- Sebastião Salgado
- August Sander
- Alessandra Sanguinetti CN
- Sato Shintaro
- Joachim Schmid CN
- Michael Schmidt
- Paul Seawright
- Casper Sejersen
- Nigel Shafran CN
- Cindy Sherman
- Stephen Shore
- Jason Shulman
- Gerty Simon
- Taryn Simon CN
- Raghubir Singh
- W. Eugene Smith CN
- Frederick Sommer
- Hannah Starkey CN
- Mike and Doug Starn
- Chris Steele-Perkins
- Jemima Stehli
- Saul Steinberg
- Otto Steinert
- Joel Sternfeld CN
- Rachel Stevens
- Alfred Stieglitz
- Paul Strand
- Thomas Struth
- Hiroshi Sugimoto
b: Brazil 1944
Summarising Wikipedia, Salgado initially trained as an economist and worked for the International Coffee Organization, often traveling to Africa on missions for the World Bank, when he first started seriously taking photographs. He switched to a career in photography in 1973, working initially on news assignments before veering more towards documentary-type work. He was part of Magnum Photos from 1979 to 1994 when he formed his own agency, Amazonas Images.
b: 1876, Rhine Province / d: 1964 Cologne
Sander was born in Herdorf, the son of a carpenter working in the mining industry. While working at a local mine, Sander first learned about photography by assisting a photographer who was working for a mining company. With financial support from his uncle, he bought photographic equipment and set up his own darkroom. He spent his military service (1897–99) as a photographer's assistant and the next years wandering across Germany. In 1901, he started working for a photo studio in Linz, Austria, eventually becoming a partner (1902), and then its sole proprietor (1904). He left Linz at the end of 1909 and set up a new studio in Cologne.
In 1911, Sander began with the first series of portraits for his work People of the 20th Century. In the early 1920s, he came in contact with the (Cologne Progressives) a radical group of artists linked to the workers' movement which, as Wieland Schmied put it, "sought to combine constructivism and objectivity, geometry and object, the general and the particular, avant-garde conviction and political engagement, and which perhaps approximated most to the forward looking of New Objectivity [...] ".In 1927, Sander and writer Ludwig Mathar travelled through Sardinia for three months, where he took around 500 photographs. However, a planned book detailing his travels was not completed.
Sander's Face of our Time was published in 1929. It contains a selection of 60 portraits from his series People of the 20th Century, and is introduced by an essay by Alfred Döblin titled "On Faces, Pictures, and their Truth." Under the Nazi regime, his work and personal life were greatly constrained. His son Erich, who was a member of the left wing Socialist Workers' Party (SAP), was arrested in 1934 and sentenced to 10 years in prison, where he died in 1944, shortly before the end of his sentence. Sander's book Face of our Time was seized in 1936 and the photographic plates destroyed. Around 1942, during World War II, he left Cologne and moved to a rural area, allowing him to save most of his negatives. His studio was destroyed in a 1944 bombing raid. Thirty thousand of Sander's roughly forty-thousand negatives survived the war, only to perish in an accidental fire in Cologne in 1946. Sander practically ceased to work as a photographer after World War II. He died in Cologne in 1964.
His work includes landscape, nature, architecture, and street photography, but he is best known for his portraits, as exemplified by his series People of the 20th Century. In this series, he aims to show a cross-section of society during the Weimar Republic. The series is divided into seven sections: The Farmer, The Skilled Tradesman, Woman, Classes and Professions, The Artists, The City, and The Last People (homeless persons, veterans, etc.). By 1945, Sander's archive included over 40,000 images. wikipedia
links - Tate
b: 1969 Tokyo
Sato is cited in the course material (EyV p.85) for his images of Tokyo and Osaka at night with garish neon lighting with a link to the artist's web site.
