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Rosalind Fox Solomon (1930)

 

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Sometimes you can not place it immediately, but because i value some publishers more than others, my eye was caught by a book titled Chapalingas by Steidl publishers. Because i know they have an excellent portfolio of publications and produce the best possible (quality) books i started to leaf through it. The photographer was Rosalind Solomon. Years ago i  had read that she photographed the youth in Belfast and at a time went back to one of the concentration camps, but i had forgotten her name….until yesterday i encountered the Steidl publication “Chapalingas” by her and was blown away by her photographs.

here follows a short biography on Solomon.

Rosalind Fox Solomon (b. 1930), an American artist based in New York City, is celebrated for her portraits and for her connection to human suffering, ritual, survival, and struggle.  Fox Solomon’s work flows back and forth between the personal and the universal.  Her talent lies in her capacity to interpret and photograph both the social elements of the places she travels to, and the obsessions and anxieties that travel with her.  Her primary medium has been photography.  In the 1980s, she also produced the installations, Adios and Catacombs.  Since the 1990s, she has continued making images.  Additionally, she has performed her own texts and poetry on video.  Bruce Silverstein exhibited her audiovisual installation, Scintillation, in her 2016 solo show Got to Go, which also featured 30 prints of varied sizes, hung in erratic salon style.  For the past 45 years, Fox Solomon has created challenging bodies of work, shown in nearly 30 solo exhibitions and 100 group exhibitions, and in the collections of over 50 museums worldwide.

Born in Highland Park, Illinois, Fox Solomon graduated from Goucher College.  She married, moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee, and raised two children.  She began photographing in 1968, continuing to live and work in the South until she moved in 1977 to Washington, D.C.  Solomon studied privately with Lisette Model during visits to New York City.

In the 1970’s, Fox Solomon began her work with dolls and manikins, portraits and ritual.  She made her first portraits of the ill during a yearlong project in a Chattanooga hospital.  In Guatemala, she photographed shamans as well as secular and religious ritual.  She also worked on a series of southern portraits, which include President Jimmy Carter and William Eggleston.  From 1977–79, Fox Solomon continued photographing artists and politicians, among them Louise Nevelson, Eva Le Gallienne, William Christenberry, and Tony Smith.  Her project, Outside the White House, was completed during two years in Washington, D. C., when her husband was Administrator of the General Services Administration.

John Szarkowski included her work in the 1978 exhibition Mirrors and Windows at the Museum of Modern Art, and exhibited examples from her Dolls and Manikins series in the show Photography for Collectors. Szarkowski also selected 50 of Fox Solomon’s prints for MoMA’s permanent collection.  Her pictures have appeared over the years in group exhibitions at MoMA: American Children, American Politicians, Pictures by Women: A History of Modern Photography and The Original Copy: Sculpture in Photography 1839 to Today.  In 1986, MoMA mounted a solo exhibition of Fox Solomon’s work, Rosalind Solomon, Ritual.  Most recently, MoMA included her work in the anthology Photography at MoMA: 1960—Now, and curator Peter Eleey devoted a room to a selection of her work at MoMA PS1 in the Greater New York 2015 exhibition.

In the 1980’s, she photographed in Ancash, a region in the Peruvian Andes.  The remnants of a catastrophic earthquake became a metaphor for the upheaval she was experiencing in her own life.  A Guggenheim Fellowship supported this work, which was recognized as an historic document of a forgotten area when it was exhibited at el Museo de Arte de Lima in 1996.  She continued her work in the area, over the next 20 years.  During the 1980’s, Solomon also spent six months in India, as a Fellow of the American Institute of Indian Studies.  In Kolkata, she photographed sculptures of mother goddess figures that radiate female power.  She also photographed Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, Ganesh Pyne, and Satyajit Ray.

Along the Road, made in 1985, is one of several single-edition handmade books by Fox Solomon.  It includes photographs, drawings, texts and a Tibetan Buddhist woman’s apron.

In 1987, hundreds of young men and women dying with AIDS were demonized by society; often ostracized even by their own families.  Fox Solomon felt affinity with them.  Her own son was living with a progressive kidney disease.  She began making portraits of individuals with AIDS, hoping that her pictures might help to remove the stigma attached to those with HIV who were sick and dying.

Tom Sokolowski, director of New York University’s Grey Gallery of Art, heard about her project.  He had seen her pictures at MoMA, and asked her whether she could complete the work and make prints for an exhibition to open in May 1988.  Ten months later, sixty-five of the resulting pictures were mounted for the exhibit, Portraits in the Time of AIDS at the Grey Gallery.  Twenty-six of the original large-scale prints were shown again in 2013 at Bruce Silverstein gallery in New York City, and again in the Salon d’Honneur of the Grand Palais at Paris Photo in 2015.

