Posts Tagged ‘Harry Callahan’

ON PRESS: My Dakota

March 5, 2012

Alex Webb, third proofs of Rebecca's "My Dakota"

We’re leaving tomorrow, March 6th, for the press check of Rebecca’s upcoming “My Dakota” book in Singapore.  Today we’re looking at a set of third proofs for the book (above), and will confer with David Chickey –– the book’s designer and Radius Books’ creative director –– later this afternoon to collaborate on what corrections make the most sense at this point.  We may have one more round of pre-press work later this week, before we head to press early next week.  If all goes according to plan, we hope to blog on press next Monday and Tuesday (March 12th and 13).––Alex Webb

MARCH EVENTS

––FRIDAY, MARCH, 9th, 7-8:30: “Together and Apart: Photographs of Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb,” National Museum of Singapore, Singapore.  National Museum of Singapore is a venue sponsor of this free public event.

––MONDAY & TUESDAY, MARCH 12 -13, 2012: BLOGGING ON PRESS FOR THE “MY DAKOTA” BOOK IN SINGAPORE (with Rebecca, author, Alex, editor, and David Chickey, designer and Radius creative director).  Check the blog for updates.  If you’d like to submit a question ahead of time about being on press, please email your question to Alex and Rebecca: webbnorriswebb@gmail.com

––FRIDAY, MARCH 23, 7-8:30 pm, “Together & Apart: Photographs of Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb,” Aperture Foundation, 547 W. 27th St., 4th Floor, New York, NY.  Free Event.

––LAST WEEK IN MARCH: Alex Webb booksigning at AIPAD. Details to come soon.

Portrait of Alex and Rebecca in Havana by Cuban Photographer

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS WITH ALEX AND REBEBECCA

“Teaching taught me how little I knew and it forced me to think.  I had to teach to get an education.” –––Harry Callahan, from “Harry Callahan @ 100″ at the National Gallery of Art

“Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment.” ––Rumi

–WEEKEND WORKSHOP @ APERTURE, NY, Friday evening, March 23, thru Sat., March 25, 2012. Do you know where you’re going next with your photography –– or where it’s taking you?   An intensive weekend workshop with Alex and Rebecca. You can reserve a spot in the workshop at the Aperture Foundation website.  AS OF MARCH 5TH, THERE WERE ONLY TWO SPOTS LEFT IN THE WORKSHOP. Additionally, there is a discount for students and Aperture patrons, which you can arrange by emailing Anne Lewis at Aperture at this email: alewis@aperture.org   

––WEEKEND WORKSHOP IN MILANO @ FORMA; Friday evening, May 4, thru Sunday, May 6th, 2012.  An intensive weekend workshop @ Forma with the Webbs during Alex’s upcoming spring exhibition there, “The Suffering of Light.” Included in the workshop will be a gallery talk by Alex as well as a copy of Alex’s recent survey book of 30 years of his color photographs, “La Sofferenza della Luce,” (Contrasto).  The workshop will be taught in English with Italian translation.  For more information here’s the link.

–FINDING YOUR VISION WORKSHOP @ CAPTION GALLERY, BROOKLYN, NY.  Sunday May 20 thru Friday May 25, 2012.* A week-long photographing and editing workshop where each photographers begins to explore his or her own way of photographing and how to edit intuitively.  Will include exercises, light room tutorials, and a presentation by a noted book editor. APPLICATIONS ARE NOW OPEN.  Early acceptance notification will start early March.  Check the workshop page of the webbnorriswebb website for fees, application process and further details.  Apply to this email: webbnorriswebb@gmail.com

*If there is enough interest, we will explore offering a second session of the Finding Your Vision Workshop @ Caption Gallery the week before —  Sunday May 13 thru Friday May 18, 2012.

