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 […]

Max Kozloff On Lisette Model (and Weegee) (2002)

@ Lisette Model Estate   Model’s art is definitely antibourgeois: her judgments indict the middle class’s smugness as well as its selfishness.   By Max Kozloff, Excerpt from New York: Capital of Photography, 2002 Model’s art is definitely antibourgeois: her judgments indict the middle class’s smugness as well as its selfishness. For example, she depicted […]

On Diane Arbus vs Eugene Smith (1977)

By Robert Coles, Wellesley College, 1977 I have an intense dislike for Diane Arbus. I don’t like her photographs and I don’t like the cult that’s been made of them. Maybe it’s because I’m a psychiatrist, because some part of me feels that that’s wrong, that that isn’t the whole of the reality. Or maybe […]

Notes from the Margin of Spoiled Identity – The Art of Diane Arbus (1988)

“I always thought of photography as a naughty thing to do, that was one of my favorite things about it, and when I first did it, I felt very perverse.” – Diane Arbus   By Gerry Badger as a collaboration with ASX, Originally Published in Phototexts, 1988 The principal issue raised by the remarkable photographs […]

A Statement by Robert Frank (1958)

With these photographs, I have attempted to show a cross-section of the American population. My effort was to express it simply and without confusion. By Robert Frank, U.S. Camera Annual, p. 115, 1958 I am grateful to the Guggenheim Foundation for their confidence and the provisions they made for me to work freely in my […]

Lou Reed on Robert Frank: “Sick of Goodby’s” (1978)

Sick of Goodby’s, Mabou, 1978, Robert Frank   Paint dripping from a mirror like blood. I’m sick of goodbyes.     By Lou Reed, originally published in Tate Magazine, Issue 2, Autumn, 2004 I was looking at Robert Frank’s photograph Sick of Goodby’s in his book The Lines of My Hand. Moments before I had been […]

Tony Ray-Jones: Photographs of America and England (1968)

  Originally Published in Creative Camera, Issue 52, October 1968 In an era of pop commerce, and out of the gimmick-ridden world of lucrative non-art, it is refreshing to discover a photographer who – by-passing the slick ploy of self-conscious fashion cult – has an eye for What Is. His hand does not finger the […]

Walker Evans – The Poetry of Plain Seeing (2000)

“While Evans gave much effort to photographing poor people, their houses, rooms and the things they made, it is far from clear that poverty is the point of his best pictures.”   By Leo Rubinfien, originally published in Art in America, December 2000 A traveling retrospective (2000) prompts the author to recall the austere formalist–and […]

A Message from Cartier-Bresson

  He brought out hundreds of his photographs, some in copies, others in books and still others in originals. He placed the pictures on the table, one at a time, and ordered me to make an instant decision whether I would take it or not. A Message from Cartier-Bresson By Yoshitomo Kajikawa It was autumn, […]