Noam M. Elcott

  • “Picture Industry”

    “PICTURE INDUSTRY,” curated by the artist Walead Beshty at the Hessel Museum of Art at Bard, has quietly thrown down the gauntlet, not only for exhibitions that address the history of photography, but for all future surveys of twentieth-century art and political imagery broadly. The exhibition is unabashedly ambitious and pedagogical: Three hundred works by more than seventy individuals and collectives spread across seventeen galleries, with extensive wall labels culled from primary sources and the leading scholarship. But the show’s lessons can be found not in the texts so much as in the objects

  • Peter Gidal and the London Film-Makers’ Co-operative

    Shoot Shoot Shoot: The First Decade of the London Film-Makers’ Co-operative 1966–76, edited by Mark Webber. London: LUX, 2016. 288 pages.

    Flare Out: Aesthetics 1966–2016, by Peter Gidal; edited by Mark Webber and Peter Gidal. London: The Visible Press, 2016. 288 pages.

    IT WAS NOT a shot heard round the world. It was more like a birth announcement, couched in playfully telegraphic syntax and supposedly cabled to Jonas Mekas, a founder of the New York Film-Makers’ Cooperative, in 1966: LONDON FILM-MAKERS COOP ABOUT TO BE LEGALLY ESTABLISHED STOP PURPOSE TO SHOOT SHOOT SHOOT SHOOT SHOOT STOP NEVER

  • László Moholy-Nagy

    “MOHOLY-NAGY: FUTURE PRESENT” at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the artist’s first major American retrospective in nearly half a century and surely among the most stunning ever presented, compels us to ask a once-unthinkable question: Is László Moholy-Nagy the most important artist of the twentieth century? His accepted biography is less exceptional than it is emblematic of artists of his generation. An assimilated Jew from Central Europe forced into exile after the short-lived Communist regime in Hungary, Moholy relocated to Berlin as the city became a capital of the avant-garde.

  • “Photo Eye: Avant-Garde Photography in Europe”

    Bringing together some fifty images created between the mid-1920s and 1940 by both signal and marginalized figures such as Constantin Brancusi, Ilse Bing, Albert Renger-Patzsch, Jaroslav Rössler, and Lucia Moholy, curator Anne Havinga inherits the burden and potential of any exhibition devoted to photography from the interwar period, namely the challenge of tracking the medium through the realms of art, advertising, and journalism, as well as of encompassing the era’s diverse movements and eclectic caldron of styles. Havinga’s exhibition is sure to provide a complex picture