As noted in my course summary, many of the photographs on the linked web page are very similar (as fig. 1), though that is perhaps the point Sato is making that the night attractions are homogeneous and vapid. A couple of the images on that page are more interesting and reminiscent of Luxemburg's work. There are much better examples of his work on Lens Culture, with some quite breathtaking images in the Tokyo Twilight Zone (fig. 4) and Risen in the East (fig. 5) series.
sources - no Wikipedia entry found
added - 8Jan19
Self portrait with Karin,
b: 1945 / d: 2014
Schmidt is cited in Part 4 of the course material (EyV p.81) in the context of daylight light, where he states that he prefers "neutral diffused" light to minimise shadows. This comes from an article, Thoughts about my way of working, which opens with the statement, "Photography was invented to enable us to portray reality with complete precision to the last detail". His assertion of objecive photography is appropriate, even desirable for some subjects, but he might have struggled in some genres.
His Wikipedia entry is rudimentary. His Guardian obituary (by Sean O'Hagan) is rather more revealing and seems at odds with the line quoted above, stating "In the following decades [after the 1970s], his approach became more impressionistic".
His projects, as listed in Wikipedia included,
Berlin, Stadtlandschaft (Urban Landscapes) (1974–1975)
Berlin, Stadtbilder (Berlin, Urban Images) (1976–1980)
Berlin nach 45 (Berlin after 45) (1980)
Waffenruhe (Ceasefire) (1985–1987)
Ein-heit (U-ni-ty) (1991–1994)
Natur (Nature) (1987–1997) (lanscapes)
Frauen (Women), 2000
Lebensmittel (foodstuffs), 2010
added - 4Jan19
by Joel Seawright
b: 1965 Northern Ireland
Seawright first gained recognition as a photographer with the publication of Sectarian Murder, 1988, "innocent" photographs of the locations of sectarion murders annotated with some details of the circumstances, but no mention of the victims' religion. In 2002, the Imperial War Museum commissioned a visit to Afghanistan. One of the images from the commission, Valley (fig. 3) is an evocation of Roger Fenton's 1855 photograph from the Crimea, Valley of the Shadow of Death. Gerry Badger (Gen) notes that,
Paul Seawright was aware that he had 'made a Fenton' when he photographed these unexploded shells but he was not aiming for a cute postmodern reference. Commissioned as a war artist by the Imperial War museum, he was documenting the aftermath of the West's incursion into Afghanistan following 9/11. The Genius of Photography, Gerry Badger, p.27
While still active as an artist, Seawright is now (2018) an arts academic and administrator in Northern Ireland.
no portrait found
b: 1968 Aalborg, Denmark
I first encountered Sejersen at Photo London 2019 where his large print of a playing card, one of a series portraying (if that's the word) the Fibonacci sequence. I called in at the Cob Gallery on 1st June to see his show there which is very idiosyncratic and very personal (although that is rather a tautology).
Unfortunately, there were none of the cards series (100x75cm, [5edn], £2,400) on show at The Cob, though I did learn from a catalogue that the series comprises a shot of the backs of the pack (a single design) spread (it seemed) at random; Ace of clubs, Ace of hearts (fig. 1), 2 of clubs, 3 of diamonds, 5 of clubs, 8 of hearts, king of spades.
The photographs on show came from four series which I would title (having spoken to the gallery person) as flesh wounds; drum heads (his father payed drums and Casper does too); candle flames disturbed by percussion; mattress inserts (and there were some nondescript red things too).
The body closeups with cuts and bruises are nicely photographed but not attractive images. The gallery person told me that a lot of his work is based on his personal and family history which seems to have been, on this evidence, somewhat dysfunctional. The mattress shots were linked to his relationship with his grandmother.
The absence of playing cards was a disappointment. His other work is technically accomplished and sometimes visually interesting but not compelling.
added - 1Jun19
Cindy Sherman, 2014
© Sonia Moskowitz
b: 1954 New Jersey
I’m not personally articulate … I don’t even like giving lectures, and I certainly couldn’t debate with anyone, but I have strong personal stances. I couldn’t be an advocate but, through my work, I can be outspoken. What’s also important, though, is that the work is always ambiguous, that it lends itself to interpretation. I’m not a message artist.Cindy Sherman, quoted by Sean O’Hagan, Observer review, 8th Jun2, 2019
sources - Wikipedia
added - 8Jul19
© Alec Soth
b: 1947 New York
This entry first appeared in the blog.
