Carmen Winant: My Birth Interview

“On one hand, the experience exists totally outside of language. I am not surprised that we struggle to describe it, and relegate it to some other, private realm.”

John Szarkowski On Robert Frank’s Book ‘The Americans'” (1986)

I saw it I suppose very shortly after it was published, when I was still working as a photographer myself, and it was, frankly, shocking. I sensed the power in it, and the authority about it but there was much about it that I didn’t like… The Americans was received with mixed critical reaction. Not […]

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 […]

“The Shaping of New Visions: Photography, Film, Photobook” at MoMA (2013)

  Berenice Abbott. Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman. Negative c. 1930/Distortion c. 1950 The Shaping of New Visions: Photography, Film, Photobook at MoMA through April 21, 2013 By Lew Schwartz, ASX NYC, February 2013 There are a few ways to view “New Visions,” and, unfortunately the heady text that introduces the show on the […]

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 […]

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 favourite things about it, and when I first did it, I felt very perverse.” – Diane Arbus   By Gerry Badger, Originally Published in Phototexts, 1988 The principal issue raised by the remarkable photographs of Diane Arbus seems not […]

Back To The Past – Eugene Atget (2001)

Zoniers, Porte de Choisy, 1913 By Stephen Longmire, Afterimage, May 2001 It has been 20 years, amazingly enough, since New York City’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) launched its landmark cycle of exhibitions of the work of French photographer Eugene Atget (1857-1927), who spent his last 30 years documenting the architectural record of Paris and […]

Paul Graham – ‘The Unreasonable Apple’ (2010)

“Perhaps here we have stumbled upon a partial, but nonetheless astonishing description of the creative act at the heart of serious photography: nothing less than the measuring and folding of the cloth of time itself.” By Paul Graham This month I read a review in a leading US Art Magazine of a Jeff Wall survey […]