Posts tagged with "Photography":

Placeholder Alt Text

Bot creates mesmerizing art out of satellite photos of U.S. census tracts

A Twitter bot created by New York–based artist and urban planner Neil Freeman is producing serial images of every census tract in the United States. Operating under the account @everytract, the project will eventually publish satellite photos of the entire country. The account's feed—a stream of landscape photos cut out along census tract boundaries placed against a white background—initially appears pretty monotonous. The bot posts every image with the census tract's government identification number and location, but includes no other information or commentary, and the satellite imagery is familiar to anyone who has ever used Google Maps. Image after image of Southern California suburbs seems to confirm the banality of American neighborhoods, but after scrolling through dozens of images, the photos get defamiliarized and nuanced differences start to become more apparent. Repetitive patterns emerge only to be broken by strange landscape anomalies—an open mine, perhaps, or an artificial oasis in the Mojave Desert. As the bot shifts from one state to another, the images shift from the green forests of the south to the tan deserts of the west to the white snowdrifts of the north. The posts become artifacts that testify to the incredible variety of American settlements. Because census tracts are designed to have comparable population sizes, the images vary wildly in scale, showing the range of densities across the country. "I was playing with the project of a book that included satellite images of every tract at the same scale," Freeman said, "but I abandoned it when I realized that for the smallest tracts to be visible, the largest ones, in rural Alaska, would have to be wall-sized." Freeman also said that the project highlights the geographic idiosyncrasies of every state: "Only about a hundred tracts in Arizona cover the vast majority of the state’s land, so if you blinked, you missed them. It’s really a very urban state. Arkansas, on the other hand, was small town after small town." Freeman, who has been creating similar work that combines data-sorting algorithms and urban planning for years, said that the root of the listing concept came from poet Allison Parrish’s 2007–2014 project , which posted every word in the English language. Freeman began the @everytract project this spring, and it will progress alphabetically through the states, posting every half hour and is scheduled to run for another three years and ten months. The account is currently making its way through Los Angeles, California.
Placeholder Alt Text

Inside North Korea: A candy-colored fever dream

When British landscape architect Nicholas Bonner set out for North Korea's capital, Pyongyang, in 1993, he anticipated a gloomy concrete metropolis. However, on the flight there, brightly colored sugar and pepper condiment packets hinted that a more florid environment lay in store. Fast forward 25 years and Bonner is offering tours of Pyongyang to visitors, including The Guardian's architecture critic Oliver Wainwright who documents the candy-colored city in his new book, Inside North Korea available August 15 from Taschen. Wainwright only spent a week inside North Korea, but that was sufficient time to take enough photographs to fill a 240-page book. "Every day was jam-packed," Wainwright told The Architect's Newspaper. The photographs along with an introductory essay shed light on what is a typically closed-off country that has strict rules for journalists. Though he was shepherded by three guards at all times, Wainwright was afforded more freedom by traveling as a tourist instead of a journalist and was able to document Pyongyang's built environment through a point-and-shoot camera. The images, particularly the interior shots, could easily be stills from a Wes Anderson movie. Interiors are laid out symmetrically, with portraits of the former North Korean premier, Kim Il-sung, and the former Supreme Leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-il, typically hanging at the focal points of the room. Their presence is no accident. According to Kim Jong-il's 160-page treatise, On Architecture, "the leader's image must always be placed in the center of the architectural space," a dictum which is carried through with regulations that stipulate that nothing else can be hung on the same wall as these portraits. Perhaps the most dazzling interior is that of the East Pyongyang Grand Theatre seen above. Originally built in 1989, it can hold an audience of 3,500 people. A 2007 renovation brought the theater up to Grand Budapest Hotel standards with plaster moldings, scalloped peach-colored walls, purple upholstered seats, a bright-blue vinyl floor, polished stone tiles, and a huge mural relief being added. Images of the theater and other interiors can feel staged, which Wainwright acknowledged while saying everything was shot "just as it is." Images of leadership are used even more emphatically outdoors. Streets have been organized to maximize the effect of these portraits, which Wainwright describes as "utterly crushing, giving the impression of a street made for giants." The world's largest bronze statues of people can be found at the top of Mansu Hill. Looking over a stone plaza, 66-foot-high statues of Kim Jong-il and Kim Il-sung peer onto the Monument to Party Founding situated at the end of an axis one-and-a-quarter miles away. The two former leaders stand in front of a mosaic and are flanked by giant red granite flags which are propped up by bronze workers. One has a plaque which reads: "Let us drive out the U.S. imperialists and reunite our fatherland!" For a country so focused on image, it's unsurprising to learn that it has tried to scrub all foreign influences, U.S. imperialism included, from its aesthetics and architecture. "An architect who is convinced that his country and this are the best will not look upon foreign things or try to copy them, but make tireless efforts to create architecture amenable to his people," wrote Kim Jong-il in On Architecture. Despite all this, images of architectural precedents could be found at the Paektusan Academy of Architecture where images of buildings from around the world could be found, from Moscow's Seven Sisters to Terry Farrell's MI6 Building in London. In all, Pyongyang embodies North Korea's approach to self-presentation: Big Brother-esque images that project the state's power and ability to protect its citizens amplified at a bombastic scale and sweetened with saccharine pastels. Inside North Korea Oliver Wainwright, Julius Wiedemann TASCHEN $60.00
Placeholder Alt Text

