Martin Parr at the NPG – laying it on with a scalpel?

'Only Human', currently at the National Portrait Gallery is a late-career retrospective of Martin Parr's work, picking up (according to Prodger 2019) from where Val Williams 2002 volume left off. Being at the NPG, it concentrates on 'people pictures' (although by no means exclusively portraits) and explores the concept of 'Britishness'. I suspect that regular... Continue Reading →

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Roger Fenton – Shadows of War

Roger Fenton was a founder member and the first Honorary Secretary of what would become the Royal Photographic Society. The previous RPS HQ building in Bath was named after him. The current exhibition in the Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace shows Fenton's pictures from the Crimean Way, taken during 1855 - mostly original prints made... Continue Reading →

Laura Fisher – Broken

One broken ceramic doll face can be a beautiful exercise in light, shade and form. Sixteen of them, exhibited in a mental health facility, become rather more - a metaphor for the fragility of personality and identity in mental illness. Laura Fisher is a Medway-based artist and photographer, working mainly in monochrome documentary and a... Continue Reading →

Don McCullin at Tate Britain

This is an exhibition that I could review in one word: Wow! However, the demands of a learning blog means that a bit more detail is required. This is a very intense exhibition; there are 'content advisory' warnings at the ticket desk and at the entrance to the exhibition space and I still have PTSD... Continue Reading →

Markéta Luskačová at the Tate

Markéta Luskačová is a  Czech-born documentary photographer who moved to Britain after the hardening of communist rule following suppression of the 'Prague Spring' (Tate Britain wall notes). She currently has an exhibition in one of the galleries of Tate Britain. I took the opportunity to visit after viewing the McCullin retrospective. I have re-photographed some... Continue Reading →

Gone Astray

Clare Strand is a conceptual artist who uses photography in her work. Some of her more recent works, such as 'The Happenstance Generator' (2015) and 'The Entropy Pendulum' (2015), explore randomness though the intermediation of mechanical devices acting on photographs. (Brown, 2017) The work that we are directed towards for present study is 'Gone Astray... Continue Reading →

Temporary studios – Penn and Avedon

Making portrait photographs in a studio gives the photographer control of background and lighting. However, a permanent studio is expensive and also requires the sitter to travel to a fixed location, which is inconvenient. I suspect that it only really works if money has changed hands: either the sitter has commissioned a studio portrait or... Continue Reading →

Charlie and Bert

The Charlie and Bert of the title are not photographers but the subjects/collaborators of two photographers, Julian Germain and Kaylynn Deveney respectively. This posting looks at two superficially similar long-term projects in which the photographer has struck a friendship with an elderly single male subject and made a collaborative document of his life through routine... Continue Reading →

Harry Callahan

Harry Callahan (1912-1999) was an American photographer and teacher at the Institute of Design in Chicago. His major influences are said to be the photographic purism of Ansel Adams (following a lecture at his camera club) and the radical invention of Lazlo Moholy-Nagy (his director at the ID) (Cassidy). His work can be considered as... Continue Reading →

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