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Oxford School of Photography
insights into photography
Tag Archives: The Photographers’ Gallery
Saul Leiter: Retrospective
March 17, 2016Posted by on
If you don’t know Saul Leiter where have you been? His colour photography has been the delight of many photographers for years. There is a retrospective of his work at The Photographers Gallery but only until April 3rd
It seems an irony that Saul Leiter always considered himself more a painter than a photographer. Firstly, because it was the latter that made his name. Secondly, because he was pretty bad at the former. Leiter moved to New York in the 1940s, soaked up the abstract expressionist scene, and occasionally showed his twitchy, garish, overworked paintings in galleries in the East Village.
Fortunately, alongside the art exhibitions, he also visited a show of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s photography in 1947. Soon after, he bought a Leica and started taking pictures on the city’s streets. And out of an alchemical relationship between the two disciplines, there came a long and astonishing body of photographic work defined by a kind of elegant, painterly formalism.
Some people might be drawn to the people in these pictures: the kissing couples, the stooped men in raincoats. But Leiter was always more poet than documentarian. Taking his cues from Mark Rothko’s colour fields, Leiter’s photographs became increasingly defined by broad, abstracted planes of colour. This reached extremes in images like ‘Purple Umbrella’: the webbed rim of the umbrella fills just the upper quarter of the image; the rest is an out-of-focus sidewalk. It’s stark, bold and astounding.
Leiter’s other great achievement was making an aesthetic virtue of all the advertising that filled the Big Apple. Pictures of neon signs shimmering in puddles and billboards reflected in shop fronts make for an exquisite kind of shorthand for the urban experience. It’s never quite a human New York that he captures. But it isn’t half stylish.
DEUTSCHE BÖRSE PHOTOGRAPHY PRIZE 2015
April 16, 2015Posted by on
The Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2015 is an annual prize established by The Photographers’ Gallery, London in 1996 and in partnership with Deutsche Börse Groupsince 2005. The annual award of £30,000 rewards a living photographer, of any nationality, for a specific body of work in an exhibition or publication format, which is felt to have significantly contributed to photography in Europe between 1 October 2013 and 30 September 2015.
This year’s shortlist reflects a diversity of attitudes towards the medium underpinned by an exploration into new and unexpected modes of presentation incorporating video, text, object and wall-based photographic displays.
Nikolai Bakharev’s ambiguous images of Russian bathers on public beaches in the 80s and 90s, at a time when photographs of nudity were forbidden, play on the tension between acceptable and unacceptable imagery, public and private realms. In the work of Zanele Muholi, the personal and political are also interwoven in her tender, unflinching portraits and testimonies of the South African LGBTI community.
South Africa further provides a location and point of political departure in the work of Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse. Their collaborative publication presents a, ‘photo/graphic’ album of images and text which uncover the history of a once elite, now abandoned high-rise apartment block in Johannesburg. Finally, Viviane Sassen’s sculptural, abstracted, darkly sensual images continue to effect the blurring of genres, which characterize her work and position her as a leading force in contemporary art photography.
Viviane Sassen (b. 1972, Netherlands) has been nominated for her exhibition Umbra at Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam (8 March – 1 June 2014).
Encompassing abstract photography, drawings, light installations the work is accompanied by specially commissioned poems from artist and poet, Maria Barnas. Sassen’s distinctive and experimental approach to image foregrounds vivid colour alongside stark contrasts of light and shade in sculptural compositions where form and content verge on abstraction.
Mikhael Subotzky (b. 1981, South Africa) and Patrick Waterhouse (b. 1981, UK) are nomimated for their publication Ponte City (Steidl, 2014).
The 54-floor apartment block in Johannesburg was built in 1976 for white sophisticates under the apartheid regime. During the political transition in the 1980s and 90s, it became a refuge for black newcomers to the city and immigrants from all over Africa before decline and neglect led to it being positioned as the prime symbol of urban decay in the city and the supposed epicentre of crime, prostitution and drug dealing.
Nikolai Bakharev (b. 1946, Russia) has been nominated for his exhibition at the 55th Biennale of Art in Venice (1 June – 24 November 2013).
Bakharev trained as a mechanic before working as a Communal Services Factory photographer in the 1960s. Bakharev’s portraits of bathers on Russian public beaches blur the boundaries between the public and private and set up a tension between composed and spontaneous groupings.
Zanele Muholi (b. 1972, South Africa) has been nominated for her publication Faces and Phases 2006 – 2014 (Steidl, 2014).
