13 to 24 of 54
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Dawoud Bey - A Girl in Hyde Park, Chicago
Dawoud Bey
A Girl in Hyde Park, Chicago
$3,500
Sale
$2,450
Vladimir Birgus - Berlin
Vladimir Birgus
Berlin
$2,500
Cecily Brown - Big Film Still
Cecily Brown
Big Film Still
$3,500
Sale
$2,450
Melitte Buchman - Untitled, from the Illumination Array
Melitte Buchman
Untitled, from the Illumination Array
$600
Sale
$420
Marsha Burns - Helen, Firefighter
Marsha Burns
Helen, Firefighter
$3,500
Sale
$2,450
Marsha Burns - Untitled (Female Nude Reclining)
Marsha Burns
Untitled (Female Nude Reclining)
$2,500
Nancy Burson - First and Second Beauty Composites
Nancy Burson
First and Second Beauty Composites
$15,000
Paul Cava - Studio
Paul Cava
Studio
$1,500
Sale
$1,050
John Coplans - Self Portrait (Clenched Thumb II)
John Coplans
Self Portrait (Clenched Thumb II)
$15,000
Jessica Craig-Martin - Dragon Red and Cherry Blossom Pink
Jessica Craig-Martin
Dragon Red and Cherry Blossom Pink
$2,500
Sale
$1,750
Judy Dater - Day Dreams 1
Judy Dater
Day Dreams 1
$2,000
Lois Greenfield - Maureen Fleming, The Immortal Rose
Lois Greenfield
Maureen Fleming, The Immortal Rose
$1,000
Sale
$700
By Matt Damsker

Unlike in past periods, there's no mainstream or orthodoxy to art photography in today's post-postmodern era. Where once photographers held to the primacy of black and white printing or the nobility of superb formalism and painstakingly controlled exposure, contemporary photo art draws its legitimacy not from aesthetic conventions or the leadership of an elite few, so much as from an increasingly diverse and increasingly fractured perception of the world.

Thus, while there may be schools of contemporary photography––say, the exploratory, post-Soviet realism of Eastern European eyes such as Stanko Abadzic or Vladimir Birgus, or the rigorous experiments with color, landscape and geometry that distinguish the work of Marcus Doyle, Jerry Spagnoli and Charlie Schriener––there is no quintessentially contemporary work, and perhaps that is a good thing. Where Steichen or Steiglitz, Weston or Adams, Frank or Cartier-Bresson once defined the artistic moment, today's cross-influenced world of global media and instant communication is simply too fluid an environment for any aesthetic to dominate.

As a result, the photographers represented in this exhibit are compiling a new grammar of images, one that addresses both the triumph and the failure of the modern world and of modernism––its promise and delivery of progress on one hand, its failures of humanity and ecology on the other. Today's ambivalent portraits of skyscrapers and consumer products, shadowy images of urban prostitution, or dreamlike visions of man's encroachment on pristine landscapes speak to us in a multitude of visual tongues that recall the classic photography of the modern masters in many ways, and build upon the technological breakthroughs of ever more advanced films, cameras, and digital manipulation. And yet these photographs do not celebrate visual reality so much as mourn a fallen world in which so much is possible and so much goes unachieved.

Vladimir Birgus--Berlin
Vladimir Birgus--Berlin

The images of beauty and nudity struck by Sally Mann, Lisa Holden, Ernestine Rubin, Connie Imboden or Michael Philip Manheim are variously activated by vivid color saturations, painted effects, foreshortened perspectives, swirling multiple exposures or an isolating focus on body parts. All of these approaches confront our loss of innocence, our febrile possessive gaze and, always, our complicity in establishing the meaning of an artwork. By contrast, the architectural studies of Louis Baltz or William Christenberry could not be more straightforward in their depictions of the simple, hardscrabble facades behind which life, we must assume, struggles on.

Amidst these diverse visions of the fragments of today's world, of course, the temptation to connect them thematically or conceptually may be strong, but more than anything they speak to a kind of multiform freedom––the freedom to see, shape and reshape in new ways, and the freedom to find ever richer subject matter in our backyards, on our computers, or in our own heads. While photography's tendency has always been to beautify or ennoble the plainest particulars of the world, today's best photographers are more liberated than ever as they reveal to us that nothing is plain and simple anymore.

Contemporary Art Photography: A Selection
About This Exhibit
Image List

Exhibited and Sold By
Contemporary Works / Vintage Works, Ltd.

258 Inverness Circle
Chalfont, Pennsylvania   18914   USA

Contact Alex Novak and Marthe Smith

Email info@vintageworks.net

Phone +1-215-822-5662

Call for an Appointment

 

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