Denise Scott Brown’s Wayward Eye comes to London in new show of her photography

London Gallery Betts Project is showcasing photographs from Denise Scott Brown, marking the architect, planner, and theorist's first solo exhibition in the U.K. Titled Denise Scott Brown: Wayward Eye, the exhibition features photos taken between 1956 and 1966 that illustrate Scott Brown's explorations into urbanism, Pop Art, and the emerging architectural language of roadside America, ideas which would later be collected in Learning from Las Vegas published in 1972. "Such a study will help to define a new type of urban form emerging in American and Europe, radically different from that we have known; one that we have been ill-equipped to deal with and that, from ignorance, we define today as urban sprawl," Scott Brown wrote in 1977 in the abridged Learning from Las Vegas. "I’m not a photographer. I shoot for architecture—if there’s art here it’s a byproduct," Scott Brown told curators Marie Coulon and Andrés F Ramirez at Betts Project this year. "Yet the images stand alone. Judge what you see." The photos provide insight into how Scott Brown, Venturi Izenour, and their students dissected commercial strips. Never before had such mundane elements been looked at through an architectural lens: a nondescript shot of a Dodge Charger driving down an L.A. freeway is deliciously titled Industrial Romanticism, while another features an equally unremarkable image from a water taxi in Venice. "For Robert Venturi and me, these sequences from Venice to Venice, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas provided inspiration and they still do. And via them, architectural photography initiated a move beyond beauty shots and data. Over the last 60 years, by adding analysis, synthesis, recommendation, and design, it has gone from tool to subdiscipline in architecture. "In 1965, after ten years of urbanism, my foci were automobile cities of the American Southwest, social change, multiculturalism, action, everyday architecture, 'messy vitality,' iconography, and Pop Art. "Waywardness lay in more than my eye," Scott Brown continued. "Do I hate it or love it? ‘Don’t ask,’ said my inner voice. ‘Just shoot.’" Scott Brown's work doesn't come around to London often. She came to the city in 1952 (when her surname was Lakofski) to work for the modern architect Frederick Gibberd before studying at the Architectural Association School of Architecture. She returned with her husband Venturi to work on the Sainsbury Wing of London's National Gallery in 1991 after the infamous Carbuncle incident. Denise Scott Brown: Wayward Eye runs through July 28 and comes with a catalog, published by PLANE—SITE, featuring texts by Scott Brown and Andrés F Ramirez.
Placeholder Alt Text

Stephan Zirwes freezes time with summery photos of swimming pools

German photographer Stephan Zirwes may be known for his eerie, calming aerial photography, but his recent additions to the Pools series push the art to new heights. Zirwes is mesmerized by the top views of everyday settings such as golf courses, soccer fields, and swimming pools. With a drone, he captures the silent drama of these places, some occupied by visitors, while some completely void of human activity. The Pools series is a recent selection of photos that focuses on “privatization of public pools,” according to a statement from the World Photography Organization where Zirwes won the Sony World Photography Awards in 2016. Zirwes highlights the importance of water. Clean water, being one of the world’s most needed resources, is wasted in some parts of the world as a tool for excessive entertainment. He believes that the private pool is a cruel commodity that “privatizes a public asset for commercial exploitation.” The abstracted images, with surroundings edited out, focus our concern on the pools with a playful but graceful approach. In a photo of an irregularly shaped, vacated pool titled sardegna, a sunbrella, pair of sandals, and ripples on the water surface hint at the presence of a swimmer.

yellow slide

A post shared by Stephan Zirwes (@stephanzirwes) on

In another photo titled yellow slide, a slide hovers above the unoccupied pool. The crisp, horizontal strips painted at the bottom of the pool are blurred by the slight ripples. The vertical bricks are seen in perpendicular to the pool’s lines, making up a peaceful composition.
Placeholder Alt Text

