Irving Penn - Small Trades

Irving Penn (1917 - 2009)

Photographer  (b. 1917) is renowned for his innovative contributions to portrait, still life, and fashion photography, and a career that has spanned more than six decades at Vogue magazine. In 1950, Vogue assigned Penn to photograph workers in Paris, and thus his monumental work The Small Trades began. Created in 1950 and 1951 in Paris, London, and New York, The Small Trades consists of portraits of skilled trades people dressed in their work clothes and carrying the tools of their respective trades. Capturing the humble coal heaver and the crisply dressed waiter with equal directness, Penn's arresting portraits also underscore fascinating cultural differences.

The Small Trades was Penn's most extensive body of work, and he returned to it over many decades, producing ever more exacting prints. Two hundred and six unique images from the series are flawlessly reproduced in this book. In addition, the introductory essay describes the history and context of The Small Trades series and its importance to Penn's career and the history of photography. An interview with Edmonde Charles-Roux, the chief editor for French Vogue from 1952 to 1966, who assisted him on the assignment in Paris, provides fascinating insights of the Paris sittings.

The obituaries and memoirs full or praise are going to continue for some time. Here’s an interesting one at the Design Observer.
An exhibition of the series will be on view at the J. Paul Getty Museum from September 9, 2009, through January 10, 2010. Video 


Cedric Delsaux

Beautiful photography by French photographer Cedric Delsaux where he recreates the scenes of Star Wars characters and vehicles with urban wasteland background. The characters are actually model toys superimposed on to shots of Parisian architecture to create the illusion. Cedric Delsaux is an award winner in the newcomer’s France Bourse du Talent competition which stands for Young Talent Award for Photography.

Nous resterons sur Terre (Here to Stay) presents the young artist’s unique vision of mankind’s tenuous relationship with the natural world. Delsaux documents the impact of the dizzying pace of modern industry and consumerism on and across the changing face of the planet. Oversized greenhouses, soaring skyscrapers and endless industrial sprawl are awe-inspiring, hauntingly beautiful evidence not only of man’s ingenuity and drive toward modernity, but also its path toward an ill-conceived and uncertain future. Delsaux captures our increasingly disjointed existence on Earth, one in which the natural world is forsaken in favor of innovation and progress; artificial indoor ski slopes in Dubai and large-scale housing developments speak to this new vision of reality. Ambiguous in design, these images serve as evidence of our collective ambition and allude to the human as well as natural casualties of mass consumption. They question whether one planet, however beautiful, will be adequate to satiate our desires.

Elkins’ work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally, including shows at Kunsthalle wien in Vienna, Austria, The PIP International Photo Festival in Pingyao, China, Gallery Gagopa in Masan, South Korea, Gallery Elsa in Busan, South Korea, Barbara Walters Gallery, Hous Projects Gallery, Jen Bekman Gallery, National Arts Club, PEER Gallery, Tina Kim Gallery, Visual Arts Gallery and Yancey Richardson Gallery in New York, Carnegie Art Museum and Fette's Gallery in Southern CA and Transformer Gallery in Washington DC. She has shown in Miami with the Visual Arts Gallery and Yancey Richardson Gallery of NYC as well as with Anita Beckers Galerie of Frankfurt. Her first solo show, Wallflower, was held at Yancey Richardson Gallery in October of 2008.

Jeff Brouws

Jeff B. Is a self-taught artist. Pursuing photography since age 13, where he roamed the railroad and industrial corridors of the South Bay Peninsula, Brouws has compiled a visual survey of America's evolving rural, urban and suburban cultural landscapes. Using single photographs as subtle narrative and compiling typologies to index the nation's character, he revels in the "readymades" found in many of these environments. Influenced by the New Topographic Movement, the artist books of Ed Ruscha (to whom Brouws paid homage with his Twentysix Abandoned Gasoline Stations project in 1992) as well as the writings of cultural geographers like J.B. Jackson, Dolores Hayden and John Stilgoe, Brouws has combined anthropological inquiry and a bleak aesthetic beauty mining the overlooked, the obsolete, the mundane.

