Saturday, 30 April 2011

Photography Awards - Sony, Deutsche-Börse

Bruce Davidson,  Kathy and Arty at the Ocean Time Bar, Coney Island, 1959
Bruce Davidson has received the Outstanding Contribution to Photography Award at this year’s Sony World Photography Awards. A retrospective exhibition is showing at Somerset House until 22nd May and selected work will be on show at Chris Beetles from 4th to 28th May. Read feature by Sean O'Hagan and an interview from 2006 at American Suburb X.
The Sony World Photography Awards Photographer of the Year Award (L’Iris D’Or) went to Alejandro Chaskielberg for his portfolio of pictures taken while living with islanders in the Paraná river delta, Argentina.
Alejandro Chaskielberg, The Hunter
For full details of all category award winners see The Sony World Photography Awards website. Below is a selection of images from some of the portfolios:
Javier Arcenillas, from Citizens of Despair - winner: Photojournalism & Documentary: Current Affairs
Tomg Meng, Wella Professionals for Marie Claire  - 3rd place: Commercial: Campaign 
Liz Loh-Taylor, Coexistence #1- winner: Commercial: Travel
Frank Bayh & Steff Rosenberger-Ochs, Don't Touch My Universe #6 - 2nd place: Commercial: Lifestyle
Alnis Stakle, from Lost: Paris - winner: Fine Art: Architecture
Florence Iff, Post Arcadia 5 - winner: Fine Art: Landscape
Charles Emerson, A Rose from Auschwitz - 3rd place: Fine Art: Still Life

The Deutsche-Börse prize for photography, 2011, has been awarded to Jim Goldberg for his project Open See,  documenting the experiences of refugees, immigrants and displaced people. (See also entries below)
Jim Goldberg, Democratic Republic of Congo, 2008: "His radio is the sole possession he took with him while escaping a rebel attack in his village. He now lives in a refugee camp with 60,000 other people where poverty, disease and crime run rampant." 

Monday, 25 April 2011

Spomenik - by Jan Kempenaers

Jan Kempenaers, Spomenik No.1: Podgarić, 2006
I have only just stumbled upon Jan Kempenaers' photographs of the extraordinary and rather wonderful 'spomeniks' - or monuments - in the former Yugoslavia. Apparently these structures were built in the 1960s and 1970s in Tito's Yugoslavia to commemorate the Second World War. Between 2006 and 2009, Jan Kempenaers explored the region using a 1975 map of the memorials. The resulting pictures have been published as a book: Jan Kempenaers (2010) "Spomenik", Roma Publications.
Above and below is a selection of the images - see more here; read a review of the book by Guy Lane and an article by John Bailey

Jan Kempenaers, Spomenik No.2: Petrova Gora, 2006
Jan Kempenaers, Spomenik No.5: Kruševo, 2007
Jan Kempenaers, Spomenik No.9: Jasenovac, 2007
Jan Kempenaers, Spomenik No.11: Niš, 2007
Jan Kempenaers, Spomenik No.16: Tjentište, 2007
Jan Kempenaers, Spomenik No.18: Kadinjača, 2009
Jan Kempenaers, Spomenik No.19: Mitrovica, 2009

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Tim Hetherington, 1970 - 2011; Chris Hondros, 1970 - 2011

Two outstanding photojournalists, Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros were killed on 20th April, 2011, by an explosion in Misrata while covering the conflict in Libya. Read an obituary for Tim Hetherington, and Roger Tooth and Sean Smith on the challenges of war photojournalism. 
Tim Hetherington, militants, Nigeria, 2006
Tim Hetherington, a man carries a child wounded during an American helicopter attack, Afghanistan, 2007
Chris Hondros, A child felled by a mortar, carrying a bag of cassava leaves back to his family.
Chris Hondros, A child soldier  in Monrovia, Liberia

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Exit Kit - Xposed Club 29th April

Poster by Mark Unsworth
Xposed Club will be hosting an event at The Playhouse Theatre, on Friday 29th April as part of the Cheltenham Jazz Festival.
Chris Cundy will lead a performance by his new group Exit Kit, featuring Xposed Club founder Stuart Wilding on drums, Olie Brice on double bass and Mark Sanders on drums, they are joined by innovative guitarist John Bisset, who will also perform a short solo set.
The Playhouse Theatre, 8-10pm, Friday 29th April, £10 (Book at Cheltenham Festivals)

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

John McCracken, 1934 - 2011

John McCracken died on 8th April, 2011.
McCracken brought a West Coast sensibility to Minimalism with his gorgeously coloured, mirror-glossy planks and slabs. 
Read the obituary by Michael McNay. The images, below, are from David Zwirner gallery website.
Red Plank, 1967
Swift (left) and Vision (right), 2007
Interval, 2004
From left to right: Plain (1993), Diamond (1993), Fulcrum (1990), and Center (1989). Installation view of John McCracken at Hochscule für Angewandte Kunst, Vienna, 1995
Guardian, 1995

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Photography Exhibitions Roundup - April 2011