LAST CHANCE: Four Exhibitions

January 13, 2012

Alex Webb, Sancti Spiritus, Cuba, 1993, from MFA, Boston, exhibition, "Violet Isle" (with Rebecca Norris Webb) and Aperture's "The Suffering of Light" exhibition

––Alex Webb, “The Suffering of Light,”Aperture, New York, through January 19, 2012

––Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb, “Violet Isle: A Photographic Portrait of Cuba,”MFA, Boston, through Jan. 16, 2012

––Alex Webb, “The Suffering of Light,” @  Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto, through Jan. 14, 2012

––Rebecca Norris Webb and other artists, “Winged Shadows: Life Among Birds,” NDMOA, Grand Forks, ND, through Jan. 15, 2012

NEW REVIEWS/ARTICLES

“On Marrying a Photographer,” on Alec Soth’s blog, Little Brown Mushroom, with comments by several photographers and others, including Martin Parr, Alec Soth, Rachel Cartee Soth, Greta Pratt, Zoe Strauss, Alex Webb, and Rebecca Norris Webb.

–“The Suffering of Light” exhibition @ Aperture reviewed in the Village Voice.

–“The Suffering of Light” exhibition reviewed on DLK blog.

––”As Far As an Outsider Can Go,” in the New York Photo Review.

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS WITH ALEX AND REBECCA

“Teaching taught me how little I knew and it forced me to think.  I had to teach to get an education.” –––Harry Callahan, from “Harry Callahan @ 100″ at the National Gallery of Art

– PHOTOGRAPHY MASTERCLASS @ THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF SINGAPORE, Friday evening, March 9, 2012, thru Saturday, March 11, 2012.  An intensive weekend workshop with the Webbs and Radius Books creative director and noted book designer, David Chickey, with an emphasis on the process of intuitive editing and bookmaking, following the process of how long-term projects can develop into books and exhibitions . APPLICATIONS ARE NOW OPEN. TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS WORKSHOP, VISIT THE MAGNUM WEBSITE.  Or, for those on Facebook, please visit the PHOTOGRAPHIC MASTERCLASS AT THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF SINGAGPORE page. The National Museum of Singapore is a venue partner of the Photography Masterclass.

–WEEKEND WORKSHOP @ APERTURE, NY, Friday evening, March 23, thru Sat., March 25, 2012. Do you know where you’re going next with your photography –– or where it’s taking you?   An intensive weekend workshop with Alex and Rebecca. Check the Aperture  blog for workshop details, such as fee, how to make payment, etc.  Before the Aperture site is live to take workshop applications and  fees online — WHICH WILL HAPPEN EARLY FEBRUARY — you can reserve a space by emailing Anne Lewis of Aperture –– alewis@aperture.org   There is a discount for students and Aperture patrons.

––WEEKEND WORKSHOP IN MILANO @ FORMA; Friday evening, May 4, thru Sunday, May 6th, 2012.  An intensive weekend workshop @ Forma with the Webbs during Alex’s upcoming spring exhibition there, “The Suffering of Light.” Included in the workshop will be a gallery talk by Alex as well as a copy of Alex’s recent survey book of 30 years of his color photographs, “La Sofferenza della Luce,” (Contrasto).  The workshop will be taught in English with Italian translation.  For more information here’s the link.

–FINDING YOUR VISION WORKSHOP @ CAPTION GALLERY, BROOKLYN, NY.  Sunday May 20 thru Friday May 25, 2012.* A week-long photographing and editing workshop where each photographers begins to explore his or her own way of photographing and how to edit intuitively.  Will include exercises, light room tutorials, and a presentation by a noted book editor. APPLICATIONS ARE NOW OPEN.  Early acceptance notification will start on February 29, 2012.  Check the workshop page of the webbnorriswebb website for fees, application process and further details.

*If there is enough interest, we will explore offering a second session of the Finding Your Vision Workshop @ Caption Gallery the week before —  Sunday May 13 thru Friday May 18, 2012.

Rebecca Norris Webb, Havana, 2008, from "Violet Isle" (with Alex Webb) at the MFA, Boston, and "Winged Shadows," at NDMOA, Grand Forks, N.D.

