Page 3 of 3 FirstFirst 123
Results 21 to 28 of 28

Thread: Ansel Adams at 100, Szarkowski and Brower

  1. #21
    Founder QT Luong's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 1997
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    2,281

    Re: Ansel Adams at 100, Szarkowski and Brower

    So far the discussion has been only about size - not an unimportant consideration. What do you think of the fact that Szarkowski chose to omit Monolith from the exhibit, in favor of many obscure images? Both Ansel Adams autobiography and biography (by Alinder) had an entire chapter titled after the photograph, Adams considered it to be his epiphany, and Alinder his most significant photograph.

  2. #22
    Greg Davis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    423

    Re: Ansel Adams at 100, Szarkowski and Brower

    I, personally, like that lesser known pieces were shown rather than only the "greatest hits" that I can find in any number of Adams calendars every year. Since it is a show about his life work, seeing some of the images he thought are important enough to make, though less popular gives more breadth to displaying his vision.

  3. #23
    Dave Karp
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    2,831

    Re: Ansel Adams at 100, Szarkowski and Brower

    It is interesting the AA draws such extreme reactions from others. I remember attending the exhibit in Los Angeles and generally enjoying it. After all, there were photos I had not seen before and there were lots of photos. I do remember that a significant number of them (maybe not a lot of them, but way more than I expected) were not up to the technical standards of excellence I had seen in other AA photographs in museums. This, not just from his very early photos, but from some of the later photos also. I took this to be the result of the curator's desire to include photos we had not seen. In a retrospective like this, I think it was a mistake. Why omit more well-known, but clearly superior photos (superior both technically and aesthetically)? And why not be sure to include examples that illustrate the artists' mastery of their medium? (I once saw a wonderful show at MOMA in NY that included two or three AA photos and many many other photos from a variety of artists. I was shocked at the shoddy craft of some of the photographer's whose work was exhibited. AA was clearly superior in this regard to almost all of the others whose works were shown.)

    Perhaps a more valid approach would have been to include more comparisions. For example, instead of omitting Monolith, why not include a contact print of the WP negative along with a later enlargement? A later enlargement would be quite interesting, in that it could have been accompanied by a discussion of how the plate was damaged by fire and how subsequent enlargements were cropped, as well as being printed in AA's preferred-at-the-time more dramatic style. I have seen a contact print of that plate and an enlargement. Both are unique and exciting in their own way. It would have been great to see them side by side. I also agree with Brower that, in a retrospective, this sort of comparison, based on what AA considered his best execution of his vision vis a vis an earlier execution would be quite interesting. Let the viewer decide, not the curator. This is a way in which photography is different than other art forms. I saw a wonderful exhibit on my honeymoon of Picasso's evolution as an artist. His work obviously changed tremendously over his lifetime. The changes were exhibited in new works. A photographer can much more easily revisit early works and re-make them to a certain extent. Adams did this and I don't think it is fair to ignore his choices. The curator can clearly have an opinion and state it. However, to be fair to the artist, the curator should present the artist's work as the artist wanted it to be seen. To present mostly versions that had been superseded in the artist's mind by later interpretations is, perhaps, a misrepresentation.

    This discussion reminds me of the Brett Weston retrospective I saw in Santa Barbara. It was amazing, stupendous, overwhelming. The images were the best of his best. Contact prints from 8x10 negatives. Enlargements. It did not matter. The photographs were wonderful. Merg Ross and I had a discussion about this, perhaps off forum. He reminded me that the Santa Barbara exhibit was the best of Weston's best. It was work that few photographers have equaled. A later Brett Weston exhibit, in Pasadena, left me mostly cold. Merg reminded me of the magnitude of the Santa Barbara showing, and that like other photographers, not all of Weston's work was monumental, but due to his fame and importance as an artist lesser works will still be shown. The AA exhibit could have been closer to the Santa Barbara Weston exhibit, but it was not. I think that was due to the curation rather than the ability of the artist.

  4. #24
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Albuquerque, Nuevo Mexico
    Posts
    9,718

    Re: Ansel Adams at 100, Szarkowski and Brower

    What am I missing here? AA at 100 was an exhibit some 10 years ago. Water under the bridge I'd say. I flew to Chicago to see it and loved it-one of the best AA shows I have seen. The 8x10 contacts were my favorite. I brought some close up reading glasses so I could put my nose up to the print and was not disappointed.
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    at age 67
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

  5. #25
    tgtaylor's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    3,852

    Re: Ansel Adams at 100, Szarkowski and Brower

    Actually the first exhibition in the series was held in San Francisco from August, 2001 to January, 2002 and ended in New York 2 years later in 2003. Adams was born in 1902.

    Thomas

  6. #26
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Albuquerque, Nuevo Mexico
    Posts
    9,718

    Re: Ansel Adams at 100, Szarkowski and Brower

    Quote Originally Posted by tgtaylor View Post
    Actually the first exhibition in the series was held in San Francisco from August, 2001 to January, 2002 and ended in New York 2 years later in 2003. Adams was born in 1902.

    Thomas
    Thanks. Even longer ago than I thought.
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    at age 67
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

  7. #27
    Founder QT Luong's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 1997
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    2,281

    Re: Ansel Adams at 100, Szarkowski and Brower

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Gittings View Post
    What am I missing here? AA at 100 was an exhibit some 10 years ago. Water under the bridge I'd say.
    You are not missing any new developments.

    The forum is not like press, topics appear when someone feels like starting a discussion, not necessariy when they are current.

    The book is still in print, and I think the issues raised by Brower's comment are still relevant.

    I agree with David Karp that the part of the exhibit I enjoyed the most were the comparisons.

  8. #28
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    SF Bay area, CA
    Posts
    10,601

    Re: Ansel Adams at 100, Szarkowski and Brower

    AA probably made far more so-so prints than truly great ones. So did Edward Weston. So do you and I. I tgenerally throw them away unless they serve to remind me to make a better print of the same image later. But the commercial work and compost of famous folk tends to get hoarded by somebody, just in case it has value. The city of LA even contracted with AA as a commercial photographer.

Similar Threads

  1. New Ansel Adams book and app: "Looking at Ansel Adams"
    By John Sexton in forum Announcements
    Replies: 77
    Last Post: 13-Oct-2012, 16:23
  2. What did Ansel Adams use?
    By John Kasaian in forum Gear
    Replies: 34
    Last Post: 14-Aug-2008, 15:08
  3. Ansel Adams
    By logan in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 17-Mar-2007, 05:49
  4. Szarkowski on St. Ansel
    By paulr in forum On Photography
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 10-Jan-2006, 11:06
  5. Ansel Adams at 100
    By Michael Pry in forum Announcements
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 6-May-2002, 05:26

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •