Stieglitz had a gallery, studio etc and often put on art photo shows of his and other workHis comments of the Steerage are how he saw funnels angling left, stairs angling right, round hats, lines in the ramp – essentially he sees form and not the crappy conditions of the passangers
Lack of link between photographer and cultural context links in with the romantic tradition of artists as philosophers and seers
We can see the Stieglitz influence on his contemporaries in this quote by Strand. There is a desire to show the ordinariness of everyday in a way that is not emotionally charged like docu at the time. This straight purity developed into a sub-genre (of docu?) called new objectivity
Can students spot rule of thirds, vanishing point etc?
These images show how art photography obsesses with the everyday and often look into private spaces. Everything is an object waiting to be transformed.
Get students to analyse this within the context of the last slideWall St encapsulates this idea of movement, both literally with the characters and figuratively within society. The relationship between people and business, the beginnings of the boom of modern capitalism. The dwarfed figures, the imposing darknessWhy is this art and not documentary? Still heavy focus on composition and form but does cross over!
B&W in art places stress on the image to exist in its own right, as a unique article that celebrates form rather than using colour and attempting to reproduce the world
Students to analyseColour is essential here. Notice the two points of white acting as counter balance to the red. Notice the lines cast by the shadows and the patterns of the brick. This is still art in the sense it shows us a slice of life in a pictorial sense There is little symbolism (like most art images) but it is a visual feast
Gursky displays his prints as large as possible, it is partly the display that classifies these as art and partly the insistence on form over context
Crewdson’s work often involves crews of people, and its cinematic affect is deliberate, often referencing films. His work gives a surreal take in everyday life and suburban America. Does this move towards a context exclude him from fine art? Is it going back to a staged docu style?
Important to note the viewing context still
everyday occurrences beyond the realm of how everyday and normal they are, he tries to inspire in his picture's spectators an awareness of the psychology and emotion contained in real-life situations
Ex Japanese Vogue who turned to fine art once girlfriend left with his assistant
Fine art photography
Fine Art Photography
• “Photography is not art, but can be made into art” - De Zayas 1913 •Reaction against photographys use by painters (i.e. Courbet) to help them paint •Reaction against the documentary tradition of late 18th and 19th C – move away from a Humanist or people/societal centred approach •Linking the aesthetic ethos of art (fascination with form, tone, light, colour)Fine art takes inall other genres!
• Photos began to develop own codes as art; no manipulation of reality-straight-pure- form-no reference to the subject as such• Composition is more important than context• Alfred Stieglitz; driving force behind fine art photography
• Photographer does not record, but creates• Landscapes, as popular theme link to higher ideals• Stieglitz’s Equivalents series seek ideal form and were displayed in wide white mounts to emphasise purity
•Stieglitz wascommitted to thegallery as an ideal•Gallery’scontextualised artphotographer againstthe wider history of art•An art print gainsvalue from being hungin an opposite way to adocumentary imagedthat is mass produced•Art photography isoften envisaged assuch
• “The fullest realisation of the potential of the subject through the use of straight photographic methods” - Paul Strand
• Edward Weston: Emphasis on form• Body transcends into natural shapes• No longer a human or cultural product but part of the wider metaphysical (almost spiritual) world of shape and form that artists aspired to
• The nude continues to be a seminal subject for fine art photographers Ruth Bernhard Sylvie Blum
• Ansel Adams keeps fine arts concern with purity and form and makes the ordinary into something unique
• John Paul Edwards & William Van Dyke were contemporaries of Adams and Weston and together were some of the members of f.64; a group dedicated to intense scrutiny of the world through the lens and in a way that moved against earlier pictorial or painterly styles
Once photographed, the object transcends everyday to become art• Imogen Cunningham
• Other art photographers do focus on culture• Paul Strand: works within active world of human meaning – a documenters approach?• Movement (implied sometimes) and subject fit into larger structure of society
ed• Gregory Crewdson from Beneath The Roses• Contemporary fine art can include the dramatic and staged and create a sense of narrative that does refer to society
• Jeff Wall A Sudden Gust Of Wind• Wall often recreates paintings, as such his style is very formal still
• Philip Lorca DiCorcias hustler series• alternates between informal snapshots and iconic quality staged compositions
• Masahisa Fukases Ravens• Example of how contemporary art photography can be a personal reference point
Summary• Fine art photography began as reaction against how photography was used in the art world and as a reaction against the documentary ethos of social engagement• Focus on form (shape, pattern, line, texture etc)• B&W holds elitist status (still?)• Context of viewing is important• Fine art can include other genres, even docu!• Contemporary images often attempt to engage the viewer more