Posts Tagged ‘Larry Fink’

Reflections on Ray Metzker, 1931-2014

October 10, 2014
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©Ray Metzker, “Sailor, 1963,” Laurence Miller Gallery

“I want a deep space that overpowers the figure: worlds of voids.”—Ray Metzker, 1931-2014

Sadly, we’ve lost a poet of light and shadow, Ray Metzker. Here is Alex’s thoughtful reflection about this unique street photographer—and specifically this dark urban haiku of a photograph (above) that Metzker took some 50 years ago, that has long lingered in Alex’s mind and influenced his early street photography, notably Alex’s image from Uganda below taken some 20 years after Metzker’s.—Rebecca Norris Webb

“As a budding street photographer, I’d spend hours huddled over a stack of books in my Vermont high school’s library, many of them the classics: works by Cartier Bresson, Kertész, Frank. I was particularly taken by a slim booklet called Toward a Social Landscape— which included early work by Garry Winogrand, Lee Friedlander, and Bruce Davidson, among others, and was edited by photographer Nathan Lyons—as well as a selection of Ray Metzker’s photographs entitled My Camera and I in the Loop,in an issue of Aperture. Although reminiscent of the street photographs of his teacher, Harry Callahan, Metzker’s work struck its own special note: stark shafts of light crisscrossing impenetrable shadows; self-absorbed figures darting in and out of the light, caught in a kind of black-and-white chiaroscuro; isolated faces peering out of the darkness.

 It wasn’t just the formal mastery of these images that captivated me. They also suggested something about the isolation, the alienation, and the loneliness of the urban world. “—Alex Webb, from “Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb on Street Photography and the Poetic Image”

In Memoriam: Ray K. Metzker, 83, PDN Online: http://www.pdnonline.com/news/In-Memoriam-Ray-K–11820.shtml

©Ray Metzker, “Sailor, 1963,” Laurence Miller Gallery, NYC: http://www.laurencemillergallery.com/artist_metzker.htm

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©Alex Webb, “Uganda, 1980″ from “Slant Rhymes” at Robert Klein Gallery at Ars Libri, Boston, thru Oct. 31, 2014; Alex’s image and Metzker’s above are also included in “Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb on Street Photography and the Poetic Image”

 EVENTS AND WORKSHOPS:

—SATURDAY, OCT. 25, APERTURE FOUNDATION, NYC, 3-4:30PM: Join Aperture, Larry Fink, Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb for an afternoon of presentations and readings from the recently launched The Photography Workshop Series. In the series, Aperture works with the world’s top photographers to distill their creative approaches, teachings, and insights on photography—offering the workshop experience in a book.

Fink and the Webbs will present their titles, Larry Fink on Composition and Improvisation and Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb on Street Photography and the Poetic Imagefollowed by a Q&A with the books’ editor, Denise Wolff, and book signings.  For more information on the book party follow this link.

——NEW WORKSHOP ADDED: FINDING YOUR VISION @ MIAMI STREET PHOTOGRAPHY FESTIVAL, Monday Dec. 1-Friday Dec. 5, 2014.

 

CURRENT AND UPCOMING EXHIBITIONS, EVENTS, REVIEWS:

——THRU OCT. 31, BOSTON, MEMORY CITY at ROBERT KLEIN GALLERY; SLANT RHYMES at ARS LIBRI WITH ROBERT KLEIN GALLERY;

REVIEW OF THE TWO BOSTON SHOWS BY ELIN SPRING.

——FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 7: CHICAGO: MEMORY CITY ARTIST RECEPTION, TALK, AND BOOK SIGNING, STEPHEN DAITER GALLERY: 5:30-8, with artist talk from 5:30-6pm

——PARIS PHOTO BOOK SIGNINGS, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 14, \Grand Palais, Paris: APERTURE BOOTH: 3:30pm book signing with the Webbs of “Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb on Street Photography and the Poetic Image” and Alex’s “The Suffering of Light”; SATURDAY, NOV. 15, 3:00pm at RADIUS BOOKS booth: Webb book signing of “Memory City” and some of the last copies of “My Dakota” and some of their limited editions.

GROUP SHOWS:

——THURSDAY, SEPT. 18-November 1, 2013, “Rectangular Squares,” at Sepia Eye Gallery, NYC, a group exhibition with Alex Webb, Rebecca Norris Webb, and other photographers. Sepia Eye is located at 547 W. 27th, 6th floor.

——SATURDAY, OCT. 11-OCT. 19, CASTELNUOVOFOTOGRAFIA FESTIVA, ITALY: CONTATTI: Contact sheets and prints of Alex Webb, Rebecca Norris Webb, Jason Eskenazi, Donna Ferrato, Lucia Nimcova, Roger Ballen, Callie Shell, and Anders Petersen.

