Hal Fischer

  • Danny Lyon

    Danny Lyon, filmmaker and photographer, achieved recognition with his photo essays on motorcycle gangs, The Bikeriders, 1967, and Texas prison life, Conversations with the Dead, 1971. His photographs—a potent mix of empathy and raw-edged veracity—avoid documentary cliche and simple minded humanism.

    Lyon’s recent photographs, which also appear in his book, The Paper Negative, 1980, are an apt though problematic coda to the past decade. During the 1970s the photographer moved away from the tight, project orientation of his earlier work. In the text to The Paper Negative, written in an autobiographical

  • Max Yavno

    In the late 1940s Max Yavno photographed San Francisco and Los Angeles, two cities in the midst of major physical and social changes. The New York born photographer, who had worked for the WPA and served as president of the Photo League, planned to photograph San Francisco’s diverse ethnic mix. However, on his first visit, he discovered the unique topography, architecture and climate, and chose instead to concentrate on the city’s physical appearance.

    Yavno’s speciality was the expansive, panoramic view. He rendered the architecture as modular patterns of frame houses against one another. He

  • Ellen Land-Weber

    ELLEN LAND-WEBER’s exhibition—coincident with the publication of her monograph The Passionate Collector—reveals an aspect of her work entirely different from the machine process imagery for which she is well known. For the past two years Land-Weber has collected “collectors,” traveling around the United States making portraits of individuals and their possessions. The collections run the gamut from the expected: bells, angels, license plates, antique glass; to the less common: cash registers, credit cards, carousel horses, and paperback copies of Catch 22; to the downright bizarre:

  • Kenneth Shorr

    KENNETH SHORR’s “Happy Idiots” photographs appear as open wounds that are disturbingly brutal. The ten triptychs shown consist of media and snapshot images which have been enlarged to a 20-by-24-inch format, then torn, burned, layered, and finally violated with red paint.

    Shorr’s work reveals the formal influence of his L.A. mentors Robert Heinecken and Judith Golden. But his photographs are unique in that his alterations do not function as embellishment, but rather as an aggressive, even anarchistic metamorphosis. The source material includes pictures of Kennedy, Mao, Carter and Brezhnev, the

  • Christian Schad

    As a founder of the Zurich Dada group and “inventor” of the Schadograph (a negativeless photographic positive comparable to a photogram), Christian Schad established a reputation as a vanguard 20th-century artist. This retrospective traces the 86-year-old artist’s career from 1913 to the present day. Curiously, the complete range of this German artist’s work has until now remained relatively undisclosed.

    Schad’s early years, spent in Munich and Zurich, make evident several styles of painting and a receptivity to new or untried materials. His Dada period culminated with polychrome reliefs in which

  • Hans Mende

    In his introduction to Hans Mende’s photographs of Berlin, Janos Frecot points out that in the middle ages cities were formed by walls, discernible boundaries separating city from country. In the contemporary metropolis such delineations are rare, and cities and suburbs grow together to form indistinct urban sprawls. Political realities have,however, returned Berlin to a topographical status comparable to that of medieval city state.

    Hans Mende’s photographic essay “Grenzbegehung” (i.e. walking the line) is an alternative exploration of Berlin. What makes the work “alternative” is Mende’s choice

  • Susan Felter

    In photographs made at western rodeos, Susan Felter displays a sure instinct for the mythic and erotic overtones of this American ritual. She photographs surface illusion, straight-faced macho cowboys in pink satin shirts and two toned leather chaps, and the kinetic colors and shapes of bronco riding. Her vision is in harmony with both the cowboys, who desire to project a ruggedly virile image, and the rodeo entrepreneurs, who fabricate spectacles.

    The photographs are divided almost evenly between portraits, some of them posed, others frozen with strobe in mid-action, and movement studies, abstract

  • Suzanne Hellmuth and Jock Reynolds

    Suzanne Hellmuth’s and Jock Reynolds’ recent exhibition, “A State of the Union: Photographic Juxtapositions,” evidences a multiplicity of unrealized possibilities. Enticed by the 200,000 photographs in the century-old archive of the California Historical Society, the artists began selecting pictures which through visual linkage, juxtaposition, and fragmentation could “address the issues and the nature of human events in this period of expansion and industrialization in California.” Conceived as an installation, the photographs were sequenced in units of two or more, re-photographed, framed, and

  • S.E. Ciriclio

    S.E. CIRICLIO’s “Neighborhood” is purposefully mundane yet thoroughly engaging. Utilizing a city planning map,and shooting pictures from her car window, the artist photographed the 36 streets of her residential neighborhood, dividing each street by the number of proscribed building lots into a corresponding number of photographs. The 31/2 by 51/2 inch color photographs were then sewed with a gridlike stitch into forms replicating the topography of the actual streets. In its full configuration this 100 block expanse measures 30 by 32 by 62 feet. In its current installation, “Neighborhood” is

  • Harry Bowers

    Harry Bowers’ recent color photographs are composite fabrications, layers of apparel, cut-out constructions, paper mannequins, and black-and-white portraits (with spray paint) presented in a 40 inch by 50 inch format. In contrast to his earlier works—sequential, life-sized articles of clothing arranged in an autobiographical/anthropomorphic format—these photographs are diverse in subject matter and more varied in appearance.

    Bowers has always reflected a painterly disposition, displaying lush, sensual hues. In the current works he layers materials, creating a trompe l’oeil effect in which clothing

  • Steve Fitch

    The past few years have seen increased numbers of photographers working in the night landscape, using extended time exposure with combinations of strobe and ambient light. Darkness offers the possibility for greater control through the manipulation of light and provides an intense color saturation that can be employed for romantic or surreal effect.

    Steve Fitch has been photographing nocturnal imagery since the early ’70s, initially concentrating on roadside signs in his black-and-white images for Diesels and Dinosaurs. Now, in his Western landscape pictures, Fitch uses color. He transposes

  • Gail Skoff

    Gail Skoff has always appeared somewhat out of sync, a contemporary photographer with a 19th-century attitude. Skoff has photographed both the romantic and the exotic, from public parks and cafés in Paris to cremation ceremonies in Bali. She handcolors these pictures, making them seem even more temporally disjunctive.

    Nevertheless, she has superseded what could be construed as anachronistic pictorialism and the fad of hand-tinting through a convincing fusion of content and technique. Skoff photographs with the balanced and inquisitive perspective of the 19th-century documentarian while her