Vince Aletti

  • Lee Friedlander

    It’s fitting, if inevitable, that a Lee Friedlander retrospective should originate at the Museum of Modern Art, an institution that championed his work early on (John Szarkowski put him in the historic 1967 “New Documents” show with Diane Arbus and Garry Winogrand) and has collected it in depth ever since. With some five hundred prints drawn from throughout Friedlander’s insanely prolific fifty-year career, the show is likely to be as unruly and unconventional as the work, which includes genre-busting portraiture, self-portraiture, landscapes, still lifes, and architectural

  • Shōji Ueda

    This retrospective of Shōji Ueda’s work, the first outside Japan, gathers 151 black-and-white photographs made in the course of a seven-decade career that began in 1932, when Ueda opened a studio on a remote coast of the Sea of Japan whose sand dunes would provide a favorite setting. The artful images he staged there—including a series of witty tableaux featuring his family in the early ’50s—ran counter to the dark mood and aggressive experimentation that characterized photography in postwar Japan. But Ueda’s stylized modernism was never reactionary,

  • David Goldblatt

    A self-described “white South African English-speaking Jew,” David Goldblatt has always practiced photography as “a political act”—a way of “squaring one’s conscience with being a white in this country.” Active since the ’50s, he’s been a remarkably restrained and reliable witness to the awful subtleties of everyday inequity. But Goldblatt has also proven himself a master of the deceptively casual street scene, focusing on the cross section of social and commercial activity at busy intersections. This show, his first exclusively in color, features some

  • Martin Munkácsi

    “All great photographs today are snapshots,” Martin Munkácsi (1896–1963) announced in 1935, and he had plenty of convincing evidence right at hand. For more than a decade, the self-taught Hungarian photographer had been enlivening newspapers and magazines in Budapest and Berlin with pictures that combined modernist innovation, graphic sophistication, and the punch of a knockout sports photo. When he followed other Jewish exile artists to New York in 1934, Munkácsi brought the same anything-goes exuberance and spontaneity

  • Robert Mapplethorpe

    The photographer whose 1990 retrospective resulted in obscenity charges against Cincinnati's Contemporary Art Center was also a flaming neoclassicist. This show examines the artist's debt to the Mannerists, juxtaposing 125 of his photos of classical busts and artfully truncated nudes with Renaissance statuary, woodcuts, and engravings.

    The photographer whose 1990 retrospective resulted in obscenity charges against Cincinnati’s Contemporary Art Center was also a flaming neoclassicist. Throughouth his career, Robert Mapplethorpe seesawed between the decadent and the decorative. Focusing on the latter, this show examines the artist’s debt to the Mannerists, juxtaposing 125 of his photos of classical busts and artfully truncated nudes with Renaissance statuary, woodcuts, and engravings. While Mapplethorpe’s early investigations of the homoerotic underground remain an important counterbalance to his later exercises in chilly

  • Fashioning Fiction in Photography Since 1990

    MoMA’s curators have selected nearly one hundred photographs by a dozen “crossover” artists like Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Tina Barney, Steven Meisel, Nan Goldin, Cindy Sherman, and Larry Sultan to examine the disintegrating line between art and commerce over the past decade.

    Although MoMA has included its collection of fashion work by Steichen, Beaton, Penn, and Avedon in various themed shows, “Fashioning Fiction” is its first exhibition devoted to fashion photography. As such, it makes no attempt to recapitulate the genre’s history, focusing instead on recent, often self-consciously cinematic developments. MoMA’s curators have selected nearly one hundred photographs by a dozen “crossover” artists like Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Tina Barney, Steven Meisel, Nan Goldin, Cindy Sherman, and Larry Sultan to examine the disintegrating

  • ICP Triennial of Photography and Video

    Angling for some high-profile attention, ICP puts itself on the overcrowded international-survey calendar with the launch of its photo and video triennial.

