• Amy Bedik, “Fleeting Gestures”

    The Photographer's Gallery

    The most promising work in the Paris “Avant-Garde” show was by a young American named Amy Bedik, and when I moved on to London I found she was having a one-woman exhibition there. The London show of views done in Italy and Spain, was better than the work shown in Paris. Like Jacques Wendenbergh, Bedik has an eye for the interplay of light and space, and like him, too, she doesn’t trust her eye to be enough to make her photography distinctive. Just as he prints on too contrasty a paper, thereby sacrificing a lot of his image for a fake visual style, Bedik tricks up her work by using a Diana

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  • Fionuala Boyd and Les Evans

    Angela Flowers Gallery

    The Photographers Gallery isn’t London’s only game in town, though it might sometimes seem to be. Started in 1971, it is a private institution comparable to ICP. Since London wasn’t in the midst of a photo fete like the one in Paris, only a few other shows were on while I was there. That two of them were very good therefore seemed a pretty high rate of return on the time spent in galleries. If Amy Bedik’s show reminded me of Jacques Wendenbergh’s in certain ways, Les Evan’s and Fionuala Boyd ’s reminded me of Ken Snelson’s. A husband and wife who collaborate on Photo-Realist painting, Boyd and

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  • Nigel Henderson, Peter Kennard

    Half Moon Gallery

    The other show I liked was Nigel Henderson’s, of photographs taken 30 years ago when Henderson was an art student living in Bethnal Green, the working-class district where the Half Moon Gallery is now located. Like Ben Shahn in the 1930s, Henderson was willing to try for any and every kind of shot since it was only the imagery, not photography for its own sake, that attracted him. The result of this casual, amateur approach was to make the photographs more intense and moving. The other show at the Half Moon was probably more typical of the current photography encouraged by this photo cooperative,

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  • Don McCullin, Jane Bown

    Victoria and Albert Museum, National Portrait Gallery

    It was equally pointless to hang Don McCullin’s photo journalism in a museum. Detached from their social and journalistic context, McCullin’s assorted characters of blight and death become objets d’art whose beauty is reprehensible. The subjects of his photographs become as titilating and pleasant to look at as the celebrities in the informal portraits by The Observer’s Jane Bown, who is the Jill Krementz of England. English photography has always been dominated by its social (and class) consciousness. This is what produces photography like McCullin’s, Kennard’s and even Bown’s. But in the long

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