An occasional, and highly selective, pick of current and forthcoming exhibitions. This is a photography 'special' supplement to the previously posted April list (see below).
Wim Wenders, Street Corner, Butte, Montana, 2003
Wim Wenders: Places Strange and Quiet is an exhibition of nearly 40 images made by the filmmaker between 1983 and 2001 at Haunch of Venison until 22 April.
Vera Lutter,  Pyramids, Giza, April 12, 2010
Vera Lutter: Egypt is at Gagosian, Davies Street until 21 May. When Lutter visited Egypt she turned her suitcase into a pinhole camera: "I packed all my clothes, suntan lotion, developing trays, and photographic paper. The suitcase doubled as my luggage and a camera. Then of course I had to empty it all to create an optical device... It's basically an old 'trunk' style suitcase with a hole to let the light in that is opened and closed by hand to control the exposure. I got some very strange looks from tourists as I placed my suitcase on the sand in front of the pyramids. The sun is very strong and it took about a minute for an exposure. Then I dashed back to the hotel to develop it into a print, before I could reload the suitcase for the next exposure."(Quote from article by Charlotte Cripps in The Independent) See also Guardian "Artist of the Week".
Dieter Roth, from Reykjavik Slides, 1973-75/1990-98 
Dieter Roth: Reykjavik Slides (31,035) Every View of a City is at Hauser & Wirth until 30 April and will present 31,035 slides shown on multiple projectors operating simultaneously.

Figures & Fictions: Contemporary South African Photography is at the V&A until 17 July. The exhibition features 17 South African photographers, "all of whom live and work in the country and whose images were made between 2000 and 2010. Each photographer is represented by one or more projects that are linked by the depiction of people and a self-conscious engagement with South Africa's political and photographic past." (From the V&A website). Read review by Sean O'Hagan. The following images are selected from the work on show:
David Goldblatt, Blitz Maaneveld (from the Ex-Offenders series), 2008
Jodi Bieber, Gail (from the series Real Beauty), 2008
Hasan & Husain Esso Night Before Eid, 2009
Kudzanai Chiurai, Untitled I, 2009
Guy Tillim, Petros Village, Malawi, 2006
Nontsikelelo Veleko, Lesego, Miriam Makeba Street, Newtown, Johannesburg, 2007

The National Portrait Gallery is currently featuring two photography exhibitions: Hoppé Portraits: Society, Studio and Street (until 30 May) and Ida Kar: Bohemian Photographer, 1908-1974 (until 19 June). Read review of Ida Kar by Sean O'Hagan, and article by Margaret Drabble.
E.O. Hoppé, Dutch West Indies, 1921
Ida Kar, Bridget Riley, 1963
A contemporary portrait photographer, Nadav Kander, is the subject of an exhibition at The Lowry: Nadav Kander: Selected Portraits, 1999-2011. Read article by Sandy Nairne.
Nadav Kander, Erin O’Connor as Millais’s Ophelia, 2004
Magnum photographer Ian Berry, was commissioned by the Whitechapel Gallery, in 1972, to document life in the local streets. Now the gallery is showing more than 30 pictures from that commission, This is Whitechapel, until 4 September.
Ian Berry, Whitechapel, 1972
Also at the Whitechapel, until 19 June, is Paul Graham: Photographs 1981-2006. Read interview with Sean O'Hagan and writings by Graham at American Suburb X; see also review by Adrian Searle.
Paul Graham, from A1-The Great North Road, 1981-2
Graham is also showing Films at Anthony Reynolds until 4 June. The work is described as follows by the gallery: While examining his work of the past 30 years for the major survey exhibition arriving at the Whitechapel Gallery this month, Graham became enraptured with the base material of his craft and began to reflect upon the physical substance with which his images were made. Scanning the negatives for the exhibition, he began also to scan the blank film ends and unexposed frames from each body of work. What Graham gathered in the process he saw as a ‘negative retrospective’ of his practice. These luscious and beguiling abstract images are nothing more than greatly enlarged images of raw film emulsion, the colour dye clouds formed in the exposure and development of film. Kodacolour, Fujicolour, TriX;Ektacolour, Kodachrome – all have gone for good or are fading fast. So here is a homage to the history of film photography…
Paul Graham, from Films
Finally,  The Deutsche-Börse Photography Prize exhibition is at Ambika P3 until 30 April. See below for discussion and pictures.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Miroslav Tichý, 1926 - 2011

If you want to be famous, you have to be worse at something than everyone else in the world. (Miroslav Tichý, quoted in Dyer, G. (2010) Working the Room, Edinburgh: Canongate, p74)
One of Miroslav Tichý's cameras
 Miroslav Tichý died on 12th April at the age of 84. He was a 'primitivist' photographer who lived the life of a derelict and made his own cameras from scavenged junk. His voyeuristic pictures of women, taken in his home town in the Czech Republic were off-kilter, either over or under exposed, stained, bleached, scratched and... wonderful. See some examples, below.
I only 'discovered' Tichý last year, and almost all I know about him is gleaned from a wonderful essay by Geoff Dyer (Dyer, Geoff (2010) "Miroslav Tichy" in Working the Room: Essays and Reviews, 1999-2010, Edinburgh: Canongate, pp72-79). As Dyer records, Tichý only came to public attention in 2004 when Roman Buxbaum, who had begun collecting his work, wrote an article which led to an exhibition in Seville; in 2008 Tichý was given a show at the Pompidou Centre, Paris.

 See also Roman Buxbaum on Miroslav Tichý, Miroslav Tichý: Tarzan Retired, by Roman Buxbaum, and Blog essay by Mark Power.

Portrait Award shortlist

The shortlist for this year's BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery has been announced:
Louis Smith, Holly,

Ian Cumberland, Just To Feel Normal

Sertan Saltan, Mrs Cerna

Wim Heldens, Distracted

See the National Portrait Gallery website for more details of artists and artworks.
The winner will be announced on the 14th June and the exhibition will open on the 16th June. Read comment by Jonathan Jones.