Category: Reviews

REVIEW: Paris Photo 2016: Narciso Contreras “Libya, A Human Marketplace”

Hôtel de l’Industrie in Saint-Germain-des-Près is a particularly civilised setting in which to tell a particularly grim story. This autumn the Hôtel hosted Narciso Contreras’ Libya, A Human Marketplace, winner of the 2016 Carmignac Photojournalism Award. It is a powerful and deeply disturbing set of images, about a horrific – and ongoing – situation. Having seen the exhibition ...

REVIEW: Paris Photo 2016: Louis Faurer at Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson

For those of us not already acquainted with the work of Louis Faurer, the centenary of his birth is high time to get to know this “quiet” great of American photography. In the 1950s and 60s Faurer was a successful fashion photographer, working in New York for Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, Mademoiselle, and Glamour, and as staff photographer for the visionary ...

REVIEW: Paris Photo 2016: “Provoke” at Le Bal

Tucked away down a quiet alley, a few paces from the Pathé multiplex, Castorama DIY superstore, and permanently snarled traffic of Place de Clichy, Le Bal is one of those places you’re unlikely to stumble across by accident. To those in the know, however, Le Bal is an oasis of civilised calm – a bijou ...

REVIEW: Paris Photo 2016: “Entre l’Art et la Mode”

Carla Sozzani began collecting photography in the early 70s, two decades before Paris Photo was a twinkle in anybody’s eye.  Sozzani didn’t think of photography as an investment, simply as a way of keeping “souvenirs” of her work and friends – which makes a lot of sense if your friends include Helmut Newton, Bruce Weber ...

REVIEW: Paris Photo 2016: Day One, The Grand Palais

Interviewed this week about new developments at Paris Photo 2016, Howard Greenberg, one of New York’s most venerable photography dealers, said: “The only real problem with these works is their size. Some of my collectors have run out of wall space.”  First world problems, huh? Given that this year’s photo fair opened the day after Trump ...

REVIEW: Herb Ritts, “En Pleine Lumière”: PARIS 2016

The fashion world claims Herb Ritts as one of its superstars, but he is not truly a fashion photographer. He’s a portrait photographer who shot beautiful people and made them look even more beautiful than they were to begin with. Mostly they look more beautiful when they’re not wearing many clothes. While Ritts did shoot ...

REVIEW: Arthur Elgort at Colette: Paris 2016

While Herb Ritts is (deservedly) lionised over in Marais, another hero of photography is being celebrated in a rather more informal fashion on the rue Saint Honoré. Colette hosted the launch of Arthur Elgort’s book, Fashion, Jazz, Ballet, last week, and has an exhibition of his prints in the store until November 5th. In contrast to ...

REVIEW: “Araki” at MNAAG Paris, 2016

You step into a small, darkened room with a dense display of violently coloured glossy photographs, and are immediately assaulted by the impression of body parts. Open mouths and thighs, hair and skin and wetness and blood – all much, much larger than life and a great deal more vivid. But you’re not looking at ...

REVIEW: Paul Strand: Photography and Film for the 20th Century at the V&A

Wall Street, 1915 The Paul Strand retrospective, on at the V&A until July 3rd, rewards a second visit. I’d been a few weeks ago, but the exhibition puts so much emphasis on Strand’s politics that it’s easy to be distracted from the art. His politics, it must be said, were impressive: Strand, born to bohemian parents ...

REVIEW: All The World’s a Stage… Performing for the Camera (Tate Modern, London) and Strange and Familiar (Barbican, London) 2016

Generally speaking, cramming two major exhibitions into one Saturday afternoon will render a person (me) glassy-eyed and reaching for a stiff drink. But once in a while OD-ing on detail – in this case hundreds and hundreds of black and white images – brings on the (possibly hallucinatory) feeling that a person can pick out ...

REVIEW: Calling all angels: Francesca Woodman “On Being An Angel,”at the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, Paris

The quickest route between the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson and the Fondation Cartier – two museums with confusingly similar names and confusingly similar addresses in Paris’ 14th arrondissement – is to cut across the cemetery of Montparnasse. Right in the middle of le cimetière you pass the final resting place of Susan Sontag: the critic, Francophile, ...

