Conceptual art and photography Sarah Charlesworth

Sarah Edwards Charlesworth (March 29, 1947 – June 25, 2013) was an American conceptual artist and photographer. She is considered part of The Pictures Generation, a loose-knit group of artists working in New York in the late 1970s and early 1980s, all of whom were concerned with how images shape our everyday lives and society as a whole.Charlesworth was born in East Orange, New Jersey. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Barnard College in 1969. Her undergraduate thesis project, a work of conceptual art devoid of text, was a 50-print study of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Prior to that she studied under Douglas Huebler at Bradford College. After completing her degree, she studied briefly under the photographer Lisette Model at The New School. After college, she worked as a freelance photographer and became active in downtown Manhattan art circles






 Charlesworth worked in photographic series, but stated in a 1990 interview that she had not really thought of herself as a photographer. She stated, rather, that she viewed her work as investigating questions about the world and her role in it, but realized as of that point that she had been investigating those questions through the medium of photography for the past twelve years.In 1975, Charlesworth and fellow conceptual artist Joseph Kosuth founded The Fox, a magazine dedicated to art theory, but the magazine only remained in publication until 1976.Along with Glenn O'Brien, Betsy Sussler, Liza Bear, and Michael McClard, she co-founded BOMB magazine in 1981.Charlesworth also created the cover art for the very first edition of BOMB magazine.Charlesworth worked in series, exploring one idea to its conclusion.For a series called Modern History (1977–79), she photographed, at actual size, the front pages of 29 American and Canadian newspapers and blanked out everything except for their photographs and mastheads. For Movie-Television-News-History (1979), a part of the series, Charlesworth selected a specific event — the shooting of American journalist Bill Stewart by the Nicaraguan National Guard — and presented it as it was reported on June 21, 1979, in 27 American newspapers. All images in the final work were printed at the same size as the original newspapers.






In February 1980, Charlesworth created Stills, a series of harrowing, six-and-a-half-foot-tall photographs depicting bodies falling from buildings.When Stills was first shown in 1980 in Tony Shafrazi’s East Village apartment, it consisted of seven images. To create the series, Charlesworth scoured news wires and the archives of the New York Public Library for images of people plunging through the air, having jumped out of a windows to commit suicide or because of a catastrophe like fire. After appropriating the photograph, she would crop or tear it, often leaving the edges ragged so that it appeared to be haphazardly torn like a homemade clipping. She would then rephotograph the image and enlarge it. Charlesworth later expanded the series, printing an eighth work from her original source material in 2009 and – as a commission of the Art Institute of Chicago – creating a set of six new ones from the original transparencies that were never printed. Each gelatin silver print was made and mounted to the exact specifications of those she created in 1980.
In her “Objects of Desire” series (1983-1988), Cibachrome prints of appropriated images – typically a cutout picture of a single object, including a gold bowl and a statue of a Buddha – are photographed against bright, laminated monochrome backgrounds that match their lacquered frames.In the series Renaissance Paintings and Renaissance Drawings (both 1991), Charlesworth combined imagery from disparate Italian Renaissance paintings and drawings to make new, often ironic paintings and drawings.





 Charlesworth began to photograph actual objects only in the early 1990s.Her series The Academy of Secrets is Charlesworth's attempt to convey her emotions through using abstracted images of objects that have symbolic associations. She illustrated how the way light falls on objects affects our perceptions of them as the subject of her own 2012 solo exhibition Available Light.Charlesworth held various teaching positions at New York University, the School of Visual Arts, and Hartford University. Before her death she taught Master Critique in the MFA Photography, Video and Related Media Program and The School of Visual Arts. A major influence on a new generation of artists, including Sara VanDerBeek and Liz Deschenes, she was appointed to the faculty of Princeton University in 2012.Wikipedia





Black and White photography Elio Ciol

Elio Ciol (born 1929) is an Italian photographer and publisher who was born in Casarsa della Delizia in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, the region where he has principally lived and worked. His father was a photographer who kept a studio in their hometown and Elio was fascinated by the technical aspects and worked in the darkroom as a boy. A formative experience was when, during the Nazi occupation, a German doctor brought in films with photographs of the countryside rather than of people, "photographs that I myself should have been able to do and which I had not done or even imagined." He began practising photography at fifteen, worked full-time in the studio from nineteen, and spent an increasing amount of his free time taking photographs for his own interests. A trip to Assisi in 1951 made a great impression; Ciol subsequently spent much time there, taking many photographs.
Dissatisfied with the conventions demanded in Italian photographic contests, Ciol ambitiously entered contests abroad; in 1955 and 1956 he was encouraged by favorable mentions in the American magazine Popular Photography.