FOTOFORUM: THE INDELIBLE IMAGE

December 7, 2009

We asked photographers this month to select an indelible image –– one photograph they encountered early on as a photographer that still lingers with them today.  We’re especially pleased to include an indelible image from Darius Himes, one of the country’s foremost experts on the photo book, who is also a photographer, writer, and publisher.  And thanks to everyone who submitted an indelible image. Because we had so many responses to the column, we’ll run THE INDELIBLE IMAGE II next month. –– Alex and Rebecca

DARIUS HIMES ON HARRY CALLAHAN

Harry Callahan, Aix-en-Provence, 1958

One of the first photographers I was introduced to, as a young teenage boy, was Harry Callahan. The introduction came by way of the cover of Henry Horenstein’s Black and White Photography. My father had purchased the book at the suggestion of a colleague, and while the technical language was still far above me, I was deeply impressed by the work chosen. Callahan’s graceful black-and-white image of barren trees in winter not only spoke to me due to the subject matter—I grew up just across the Mississippi River in Iowa, a mere 3 hours from Chicago, where I presume Callahan made this photograph—but also because of the graphic power of the world rendered in shades of black, white, and gray.

But the photograph of Callahan’s that I most responded to, then and now, is his photograph of 1958, Aix-en-Provence, France. Actually, that statement is a bit of a falsehood. There are so many photographs of Callahan’s that I respond to, that to narrow it to one particular image is like asking for a favorite passage from Shakespeare! There are so many that are appropriate for so many situations. But nonetheless, what moves me about this image is the wildness of the underbrush and the seeming impenetrability of the scene. And yet, the more you look, the more things are revealed, by which I mean, the more deeply it impresses itself upon you, untethering your own inner eye along the way. Merely informational facts are not what I’m talking about; what I’m hinting at are the multitude of ways that the outer world has been transformed into a powerful two dimensional, abstracted image. I’m talking about the very transformative power of photography in the hands of an acutely sensitive artist.

There is a concept that is a clarifying one for me that relates to my attraction to this photograph. In both Eastern and Western cosmology is the notion of the mirror-connectedness of the Book of Revelation and the Book of Creation. Here is one exemplary, brief passage that speaks to this subject, from Persian-born Baha’u’llah. “Look at the world and ponder a while upon it. It unveileth the book of its own self before thine eyes and revealeth that which the Pen of thy Lord, the Fashioner, the All-Informed, hath inscribed therein”* John Ruskin, the 19th century British writer and social commentator expressed it this way.

There is religion in everything around us,

a calm and holy religion

in the unbreathing things of nature.

It is a meek and blessed influence,

stealing in as it were unaware upon the heart;

It comes quickly, and without excitement;

It has no terror, no gloom,

It does not rouse up the passions;

It is untrammeled by creeds….

There are a great many photographers and artists who have approached the world around them with awe and wonder. In this image, I see a precursor to photographers like Hiroshi Sugimoto and Thomas Joshua Cooper, as well as echoes of artists as varied as Nio Hokusai, Kandinsky, and the darker aspects of Whistler’s painting oeuvre. What Callahan seems to have mastered, to me at least, was the ability to gaze, with deep intent, at his “immediate” surroundings, without feeling the need to either exoticize nor degrade what he looked at and what he ultimately decided to photograph, allowing “the book of its own self” to reveal itself in all of its own inherent beauty. This is a powerful role that the arts can play in our society and in helping us advance our fledgling, world-embracing civilization.––Darius Himes

* (Baha’u’llah: Tablets of Baha’u’llah, pp. 141-142)

