reviews

Len Lye, Georgia O’Keeffe, 1947, gelatin silver print, 16 7/8 × 14 1/8". From “Emanations: The Art of the Cameraless Photograph.”

“Emanations: The Art of the Cameraless Photograph”

Govett-Brewster Art Gallery

Len Lye, Georgia O’Keeffe, 1947, gelatin silver print, 16 7/8 × 14 1/8". From “Emanations: The Art of the Cameraless Photograph.”

“Emanations” was, according to the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, the world’s first comprehensive survey of cameraless photography. That it was happening here and now was the result of several factors coming together at just the right time: the opening of the Len Lye Centre at the Govett-Brewster; the return of New Zealander Simon Rees from Europe to take up its directorship in 2014; the fact that one of the world’s most prominent theorists of photography, Geoffrey Batchen, is now based at Wellington’s Victoria University; and an increasing curatorial fascination at the center with two groups of photograms made by Lye, dating from ca. 1930 and 1947, respectively.

Rees commissioned Batchen to curate a history of cameraless photography, using the Lye photograms as his starting point. The resulting exhibition stretched from the nineteenth-century experiments of Anna Atkins and William

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the September 2016 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.