 Ciol was greatly influenced by the ideas of Luigi Crocenzi, emphasizing sequence rather than single images when illustrating a book or other story (an example had been Crocenzi's Conversazione in Sicilia, with text by Elio Vittorini). Ciol moved to Milan in 1963 to work on projects for the firm of Altimani; this soon ran into financial difficulties and Ciol returned to Casarsa, but invigorated with new ideas for the illustration and layout of books. He has illustrated dozens of books since that time.
Ciol has concentrated on creating a photographic record and archive of Italian works of art, architecture, landscapes, and archaeological sites and artefacts, particularly in Friuli. His works are black and white, sometimes employing infrared-sensitive film. Some of his photographs show people so close as to be recognizable, but more often people appear as small figures within landscapes. More often still the landscapes are devoid of people.Wikipedia








Experimental art and performance Vito Acconci

Vito Hannibal Acconci (January 24, 1940 – April 27, 2017)was an American designer, landscape architect, performance and installation artist.
"Acconci began his career as a poet, editing 0 TO 9 with Bernadette Mayer in the late 1960s. In the late 1960s, Acconci transformed himself into a performance and video artist using his own body as a subject for photography, film, video, and performance. His performance and video work was marked heavily by confrontation and Situationism. In the mid 1970s, Acconci expanded his metier into the world of audio/visual installations.
One installation/performance piece from this period is Seedbed (January 15–29, 1971). In Seedbed Acconci lay hidden underneath a gallery-wide ramp installed at the Sonnabend Gallery, masturbating while vocalizing into a loudspeaker his fantasies about the visitors walking above him on the ramp.One motivation behind Seedbed was to involve the public in the work's production by creating a situation of reciprocal interchange between artist and viewer.
During the 1980s he invited viewers to create artwork by activating machinery that erected shelters and signs. He also turned to the creation of furniture and to prototypes of houses and gardens in the late 1980s. The artist also founded Acconci Studio in 1988 focusing on theoretical design and building. Acconci has designed the United Bamboo store in Tokyo in 2003 and collaborated on concept designs for interactive art vehicle Mister Artsee in 2006 among others.







More recently, the artist has focused on architecture and landscape design that integrates public and private space. One example of this is "Walkways Through the Wall," which flow through structural boundaries of the Midwest Airlines Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and provide seating at both ends.
A good example of this interest on the private/public space is the collaboration he did with architect Steven Holl when commissioned on a collaborative building project for Storefront for Art and Architecture. The project replaced the existing facade with a series of twelve panels that pivot vertically or horizontally to open the entire length of the gallery directly onto the street. The project blurs the boundary between interior and exterior and, by placing the panels in different configurations, creates a multitude of different possible facades. Now regarded as a contemporary architectural landmark, Storefront’s facade is visited by artists, architects and students from around the world.
Another example of his work is Dirt Wall (1992) at the Arvada Center Sculpture Garden in Colorado. The wall begins outside the Arvada Center and extends inside, rising from ground level to a height of 24 feet. The glass and steel wall contains a mixture of volcanic rock, various types of sand, red dolomite, and topsoil which are visible through the glass panels, and represents an attempt to bring what is underground up, and what is outside in."(artdiscover.com)









Cole Weston Fine Art Photography

 "Cole Weston, born on January 30, 1919 in Los Angeles, was the fourth and youngest son of famed 20th Century photographer, Edward Henry Weston. Cole received his first camera, a 4 by 5 Autograflex, from his brother Brett in 1935. Cole graduated with a degree in theater arts from the Cornish School in Seattle in 1937 and then served in the Navy during World War II as a welder and photographer. After his discharge from the Navy in 1945 Cole worked for Life Magazine. In 1946 he moved to Carmel to assist his father Edward. During this time Eastman Kodak started sending their new color film, Kodachrome, for Edward to try out. Cole took this opportunity to experiment with this new medium and eventually became one of the world’s great masters of fine art color photography.In 1957 Cole began shooting his first color photographs of the magnificent Big Sur coast, Monterey Peninsula and central California. At this time he carried on his own portrait business while assisting his ailing father, who passed away in 1958. Edward had authorized Cole to print from Edward’s negatives after his death, so Cole continued printing Edward’s work while pursuing his own fine art photography.