Shore's representation on this site to date has comprised an entry on his 2007 book, The Nature of Photographs, which I find very useful in providing a method of analysing photographs, and his participation in Photo London 2019, where he was annointed Master of Photography 2019 — I was much less impressed with his images shown there which I described at the time as, "large snaps of litter".
There is an interesting piece on Shore in July's RPS Journal which throws considerable light on his long and extensive body of work, including the London 2019 pieces.
Shore is renowned for his championing of colour photography (both in 35mm and with an 8x10) in the 1970s when "art" had to be monochrome and the photograph as gallery art was a thing of the future. Of Luzzara, Italy, 1993 (fig. 2) he says,
In the nineties I went back to black and white, and that gave me two more stops of shutter speed. And that gap made a picture like this possible. The faster film allowed me to photograph people in a way I hadn't been able to in years. That was a door opening. Stephen Shore in the RPS Journal, July 2019
Regarding the pieces in Photo London, Shore describes an episode of toy joy,
I got my hands on this new camera, a Hasselblad X1D, that has a higher resolution than an 8x10 camera. These prints are large, four feet by five and a half feet. When you go close to them, they are totally detailed. I'm not interested in that as a visual gimmick. I'm interested in the experience of it. It almost becomes three-dimensional. They're so tactile. Stephen Shore in the RPS Journal, July 2019
Although he denies gimmickry, Shore is, perhaps, by photographing banal subjects close-up and printing them greater than life size, exploring and toying with the gallery effect of engendering bigger prints in colour: a matter of never mind the subject, regard the width.
As a final quote, Jamieson states that Shore, "time and again describes his work as a way of 'paying attention'". That is a simple yet powerful remark.
sources - Wikipedia - Jamieson, T. (2019) Casual Observer: RPS Journal 159 (7),pp.471-477
links - artist's web site
added - 6Jul19
Shulman, a British sculptor and photographer , has updated Sugimoto's Theatres project, photographing entire films in digital colour with, arguably, more interesting results.
His Wikipedia entry quotes him as follows,
There are roughly 130,000 frames in a 90 minute film and every frame of each film is recorded in these photographs. You could take all these frames and shuffle them like a deck of cards, and no matter the shuffle, you would end up with the same image I have arrived at. Essentially each of these photographs show the genetic code of the film. Wikipedia
b: 1942 Jaipur, India / d: 1999 New York
Raghubir Singh is quoted at the beginning of the course material (EyV p. 6),
Photography skills are finite – there are only so many ways to technically take a photograph. Content is what differentiates. Photographers should live their own life and draw from it, and the culture that surrounds it. OCA, Expressing your Vision, p. 6
Wikipedia describes him as,
an Indian photographer, most known for his landscapes and documentary-style photographs of the people of India. He was a self-taught photographer who worked in India and lived in Paris, London and New York. During his career he worked with National Geographic Magazine, The New York Times, The New Yorker and Time. In the early 1970s, he was one of the first photographers to reinvent the use of color at a time when color photography was still a marginal art form.
Singh belonged to a tradition of small-format street photography, working in color, that for him this represented the intrinsic value of Indian aesthetics. According to his 2004 retrospective his "documentary-style vision was neither sugarcoated, nor abject, nor controllingly omniscient". Deeply influenced as he was by modernism, he liberally took inspiration from Rajasthani miniatures as well as Mughal paintings, and Bengal, a place where he felt the fusion of western modernist ideas and vernacular Indian art took place for the first time, evident in practitioners of the Bengal school, and also the humanism of the filmmaker Satyajit Ray. "Beauty, nature, humanism and spirituality were the cornerstones of Indian culture" for him and became the bedrock for his work Wikipedia
Frederick Sommer, c. 1973
b: 1905 Angri, Italy / d: 1999
The first image on show on the Sommer Foundation is the rather gruesome chicken head (fig. 1) and the story behind it,
In January 1938, Frederick Sommer acquired an 8x10 inch Century Universal camera. To make his earliest images he used a 21-cm Zeiss Tessar (designed for a 4x5 inch camera), which did not cover the ground glass when focused at infinity. The lens would cover the ground glass at closer working distances and so Sommer turned his attention to still life arrangements and small details in nature.
