SoCal PhotoExchange

Report on the 2017 Medium Festival of Photography

Posted in Art Museums, Photo Art Business, Photo Galleries, Photograph Exhibits, Photographers, Photography by Gerhard Clausing on October 31, 2017

Last Sunday marked the conclusion of the sixth annual Medium Festival of Photography. This time (in contrast to the brief visit last year) I decided to participate in all four days of activities (October 26-29), and I am very pleased I did. This way I am also able to report on the range of activities that are offered, and would encourage you to participate next year. It gives me pleasure to note that we, the SoCal Photo Exchange, are a media sponsor of the Medium Festival of Photography.

The first two days were spent doing portfolio reviews. This process allows the participating photographers to show their work to leaders in the art world, be they artists, collectors, publishers, or museum staff. The feedback one can obtain is priceless, and the process teaches you to be concise and focused in editing, describing, and presenting your photographs. You are also able to make contacts this way and have the experts remember your work if there are future opportunities where your work may be exhibited and/or published. I got at least seven or eight excellent suggestions for presenting my work more effectively and for creating new series. You also get a sense of the range of preferences for various purposes. There was also a “portfolio walk” on Thursday night, where the public and fellow artists can view your work. I found the interactions refreshing, and the talks were just as straight-forward and personal as the reviews.

Friday night and Saturday were devoted to lecture/presentations. The keynote lecture by John Gossage was inspiring, as he discussed his long career and publishing history in detail, and is a great model for finding opportunities and using everyday subjects to generate profound contemplation via narrative landscape/photographic fiction. The presentation of 3D images and films by Claudia Kunin was also impressive, as she has a way to make the animated stills stir one’s memories and emotions. The lectures by Justyna Badach (selected from last year’s portfolio review participants) and Christina Seely were interesting to me as well, since they dealt with political and environmental issues that should be a concern for all of us.

Sunday a group of us went on one of the Medium Festival bus tours to visit major museums and galleries. This too was a fabulous experience. In a very compact amount of time we were able to visit a number of venues as well as to talk with a number of artists that had specifically come to the venues to make themselves available for discussion. Without having to drive, we could appreciate the Museum of Photographic Art, the San Diego Museum of Art, the San Diego Central Library Gallery, and the San Diego State University Downtown Gallery in a very compact amount of time. The images below give you some glimpses and further descriptions of what I saw. I hope it will encourage you to make use of these resources and this festival in the future.

My special thanks to Scott B. Davis, Sarah Koenig Wagner, and all the other workers of magic for creating this wonderful experience!

Gerhard Clausing

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Photographers shared their work and exchanged ideas throughout the two days of portfolio reviews at the Lafayette Hotel in San Diego.

 

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The Executive Director of the Medium Festival of Photography, Scott B. Davis. The interpersonal skills and dedicated energy of Scott, Sarah, and the rest of the team were huge factors contributing to the festival’s success, already in its sixth year.

 

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Prep time between reviews. Here photographers J.K. Lavin, Wendi Schneider, Lori Pond, and Gerhard Clausing are sorting their images.

 

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An open slot! Off to be reviewed, facilitated by Sarah Koenig Wagner, Program Manager.

 

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The keynote speaker, John Gossage, who talked about his impressive career creating several dozen books.

 

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At the Dual Graphics table, Craig Evans and author Douglas Stockdale (who introduced his very useful Guide to Self-Publishing an Indie Artist Book, soon to be reviewed here) are conversing with artist and reviewer Andrew Burgess (second from left) and photographer Todd Bradley (right).

 

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Maggie Downing, Manager of Collections and Exhibitions, explains the installation behind her and is about to start a behind-the-scenes tour of the Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA) in Balboa Park.

 

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A viewer’s approach to the exhibit “Play,” featuring the work of Brenda Biondo (former portfolio review participant) at The San Diego Museum of Art.

 

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Philipp Scholz Rittermann explains his work, part of the San Diego Central Library Gallery exhibit “Dream of the Nineties.”

 

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Members of our group at the exhibit “We are here/Estamos aquí.” We had a chance to discuss work with photographers Tom Kiefer, Ingrid Hernández, and Stefan Falke. It was fascinating to see and hear about the artists’ personal involvement and to hear about the difficulties experienced around the US/Mexico border.

 

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The Mexican photographer Ingrid Hernández at the exhibit “We are here/Estamos aquí” at SDSU Downtown Gallery.