A self-titled visual activist, Zanele Muholi’s black and white portraits offer an insight into black LGBTI identity and politics in post-apartheid South Africa.
Emphasising a conceptual and personal approach, the uncompromising images and accompanying first-person testimonies reflect the impact of homophobia, discrimination and violence, most notably the ‘curative’ rape of black gay women, which often results in murder. Muholi’s archive of photographs forms an important force in female gay activism.
Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2014
January 29, 2014Posted by on
Now in its seventeenth year, the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2014 rewards a living photographer, of any nationality, for a specific body of work in an exhibition or publication format, which has significantly contributed to photography in Europe between 1 October 2012 and 30 September 2013.
This year’s finalists are Alberto Garcia-Alix, Jochen Lempert, Lorna Simpson and Richard Mosse.
Brett Rogers, Director of The Photographers’ Gallery and Chair of the Jury:
“Each of this year’s nominees proposes compelling new ways to expand our thinking about the medium. Image and text underpin Lorna Simpson’s unique approach to interrogating gender and identity, whilst for Garcia-Alix the camera becomes an extension of his psyche – ‘a way of seeing which is a way of being’. In drawing our attention to anthropomorphism, Jochen Lempert combines the precision of a scientist with the lyricism of a poet. For Richard Mosse, discontinued military surveillance film provides both the medium and the message, transforming the horror and brutality of war into a surreal form of documentary.”
Deutsche Börse Prize 2014, Alberto Garcia-Alix, Self-portrait in biker vest, 1989Further details here
Burroughs, Lynch and Warhol: the secret photographers
January 28, 2014Posted by on
The Photographers Gallery has an exhibition by three of the great artists and writers of the late 20th century, well that is what is says in a blurb. Three simultaneous shows at London’s Photographers’ Gallery explore the images of three artists famous for other forms. From film-maker David Lynch’s moody industrial shots to artist Andy Warhol’s snaps of kite-flyers and writer William Burroughs’s pictures of everything from Jack Kerouac in Tangier to a closeup of a fence, they are the most original material on display in the capital so far this year. Looking at the images on The Guardian site I am not so sure about Burroughs, Lynch and Warhol photographic credentials, I heard on the radio, a culture show that Lynch really held it together and made the whole exhibition meaningful, his images look much like those any aspiring photography student might make. Anyway what do I know, decide for yourselves here
William S Burroughs – Untitled, 1975Photograph: LACMA/William S Burroughs l Untitled, 1975 Estate of William S Burroughs
William S Burroughs – Untitled, c1972Photograph: Estate of William S Burroughs
Andy Warhol – Jerry Hall, 1976-1987Photograph: The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York and DACS, London Courtesy Bischofberger Collection, Switzerland
David Lynch – Untitled (Łódź), 2000Photograph: © Collection of the artist
Photography Exhibitions Summer 2013
June 14, 2013Posted by on
Daniel Blau announces winners of 5 Under 30 competition
The five winning photographers will exhibit work at the Daniel Blau gallery in Hoxton in July, Daniel Blau has announced the names of the winning photographers in 5 Under 30, its inaugural photography competition for young photographers.The photographers include 27-year-old Marianne Bjørnmyr, 29-year-old Madoka Furuhashi, 26-year-old Andi Schmied, 22-year-old Tereza Cervenova, and 25-year-old Lara Morrell.
For more visit www.danielblau.com
Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2013 winners are Broomberg & Chanarin for War Primer 2 19 Apr – 30 Jun 2013
Plate 26, George Bush serves a Thanksgiving turkey to US troops stationed in Baghdad in 2003, 2011
CHRIS KILLIP British born Killip has been taking photographs for nearly five decades.What Happened – Great Britain comprises black and white images of working people in the north of England, taken by Killip in the 1970s and 1980s. After spending months immersed in several communities, Killip documented the disintegration of the industrial past with a poetic and highly personal point of view.
Cristina De Middel (b.1975, Spain) is nominated for her publicationThe Afronauts (self-published, 2011). Until June 30th
In her first book, The Afronauts, De Middel engages with myths and truths, reality and fiction. In 1964, after gaining independence, Zambia started a space programme in order to send the first African astronaut to the moon.
©Cristina de Middel
Sebastião Salgado Genesis
11 April – 8 September 2013
Sebastião Salgado’s Genesis is the culmination of 8 years work exploring 32 countries. It is Salgado’s 3rd long-term photographic exploration of global issues, following his previously acclaimed collections, Workers and Migrations.