As ethnic violence increased throughout the world, Fox Solomon went to Poland to revisit the Holocaust and photograph the people she encountered.  She photographed Belfast children of The Troubles; the wounded of Belgrade, Hanoi and Phnom Penh; and the oppressed and the privileged of South Africa.  For respite and contrast, she photographed New Orleans Mardi Gras.  In 2006, Steidl published her book, Polish Shadow.

The book CHAPALINGAS  is now available at www.ftn-books.com

rosalind solomon

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Kyungwoo Chun (1969)

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I had never hear before of this Korean born artist, but since we have a Korean painting by Jungwook Kim in our collection i have become interested in Korean Modern Art. Last week i encountered this publication on our local bookmarket and immediately my interest was raised . Intriguing portraits of blurred persons create a fairy tale like atmosphere. I find this photographs of high quality and if i triggered your interest pleasde visit his site at: www.kyungwoochun.de

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Born in Korea, now based in Germany, Kyungwoo Chun is known for his softly controlled treatment of his subjects. Much of Chun’s photographic work is deeply figural and plays with the standards of traditional portraiture. Since his first solo show in 1994, Chun has exhibited heavily in his home country, as well as across Europe and beyond. Chun also works in performance and video. Much of his highly interactive performance work engages directly with public space and site-specificity, and uses the viewers as crucial elements in the work, whether they are writing text, folding paper airplanes, or simply touching it. In Versus (2011), Chun installed a curving, minimalist bench in the heart of Times Square, then filled the structure with two facing rows of people. For the run of the piece, opposing participants gently leaned on one another, in a partial-hug of an embrace. Video functions in several ways for Chun. At times, the moving camera does the same as stills, blurring figural forms into abstracted color and shapes. At others, the videos serve as essential documentation of performances that are only activated by an audience of participants who drive the work. Chun’s work has been exhibited at institutions such as the Museum of Photography in Seoul, the Center for Contemporary Art in Aarhus, the Kunstverein Ruhr in Essen, and the Museum of Fine Art Houston.

www.ftn-books.com has one book on this artist available

chun

 

 

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Hoogspanningslijnen / 340 KV trace

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Is art? Yes perhaps it is ….. It is landscape architecture at the largest scale possible.

We noticed from early May the steady progress of the Trace of the high voltage lines between Nieuwe wetering and Rijpwetering. We can follow this progress, because we sail frequently the Ringvaart which is crossed by this Trace of high voltage lines. It is part of the new ring of voltage lines between the largest cities in the Netherlands. They stand like large sculptures in a landscape and are very impressive. Height is on average 55 meters, and they surely can not be missed. You see them from a large distance and they alter the landscape in a unlikely way.

The Netherlands has a long history with these immense masts in the landscape and this was recognized by Arij de Bode who made a beautiful publication on just these large masts which look like large sculptures. The book contains great photography by the best in dutch landscape photography and is available at www.ftn-books.com

hoogspanning

 

 

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Raul Cordero (1971)

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Raul Cordero was born in Cuba in 1971 and influenced by the Americam Conceptual artist like Nauman and Baldessari. There are not many Cuban artist that rose to fame in the Western world but Cordero together with Wifredo Lam ( Blog next month) is definitely one of them and of course there is a relation between the Netherlands and Cordero too, because he studied at the Rijksakademie.

The publications are rare and very hard to find , but i was fortunate to find probably the most important book on his works until this date . The book was published on the occasion of the Cordero exhibition held in Salamanca (Spain) on his works from 1996-2002. The book is rare and those booksellers that have a copy ask high prices for it. Check for my price at www.ftn-books.com, where this title is now available too.

His art education started in Havana (Academia San Alejandro and Instituto Superior de Diseño) and as said his influences mix an interest in conceptual American artists such as John Baldessari, Bruce Nauman or Chris Burden -who later informed his conceptual training- together with elements of the 12th century’s Flemish painting tradition, acquired during his postgraduate formation in the Netherlands (Graphic Media Development Centre and Rijksakademie Van Beeldende Kunsten). Cordero has held visiting professorships at the Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA) in Havana, Cuba; The San Francisco Art Institute, California and The Art Academy of Cincinnati, in Ohio, U.S.A.

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the Analogy between Jan Saudek and Katharina Behrend

When you literally strip all from your subject and leave her standing in front of a chosen background there is not much difference.

There is 70 years between these 2 photographs but when you tell me it is only 10 years i would believe it too. Katharina Eleonore Behrend made her photographs between 1904 and 1928 and the entire series which was still within her family was left to the Stichting Nederlands Fotoarchief in Leiden. The series shows an artistic point of view on daily life in the beginning of the 20th century and gives a perfect impression of the Netherlands around 1910. The art nude is somehow different….. it is classic in its pose and shows why photography can be great art too. Beautiful light and the perfect intriguing picture.

