Saturday, May 15, 2010

Center for Creative Photography Visit (Hello old workplace)

Robert Adams
Tract House, Westminster, Colorado, 1973

New Topographics at the Center for Creative Photography: One of the reasons I came to Tucson this month was to see the New Topographics: Photographs of Man Altered Landscapes exhibition before the closing this weekend. It did not disappoint. I have a new respect for Joe Deal. Lewis Baltz, Robert Adams, the Bechers, and Stephen Shore have always been favorites. Mainly I was surprised at the scale of prints like the above (roughly 8x10).

From the CCP Press Release: "Originally held at the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York, in January 1975, New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-Altered Landscape was one of those rare exhibitions that effect a permanent change in the development of an art form. The show brought together ten contemporary photographers who collectively defined the emergence of a new approach to landscape: Robert Adams, Lewis Baltz, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Joe Deal, Frank Gohlke, Nicholas Nixon, John Schott, Stephen Shore and Henry Wessel, Jr. These artists engaged with their medium and its history in different ways, while simultaneously dealing with issues such as environmentalism, capitalism, and national identity. Signaling the emergence of a new approach to landscape, the show effectively gave a name to a movement or style."

I also had a scheduled printviewing where I viewed new work by Joe Labate, Mark Klett's photogravures of saguaros, Maggie Taylor, Jack Welpott, Frederick Sommer's collages, and Stephen Marc. Here is Tony who has been working in Printviewing well before I started the job in 1996, holding a mystery photograph below. Any guesses as to the identity of this photograph (think least likely infamous black-and-white photographer channeling his inner Jerry Uelsmann and you'll have your answer)?

[P.S. I have the okay from Cass to publish this image since it's mainly about Tony not the photo he's holding].

The best part of revisiting the Center was Cass's brilliant idea of projecting a test cake photograph on the auditorium projector. This photo was taken by Stephen Jensen, a super cool new grad student in the MFA program who went along with this activity with as much zeal as Cass and I. Just think... someday when I give a lecture at the CCP, my cakes will be this big (I, on the other hand, am not as big as this photo indicates!).

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