 

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Stefan Falke and Chantel Paul, Director of the SDSU Downtown Gallery, discussing Stefan’s work photographing artists in Mexico.

Image #3 © Douglas Stockdale; all others © Gerhard Clausing

 

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Two Current Exhibits – Laguna Art Museum and LACMA

Posted in Art Museums, Uncategorized by Gerhard Clausing on May 5, 2017

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Wanted to call your attention to two interesting current exhibits:

The Laguna (Beach) Art Museum is featuring an extensive exhibit on the California School of Fine Arts’ first decade (now San Francisco Art Institute). Includes work by Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, and many others. Only through May 29. Some work by Hurrell is also on exhibit in a separate section. Saw it yesterday, well worth it!

Also, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), an extensive exhibit on Moholy-Nagy, through June 18.

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Ed Ruscha’s innovative photobook at OCMA

Posted in Art Museums, Photograph Exhibits, Photographers, Photography by douglaspstockdale on January 26, 2017

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Every Building on the Sunset Strip copyright 1966 Ed Ruscha

Currently OCMA (Orange County Museum of Art) is exhibiting Pop Art Design and included are a few works by Ed Ruscha, but probably the most photographically interesting is a very long display of Ed Ruscha’s 1966 creative photobook Every Building on the Sunset Strip.

This was a deadpan photographic project in which a 35mm motor-drive camera was load with a bulk feed and photographed the adjacent buildings while driving up and then back down Sunset Blvd, which was commonly called the Sunset Strip. The resulting photobook then takes advantage of the street name’s pun by creating a long continuous strip of images. On the top of the page is one side of the street and below this in reverse is the other side of this street.

This photobook design was very innovative for its time with stiff covers and the interior was bound to display as an accordion (also known as Leporello and Concertinas) layout, which is to say each page was connected and continuous. A very long strip of photographic images. My photographs of this exhibit were a grab shot and do not do it very much justice, thus go check it out and see the real thing!

The OCMA exhibition runs thru April 2nd, 2017.

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Seen & Unseen: Photographs by Imogen Cunningham – Opening November 19 at the Bowers Museum

Posted in Art Museums, Photograph Exhibits, Photographers, Photography, Uncategorized by Gerhard Clausing on November 6, 2016

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Future Exhibition:

Frida Kahlo – Her Photos will open February 25, 2017.

http://www.bowers.org/index.php/exhibitions/upcoming-exhibitions/477-frida-kahlo-her-photos

 

The Bowers Museum is located at the corner of 20th & Main Streets in Santa Ana – one minute from the 5 freeway, (Main St. South exit) and just minutes from the 57, 55 and 22 freeways. Hours are Tuesdays through Sundays, 10 – 4. Closed Thanksgiving. For additional exhibits and further information, please check  http://www.bowers.org/index.php.

 

Some Reflections on the Medium Festival of Photography, San Diego, October 2016

Ten things I got out of just a few hours of attendance (I highly recommend a more extended visit for future years):

  1. A useful escape from the tedium of the current election campaign!
  2. Sharing an informal atmosphere that was very conducive to informal conversations.

        http://www.lafayettehotelsd.com/

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  1. A chance to talk at length about photography and creativity with such super talents as Douglas Stockdale, Susan Burnstine, Barbara Kyne, and others.
  1. Checking out and purchasing the work of some of the finest creators of current photobooks — see the links in my previous post for details:

        https://thephotoexchange.wordpress.com/2016/10/03/medium-festival-of-photography-oct-20-23-in-san-diego/

  1. Conversing with the Museum of Photographic Arts, Balboa Park, San Diego.

        http://www.mopa.org/

  1. Finding out about innovative MFA programs, especially the one at the University of Hartford. Erica Ann Flood displayed and discussed some of the creative photobooks of their graduates. They are given close scrutiny by Kathleen Laraia McLaughlin and Doug Stockdale as shown below.

        http://www.hartford.edu/graduate/programs/Art/photo/default.aspx

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  1. Catching up with old friends.
  2. Making some new friends.
  3. Interesting presentations and other events.
  4. A good feeling supporting each other as a photographic community.

Hope to see you there next year!

