Archive for June, 2015

My Dakota: American Photo

June 23, 2015

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©Rebecca Norris Webb,  “Cottonwoods,” from My Dakota at the Cleveland Museum of Art thru Aug. 16

Struggling with a new project, I’ve found Robert Adams’ work has been very much on my mind. So it was a nice surprise to see his work featured in AMERICAN PHOTO’S Ten Best New Exhibits of the Summer, alongside My Dakota at THE CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART. I love the accidental slant rhyme of these two adjacent images (his is #8, mine #9) both involving houses—his an interior, mine reflections of a row of houses at the bottom of the frame. It brings to mind this wonderful quote by one of my favorite authors, Alice Munro: “A story is not like a road to follow … it’s more like a house.”

So thanks, American Photo, for reminding me that sometimes the best way forward is to turn and take a long look back. And thanks, Lindsay Comstack, for your below insights about the My Dakota exhibition at CMA.—Rebecca Norris Webb

“In attempting to evoke the wonder, curiosity, and magic moments that unfold in life, taking shape as form, dynamic color planes, and a surreal perspective on space, Rebecca Norris Webb returned to her home state of South Dakota to produce a body of work. The resulting series is at once imaginative and nostalgic: for home, for the changing American West, for the human impact on the land, for her brother who passed away unexpectedly one year into the project. The astounding photographs appear somber and thoughtful in tone; an unexpected eulogy to the passing of time and the cycle of life.”—Lindsay Comstack, American Photo, “The Best New Photography Exhibits of Summer 2015” G

©Robert Adams, from “The Memory of Time” at the National Museum of Art in DC this summer, along with work by Harry Callahan and Ilse Bing.

 UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

——A FEW SPACE LEFT: Friday July 17-Sunday July 19: FINDING YOUR VISION @ Cleveland Museum of Art,  weekend workshop with Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb, discount for students and CMA members:http://www.clevelandart.org/learn/workshop/finding-your-vision-weekend-workshop-alex-webb-rebecca-norris-webb  This workshop will also include a joint talk at CMA and gallery talk by Rebecca of the “My Dakota” exhibition at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

——ONE SPOT LEFT: THE ART OF EDITING: Thursday Oct. 28-Sunday Nov. 1, 2015 Do you know how to listen to your photographs—including how they talk to one another—in order to select and sequence your work? Learn the challenging ART OF EDITING and sequencing your photographs in this five-day intensive workshop in New York City. This workshop is open to both serious amateurs as well as seasoned photographers who may be working on a long-term project or book. This intimate workshop is limited to 12 photographers.

Your workshop teachers are Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb, a creative couple who often edit and sequence their work together for magazines, exhibitions, and books, including their two recent collaborative books, Memory City, and Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb on Street Photography and the Poetic Image. The Webbs will begin this intensive workshop by looking at a series of unedited photographs from each workshop participant, which could be from a recent trip you’ve taken or an event (such as a wedding, parade, or festival), or perhaps an assignment or long-term project. There will be two options for the second half of the workshop: participants can choose either: 1) to photograph and edit new work from Halloween weekend in NYC 2015; or, 2) to continue to edit and sequence a long-term project or book. FOR MORE INFORMATION, INCLUDING HOW TO APPLY:  webbnorriswebb@gmail.com

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On Beginnings and Endings

June 15, 2015
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©Rebecca Norris Webb, “Fallen Apples,” from “My Dakota” at the Cleveland Museum of Art thru August 16, 2015

Last night, thinking about Paul Valéry and the mystery of beginnings (a new project looming) led me to revisit a particular ending before falling asleep (My Dakota’s final image: fallen apples that I unexpectedly came upon while driving across the nearly treeless prairie…).

“The opening line of a poem is like finding a fruit on the ground.. a piece of fallen fruit that you’ve never seen before. The poet’s task is to create the tree from which such a fruit would fall. ”—Paul Valéry

Sleeping fitfully, I dreamed of the largest sycamore I’ve ever seen—except in vintage photographs taken near the rural area where I was born—a tree that seemed to be a landscape in and of itself…—Rebecca Norris Webb, Sunday, June 14, 2015

Sycamore

 UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

——A FEW SPACES LEFT: Friday July 17-Sunday July 19: FINDING YOUR VISION @ Cleveland Museum of Art,  weekend workshop with Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb, discount for students and CMA members:http://www.clevelandart.org/learn/workshop/finding-your-vision-weekend-workshop-alex-webb-rebecca-norris-webb  This workshop will also include a joint talk at CMA and gallery talk by Rebecca of the “My Dakota” exhibition at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

——THE ART OF EDITING: Thursday Oct. 28-Sunday Nov. 1, 2015Do you know how to listen to your photographs—including how they talk to one another—in order to select and sequence your work? Learn the challenging ART OF EDITING and sequencing your photographs in this five-day intensive workshop in New York City. This workshop is open to both serious amateurs as well as seasoned photographers who may be working on a long-term project or book. This intimate workshop is limited to 12 photographers.

