PRINT December 1999

Carol Squiers

1. The Religious Right’s Promotion of Photography The ’90s brought the medium massive public attention when various “transgressive” imagemakers were caught dead-center in the culture wars. Some photographers were damaged in the skirmish; others became celebrities. But all the bad publicity made the medium itself a succès de scandale. Alas, the art world, called on to defend the work of photographers like Robert Mapplethorpe, failed to rise to the occasion. That lapse spelled the doom of NEA grants to individual artists, but the controversy also provoked a salutary, if tardy, scramble within the art world to confront photography as an artmaking medium.

2. Hiroshi Sugimoto (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1995–96) The decade’s most sublime exhibition of photography showcased Sugimoto’s rigorous application of concept in the service of visual pleasure. Especially marvelous are his

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