        20161022_104823-01.jpeg© Douglas Stockdale; the others © Gerhard Clausing

Irvine Fine Arts Center’s All Media 2016

Posted in Art Museums, Photo Galleries, Photograph Exhibits, Photographers, Photography, tPE members by douglaspstockdale on July 13, 2016

 

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Memory Pods – Loss 2014 copyright Douglas Stockdale

I am very excited and honored to announce that Loss from my Memory Pods project was juried into the Irvine Fine Arts Center (IFAC) All Media 2016 exhibition. The juror was Dan Cameron who most recently was the past Chief Curator for the Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA) and who is now an independent curator. This acceptance is another great validation on the response to my Memory Pods project that I received during Photo Independent earlier this year.

The All Media 2016 exhibition dates are September 3rd – October 22, 2016 at the Irvine Fine Art Center, 14321 Yale Ave., Irvine CA.

The opening reception is Saturday, September 3rd, from 4 – 6 pm

We hope to see you there!

Cheers!

Update: at the reception, my photograph was awarded a Honorable Mention. Very nice!

Los Angeles Harbor College Fine Arts Gallery

Posted in Art Museums, Photo Art Business, Photo Galleries, Photograph Exhibits, Photography by douglaspstockdale on January 2, 2016

As part of the 2016 Photographers Exchange project to provide information on the public galleries of Southern California, I had a discussion with Ron Linden, the Curator and Director of the Los Angeles Harbor College (LAHC) Fine Arts gallery regarding exhibition submissions.

DS: Ron, first, thanks for your time to help explain the policies and processes for artist to provide submissions for the LAHC Fine Art Gallery. Does the Art Gallery have a specific schedule for when an artist can make a submission?

RL: Thanks for your inclusion of the LAHC Fine Arts Gallery on the reference page for The PhotoExchange. As to submission, I’m always open to submissions and proposals. An artist can submit by either email (ronmon@dslextreme.com) or mailing the Art Gallery: LAHC Fine Arts Gallery, 1111 Figueroa Place, Wilmington, CA 90744

DS: Do you have any specific requirements for the artist submissions?

RL: Yes, I would like to see a CV and sample of the artworks, but please do not send me an artist statement. As to the artwork, please do not submit originals and the submission, including the sample artwork, will not be returned.

DS: Can you tell us about the process for the submission evaluation? Does the submission go before a exhibition review committee?

RL: We are a small organization, thus there is no review committee. We do not have a fixed calendar and our exhibition schedule is usually planned from six to twelve months. We are also open to guest curator proposals as well as artist submissions.

DS: Do you have any open calls regarding thematic subjects or are you looking for particular types of art work?

RL: At this time, we do not have any open calls. We are modest in size and budget, but immodest in ambition. The Fine Arts Gallery at Los Angeles Harbor College remains committed to producing high quality exhibitions by contemporary artists from the West Coast and beyond. Diverse and eclectic in scope, the gallery features work of painters, sculptors, photographers, videographers, filmmakers, and architects, providing an essential component to a meaningful arts education and a welcome antidote to the regimen of academic and workaday life.

DS: Ron, thank you for your insight on your curator processes for LAHC. We appreciate it very much.

RL: The pleasure was all mine. Thank you again for including LAHC on your reference page.

Evolving Toward Ecstasy: Matisse Exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Posted in Art Museums, Photograph Exhibits by Jim McKinniss on December 3, 2012

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The following text is an excerpt from the the New York Times. The entire story can be read at:

 nytimes.com/2012/11/30/arts/design/matisse-exhibition-at-the-metropolitan-museum-of-art.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

 

The great French modernist Henri Matisse (1869-1954) was not a joiner. In the early 20th century he led the brief blitz of the Fauves — those “wild beasts” of fiery colors and blunt textures — but otherwise abstained from the signal movements of modern art.

 

He communed with artists of the distant or not-so-distant past, from Giotto to Cézanne, and periodically brushed shoulders with Cubism and the work of his chief rival, Picasso. But his main desire was, as he put it, to “push further and deeper into true painting.” This project was in every sense an excavation, and he achieved it partly by digging into his own work, revisiting certain scenes and subjects again and again and at times also making superficially similar if drastically divergent copies of his paintings.

 

His rigorous yet unfettered evolution is the subject of “Matisse: In Search of True Painting” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, one of the most thrillingly instructive exhibitions about this painter, or painting in general, that you may ever see. As ravishing as it is succinct, it skims across this French master’s long, productive career with a mere 49 paintings, but nearly all are stellar if not pivotal works.

