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.
Frida Kahlo – Her Photos will open February 25, 2017.
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.
Ten things I got out of just a few hours of attendance (I highly recommend a more extended visit for future years):
- A useful escape from the tedium of the current election campaign!
- Sharing an informal atmosphere that was very conducive to informal conversations.
- A chance to talk at length about photography and creativity with such super talents as Douglas Stockdale, Susan Burnstine, Barbara Kyne, and others.
- Checking out and purchasing the work of some of the finest creators of current photobooks — see the links in my previous post for details:
- Conversing with the Museum of Photographic Arts, Balboa Park, San Diego.
- 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.
- Catching up with old friends.
- Making some new friends.
- Interesting presentations and other events.
- A good feeling supporting each other as a photographic community.
Hope to see you there next year!
© Douglas Stockdale; the others © Gerhard Clausing
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!
Update: at the reception, my photograph was awarded a Honorable Mention. Very nice!
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 (email@example.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.
The following text is an excerpt from the the New York Times. The entire story can be read at:
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
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
By Jim McKinniss
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
Organized by the Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera, Mexico City,
and curated by Rachael Arauz and Adriana Zavala with James Oles as curatorial advisor
• Members Opening: September 22
Open to the general public September 23
The Museum of Latin American Art presents for its fall exhibitions the work of two Modern artists who defied the norms and were pioneers in their respective mediums—Débora Arango from Colombia and Lola Álvarez Bravo from Mexico. Lola Álvarez Bravo (1903-1993) is one of Mexico’s most important photographers from the twentieth century. Albeit the prolific aspect of her career, which spanned nearly fifty years, she remains historically overshadowed by her famous husband, Manuel Álvarez Bravo, and other important photographers of her time such as Edward Weston and Tina Modotti. Lola Álvarez Bravo’s production combined commercial practice and teaching with her personal artistic concerns, including experimenting with various photographic techniques such as photomontage and photocollage, and the exploration of political issues of her time, which contributed to the development of modern Mexican photography.
Lola Álvarez Bravo: The Photography of an Era will provide an unprecedented opportunity to reconsider the career of this remarkable and influential artist, as it will introduce many photographic materials to the public for the first time. This will also contribute to the scholarship and open avenues for new research on her oeuvre. Soon after her death, a significant part of Lola’s archive, including negatives, documents, and over 100 prints, was acquired by the Center for Creative Photography, from her son Manuel Álvarez Bravo Martínez. However, a previously unknown portion of Lola’s archive remained in Mexico in the collection of the Rendón family.
The exhibition is comprised by this recently discovered group of photographs in the Rendón Collection, which includes unpublised negatives and archival material of Lola’s work, but also over twenty vintage prints by Manuel Álvarez Bravo and a group of images by Lola’s students at the Academia de San Carlos, including Mariana Yampolsky and Raúl Conde. This remarkable and well-preserved collection reveals the complex breadth of Lola’s career from the formation of her aesthetic in her husband’s darkroom in the 1920s to her influence on the work of her students in the 1950s.
Organized by the Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera, Mexico City, and curated by Rachael Arauz and Adriana Zavala with James Oles as curatorial advisor, the exhibition Lola Álvarez Bravo: The Photography of an Era, will be on view at the Museum of Latin American Art from September 23, 2012 to January 27, 2013, before concluding its tour at the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, Arizona.
Débora Arango / Lola Álvarez Bravo
Sunday, September 23, 2012, 2:00 – 4:00PM
Balboa Studio Room
Moderator: Cecilia Fajardo-Hill.
Panelists: Oscar Roldán Alzate, curator of Débora Arango Arrives Today (Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellín); and Adriana Zavala, co-curator of Lóla Álvarez Bravo: The Photography of an Era.
Women on Women
Thursday, November 8, 2012
Join Associate VP of Education Gabriela Martínez and Assistant Curator Selene Preciado in a conversation about women artists depicting women in Modern Art, related to the exhibitions Sociales: Débora Arango Arrives Today and Lóla Álvarez Bravo: The Photography of an Era.
Lola Álvarez Bravo (Mexico, 1907-1993)
Diego Rivera, 1945
Gelatin silver print
Familia González Rendón Collection
© 1995 Center for Creative Photography, The University of Arizona Foundation
By Jim McKinniss
I have a new and unique opportunity, as my proposal to curate a photobook exhibition for the XI Edition of FotoGrafia Festival Internazionale di Roma (FotoGrafia – the International Festival of Rome) was accepted. Very nice!
The theme for this festival is “work”, which is an interesting subject and in my proposal, I addressed it rather broadly. I now have to articulate my concept for the exhibition catalog, but essentially a contemporary investigation into workers, what we do as “work” and the working we do, as a process or activity of “work”. Work as a noun and as a verb, eh?
The other part of my proposal is that each photographer will photograph a double page spread of their photobook, their personal choice, then I will have these photographs printed and hanging in the exhibition room to provide another dimension to the book object and photographic work. As the photobook is also a work of art by the photographer. Another layering of the theme of the festival.
As a first step, I had to determine if there were enough contemporary photobooks available to constitute an exhibition. Focusing on a contemporary investigation of the theme, I am also looking at recent published photobooks over the last three or four years. Examining my photobook library, I already thought this exhibition was feasible. After a couple of Facebook shout-outs, I became aware of even more book titles that were interesting and warranted further investigation. As such I now have my shortlist of photobook titles that should provide a very interesting exhibition. cool!
Now I need to make my final exhibition selection and then notify the photographers. I am also publishing a brief commentary of each photobook selected for my shortlist on my photobook review blog, The PhotoBook.
Which means that for the next couple of months, an emphasis on the photographic work and photobooks of others while my own photographic projects linger. Maybe a transition to a new career, eh? Or maybe create some opportunities to sell my photobook, Ciociaria?
The exhibition in Rome, Italy will take place at the MACRO Testaccio (Museo d’Art Contemporenea di Roma) in the Pelanda exhibition space from September 20 to October 28th. Maybe see you there?
Best regards, Douglas Stockdale