——MEMORY CITY REVIEW in Fraction

——SLANT RHYMES: Interview with Teju Cole and the Webb on the New Yorker Photo Booth

NEW BOOK: CONTATTI

May 7, 2012

©Rebecca Norris Webb, Contact sheet for “Blackbirds,” a photograph in the upcoming book, “My Dakota” (Radius Books, May 2012).  This contact sheet is part of the new book by the Italian publisher, Postcart, called”Contatti.”

Rebecca and I are in Milan, where a new group book, “Contatti,” was launched at the MIA photographic festival this weekend.  Rebeeca’s above “Blackbirds” contact sheet is one of more than 50 from photographers from around the world, including Larry Fink, Donna Ferrato, Albert Watson, Jane Evelyn Atwood, Jacob Sobol, Callie Shell, Vince Muesi, Elinor Carucci, Mark Steinmetz, Lucia Nimcova, and Roger Ballen.  Currently, it’s only in Italian (I’ve included Rebecca’s original English text below), but an English version may soon be forthcoming. ––Alex Webb

Text © Rebecca Norris Webb, an excerpt from the new book, “Contatti,” edited. by Giammaria de Gasperis, Postcart Edizioni, May 2012)

UPCOMING EVENTS: MAY & JUNE

BOLOGNA

––MONDAY, MAY 7, BOLOGNA, ITALY: “Together & Apart: Photographs of Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb. 5 pm

NEW YORK

––THURSDAY, MAY 24, NEW YORK, NY: My Dakota book launch at ICP, May 24″ href=”http://www.icp.org/events/2012/may/24/book-signing-rebecca-webb-norriss-my-dakota” target=”_blank”>My Dakota book launch, party and book signing at ICP (43d and Sixth Ave), 6-7:30.

RAPID CITY, SD

––FRIDAY, JUNE 1, RAPID CITY, SOUTH DAKOTA: “My Dakota” exhibition opening and book party, Dahl Arts Center, 6-8pm.  The exhibition will run until October 13, 2012.

––CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA

SATURDAY, JUNE 9,  AT LOOK3 PHOTOGRAPHY FESTIVAL

4-6pm Alex Webb in conversation with noted writer and cultural critic Geoff Dyer

6-7pm: Book signing with Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb at the Second Street Gallery

9pm: “My Dakota” in the WORKS slide show

ADDITIONAL LINKS FOR ALEX AND REBECCA:

See Alex and Rebecca’s photos and others from Magnum’s House of Pictures project in Rochester here.

Read more about Magnum’s House of Pictures project in the New Yorker and see Alex’s photo of the day, April 24th.

Alex’s “The Suffering of Light” exhibition at Forma, Milan, featured in Italian Vogue.

Italian translation of above text by Rebecca Norris Webb

POSTINGS: October 2010

October 18, 2010

This month, we are featuring TWO NEW PUBLICATIONS (including David Alan Harvey’s BURN, which is in print for the very first time), TWO OPENINGS in New York, TWO EVENTS at a brand new photography festival, called INVISION, TWO VIEWS of photographer  JULIE BLACKMON, and a FAREWELL to Canadian writer and photographer, JULIE MASON. –Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb

BURN in Print

TWO NEW PUBLICATIONS: BURN and NOMADS

For everyone who has been following Magnum photographer DAVID ALAN HARVEY‘s award-winning online magazine, BURN, there’s now a print edition in the form of a 300-page book showcasing 25 photographers’ work, including ROGER BALLEN, JAMES NACHTWEY, as well many talented emerging photographers.  (Alex and I were honored to be asked to contribute a selection of photographs from VIOLET ISLE, our joint book on Cuba.) You can see a selection of the work — and read James Estrin’s piece — on the New York Times Lens Blog.  To see page samples from the new book, as well as order your own copy of BURNo1 — an edition of only 1,000 copies — visit the BURN web site.

There’s also a new online travel photography magazine with a twist:  the photographers — including ERNESTO BAZAN and ED KASHI — also supply the writing, in the form of journals, poetry, or other text pieces that accompany their images.  Called NOMADS, this beautifully designed, thoughtful, and often visually surprising online magazine is the brainchild of the insightful photographer/educator LAURI LYONS and her talented staff.  –Rebecca Norris Webb

NOMADS online magazine, cover of the first issue

TWO OPENINGS: NEW YORK CITY

Slota/LaBute collaboration, Ricco Maresca Gallery, NY

 

We wanted to note the opening of two exhibitions this week, both on THURSDAY, OCTOBER 21.

At RICCO MARESCA GALLERY, photographer GERALD SLOTA collaborates with the playwright, screenwriter, and film director, NEIL LABUTE.  Apparently the two of them met via email and decided to collaborate, creating a series of strange greeting cards, wherein LaBute would attempt to probe Slota’s psyche, and Slota would respond to Labute’s words in the form of images.  Slota’s photographs often push the edge of photographic technique, often distressing the image, by scratching on it or adding to it.  His work can be darkly psychological — as can the work of LaBute, who’s been called “America’s misanthrope par excellence” by the UK’s Independent. You can read more about the Slota/LaBute collaboration in the current issue of Fluence.