 

Organized at the Met by Rebecca Rabinow, a curator of modern and contemporary art, this exhibition, which is in previews for members through Sunday and opens to nonmembers on Tuesday, sheds new light on Matisse’s penchant for copying and working in series. (It was seen in somewhat different versions at the Pompidou Center in Paris and the National Gallery of Denmark in Copenhagen.) To this end, the paintings proceed in pairs or groups aligned by subject: two still-life arrangements with fruit and compote, from 1899; two versions of a young sailor slouching in a chair, from 1906; four views (1900 to 1914) of Notre Dame seen from Matisse’s window across the Seine; three portraits (1916-17) of Laurette, a favorite dark-haired model, seen from various distances in a voluminous green robe from Morocco.

By Jim McKinniss

Robert Mapplethorpe: XYZ at Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Posted in Art Museums, Photograph Exhibits, Photographers, Photography by Jim McKinniss on November 30, 2012
Photo copyright by Robert Mapplethorpe foundation

Photo copyright by Robert Mapplethorpe foundation

 

Photo copyright by Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation.

Photo copyright by Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation.

 

Photo copyright by Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation.

Photo copyright by Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation.

 

 

Photo copyright by Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation.

Photo copyright by Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation.

 

I posted a blog entry about the Mapplethorpe exhibition at  the Getty Museum a few days ago. Well, there is a second Mapplethorpe exhibition in Los Angeles at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

 

The X, Y, and Z Portfolios (published in 1978, 1978, and 1981, respectively) by American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe (1946–1989) summarize Mapplethorpe’s ambitions as a fine-art photographer and contemporary artist, reflecting the tripartite division of his mature work: homosexual sadomasochistic imagery (X); floral still lifes (Y); and nude portraits of African-American men (Z). Mapplethorpe’s work has consistently provoked strong reactions, notably during the so-called Culture Wars of the 1980s. The exhibition is an  opportunity to assess Mapplethorpe’s confrontational photographs—with their paradoxical mix of classicizing, austere form and raw, uninhibited content—through three series that defined not only his artistic career, but also a moment in American cultural politics. The exhibition, together with the Getty Museum’s concurrent In Focus: Robert Mapplethorpe, celebrates the landmark joint acquisition, in 2011, of the Robert Mapplethorpe Archive by LACMA, the Getty Museum, and the Getty Research Institute.

 

This exhibition runs October 21, 2012–March 24, 2013

5905 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90036
Phone:  323 857-6000
publicinfo@lacma.org

 

By Jim McKinniss

Robert Mapplethorpe at the Getty Museum

Posted in Art Museums, Photograph Exhibits, Photographers, Photography by Jim McKinniss on November 25, 2012

 

Self-Portrait –This is a copyrighted photograph.

 

This is a copyrighted photograph.

 

This is a copyrighted photograph.

 

This is a copyrighted photograph.

A key figure in late 20th-century photography, Robert Mapplethorpe created work with a distinctive tension between opposites: sacred and profane, mainstream and underground, light and dark. From his early Polaroid portraits, to his fashion photography and later controversial work, Mapplethorpe’s photographs are well-ordered and emotionally restrained, with dangerously chaotic and sensuous elements below.

Born in Queens, New York in 1946, Mapplethorpe studied graphic arts at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn before dropping out in 1969. He met the musician, poet, and artist Patti Smith in 1967 and they lived together as intimate and artistic partners until 1974. In 1972, Mapplethorpe met two influential curators. John McKendry gave him his first Polaroid camera, with which he made self-portraits and portraits of his friends and acquaintances in the art world. Samuel Wagstaff, Jr. later became the artist’s lover and mentor. By the mid-1970s, Mapplethorpe had acquired a medium format camera and began photographing the world of New York’s S and M clubs.

Mapplethorpe refined his style in the early 1980s to create elegant figure studies, delicate floral still lifes, nudes, as well as glamorous celebrity portraits. His preference for simple compositions and a sophisticated use of lighting to articulate subtleties of form distinguished his mature work

His career was successfully championed by pioneering photographs dealer Harry Lunn, who along with Robert Miller and Robert Self, published portfolios of some of the artist’s most challenging work. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Mapplethorpe’s X Portfolio was at the center of an American culture war over whether public monies should be used to underwrite art some deemed obscene or blasphemous.

In 1989, at age forty-two, Mapplethorpe died from complications of AIDS. A year earlier, he had established the foundation that protects his work, promotes his legacy, and supports the causes he believed in, such as art programs and HIV/AIDS prevention and care.

 

This show runs October 23, 2012–March 24, 2013

 

By Jim McKinniss