 In 1975 Cole began lecturing and conducting workshops on his father’s photography as well as his own. With his work in the theater arts Cole was a natural when it came to teaching and lecturing and his many students still comment on what a great workshop he gave. He traveled throughout the United States, England, Europe, Russia, Mexico, New Zealand and the South Pacific photographing and inspiring others with his characteristic enthusiasm and charm.In 1988 after three decades devoted to printing his father’s work, Cole at last set aside his responsibility to Edward’s legacy and refocused on his own photography. Cole had his first solo exhibition in San Francisco in 1971. Since then, his work has been featured in more than sixty exhibitions worldwide and has been collected by museums throughout the United States and Europe. His work has been featured in numerous gallery shows and publications with three monographs and numerous articles having been published on his exquisite photography. Michael Hoffman from Aperture Publications once quoted, “In the history of photography there are but a few masters of color photography, Cole Weston is assuredly one of these masters of the medium whose dramatic powerful images are a source of great joy and pleasure”. Cole passed away from natural causes on April 20th, 2003.Like Cole, who once carried on the legacy of his father’s photography, his children have decided, as a tribute to their father, to carry on printing and to offer Trust prints of Cole’s fine color photographs. Cole Weston was a dedicated artist and master of fine photography. Hopefully the availability of modern prints will make it possible for photographic enthusiasts everywhere to continue to enjoy his life’s work."(edward-weston.com/cole-weston)







Abstract painting Gilda Snowden

Gilda Snowden (1954 - 2014)was an African-American artist, educator and mentor from Detroit, Michigan.Snowden was born in Detroit in 1954. She attended Cass Technical High School with a focus on fashion design. Between 1972-1979 Snowden earned her earned her BFA in Advertising Design and Painting, MA in Painting, and MFA in Painting from Wayne State University. In 1985 she became a professor in Department of Fine Arts at the College for Creative Studies, Detroit. She was also gallery director of the Detroit Repertory Theatre prior to her death in 2014
Gilda Snowden's works are predominately abstracts that utilize vivid color. The city of Detroit sparked several bodies of work. Her Flora Urbana series features abstracted floral forms, in encaustic, inspired by the gardens now tended by Detroit citizens on plots where buildings once stood. City Album: Department of Railways 1929 is an example from a series of charcoal rubbings she made of the Detroit manhole covers she discovered riding though the city on her bicycle.
Snowden describes all of her works as autobiographical including an extensive series Self-Portrait of over one hundred self-portraits of the back of her head and shoulders. She has cited her experience of race, gender and fears she felt as a child as the inspiration for this series. She began again with the series after growing her hair out in the 2000s and using computer projections to help create her pieces. Monument [1988], found at the Detroit Institute of Arts, as "a chronicle of my family on their travels from Alabama to Detroit. We are all looking for something, all traveling from here to there."Wikipedia












Willi Baumeister

Willi Baumeister (22 January 1889 – 31 August 1955) was a German painter, scenic designer, art professor, and typographer.Baumeister took part in his first exhibition in 1910, showing figurative works inspired by impressionism. His chief interest was even at this time already in cubism and Paul Cézanne, whose work remained important to him throughout his life. These influences of impressionism and cubism that shaped Baumeister’s early paintings played an essential role in his work until the end of the 1920s. On the one hand, his representational painting was increasingly reduced (abstracting and geometric) as it gained form and lost depth. Parallel to the paintings of his friend Oskar Schlemmer, Baumeister’s independent exploration of form and color emerged. Already around 1919, his teacher Adolf Hölzel wrote to him: "Out of all of us, you will be the one who will achieve the most." Also worth noticing is that the idiosyncratic German path into modernism, expressionism, barely resonates at all in Baumeister’s work, even though he had met, for instance, Franz Marc earlier on, and was certainly acquainted with the works of the Brücke (Bridge) artists and those of the Blaue Reiter (Blue Rider).





After his return from the First World War, Baumeister rigorously developed his work further. Although one still finds figurative elements in his paintings, the forms grew increasingly geometric and took on a dynamic of their own, and Baumeister broke the traditional connection between form and color. Various work groups emerged at this time, including the relief-like wall pictures, and paintings with sports theme (as a symbol for modernity). In his painting, the grappling with shapes and material of the painting as well as the relationship between reality and representation became visible. Parallel to this development, nonrepresentational painting began to gain a foothold in works that centered on geometric shapes and their relationships to one another in the picture (e.g. Planar Relation of 1920). Baumeister’s lively exchange with other German and foreign artists must also be seen as vitally important in the consequent development of his work. Indeed, as it was for many of his fellow artists, posing such questions was part of the agenda of the modern age (for example, El Lissitzky, Kazimir Malevich, Wassily Kandinsky, Fernand Léger, Amédée Ozenfant, Le Corbusier, Paul Klee).