Portland Art Museum presents Minor White’s evocative Oregon photographs

In the Beginning: Minor White’s Oregon Photographs Portland Art Museum 1219 SW Park Avenue, Portland, Oregon On view through October 21 The Portland Art Museum (PAM) is currently presenting In the Beginning: Minor White’s Oregon Photographs, a two-part photography exhibition highlighting the evocative works of the famed 20th-century modernist photographer. The twin showcases focus on White’s early work documenting historic architecture and landscapes in Oregon. In 1938, White was hired to record changes along the city’s Front Avenue for the Oregon Art Project, part of the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Employed as a “creative photographer,” White documented the iron-front and industrial buildings in the district that were to be demolished in order to make way for Harbor Drive, a new highway on-ramp. The project was followed in 1942 by a commission from PAM to document a pair of historic Portland homes.
Placeholder Alt Text

Benny Chan to receive 2018 Julius Shulman Institute Excellence in Photography Award

The Julius Shulman Institute (JSI) at Woodbury University has named Benny Chan as the 2018 recipient of the Julius Shulman Institute Excellence in Photography Award.  Chan’s work is well-known to AN readers, as he is among one of the favored photographers for Los Angeles-area architects. In recent years, Chan has photographed projects designed by John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects, Shimoda Design Group, Neil M. Denari Architecture (NMDA), Standard Architecture, Belzberg Architects, and Johnson Favaro, among many others.  Chan, a Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) graduate, also maintains an art photography practice that compliments his architectural photography work. After graduating from SCI-Arc in 1992, Chan worked for NMDA and SOM before deciding to go all-in on photography. Chan, who grew up in Hong Kong—“there’s nothing there but buildings,” he explained—was drawn to photography after a stint spent traveling and photographing buildings abroad. Loathe to return to the “really, really dry” routine of everyday practice, he instead set out to help architects capture and propograte their work via photography. In the over 25 years since, Chan has built a reputation for bold and honest representations of Los Angeles architecture and the city’s human-made landscapes. A press release describes Chan’s straightforward and technically-precise work as constituting an “assembly manual for Los Angeles,” a comparison that will shine through in an exhibition that will go on display at Woodbury’s WUHO Gallery in Hollywood starting May 12. The exhibition, titled Above and Behind: The Architectural Photography of Benny Chan, will showcase photographs taken of some of the region’s most important new buildings while under construction. The works, abstract and looming, are drawn from Chan’s art practice, not the polished photos of finished architectural works we are used to seeing. Regarding his focus on in-process architecture, Chan said, “[Construction represents] a unique moment in a building’s life—It’ll never look like that again,” adding, “I see these shots as more like sports photography than architectural photography.” Describing Chan’s virtuosity and technical focus, architect Barbara Bestor, principal of Bestor Architecture and director of JSI said, “He builds his own cameras, reframes the act of construction as worthy of portraiture, and has a mad scientist/photo studio-as-laboratory where he crafts images as small as X-rays of his own cameras and as large as wide views of urban neighborhoods shot from a helicopter in his home made camera rigs!” Previous JSI Excellence in Photography Award honorees include: Helene Binet, Iwan Baan, James Welling, and Catherine Opie.  Above and Behind runs through June 24, 2018, see the WUHO site for more information.
Placeholder Alt Text

Photography’s power to shape the experience of architecture goes on display at the Parrish Museum