The still life material that had Sommer's attention from 1938 to 1941 was gathered from the butcher's refuse box at the Piggly Wiggly grocery store on the corner of Montezuma and Gurley Streets in Prescott, Arizona. At this time chickens were delivered by the farmers on Thursdays whole and plucked. When you purchased a chicken, the butcher would weigh it, cut off the head, open it up, take out the innards and then finish the job to fit your cooking needs. The contents in the refuse box consisted only of heads, ovipositors, intestines, anuses and testicles of the chickens butchered that day. citation
added - 9Jun19
b: 1947 Rangoon, Burma
Steele-Perkins is mentioned in the EyV course material, Part 4, in the context of the assessment criterion, Creativity.
Is best known for his urban photography, concentrating on poverty and associated issues. Wikipedia describes an unexpected project,
In 1977 Steele-Perkins made a short detour into "conceptual" photography, working with the photographer Mark Edwards to collect images from the ends of rolls of films taken by themselves and others. These were exposures taken after loading a fresh film and without focusing or aiming. These frames serve to wind the fogged film leader along and to bring unexposed film from the cassette into place for the first exposure. To be sure of having unfogged film in place the photographer winds on a few more frames than are needed and it's these that sometimes showed surprising images. Forty were exhibited in "Film Ends". sources - Wikipedia
No images from Film Ends were found online.
links - artist's web site
added - 4Mar19
b: 1961 London
Stehli features in Higgins' Why it does not have to be in focus (Higgins, 2013, pp. 128-9).
The remarkable set shown in Higgins is Strip, from 1999. In the work, Stehli takes off her clothes while being observed by one a variety of men (colour-coded by the backdrop), all from the Arts.
This piece offers a number of rôle reversals, rôle reinforcements and rôle evaluations:
- men watching women undress is not uncommon;
- the artist (i.e. the woman) is ostensibly in control, although the men hold a remote shutter release and therefore trigger the exposure (as it were);
- in looking at the photograph the man looking at the woman becames as much the subject of the photograph as the woman herself —
- moreover, the men are taking a self portrait and will compose themselves as they think appropriate for the scenario.
Stehli discusses the piece in Musee Magazine here.
links - Musee Magazine
added - 22Apr19
Saul Steinberg, 1946
by Henri Cartier-Bresson
b: 1914, Râmnicu Sărat, Romania / d: 1999 New York
From the Saul Steinberg Foundation,
Steinberg's long, multifaceted career encompassed works in many media and appeared in different contexts. In addition to magazine publications and gallery art, he produced advertising art, photoworks, textiles, stage sets, and murals. Given this many-leveled output, his work is difficult to position within the canons of postwar art history. He himself defined the problem: "I don't quite belong to the art, cartoon or magazine world, so the art world doesn't quite know where to place me."
He is best described as a "modernist without portfolio, constantly crossing boundaries into uncharted visual territory. In subject matter and styles, he made no distinction between high and stoned (low) art, which he freely conflated in an oeuvre that is stylistically diverse yet consistent in depth and visual imagination." saulsteinbergfoundation.org
links - Saul Steinberg Foundation
Otto Steinert [V&A]
b: 1915 Saarbrücken / d: 1978 Essen
Steinert began his working life after WW2 as a doctor, but he taught himself photography, spent gradually more time on it and in 1948 became the director of photography at a Saarbrücken art college, moving to the Folkwang School of Design in Essen in 1959.
In 1949 he and Peter Keetman, Ludwig Windstoßer and others formed the Fotoforum group to promote (or perhaps reengage with) avant-garde photography, suppressed during the war. In the 1950s Steinert organised three exhibitions of subjective photography.
MLC lists "high-contrast prints, radical cropping, abstract structures, surreal-looking situations, negative prints and solarizations" as the approaches favoured by Steinert and his students, with Man Ray and László Moholy-Nagy as their "idols".
links - The Red List
Stieglitz, self portrait, c. 1911
b: 1864 Hoboken, New Jersey / d: 1946 New York
Stieglitz was one of the most significant figures in the development of photography, both commercially and aesthetically. Initially interested in the technical side of photography (he trained under Hermann Wilhelm Vogel, the inventor of orthochronatic film - Wikipedia), in the 1890s he turned more to the art of photography. In 1902, Stieglitz, Edward Steichen and Alvin Langdon Coburn founded Photo Secession to promote those painterly effects (negative and print manipulation) that the f64 group were to reject in the 1930s. Notwithstanding f64, Photo Secession (named for the Vienna Secession) was important and relevant to its time.