    Angling for some high-profile attention, ICP puts itself on the overcrowded international-survey calendar with the launch of its photo and video triennial, the first of which, titled “Strangers,” rounds up some forty new and established artists, including Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Rineke Dijkstra, Luc Delahaye, Zwelethu Mthethwa, Collier Schorr, and Susan Meiselas. Brian Wallis, chief of ICP’s four staff curators, says the show’s theme emerged from the work itself, much of which involves crossing cultural and political borders. Though photojournalism accounts for only a fraction of the mix, its

  • Cindy Sherman

    Serpentine chief curator Rochelle Steiner’s Cindy Sherman overview focuses on staged portraiture, which allows the artist to hide in plain sight as a shape-shifting Everywoman: starlet, frump, Madonna, ogre, aging trophy wife.

    Serpentine chief curator Rochelle Steiner’s Cindy Sherman overview focuses on staged portraiture, which allows the artist to hide in plain sight as a shape-shifting Everywoman: starlet, frump, Madonna, ogre, aging trophy wife. With some forty photographs from the “Untitled Film Stills” and more recent pieces that continue the artist’s 2000 series skewering anxious, oblivious career girls, the show investigates Sherman’s mix of satire and sympathy. “I want that choked-up feeling in your throat which may come from despair or teary-eyed sentimentality,” she wrote early on, before burying all traces

  • 1982: Bruce Weber for Calvin Klein

    Sometimes an athlete or actor thinks he’s so much more beautiful than the way I see him. But it might have been his nose that I was in love with.

    —Bruce Weber in Bruce Weber (Knopf, 1989)

    WHEN HIS PHOTOGRAPH of a muscular young man in nothing but white briefs appeared on a Times Square billboard in August 1982, Bruce Weber was nearly as unknown as his model, a pole-vaulter named Tom Hintnaus, who took a break from training for the Olympics to help launch Calvin Klein’s new line of men’s underwear. Weber had set Hintnaus against a whitewashed wall and photographed him from such a low angle that

  • Vince Aletti

    VINCE ALETTI

    1 “Winogrand 1964” (International Center of Photography, New York) Working in the shadows of Robert Frank and the Kennedy assassination, Garry Winogrand spent the better part of the summer and early fall of 1964 driving cross-country, photographing the Americans. He printed only a fraction of the twenty thousand pictures he shot and showed very few of those in his lifetime. Choosing from the one thousand black-and-white images the photographer himself had culled as well as a largely unedited and never-before-exhibited archive of color slides taken on the same road trip, curator Trudy

  • First Break

    Vince Aletti looks back at Larry Clark’s checkered youth and the events that led to the publication of Tulsa in 1971.

    As a teenager, Larry Clark spent three humiliating years pressed into the family business: going door-to-door in Tulsa, Oklahoma, taking baby pictures. So when he enrolled in the photography program at Milwaukee’s Layton School of Art and Design in 1961, it was mostly to get far away from home. But it was there he discovered Life magazine, W. Eugene Smith’s photo essays, and the narrative possibilities of a medium he’d always taken for granted. “I had these urges to be a storyteller,

  • PORTFOLIO: SAUL FLETCHER

    SAUL FLETCHER SHOT THE AUSTERE LANDSCAPES on the following pages at the end of a frustrating three weeks last February. “I'd been thinking about these pictures for three or four years,'' he says in his soft North Country burr. ”I used to work in those fields picking potatoes. I knew there were pictures to be done there, but it never felt right.“ Determined to capture a place that had left a strong imprint on him, Fletcher, thirty-four, left London, where he lives with his wife and children, and returned to his family home in Lincolnshire, in northeastern England. His parents still live in the

  • Chic Clicks: Creativity and Commerce in Contemporary Fashion Photography

    Fashion photography is the love child of art and commerce, alternately spoiled and spurned, so many of its most successful auteurs (including Corinne Day, Terry Richardson, and Matthias Vriens) feel the need to establish their independence from even the field’s most unconventional conventions.

    Fashion photography is the love child of art and commerce, alternately spoiled and spurned, so many of its most successful auteurs (including Corinne Day, Terry Richardson, and Matthias Vriens) feel the need to establish their independence from even the field’s most unconventional conventions. Other photographers (Cindy Sherman, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Larry Sultan, and Collier Schorr) dip into fashion, if only to bend its conventions to their will. Curator Ulrich Lehmann brings these and thirty-three others together in an ambitious show. With more than 240 images on

  • Taken by Design: Photographs from the Institute of Design, 1937–1971

    Though far too individualistic to be labeled the Chicago School, Harry Callahan, Aaron Siskind, and others at the Institute of Design made the city a driving force in avant-garde American photography.