REVIEW: Bettina Who? Bettina Rheims at Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris

For a long time I was under the mistaken impression that Bettina Rheims was German. For a start, I know several Bettinas and they’re all German. Also, “Rheims” – if you pronounce it “RrrrHAYMs” – sounds Deutsch. Plus, her photographs of women, with their disintegrating outfits, silky – if occasionally scarred – flesh, and “fuck-me-no-fuck-you” expressions, ...

REVIEW: Alice Springs at Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris

Alice Springs and Jacques Henri Lartigue, two of the most high-profile figures of 20th-century photography, have a couple of things in common. The obvious one is that they are both the subjects of retrospective exhibitions currently at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris. The less obvious is that both became photographers by chance. ...

REVIEW: Jacques Henri Lartigue: Life In Colours, at Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris

This exhibition at MEP divides Lartigue’s colour photography into two sections. In the first part are prints and stereoscopes from 1912 to 1927, when he was experimenting with the autochrome colour process. The show then leaps two decades – when Lartigue concentrated on black-and-white – to a new body of work starting in 1949. Autochrome ...

REVIEW: Lorenzo Vitturi: Dalston Anatomy, The Photographers’ Gallery, London

  In Dalston Anatomy, Venice-born artist Lorenzo Vitturi documents Ridley Road Market,  an East End institution which is being gentrified out of existence (when it vanishes he can always come west – no chance of that ever happening to Shepherds Bush Market.) Vitturi won this year’s Photography Prize at Hyères for the project, and the exhibition ...

REVIEW: Primrose: Early Colour Photography in Russia, The Photographers’ Gallery, London

Primrose: Early Colour Photography in Russia, currently at the Photographers’ Gallery is curated by Olga Sviblova, founder-director of the Moscow House of Photography and probably the most forceful champion of the art of photography in Russia now. Back in the day (2010-2012) I went to many impressive exhibitions, international and local, curated by Olga at Dom Fotografiya. ...

REVIEW: Unedited History: Iran 1960-2014, Musée d’Art moderne de la ville de Paris

This exhibition focuses on painting, photography and cinema, as well as key aspects of Iran’s modern visual culture: posters and documentary material” – that’s a hell of a wide focus. It also covers “the years 1960–1970, the revolutionary era of 1979, the Iran-Iraq war (1980–1988) and the postwar period up until today.” All of which ...

ARCHIVE VIDEO: Photographer Raymond Moore ‘Every So Often’

Raymond Moore (1920 – 1987) was an important post-war English art photographer. Born in Wallasey, then part of Cheshire, he served in the RAF and then trained as a painter at the Royal College of Art. After graduating, he was asked to set up a photography department at Watford College. Moore became interested in photography at a time when photography was still viewed in Britain as ...

Les Rencontres d’Arles 2014: iPhone Visual Diary by Alicia Bruce

The Rencontres d’Arles (formerly known as the Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie d’Arles) is a summer photography festival founded in 1970 by Arles photographer Lucien Clergue, author Michel Tournier and historian Jean-Maurice Rouquette. The Rencontres d’Arles’ policy of programming almost exclusively new work has earned it a world-wide reputation. In 2013, there were 96000 visitors to ...

Review: Kati Horna, Jeu de Paume, Paris

“I fled Hungary, I fled Berlin, I fled Paris, I left everything in Barcelona. When Barcelona fell I couldn’t go back to look for my stuff, I’d lost everything again. I arrived in a fifth country, Mexico,with my Rolleiflex in a bandolier – I couldn’t carry anything else.” – Kati Horna The third exhibition currently at ...

Review: Kapwani Kiwanga, ‘Maji Maji’; Oscar Munoz, ‘Protographies’, Jeu de Paume, Paris

The Jeu de Paume gallery, situated at the entrance to the Jardins des Tuileries in one of the prettiest locations in Paris, describes itself as “exhibiting and promoting all forms of 20th and 21st-century art (photography, cinema, video, installation, web art, etc)”. There are three exhibitions on at the moment, and between them they cover ...