At 601 ARTSPACE, ROBERT BLAKE, formerly director of the General Studies Program at ICP, has curated a show of the work of JOE RODRIGUEZ and MARTIN WEBER, entitled “Cultural Memory Matters.” Both these photographers in very different ways have explored some of the issues surrounding cultural identity and heritage.  While Rodriguez, born in Brooklyn of Puerto Rican descent, approaches the world in a traditional documentary manner, photographing life as played out in front of the camera, Weber, from Argentina, often uses text pieces in the images, transforming or qualifying the viewer’s understanding of the photograph.  It should be interesting to see their work side by side.–Alex Webb


Rodriguez/Weber in "Cultural Memory Matters" at 601 ArtSpace

TWO MORE:  THE SHORT LIST

ALIA MALLEY has work in the SHFT New York pop-up gallery show, 112 Greene St., between Prince and Spring Streets, which opens on Thursday, October 21st, from 6-8pm.

RAJIV KAPOOR has an exhibit, “Paradoxes of Living on Holy Land,” at Seattle University’s Vachon & Kinsey Galleries, which is up through December 3.

TWO EVENTS:  New Photography Festival in Pennsylvania

Alex Webb, Palm Beach County, Florida, 1988, from "The Sunshine State"

We hope some of you can join us at a new photography festival, called INVISION, the first weekend in NOVEMBER, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, a short drive/bus ride from NEW YORK.  On Saturday evening, November 6, I will show a selection of work — featuring some of Rebecca’s photographs, too — as part of a weekend of photography with presentations by LARRY FINK, NICK NICHOLS, and PETER VAN AGTMAEL.

On Sunday, NOVEMBER 7, Rebecca and I, joined by others from the photography world, will conduct a series of portfolio reviews. (We understand there are only 30 slots available.)–Alex Webb

Rebecca Norris Webb, "After the Fire," Hermosa, SD, 2010, from "My Dakota"

 


TWO VIEWS:  Julie Blackmon

Julie Blackmon, from "Line-Up" exhibition at Robert Mann Gallery, NY

 

If you’re in New York, this is the last week to visit the JULIE BLACKMON show, LINE-UP, at the ROBERT MANN GALLERY, which is up through Saturday, October 23d.   Julie, like me, is the member of a large family — although, unlike me, she is the eldest of nine children, and I’m in the middle of five — and, when looking at her photographs in this exhibition, one can’t help but be transported back to one’s own childhood, with its terrors and its chaos and its comic antics.  Julie’s genius is that this childhood is seen through the prism of the Dutch Renaissance painters, especially Jan Steen’s domestic scenes,  and her beautiful prints are a mix of the staged, the improvised, and the photo-shopped — you can’t get more 21st Century than that!  Her marvelous first book, Domestic Vacations, is a welcome addition to any photographic library.–Rebecca Norris Webb

Julie Blackmon, from "Line-Up" at the Robert Mann Gallery, NY

A FAREWELL:  Julie Mason

Julie Mason by Julie Oliver, Ottawa Citizen

Alex and I like to think of our photographic workshops as communities, and it is with a heavy heart that I say goodbye to one of our treasured members, JULIE MASON, who died last weekend of ovarian cancer.  To honor Julie’s long commitment to social justice, health, and women’s issues, here is a video tribute to her from the Canadian House of Commons.

Alex and I had the pleasure of working with her on a long-term photographic project at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts, as well as with her photographs during the Magnum Workshop in Toronto last May.  Julie, a gifted Canadian writer who was finding her way in her other passion, photography, gave as much — if not more — to Alex and myself, as we probably gave to her.  I was struck by her insights and her compassion and her generosity.  I remember last May after struggling through a presentation of “My Dakota,” an elegy for my brother, Dave, Julie took me aside and quietly mentioned her cancer.  She had not fear in her voice but love.  She was only telling me because she was concerned that her granddaughers, who meant the world to her, wouldn’t remember her.  I told her how important photographs were to my late brother’s two daughers and son.  So, together, we came up with the idea of  a “memory box,” with a mix of her photographs, writings, and momentos of times with her granddaughters to give to each of them.  Whether Julie had the time to create these objects is immaterial.  The memories of Julie, themselves, are the best memory box for any grandchild.

For those who knew Julie, and would like to leave a memory, Alex and I invite you to leave a comment in celebration of her life.  I guess, in a way, this POSTINGS column, is a kind of memory box for Julie.  For spending time in Julie’s presence was a gift to each of us who had the good fortune to have known her — no matter for how long.–Rebecca Norris Webb


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