Darius’s websites:

http://www.dariushimes.com

http://www.radiusbooks.org

For more about Harry Callahan:

http://www.stephendaitergallery.com/dynamic/artist.asp?ArtistID=25

To see Hiroshi Sugimoto’s work:

http://www.sugimotohiroshi.com/

To see some of Thomas Joshua Cooper’s work:

http://artnews.org/artist.php?i=735



ALEX WEBB ON HENRI CARTIER-BRESSON

Henri Cartier-Bresson, Valencia, Spain, 1933

My father, when he was struggling with writer’s block––which, unfortunately, was all too often––turned to photography, and as a result had a fine collection of photographic books.  At about the age of fourteen, I started to sift through these books in his study.  As I pored through The Decisive Moment, I remember coming upon this Cartier-Bresson image from Valencia, Spain.  I’d never seen anything quite like it.     As I marveled at the echoing rings of the mismatched spectacle lenses and the half-target on the door, set against––in deep space––that slightly twisted, ambiguous figure in the doors behind, I remember thinking: How can someone see this way?  How can someone find such an enigmatic moment in the world and bring it back as a photograph? I began to sense something about perception, about the moment, about space, and about the unique possibilities of the photograph. I’ve never forgotten this image.––Alex Webb

To see more of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s work:

http://www.magnumphotos.com

REBECCA NORRIS WEBB ON WRIGHT MORRIS

Wright Morris, Clothing on Hooks, 1947

Formerly a writer, I was attracted early on as a photographer to two books that combine text and images:  Walker Evans and James Agee’s Let Us Now Praise Famous Men and Wright Morris’s God’s Country and My People. Both bodies of work expanded my way of looking at the photo book, and eventually led to my intermingling the two in my own work.  Yet, there was something about the lesser-known, Nebraskan-born Morris’s photo-text book –– in which he interweaves his writing and his photographs –– that touched something deeper and more inexplicable in me. Morris’s work is aloof yet engaging, bare-bones yet mysterious, spacious yet intimate –– it is work that suggests the many paradoxes that make up the Great Plains itself, where, like Morris, I also grew up,

I’m not sure exactly how his work manages to evoke all of this in me.  Perhaps it’s because Wright Morris’s objects are often photographed so sparely, yet with such intensity, it creates a kind of space around them.   And this space creates a kind of suggestiveness, ripe for poetic reverie in the viewer, not unlike the experience of driving across the Nebraska or South Dakota prairie with few if any trees or houses to fetter the mind, the memory, the imagination.  So, for me, Morris’s spare objects suggest the Great Plains –- like this photograph of the tattered coats and hat –– as well as evoking a different kind of landscape, a kind of private and interior Nebraska, one that suggests what all that emptiness feels like to an insider, someone who grew up on the Great Plains, and the Great Plains “…grew up in you,” to quote Morris.

And, lastly, there are his accompanying texts that somehow speak to –- or perhaps I should say, speak for –– the photos, texts that are as spare and distilled and intense as the photographs themselves.  I find the text pieces as plainspoken and mesmerizing and mysterious as a Weldon Kees poem, a poet who also grew up in Nebraska.  Reading Morris creates a kind of expansiveness in me, a kind of ache and a kind of delight, which is often my response to the Great Plains.  And, I’m not sure why, but as soon as I finish reading one of his more luminous pieces  (like the one I’ve included below), I find myself starting the process all over again –– a sign, they say, of truly poetic writing.––Rebecca Norris Webb

The man who lives his own life, and wears it out, can dispense with the need of taking it with him. He dies his own death or he goes on living, and where the life has worn in the death will come out. Skin and bones, jacket and shoes, tools, sheds and machines wear out; even the land wears out and the seat wears off the cane- bottom chair. The palms wear off the gloves, the cuffs off the sleeves, the nickel off the doorknobs, the plate off the silver, the flowers off the plates, the shine off the stovepipe, the label off the flour sacks, the enamel off the dipper, the varnish off the checkers, and the gold off the Christmas jewelry, but every day the nap wears off the carpet the figure wears in. A pattern for living, the blueprint of it, can be seen in the white stitches of the denim, the timepiece stamped like a medallion in the bib of the overalls. Between wearing something in and wearing it out the line is as vague as the receding horizon, and as hard to account for as the missing hairs of a brush. The figure that began on the front of the carpet has moved around to the back.––Wright Morris

For more about Wright Morris:

http://monet.unk.edu/mona/first/morris/morris.html

For more about Weldon Kees (including my favorite poem of his “1926”):

http://mockingbird.creighton.edu/Ncw/kees.htm


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