Initially engaged with what Walker Evans termed the "historical contemporary" along America's secondary highways beginning in the late 1980s, over the following twenty years Brouws has extended this inquiry into the everyday places occupied by most Americans – the franchised landscapes of strip malls, homogenized housing tracts and fast food chains. More recently, he has also instigated an all-encompassing photographic investigation of decimated inner cities: abandoned manufacturing sites, low-income housing, and other commercial ruins – residual public spaces left behind by the effects of de-industrialization, white flight, disinvestment, failed urban policy and overall societal neglect.
Throughout these various series, Brouws seeks the nexus points behind the movement of capital and the cycles of construction, decline and renewal within the built environment. For him roads, highways and city streets – vital components of a national infrastructure – are both engines of economic development and symbols of human freedom. By subtle implication, his photographs also evoke the restlessness of an uncertain nation and communicate a low-lying foreboding. They also challenge the mythos of the American Dream and suggest an underlying disparity throughout a country that purports economic equality and social justice for all.

Sharon Core

Alex Prager

Alex Prager was born in Los Angeles in 1979. She was raised by her grandmother in a small apartment in the suburb of Los Feliz. Her nomadic upbringing saw her splitting her time between Florida, California, and Switzerland without truly settling down long enough for a formal education. Prager's interest in art began in her adolescence, but it was in her early twenties that she began to focus on photography after being inspired by the work of William Eggleston.

In keeping with her independent spirit, she eschewed art school and began taking photographs on her own, teaching herself equipment and lighting through trial and error. Prager has since contributed to a number of publications including Details, i-D, Elle Japan, Tank, MOJO, and Complex. All the while, continuing to exhibit her work in various galleries worldwide.
After the release of her first book The Book Of Disquiet (2005) Prager was given her first solo show at the Robert Berman Gallery in Santa Monica, CA entitled Polyester. Her 2008 exhibition The Big Valley shown by the Michael Hoppen Gallery, London, received critical acclaim.

Eugene Richards


Em Lisboa - Jane e Louise Wilson: Tempo Suspenso - No CAM

Esta é a maior exposição individual até à data das gémeas britânicas Jane e Louise Wilson, que incluirá a sua primeira obra em filme Hypnotic Suggestion 505 (1993). Nesta exposição, serão apresentadas obras inéditas, como uma série de cinco esculturas produzidas especificamente para o espaço do CAM, que jogam com a arquitectura do edifício; são réguas que medem e pontuam os vários espaços expositivos e uma escultura suspensa inspirada em Rodchenko.

Será exposto o vídeo Spiteful of Dream, de 2008, produzido em Derby. O filme centra-se no movimento de uma enorme turbina e numa sequência caleidoscópica, que juntamente com o som e a imagem, configuram uma verdadeira coreografia. Como reflexo da relação entre história e memória, tema fundamental no trabalho de Jane e Louise Wilson, será apresentada a obra Unfolding the Aryan Papers (2009), que combina stills do arquivo de Stanley Kubrick com imagens da Hornsey Town Hall.

Serão apresentados dois conjuntos de trabalhos fotográficos: a série de seis fotografias, Oddments, de 2008, que espelha o importante processo de arquivo e catalogação de um dos maiores alfarrabistas londrinos, a Maggs Bros. Ltd; e cinco fotografias a preto e branco em larga escala dos bunkers da II Guerra Mundial, que serviram como extenso sistema de fortificações na costa da Normandia.

Trabalhando a memória histórica, a obra de Jane e Louise Wilson recupera lugares vazios, áreas evacuadas sem comando, ou espaços perdidos e abandonados, numa viagem que tem tanto de tempo psicológico como de arqueologia de lugares e vivências, transportando-nos para um tempo suspenso.
Jane e Louise Wilson: Tempo Suspenso
22 Janeiro 2010 a 18 Abril 2010

CAM – Hall, 1.ª Sala, 2.ª Sala, Nave e Sala Polivalente

Comissariado: Isabel Carlos