All You Need Is Love
February 9th - March 10th, 2019
Saturday, February 9th
2 – 4 pm
Manuel Álvarez Bravo
Ralph Eugene Meatyard
Luis González Palma
In celebration of Valentine’s Day, Scheinbaum & Russek celebrates love, love for each other, love for others, and of course, our love of photography. Love is a theme that has been addressed by all artists at some point in their careers. As Eliot Porter stated some years ago,
“But before all else a work of art is the creation of love, love for the subject first and for the medium second. Love is the fundamental necessity underlying the need to create, underlying the emotion that gives it form, and from which grows the finished product that is presented to the world. Love is the general criterion by which the rare photograph is judged. It must contain it to be not less than the best of which the photographer is capable.”
Annie Leibovitz (b. 1949)
On December 9th, 1980, Annie Leibovitz was assigned to photograph John Lennon and Yoko Ono. She was Rolling Stone’s chief photographer at the time. Initially, Annie attempted to photograph just John alone but he insisted that Yoko be on the cover as wellAnnie inspired by the album cover of Double Fantasy, where John and Yoko are kissing. She tried to recreate something like it.
The image was taken only a few hours before Lennon was shot and killed outside his Upper West Side apartment. This image and the other image with John nude would quickly become iconic for its timing and the manner in which it immortalized the couple’s devotion towards each other. Leibovitz understands that the photo’s special status is a result of the musician’s tragic death occurring immediately after the shoot.
“It’s actually an excellent example of how circumstances change a picture. Suddenly, that photograph has a story. You’re looking at it and thinking it’s their last kiss, or they’re saying goodbye. You can make up all sorts of things about it. I think it’s amazing when there’s a lot of levels to a photograph.”
André Kertész (1894 – 1985)
“The most valuable things in a life are a man’s memories. And they are priceless.”
In the volume entitled André Kertész: The Polaroids, Robert Gurbo writes,
“After the death of his wife, André Kertész consoled himself by taking up a new camera, the Polaroid SX70. As with earlier equipment, he mastered the camera and produced a provocative body of work that both honored his wife and lifted him out of depression.”
“Taken in his apartment just north of New York City’s Washington Square, many of these photographs were shot either from his window or in the windowsill…combining personal objects into striking still lifes set against cityscape backgrounds, reflected and transformed in glass surfaces as a way of dealing with the grief and the missing of a beloved one.”
John Dugdale (b. 1960)
“The quietude that people respond to in my pictures is, in part, because of the way pictures are made: no flash; no harsh electric light; not even the sound of the shutter – just a lens cap removed, and then gently replaced. This encounter provides, for me, a metaphor for looking.”
John Dugdale’s photography, as well as his lifestyle, reflects his penchant for antiquity and relationships. Both his equipment (he uses an old 8 x 10” view camera) and his printing techniques (cyanotype and platinum) date from 1840 and were widely used till the turn of the century, and stem from his deep admiration for the earliest 19th century photographers. There is a tranquil and timeless quality to his work. The cyanotype process uses iron compounds as its light sensitive material. The emulsion is applied by brush to handmade watercolor paper, and the resulting print is blue in tone. John Dugdale’s cyanotypes are rich and saturated; they are brilliant Prussian blue. Combining with these images a hand-made picture frame with imperfect antique picture glass, the pieces give the feeling that his work could have been done at the turn of the 19th century.
In 1993, at the age of 33, Dugdale experienced nearly total blindness due to a stroke and CMV retinitis, an HIV-related illness. He became completely blind in his right eye and lost eighty percent visibility in his left eye. He lost his remaining vision in 2010. This tragic event ended his successful commercial career, but he decided to persist in photography and started to explore techniques from the 19th century for fine art photography, using friends and family as assistants. Since then Dugdale has worked with large format cameras…. His sensibility for bygone techniques emphasizes the poetics of his work and the transcendence of time and place, seemingly transporting the imagery to a different era. Dugdale says, “The mind is the essence of your sight. It’s really the mind that sees.”
Patrick Nagatani (1945 – 2017)
“There is a certain edge to photography that is really restricting; it is a controlled medium, especially the process. And I just want to throw that control out as much as possible.”
In his New York Times obituary, Sam Roberts wrote,
“Patrick Nagatani, a Japanese-American who was born just days after the atomic bomb obliterated Hiroshima, his families home town, and who devoted his photographic career to evoking the nuclear legacy of the adopted nation that interned his parents during World War II…”
“Nagatani never enrolled in a technical photography course but he had training in Hollywood making special-effects models for films and adapted it to create phantasmagorical collages…”
“He was both artist and teacher of photography at the University of New Mexico from 1987 to 2007 and as a meticulous artist he produced work that reverberated with eclectic visions of artists who defied conventional boundaries. Amongst his teachers was Robert Heinecken who juxtaposed photographs to create cultural iconography.”
Harry Callahan (1912 – 1999)
“He just liked to take the pictures of me… In every pose. Rain or shine. And whatever I was doing. If I was doing the dishes or if I was half asleep. And he knew that I never, never said no. I was always there for him. Because I knew that Harry would only do the right thing.”
Inspired by Ansel Adams during a photographic workshop in Detroit in 1941 Harry Callahan chose to pursue photography and explore the medium’s artistic potential. By 1946 he was invited by László Moholy Nagy to teach at The Institute of Design in Chicago, also known as the New Bauhaus. In 1961 Callahan helped establish the photography program at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).
Callahan is known for his composite portrait of his wife and muse Eleanor, who he consistently photographed from 1947 – 1960. Equally significant, Callahan, along with a few others, helped us understand what the abstract expressionist painters were practicing in their medium and how those ideas could be extended to the photograph.