literature (£15.95), the latest in the Reaktion Books series on photography, commissioned by Mark Haworth-Booth, former curator of photographs at the V&A. Brunet examines the traditionally unequal relationship between writing and photographs, where literature's perceived depth has always given it the upper hand. He suggests that this is changing, and uses examples from fiction, non-fiction and critical writing, as well as photographs, to prove a growing interdependence.
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vrijdag 9 januari 2009

WassinkLundgren Don’t Smile Now Photography

WassinkLundgren by Buck

Dutch photography duo WassinkLundgren have long been honing a penchant for capturing the ordinarily mundane in abstract and amusing ways. Having bagged the prestigious Prix du Livre for Best Contemporary Photobook at the Rencontres d’Arles Photofestival last year (with Empty Bottles, a compelling record of the lives of Beijing’s scavenging population), the pair are already getting the photography world talking with a new publication Don’t Smile Now... BUCK caught up with one half of WassinkLundgren, London-dwelling Thijs groot Wassink, to find out more.

Spread from Empty Bottles, 2007

How would you describe the WassinkLundgren aesthetic?

I don’t think we have a certain aesthetic, or at least we do not aim for one. Very often it is simply the outcome of an idea. I’m interested in looking at my direct environment and giving things a twist.

What inspires you?


Being in a city like London or Beijing. Especially when I feel I know the place very well and at the same time realise I’m a total outsider.

'Still Searching' (2006), questioned the photographic medium itself. The final image selection was made only after all the books came back from the printers and WassinkLundgren tore out the pictures they disliked. The booklet was included in the selection of best books of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.

Tell me about your new series, Don't Smile now...

This is something I’ve been doing last year here in London: letting photo booths take pictures of their environment. By using a mirror, keeping the curtain open and paying the necessary £4, the booth took a polaroid of its own surroundings. The result is a strange collection of photographs in which the machine dictates both subject and timing. The pictures show shopping malls, post offices, trainstations, all commercial areas where you are normally not allowed to take a picture

When did you begin the project? Were there any unexpected results?

The first picture in this series was taken about one year ago, more as a play then a possible new project. I was just messing around with a photo booth to see what else it could do. The first picture is actually one of my favourites: a very uncanny image of a man who’s looking straight into the lens. In a way every picture in this book was unexpected. Timing, location, lighting and quality of camera were all out of my hands. I think because the outcome of every image was so unexpected and different from the previous one, I got addicted to making more and more. And then you end up with a book…

What does your work hope to inspire in others?

To look and then look again. I really love this small twist in works where something very familiar looks totally fresh and new because it’s been put into a new context.

What’s been the best/worst reaction to your work?

The best reaction is every time somebody reacts to it in a genuine way. When people are amazed or surprised by something. And it becomes of course better when these reactions come from people or artists I admire myself. But also when people make a lot of effort trying to explain why they think it’s bad, is something I’m happy with. Maybe not at first, but after a while I really am. The worst reaction is when people just shrug their shoulders and move on: ‘So what?’ But unfortunately that is always going to happen, there are just so many people!

Spread from 'Don't Smile Now...'
What’s hanging on your walls?

Not much at the moment, I recently moved flat. There’s a poster by Stephen Gill, a map with some London galleries and a mirror. But normally there are loads of newspaper clippings, post cards and magazine pictures. I’m not very interested in big photographic prints on my walls. Most of the time I get more excited by books. There are bookshelves on my wall!

What’s been the proudest moment in your career thus far?

I’m not sure if it was the proudest moment, but winning the Prix du Livre at the Arles Photo festival was something quite amazing. The idea that the jury looked through all these books, picked ours and said: ‘I think this one!’ But the feeling I like most is when I realise I’m busy with things that I really enjoy. That really is a great feeling.

What’s next for WassinkLundgren?

At the beginning of 2009 we are planning to do a project in Tokyo. For now we’re just planning, reading and speaking about it, so I have no idea yet what it will be. But I’m looking forward to it!

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