About 216 of Sebastião Salgado’s black-and-white documentary photographs are on show in Genesis. They capture some of the furthest and wildest corners of our world, portraying indigenous communities that continue to live in accordance with their ancestral traditions, and showing rare insights into their lands.
During the 8 years in which Salgado travelled around the world to produce this collection of images, he often stayed with the people he photographed.
Salgado reflects: ‘Many of us live in cities, cut off completely from the planet. My wish was to experience living with people with real links to nature… For me to go back to nature was a huge pleasure. I wished to present the planet in my language, photography. And so came Genesis.’
The exhibition’s design follows the 5 themes in Genesis: Sanctuaries, Planet South, Africa, Northern Spaces, and Amazonia and Pantanal.
Sebastião and Lelia Salgado © Richard Beliel
Many of the places represented in Salgado’s images are important research areas particularly for studying the variety of species biodiversity.
Wildlife Photographer of the Year
This is now on tour and can be found at various locations
18 May 2013 to 27 July 2013
Market Place, Basingstoke, RG21 7QD
0845 603 5635
22 June 2013 to 15 September 2013
The Higgens Art Gallery and Museum
Castle Lane, Bedford, MK40 3XD
Julia Martinez: Nude Photography
13th – 29th June 2013
The photographer, The artist, formerly a photographic model, moves behind the lens
Art Jericho, 6 King Street, Oxford OX2 6DF, Opening hours vary, but are often Wed-Sat 11am – 5pm (or by appointment) and Sun 1-5pm.
ROCK PORTRAITS 90/94 Dean Ryan
4th July – 3rd August 2013
Live music photography at the Jericho Tavern
A first viewing of photographs of The Verve, Pulp and many more at the celebrated Oxford venue.
Art Jericho, 6 King Street, Oxford OX2 6DF, Opening hours vary, but are often Wed-Sat 11am – 5pm (or by appointment) and Sun 1-5pm.
Men and Women by Tom Wood
October 10, 2012Posted by on
One of the most important things to do as a photographer is to work on projects, to work to themes. This means looking for similar subject matter or returning to the same locations to photograph over a period of time. It is this that trains the eye and develops the understanding of the subject and makes images that have more than just snap value. I teach this on our Intermediate Photography course and see great results from our students and such progress in their work.
There is a new exhibition by Tom Wood of a project that he has worked on for more than 40 years.
Phil Coomes on the BBC website looks at Tom’s work and discusses the process and results, it is well worth a read here
How long does it take for a body of work to be ready? A decade, more? Well, for photographer Tom Wood it seems that 40 years is about right.
Men and women is a new show at the Photographers’ Gallery in London which brings together Wood’s pictures of the everyday lives of the people of Liverpool and Merseyside between 1973 and the start of this century.
Wood’s method of working was simple. For five days of the week he’d shoot on the streets, or from a bus, and was soon known by those he saw regularly as Photieman.
“I was making pictures, with people that allowed me to photograph them,” says Wood. “I was just going out and making pictures every day on loads of things all at once and never finished anything. Lots of the projects I didn’t want to finish or to put in to the world at that time.”
The resulting pictures would be filed away, each one contributing to different projects that over the years built in to substantial bodies of work MORE from Phil Coomes here
The exhibition of this work is The Photographers’ Gallery, London Admission Free, 12 October 2012 – 6 January 2013
This is from the gallery’s site
Irish born photographer Tom Wood (b. 1951) has, for the last four decades, continuously recorded the daily lives of the people of Liverpool and the Merseyside area – at the football ground and markets, on the bus and the ferry, in pubs and nightclubs, workplaces, schools and hospitals.
Never seen without his camera, and constantly moving between different formats and photographic styles, colour and black and white, Wood readily mixes images of strangers with portraits of family and friends. His work, although documentary in its approach, is much more fluid than that – an exploration of the medium of photography as much as a celebration of the city of Liverpool and its inhabitants.
This first major solo exhibition of Tom Wood’s work in the UK focuses on previously unseen portraits dating from the early 1970s to the early 2000s. The exhibition also features some of Wood’s rarely seen book dummies – including Looking for Love (1989), All Zones off Peak (1998) and Photieman, (2005) – as well as a selection of vintage work prints, giving an overview of his important publishing output and an insight into his working methods.
Wood has exhibited internationally including at the ICP, New York; the Shanghai Arts Biennale; FOAM, Amsterdam; and the Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne, and his work is held in major national and international collections. He lives and works in Wales. MORE INFORMATION HERE