Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Becher: Typography (and a few others...)

Since I am planning on doing a large project photographing house fronts in a consistent manner, probably for Assignment 5, I need to do some reading and thinking about Typography and the photographic movement around it, mainly started by German photographers Bernd and Hillary Becher. I started online with my usual first port of call, Wikipedia and a Google search. A neat little article in American Photo magazine started me off, with a few interesting facts such as that they won a prize for sculpture at the Venice Biennale in 1991!  Their photos and groups of photos are undeniably beautiful, and in particular, the repetition and subtle differences are interesting and appealing to me.

Bernd & Hillary Becher, taken from for personal study purposes
I then went to my (growing) photo book library and pulled out a couple which I thought would be useful. Cotton (2004) is a great little reference for many different styles of photography, in this case the 'deadpan' chapter which contains a number of examples of typological photography which have previously fascinated me. 

Andreas Gursky - large scale images of the natural and man-made environments - pattern/repetition/colour all feature strongly... 'Through all his work runs a sense of impersonality' (MOMA, 2010), rejection of the truth of the candid image is underlined by his use of digital manipulation (MOMA, 2010) - interesting in relation to Part 4: Reality and Intervention

Andreas Gursky 99cent, taken from Wikipedia for personal study purposes

Martin Parr – I’ve always been a fan of his in-your-face photography, really shows life as it is, warts and all. The intense colour is achieved by on-camera flash, and his style is very distinctive and unique. Banal and beautiful.

Edward Burtynsky - I have his book 'Oil' which is particularly interesting to me as I work in the industry myself. It's a great book with large images from his long term project looking at various aspects of the oil industry and it's end product usage  though doesn't delve into the complex ways we use hydrocarbons in the  real world - more just looks at the typical car races and petrol pumps (i.e. ignores the pharmacological and medical and plastics etc).

Lewis Baltz - clean, industrial images with spartan colour palette - influential on a number of contemporary photographers  such as Gursky mentioned above. 'His work is focused on searching for beauty in desolation and destruction' (Wikipedia 2012)

John Riddy - architectural photographs which strike a cord with me for their tempo and simplicity

However, for example, I've never 'got' William Eggleston... I have two of his books, 'William Eggleston's guide' (2003), and 'For Now'(2010). Both evade me somewhat.

The Tate Modern show 'Cruel and Tender' would have been great to see (Dexter and Weski, 2003). However the book contains a number of large images, some in series, and there are also some essays at the start of the book.

Other artists I have recently discovered:

Corey Arnold: Documentary style photography with a funny side - yet also quite a serious capture of an unknown subject

Jeffery Milstein: Suggested by a friend, this photographer works in series, capturing everyday views (boats going under a bridge, airplanes overhead) and photographs them uniformly and presents them all together - a fascinating look at pattern and repetition.
Jeffery Milstein, taken from for personal study purposes

Jeffery Milstein, taken from for personal study purposes

Peter Wegner: Also really works in series, a photographer/artist/writer/everything! Prolific! Captures 'everyday' scenes/items and photographs them, and then presents in series. Interesting view.
A little obsessive?
Peter Wegner, Incidental Architecture, taken from for personal study purposes

Robert Adams: Photographer of the American west. 

Robert Adams, taken from for personal study purposes

More on this as I keep doing more research.


Adams, R, (2012), Art Gallery Yale [Online], Available at: [Accessed 09/12/12]

American Photo Mag, (2011), American Photo Mag [Online] Available at: [Accessed 09/12/12]

American Photo Mag, (2011), American Photo Mag [Online], Available at: [Accessed 27/12/12]

American Photo Mag, (2011), American Photo Mag [Online], Available at:  [Accessed 27/12/12]

Burtynsky, E, (2009), Oil [Steidl/Corcoran], Germany

Burtynsky, E, (2012), Edward Burtynsky Website [Online], Available at: [Accessed 27/12/12]

Cotton, C, (2004) The Photograph as Contemporary Art [Thames & Hudson], London

Dexter, E and Weski, T, (2003) Cruel and Tender [Tate], London

Eggleston, W, (2012) William Eggleston Website [Online], Available at: [Accessed 27/12/12]

Eggleston, W, (2010) For Now [Twin Palms], Santa Fe

Frieze Magazine, (2012), Frieze Magazine Online [Online], Available at: [Accessed 27/12/12]

Matthew Mark, (2012), Matthew Mark Gallery [Online], Available at: s [Accessed 26/12/12]

MOMA, (2010), MOMA Website [Online] Available at: [Accessed 26/12/12]

Milstein, J (2012), Jeffery Milstein [Online], Available at: [Accessed 27/12/12]

Parr, M (2009), The Last Resort [dewi lewis publishing], Stockport

Phillips, S (2007), Martin Parr [Phaidon], London

Szarkowski, J (2003) William Egglestons Guide [MOMA], New York

Tate, [Online] Available at: [Accessed 09/12/12]

Tate, [Online] Available at: [Accessed 27/12/12]

Ulrich, B (2012), Not if but when [Online], Available at: [Accessed 27/12/12]

Wikipedia, (2012), Bernd and Hilla Becher [Online] Available at: [Accessed 09/12/12]

Wikipedia, (2012), Andreas Gursky [Online] Available at: [Accessed 26/12/12]

Wikipedia, (2012), Edward Burtynsky [Online] Available at: [Accessed 27/12/12]

Wikipedia, (2012), Martin Parr [Online] Available at: [Accessed 27/12/12]

Wikipedia, (2012), Lewis Baltz [Online] Available at: [Accessed 27/12/12]

Wikipedia, (2012), William Eggleston [Online] Available at: [Accessed 27/12/12]

Wegner, P (2012), Peter Wegner [Online], Availabel at: [Accessed 27/12/12]

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