Towards the end of the 1920s, the shapes in Baumeister’s pictures grew softer. His paintings moved away from being oriented by the elementary shapes of the circle, triangle, and square towards organic forms. Although this development could also be observed concurrently in the work of other artists of his time, in Baumeister’s case, it was tied to his fascination for the prehistoric and archaic paintings. Baumeister intensely explored artifacts of early paintings and integrated this pictorial experience into his own painting. He identified the symbols, signs, and figures of cave painting as components of a valid archaic pictorial language that he used in his works. These included his increasing number of paintings in "oil on sand on canvas" that, in their materials, also approached the cave painting that Baumeister so admired (beg. ca. 1933). He himself collected examples of prehistoric findings, small sculptures, and tools, and occupied himself with cliff drawings that had been discovered in Rhodesia. This experience was undoubtedly important for Baumeister’s artistic disposition since he, evidently inspired by this rich store of prehistoric works, ultimately used extraordinarily reduced organic shapes for his "ideograms" (beg. ca. 1937). In these works he used a unique world of signs, which he saw as symbols for the laws of nature, their evolution, and human existence.





Baumeister’s artistic development was not interrupted when he lost his professorship at the Städel in Frankfurt in 1933. He continued to paint despite political persecution and economic difficulties. His work and its development are correspondingly diverse, even for the period after 1941, when he was imposed with an exhibition prohibition. While on the one hand his employment at the Dr. Kurt Herberts & Co. varnish factory in Wuppertal to research antique and modern painting techniques protected him politically, it also on the other hand gave him the opportunity to explore the fundamentals of painting, so that he could further his knowledge on the prehistoric cave painting techniques. At the same time, he tuned to Goethe’s theory of plant morphology. Out of this study the "eidos pictures" (eidos: idea) emerged: paintings that, unlike Baumeister’s ideograms, are rich in their variety and coloration. Moreover, the forms are organic, but seem to be less of symbols or signs, than images of simple plantlike and animal life forms. The pictures bear titles such as Rock Garden, Eidos, or Primordial Vegetable.
As an indefatigable researcher and collector, Baumeister also owned examples of African sculpture, in which he, as in the case of the prehistorical artifacts, saw universal images for life, development, and human existence. Correspondingly, their formal language entered Baumeister’s work in the early 1940s—highly abstracted, at first chromatically restrained (African Tale, 1942), and with time, became increasingly colorful and in part very complex in their formal design (Owambo 1944–1948). Both the titles and formal language reveal Baumeister’s preoccupation with other old (Latin American) cultures (Peruvian Wall, 1946, and Aztec Couple, 1948).





Another example of his search for the “foundations of art” is Baumeister’s transposition of the Gilgamesh Epic, one of the oldest surviving literary works. Therefore, Baumeister used his personal pictorial and sign language in his illustration of the narrative (beg. 1943), which resulted in an astonishingly unified cycle, which with his pictorial language came strikingly close to depicting the literary and linguistic effects(impression) of the epic. He also produced illustrations to texts from the Bible—Saul, Esther, Salome—as well as to William Shakespeare’s The Tempest.
In this way, Baumeister single-mindedly and successfully developed a very personal and impressive visual language that was and still is unique in the German art immediately after 1945. The national and international recognition that Willi Baumeister received in the postwar period was correspondingly high. But his artistic development did not stop there. On the one hand, he developed his painting further in a virtuosic manner and, what is more, combined the variety of his formation phases in many other pictures—in part into "overalls structures" that nonetheless still possessed a fundamental that was reminiscent of landscape imageries (Blue Movement, 1950). On the other hand, Baumeister also produced densely packed abstractions that, proceeding from a central form, characterized him as an outstanding "nonrepresentationalist." These paintings became quite possibly the most famous of his works, and were immediately associated by a broad public with Baumeister (e.g. ARU 2, 1955). Even so, Baumeister did not limit himself to this late "trademark." Multiform and multicoloured pictures emerged as well in the year of his death.Wikipeia