Stieglitz's photographs of his partner, the artist Georgia O'Keeffe are the best selling of his images, though he took a number of other famous photographs, as below. Stieglitz opened a number of galleries in New York through which he promoted photography and other art forms.
There is a discussion of Stieglitz's image Paula here.
b: 1890 New York / d: 1976 Orgeval, France
Strand was born in New York City to Bohemian parents. In his late teens, he was a student of renowned documentary photographer Lewis Hine at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School. It was while on a fieldtrip in this class that Strand first visited the 291 art gallery – operated by Stieglitz and Edward Steichen – where exhibitions of work by forward-thinking modernist photographers and painters would move Strand to take his photographic hobby more seriously. Stieglitz would later promote Strand's work in the 291 gallery itself, in his photography publication Camera Work, and in his artwork in the Hieninglatzing studio. Some of this early work, like the well-known Wall Street, experimented with formal abstractions (influencing, among others, Edward Hopper and his idiosyncratic urban vision). Other of Strand's works reflect his interest in using the camera as a tool for social reform. He was one of the founders of the Photo League, an association of photographers who advocated using their art to promote social and political causes. In June 1949, Strand left the United States to present Native Land at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in Czechoslovakia. The remaining 27 years of his life were spent in Orgeval, France, where, despite never learning the language, he maintained an impressive, creative life, assisted by his third wife, fellow photographer Hazel Kingsbury Strand. Although Strand is best known for his early abstractions, his return to still photography in this later period produced some of his most significant work in the form of six book "portraits" of place Wikipedia
date added 5Dec18
© Annette Koroll
b: 1954 Geldern, West Germany
Struth features in Higgins' Why it does not have to be in focus (Higgins, 2013, pp. 60-61).
He is best known for his Museum Photographs, featuring the world's leading galleries and museums, their displays and, importantly, the visitors within them.
In an interview for Christie's, he said,
In the late Eighties, I think I aimed to create a polemic — a sort of advertising campaign. The artists who had made the paintings I depicted had done so as part of their everyday lives — not necessarily under everyday circumstances, but as part of their ongoing practice.
There was a period when I was producing reproductions of paintings to make money. When you look at a painting on a transparency, you don’t look at the painting, you look at a reproduction. In its translation into photography, the painting becomes, somehow, a slightly more modern version of itself.
The idea was to photograph people in a way that echoed or responded to the artwork I used and, in doing so, push them into the past, and bring the painting a little more into the contemporary world — thus bringing them together in a certain way. Thomas Struth, interview for Christie's
In the Christie's interview, Francis Outred described Struth as, "one of the greatest photographers working today". In my view, the Museums series and the family portraits and the black-and-white architectural shots are all well conceived and well executed, but hardly justify such plaudits.
added - 23Apr19
Hiroshi Sugimoto in Berlin,
b: 1948 Tokyo
Sugimoto is introduced in Part 3 of the EyV course, Traces of Time, dealing with long exposures.
He is a Japanese photographer and architect and the project cited in the course in his Theatres series. For these, he makes a single exposure for the entire duration of a movie. The result is, dissappointingly (but obviously when you think about it) a burned-in white screen, although the front of the cinema interior is rather attractively lit.
His projects include:
Dioramas (1976), displays in natural history museums.
Theatres (1978), described above, shot on a 4x5, Wikipedia quotes Sugimoto, "Different movies give different brightnesses. If it's an optimistic story, I usually end up with a bright screen; if it's a sad story, it's a dark screen. Occult movie? Very dark."
Seascapes (1980), seas, worldwide, in black and white, again in large format, half sky and half sea.
Portraits (1999), wax figures including Henry VIII and his wives, shot on 8x10 negatives and seeking to recreate C16th lighting.
born - died
sources - Wikipedia