    Though far too individualistic to be labeled the Chicago School, Harry Callahan, Aaron Siskind, and others at the Institute of Design made the city a driving force in avant-garde American photography. Key to that influence was László Moholy-Nagy, who founded ID as the New Bauhaus in 1937, bringing his idealistic “new vision” for the integration of art and technology with him from Dessau. This show of 200 images, organized by the Art Institute’s David Travis and Elizabeth Siegel, includes work by Moholy-Nagy, Callahan, and Siskind, as well as acolytes Gyorgy Kepes, Ray K. Metzker, Kenneth Josephson,

  • Vince Aletti

    VINCE ALETTI

    1 Philip-Lorca diCorcia (PaceWildenstein, New York) Because the subjects of diCorcia’s larger-than-life head shots are unaware that their pictures are being taken, they exist in a weird state of grace. Hyperalert urban radar temporarily down, these pedestrians look touchingly vulnerable: alone and adrift. The photographer “cringes” at the idea that his work is humanistic and insists he’s “not the slightest bit sympathetic” toward his subjects, yet he never thwarts our sympathy for them. DiCorcia’s people are ordinary citizens of the twenty-first century, and that’s exactly why they’re

  • William Eggleston

    Easily the most influential color photographer in the US, Eggleston was also one of the first to make something out of nothing.

    Easily the most influential color photographer in the US, Eggleston was also one of the first to make something out of nothing. Though Walker Evans staked a major claim in the territory of vernacular Americana, Eggleston digs deeper into the inconsequential and the commonplace. His photos, which look as casual as snapshots but pack an unexpected punch (emotional as well as formal), turn a trash-strewn yard, flaming barbecue grill, and countless isolated Southerners into emblems of the way we live now. That may be why his pictures have been touchstones for everyone from Nan Goldin to Andreas

  • Elizabeth Peyton

    If Dufy and Manet had collaborated on pinups for Melody Maker, the results might look like Elizabeth Peyton’s meltingly romantic, dead cool portraits of red-lipped youngish men. Whether drawing or painting, Peyton has a deft, loose, and loving touch. Full of creamy flesh tones and atmospheric buzz, her pictures are a fan’s notes, and her subjects—Liam Gallagher, Lord Alfred Douglas, Leonardo DiCaprio, Prince Harry—are vividly idealized, if disconcertingly effeminate heartthrobs. For the artist’s first retrospective, curator Zdenek Felix has rounded up some 120 works, the earliest a 1990 drawing

  • PORTFOLIO: GARY SCHNEIDER

    WHEN SOUTH AFRICAN-BORN, New York-based photographer Gary Schneider began making portraits of friends and acquaintances in 1989, he took as his model Julia Margaret Cameron's soulful, sepia-toned albumen prints and other nineteenth-century photographs that required sitters to remain still for up to eight minutes while the open lens absorbed their image. Schneider, who has no interest in the “decisive moment,” liked the idea of recording a subject over time, and, in effect, making time his subject: “I wanted to get away from the whole nature of modern technology, which allows a photographer to

  • Ansel Adams at 100

    Though Ansel Adams seemed a largely historical, irredeemably old-school character long before his death in 1984, the centennial of his birth occasions the rigorous reevaluation of one of the twentieth century’s most popular and influential photographers. Curator John Szarkowski, director emeritus of the photo department at New York’s moma, promises to focus on Adams’s early contributions to a distinctly American brand of modernism. Trust Szarkowski to get past the magnificent clichés to a new appreciation of what he calls Adams’s “profound and mystical experience of the natural world.”

  • WOLFGANG TILLMANS: A PROJECT FOR ARTFORUM

    "I THINK THAT THE BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT, in a way, is to be of your time, because you cannot program timelessness,” Wolfgang Tillmans told the Art Newspaper shortly before he won Britain’s Turner Prize three months ago. “I was never afraid of being contemporary.” From the moment his deceptively effortless photographs first began appearing in i-D, in the early ’90s, the 32-year-old, German-born, London-based Tillmans has been the very model of the cool yet engaged contemporary artist, with an appetite for visual stimulation so voracious it gobbles up everything from Kate Moss to armed soldiers,