boston

Adam Fuss

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

If in the early days of photography, the mechanical difficulties of producing even a mediocre photograph prevented the uninitiated from muddling the issue, technical innovations soon meant that anyone could, and would, make a picture. Pictorialism, then, arose at the turn of the last century as a response to the tawdry democracy of the Kodak. Meltingly soft focus, dreamlike emanations full of artifice and dripping with sensibility: Let’s see you try that with your disposable!

Adam Fuss is an unabashed Pictorialist who emphasizes the medium’s expressive qualities. His retrospective at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, curated by Cheryl Brutvan, left no doubt that his work can hold its own alongside those Old Masters down the hall. Everything about a Fuss photograph declares its lack of kinship with the snapshot. These are large-format works, destined to hang framed on a wall, preferably in a

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