Review: Robert Mapplethorpe, Grand Palais, Paris

Robert Mapplethorpe at Paris’ Grand Palais is comprehensive, beautifully-presented, and reverential. Actually a tad too reverential. Because Mapplethorpe died so young and such an icon (and so beautiful, and cool, and of AIDS), everything he did tends to be lionised. His nudes and flowers are, to be sure, generally magnificent and look wonderful, and that’s what ...

Twenty Sites Recommended For Self Publishing Photographers and Photo Book Lovers

We are reportedly living and working in a ‘Golden Age’ of photo book publishing, an age in which the negative concept of ‘vanity’ publishing has been replaced with the ‘positive’ attitude of ‘self-publishing’. An age in which the photo book has become a marketing tool, collectable artefact and a financially achievable platform for so many photographic ...

Twenty Two Recommended Sites For Photographers & Filmmakers

There has been much heated discussion over the past few years concerning the importance of the moving image to the world of photography and to professional photographers. Finally, the smoke has begun to clear, the doubters have become believers and the ignorant neigh sayers have been forced to become more informed. The creative and commercial possibilities that the moving ...

Book Review: Jürgen Schadeberg: Great Britain 1964-1984

Born in Berlin in 1931, Jürgen Schadeberg moved to South Africa in 1950, where he spent the next 14 years of his life. As chief photographer, picture editor and art director for Drum magazine in Johannesburg, Schadeberg and the photojournalists under his tutelage were among the first to depict in print the human rights violations ...

Book Review: Three Legends: Monroe by Mailer and Stern: Norman Mailer and Bert Stern

For a set of images which were never meant to be seen, Bert Stern’s pictures of Marilyn Monroe, captured over a three-day sitting in 1962, have become some of the most viewed, recognised, promoted, packaged and repackaged of the fragile, sexual, movie actress ever taken. Stern was an advertising, portrait, fashion and publicity photographer at ...

Book Review: Arthur Tress: San Francisco 1964

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, in 1940, Arthur Tress started taking photographs while still at elementary school, before going on to study art, art history, world culture and philosophy at Bard College. Despite his studies, he never stopped taking pictures; he also began making short films. After graduating from college in 1962, his ...

Book Review: On This Site: Joel Sternfeld

Between 1993 and 1996, Joel Sternfeld photographed 50 infamous crime sites around the United States. This latest Steidl book On This Site, which was originally published in 1996 contains intense colour images of these unsettlingly everyday locations, ordinary landscapes left behind after personal tragedies, their hidden stories disturbingly invisible and often forgotten. Each photograph is ...

Book Review: Ryan McGinley: You and I / Whistle for the Wind

“Whoever I’m photographing, I sort of fall in love with in a way. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a boy, it could be a girl too. In a sense, my work is about fantasy. It’s like a film in a way. It’s fiction. But, at the same time, it’s really happening. I’m with these ...

Book Review: Naked Hollywood: Weegee in Los Angeles

Weegee the Famous was born Usher Fellig in the Ukraine in 1899, but when he and his family moved to New York in 1909, he became Arthur. After a succession of odd jobs he began working as a freelance photographer and as an assistant to a commercial photographer before being hired as a darkroom technician ...

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Book Review: Stranded in Canton: William Eggleston

In 1973, William Eggleston bought two Sony black and white Portapak cameras that recorded onto reel-to-reel half-inch video tape. The Portapak was the first video camera priced for the consumer market and although it was ridiculously cumbersome by today’s standards, it was the first that could be used outside a television studio. Introduced to the ...

Klein & Moriyama

As the Shangri-Las sang . . . the past, let me tell you about the past. Or, rather, of course, not the past but pasts. The present, too. The future, even. Dialogues across the years (and decades). The only real time travel there is, sadly. And so to the William Klein/Moriyama double-header at the Tate: ...