The Katharina Eleonore Behrend 1904-1928 book is available at www.ftn-books.com

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Margriet Smulders (1955) … intrigues

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I know the work of Margriet Smulders from the time she had her first exhibition at gallery Nouvelles Images in Den Haag and from this very start it intrigued me . I was not the kind of admirer of her work who wanted to buy a work for my collection, but still i admired her craftsmanship and excellent feel for composition. She mainly depicts and arranges flowers , which gives a very classic feel almost like you are looking at a 17th century painting, however these are not paintings but highly detailed photographs using glass and mirror surfaces to arrange the flowers which gives the perfect reflection.

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She has developed this technique into perfection and now has made herself a name outside the Netherlands too. Her compositions are printed on extremely large sizes. Making them at first glans from a distance completely abstract, but study them in detail and they reveal the objects that form together the composition. They still intrigue every time i encounter them. Galleries, Art fairs …no exception, they are recognizable and executed with great knowledge of material and composition, but for me they are too artificial and that is why i’m holding back and will not one to my colection. But this is personal and i can really understand why others want these colorful works by Margriet Smulders. For more information visit her website at www.margrietsmulders.nl and www.ftn-books.com for some publications on her works.

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Aart Klein (1909-2001) …typically dutch?

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No definitely not!….Klein is of the most important dutch photographers from the last century and recorded daily life in the Netherlands , but that does not mean that his photographs are typically dutch. Their subject is in many cases dutch, but their appeal is more international than one would imagine. I have sold Klein publications all over the world , including some to Japan. Aart Klein is for me one of the greats from the last century . His black and white photography has a graphic quality, which is rarely seen among his contemporaries.

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The Stedelijk Museum devoted a special exhibition to his photographs, but beside this special show he contributed to many other exhibitions with his quality photographs. Aart Klein publications are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Norman Parkinson (1913-1990)

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Another photographer . Yesterday William Klein and today Norman Parkinson. Two different approached to photography. For me Parkinson stands for typical sixties photography. Fashion and Royalty were his expertise and because of that expertise he stayed practically his entire life the preferred photographer choice of the British Royals. These photographs were typically staged photographs, they showed nothing spontanious and every pose, setting and prop was well thought over an staged. ( Yes, Audrey Hepburn is some kind of cinematic Royalty too)

His fashion photographs were much more loose and therefore i prefer these above the Royal photographs.

It is noot a very common book to find. A monography with photographs by Norman Parkinson is a rarity , but still www.ftn-books.com has one in its inventory.

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Wim Crouwel / Total Design- 20 jaar verzamelen / Stedelijk Museum, 1984

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Followers of this blog know of my special interest in the publications of the Stedelijk Museum. I have many titles avaialable and ftn-books.com is one of the first sources that is consulted when it comes to publications of and on the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Yet…. one learns every day, even when you have so many catalogues by the Stedelijk Museum available as i do. It has been years ago that i last saw this catalogue which was published by the Stedelijk in 1984 which gives the best and complete overview of their collecting in the period 1963-1984.

Why is this important? Personally i think that this is the period in which the SM made their best and most important purchases. How about important acquisitions like the ones by Kelly, Dubuffet, LeWitt, de Kooning , Mangold , Lichtenstein and Warhol. Just a few names that belong to the most famous ones, but among the hundreds of these acquisitions there is so much quality art acquired that only with these acquisitions one can fill an entire collection and become  with this collection one of the most important Modern Art Museums in the world. The book was compiled by Joosten and designed by Total Design/ Wim Crouwel, which makes it even more worthwhile collecting . It is now available at www.ftn-book.com

20 jaar verzamelen sm

 

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Gábor Ősz (1962)

At the time Osz had his exhibition at the Gemeentemuseum, we met and i told him i was very much impressed with his photographs. Large scaled sea views and architectural photos, unsharp and blown up to gigantic proportions they make you almost feel little. If i must compare his art i almost would say that his photography has a MINIMAL art concept and is mostly related to others from the Minimal art scene. His photo subjects are almost non existent and you really have to study them to see what is meant by them. Study them closely and you see that it is a sea with a horizon and of course the title helps ( THE LIQUID HORIZON no. 13 ) but just glance at it shortly and you are in doubt what the subject is.

Because of the unsharpness the photo feels abstract. It is hard to describe what the quality of his photography is. I think it is best to experience them. Stand in front of one of them and feel the strength of the composition. These photo’s are not the easiest ones on this planet, but certainly they are fascinating. www.ftn-books.com has a very nice signed and dated publication by Gábor Ősz available. This comes from avery small edition of only 400 copies and Gábor Ősz presented me with 2 of these copies of which one is now for sale.

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