Posts tagged ‘photography’
Fairchild Aerial Surveys. Fairchild Plant, N.Y. 1949. New York State Archive
Aerial Imagery in Print, 1860 to Today, the current MoMA Library exhibition, examines the use of traditional publishing in cultivating a discourse around aerial imagery.
A section of the show focuses on 20th-century popularization of aerial photography, including its development as a tool for land use by architects, developers, governments, and the agriculture industry. Looking at some of these uses more closely reveals a persuasive element, especially regarding subtle debate about modernist approaches to architecture and planning.
DIS. Positive Ambiguity (beard, lectern, teleprompter, wind machine, confidence). 2015. Installation view, Ocean of Images: New Photography 2015, The Museum of Modern Art, November 7, 2015–March 20, 2016. © 2016 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Thomas Griesel
In January I wrote about five artists who had come into MoMA’s collection through Ocean of Images: New Photography 2015, the most recent iteration of the New Photography series, which has a long history of bringing new works by young artists into the Museum.
Installation view of Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Medium, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, March 20–July 31, 2016. Photo: Annikka Olsen
I’m no stranger to Los Angeles. Not only is it where I attended undergraduate school, it’s where my husband’s family lives, and where I had my first museum internship. Last month, as part of MoMA’s 12-Month Internship program, I was offered the invaluable opportunity to revisit my old city from a new perspective: that of researcher. I began my trip with an ambitious laundry list of museums, galleries, and exhibitions, but what sparked my interest the most was the chance to see the exhibition Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Medium
From the earliest conversations about recreating The Newsstand at The Museum of Modern Art in Ocean of Images: New Photography 2015, artist Lele Saveri was insistent that the physical work alone was not enough.
The Statue of Liberty obscured by scaffolding. A woman reclining comfortably on a couch, unaware of the boa constrictor uncoiling itself on the floor. A cherubic, blond-haired boy dressed in Quaker clothing looking straight at the camera, his blank expression conveying a wisdom beyond his years.
Left: Untitled photograph from the Apollo 11 mission. July 1969. Chromogenic color print. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Susan and Peter MacGill; right: Untitled photograph from the Apollo 11 mission. July 1969. Chromogenic color print. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Susan and Peter MacGill
The Apollo space program, which conducted 12 manned missions between 1961 and 1975, was the first to bring humans to the moon, and has become a cultural touchstone. The most famous mission, of course, is Apollo 11, when Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong became the first humans to walk on the surface of the moon.
Andres Serrano. Piss. 1987. Chromogenic color print, 40 × 60″ (101.6 × 152.4 cm). The Museum of Modern Art. The Abramson Collection. Gift of Stephen and Sandra Abramson. © 2016 Andres Serrano
For a number of years MoMA’s Department of Photography has sought to collect works by the American photographer Andres Serrano (b. 1950), and an exciting acquisition finally came to fruition through the generosity of Stephen and Sandra Abramson, who gifted to the Museum two Serrano works, Piss
(1987) and Blood
For Ocean of Images: New Photography 2015, MoMA commissioned Katharina Gaenssler to create a photo-mural right outside the exhibition galleries on the third-floor platform of the Museum’s Bauhaus Staircase, which is inspired by Walter Gropius’s famous staircase in the Bauhaus building in Dessau, Germany. Gaenssler photographed that stairway, as well as two works that reference it, both in MoMA’s collection: Bauhaus Stairway (1932) by Oskar Schlemmer and Bauhaus Stairway (1988) by Roy Lichtenstein. She collaged the resulting thousands of pictures together in an installation that explores the relationship between MoMA and the influential modernist school, tracing the history of the Bauhaus’s monumental contribution to the history of art and architecture through works of imitation and homage. In the process, she adds a new artwork to this lineage.
The New Photography exhibition series—which Quentin Bajac, The Joel and Anne Ehrenkranz Chief Curator of Photography, has called “a window on the Museum’s approach to photography”—has been an influential vehicle for acquisitions for three decades.
Brassaï (Gyula Halász). Untitled (Pablo Picasso’s Face, 1946). 1946. Gelatin silver print, 8 7/8 x 11 5/16″ (22.6 x 28.7 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchase. © Estate Brassaï-RMN
Many great photographers during the 20th century rose to the challenge of capturing Pablo Picasso on film—Henri Cartier-Bresson, David Douglas Duncan, Gjon Mili, and Irving Penn spring to mind. Yet only one understood Picasso through his sculptures, allowing viewers to do the same in the absence of the originals: the Hungarian-born Brassaï.
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