Your workshop teachers are Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb, a creative couple who often edit and sequence their work together for magazines, exhibitions, and books, including their two recent collaborative books, Memory City, and Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb on Street Photography and the Poetic Image. The Webbs will begin this intensive workshop by looking at a series of unedited photographs from each workshop participant, which could be from a recent trip you’ve taken or an event (such as a wedding, parade, or festival), or perhaps an assignment or long-term project. There will be two options for the second half of the workshop: participants can choose either: 1) to photograph and edit new work from Halloween weekend in NYC 2015; or, 2) to continue to edit and sequence a long-term project or book. FOR MORE INFORMATION, INCLUDING HOW TO APPLY:  webbnorriswebb@gmail.com

$100 PRINT SALE: Alex Webb, Port-au-Prince, Haiti, 1979, thru Friday, June 12

June 9, 2015

Port-au-Prince, Haiti, 1979

©Alex Webb, Port-au-Prince, Haiti, 1979

“The sad, vibrant, tragic, beguiling country of Haiti has been key to my photography. After reading Graham Greene’s The Comedians—a novel set in Haiti that both fascinated and scared me—I made my first trip to Haiti in 1975. But, photographing in black and white, I soon realized that something was missing: I wasn’t capturing a sense of the searing light, the intense color, and the heat — physical as well as perhaps metaphysical—of this country so different than the grey-brown reticence of New England where I grew up. I wasn’t dealing with the emotional intensity of my experience of this vivid and troubled land. So when I returned to Haiti four years later, I decided to work in color.

As I wandered through the porticos of downtown Port-au-Prince in 1979, I remember spotting this man with a bouquet of bulrushes — strikingly outlined against a vibrant red wall — as a second man, in shadow, rushed by. I took the photograph. I slowly began to realize it was time to leave black and white behind.”—Alex Webb, from Magnum Photos “Photographs That Changed Everything” Square Print Sale.  To purchase Alex’s “Port-au-Prince, Haiti, 1979” small print above online—and help to support Alex and Rebecca’s new joint project this summer—follow this link.

“MY DAKOTA” IN THE NEWS: Television interview with Cleveland Museum of Art Curator of Photography Barbara Tannenbaum about Rebecca’s “My Dakota” exhibition in the museum (through Aug. 16):  Link here.

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©Alex Webb, Cleveland Museum of Art. Installation of Rebecca’s My Dakota show

 UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

——A FEW SPACES LEFT: Friday July 17-Sunday July 19: FINDING YOUR VISION @ Cleveland Museum of Art,  weekend workshop with Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb, discount for students and CMA members:http://www.clevelandart.org/learn/workshop/finding-your-vision-weekend-workshop-alex-webb-rebecca-norris-webb  This workshop will also include a joint talk at CMA and gallery talk by Rebecca of the “My Dakota” exhibition at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

——THE ART OF EDITING: Thursday Oct. 28-Sunday Nov. 1, 2015Do you know how to listen to your photographs—including how they talk to one another—in order to select and sequence your work? Learn the challenging ART OF EDITING and sequencing your photographs in this five-day intensive workshop in New York City. This workshop is open to both serious amateurs as well as seasoned photographers who may be working on a long-term project or book. This intimate workshop is limited to 12 photographers.

Your workshop teachers are Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb, a creative couple who often edit and sequence their work together for magazines, exhibitions, and books, including their two recent collaborative books, Memory City, and Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb on Street Photography and the Poetic Image. The Webbs will begin this intensive workshop by looking at a series of unedited photographs from each workshop participant, which could be from a recent trip you’ve taken or an event (such as a wedding, parade, or festival), or perhaps an assignment or long-term project. There will be two options for the second half of the workshop: participants can choose either: 1) to photograph and edit new work from Halloween weekend in NYC 2015; or, 2) to continue to edit and sequence a long-term project or book. FOR MORE INFORMATION, INCLUDING HOW TO APPLY:  webbnorriswebb@gmail.com

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©Rebecca Norris Webb, “Badlands” from “My Dakota” at The Cleveland Museum of Art thru August 16, 2015