Lee Friedlander: “An Exemplary Modern Photographer (excerpt)” (1975)

  Friedlander’s work provides some of the first and best examples of what has become a widespread approach to photography. It was part of the general reorientation of the sixties within American art. Within photography his work violated the dominant formal canons not by inattention but by systemic negation.   By Martha Rosler, excerpt from […]

Robert Frank Interviewed at Wellesley College (1977)

“It was logical for me to get off doing still photography after becoming a success at it. I think it would just become a repeat—I would repeat myself.”   An interview with Robert Frank, from one of ten symposiums at Wellesley College 1977 called “Photography within the Humanities”. Robert Frank: I’m just trying to, as they say, […]

ralph eugene meatyard

Ralph Eugene Meatyard: Learning to See ‘No-Focus’ (2011)

Ralph Eugene Meatyard (1925-1972) spent three months looking through an unfocused camera in order to “learn to see No-Focus.” By Rebekah Modrak, Bill Anthes, excerpt from Reframing Photography: Theory and Practice, 2011 Ralph Eugene Meatyard (1925-1972) spent three months looking through an unfocused camera in order to “learn to see No-Focus.” Working roughly 30 years […]

Walker Evans: “A Penitent Spy (Excerpt)” (2000)

Cuba, 1933       By Belinda Rathbone, excerpt from Walker Evans: A Biography, 2000 By the late 1960’s, the influence of Walker Evans on a younger generation of American photographers had proved to be as profound as it was subtle. For an artist who never sought disciples, Evans had acquired an extraordinary range of […]

william eggleston

William Eggleston – “Before Color” (2010)

  William Eggleston can’t actually separate himself from his “South”. The “South” is embedded into him so deeply that it has become something of a stamp or a mark.   By Doug Rickard William Eggleston is a “Southern” artist. Without a deeper explanation, this statement itself could mean a few things. If you look at […]

The Animals and Their Keepers: Garry Winogrand and Photography After September 11th

 from The Animals @ the Estate of Garry Winogrand   Winogrand disdained those who treated photographs not as photographs but as an extension of painting.   The Animals and Their Keepers: Garry Winogrand and Photography After Septempber 11 By Hilton Als “The Animals,” a book I was moved to reexamine after the events of Sept. […]

Joel Sternfeld – ‘American Prospects’ (2012)

  It is about a country convinced of its independence and freedom, but that when photographed appears chained to a set of principles and dreams powerfully manifested in its architecture and in the lives its people have chosen to lead.   The Dreams of Some By Paul Loomis, December, 2012 It is written in the […]

Diane Arbus: “Essential Mysteries (Excerpt)” (2011)

One of Arbus’s last series of photographs was of the institutionalized mentally retarded, whom she found “the strangest combination of grownup and child” she’d ever seen.   By William Todd Schultz, excerpt from An Emergency in Slow Motion: The Inner Life of Diane Arbus, 2011 Essential Mysteries One of photographer Diane Arbus’s first pictures, she […]

Eggleston’s World (1999)

“I think of them as parts of a novel I’m doing.”   By Walter Hopps, essay from The Hasselblad Award, 1998 These were the first words William Eggleston uttered when I asked what he felt he was accomplishing with his photographs. Another fine photographer from the South, William Christenberry, had brought Eggleston to meet me […]

I Make My Picture on the Surface: Visiting Thomas Ruff in Dusseldorf (2005)

Sammlung Goetz, Munchen, 1994 Ruff’s work is based on a critical study of the nature and history of photography. To his mind, the reputed objectivity of photography has always been suspect, and electronic processing is no less manipulative than the subjective selection made by the person looking through the lens. By Philip Ursprung, text excerpt […]

Diane Arbus MoMA Exhibition Wall Label Text (1972)

She was not a theorist but an artist. Her concern was not to buttress philosophical questions but to make pictures.   By John Szarkowski, Director, Department of Photography, NY MoMA Diane Arbus’s pictures challenge the basic assumptions on which most documentary photography has been thought to rest, for they deal with private rather than social […]