Buildings have been reliable photography subjects since the medium’s invention, and a new exhibition at the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton, New York, tracks how architectural photography sells a narrative as much as the buildings themselves. Through careful selection by guest curator Therese Lichtenstein, Image Building: How Photography Transforms Architecture examines how architectural photography inherently creates subjective experiences. From now until June 17, 2018, patrons can view 57 images by 17 renowned and lesser-known photographers who shaped a language of architectural photography that’s survived well into the age of Instagram. Organized thematically intro three sections, Cityscapes, Domestic Spaces, and Public Places, Image Building places historical photographs alongside contemporary images to track an evolution in style, technique, and places themselves. Modernism has proven an especially rich vein for these comparisons. Image Building places Julius Shulman’s carefully staged Case Study House photos against images of quotidian features from cookie-cutter, low-income housing. Each series is trying to sell something, whether it be an idealized life of post-war leisure, or commentary on the alienation that mass-produced housing induces. This dichotomy is on display throughout the exhibition, and hammers home the heightened artificiality of architectural photography. Buildings are three-dimensional structures and flattening them hands the narrative over to the photographer. For instance, Hiroshi Sugimoto’s fragile, out-of-focus takes on famously photographed architectural landmarks are a commentary on their now-lessened status in the world, having been sidelined and (literally) overshadowed in the years since their construction. But this series serves another purpose, as it highlights how vital the technical aspects–light, depth of field, the use of color–are to each photograph's meaning. Take Iwan Baan’s delirious photos of Torre de David in Caracas, Venezuela. Devoid of people, but featuring the scattered items they’ve left behind, Baan captures the chaotic energy present in the half-finished Torre de David skyscraper, now overrun with squatters, from the perspective of its inhabitants. Looking at The City and the Storm, Baan’s aerial photo of a Manhattan plunged into darkness following Hurricane Sandy, Baan singles out what he calls the “electricity haves and have-nots,” as viewers are drawn to the centers of finance that serve as islands of light in a darkened city. The Parrish Art Museum, designed by Herzog & de Meuron and shaped like an extruded “M,” built from simple materials and completed in 2012, played an important part in the foundation of Image Building. As Lichtenstein told AN, the Parrish itself was partly the inspiration for the show. The way it was sited, the photographs that Baan took of the building, and the long, uninterrupted views down the museum’s “wings” all stoked questions of how photography proliferates the ideas behind the buildings themselves. As it becomes easier and easier to proliferate images of buildings, looking back to the history of the form may provide an important tool for the professional and amateur architectural photographer alike. On Saturday, April 14 2018 at 5:00 PM, the Parrish Museum will host a dialogue between The Architect's Newspaper's Editor in Chief William Menking and photographer Iwan Baan on the use of photography to instill buildings with feeling and meaning. More information on the talk can be found here.
Placeholder Alt Text

Photographer Timothy Hursley captures neglected corners of America in new exhibit

In between photography assignments for virtuosos such as Moshe Safdie, Marlon Blackwell, and Rural Studio, Timothy Hursley takes long drives throughout the rural South and other parts of the country and aims his camera at the neglected structures and forlorn dwellings of obscure or shunned subcultures.

Hursley’s ramblings have produced several series, including his photographs of both the interiors and exteriors of the brothels of Nevada. These gentle narratives, in which the women are notably absent, bear no hint of judgment. “The photographs are stronger without people,” Hursley said. “They are like footprints of a subculture.” When Hursley stumbled upon Bobbie’s Buckeye Bar, the owner would not let him in. Left to contemplate the outside, Hursley found a composition in which the running white fence symbolized customers entering the pink brothel and “then coming out tainted red,” he explained.

Finding himself in Utah, as the trial had just begun for convicted felon Warren Jeffs, the former leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), Hursley wondered what the architecture of polygamy looks like. An apostate brought Hursley to the FLDS cave in Hildale, Utah, a stronghold of polygamy, where he photographed the eerie interior and a new series was launched.

A quad of photos and a time-lapse video of a dilapidated silo in Hale County, Alabama, are the subject of the Oxford American video SoLost: The Beauty of a Broken Silo. Photographed from different angles, the bent and rusted structure radiates a heartrending anthropomorphism.

Closer to his home in Little Rock, Arkansas, Hursley stumbled upon two beaten-up white hearses that triggered a new fascination with the rundown funeral homes that dot the rural landscapes of the deep South. In one curiously intriguing image, Train Ride-Vicksburg, Mississippi, 2014/2016, two coffins sit on either side of a nearly room-size toy train track. For Hursley, the scene—odd, yet ordinary—is an analogy to the human condition, traveling through life to our inexorable ends.

And perhaps most curious for an artist attracted to scenes of obscurity is his series of photographs of the legendary Andy Warhol’s last factory in the early 1980s. The studio spaces were still raw at the time, recalled Hursley: “There was a lot of junk around, so I decided to roam around the space and start documenting what was there.” Eventually, Hursley enticed Warhol to come down to the cavernous space where he snapped an extraordinary photo in which a blue-jeans-and-black-turtleneck clad Warhol stands against the abstract geometry of the white space, illuminated by a distant doorway awash in an industrial shade of green.

Timothy Hursley: Tainted Lens, a solo exhibition of these and other works, is on view at the Garvey|Simon gallery in New York through June 10.

Placeholder Alt Text

Photographer Todd Eberle wins the Julius Shulman Institute’s 2017 Excellence in Photography Award

Burbank, California–based Woodbury University has announced that the university’s Julius Shulman Institute (JSI) will bestow the 2017 Excellence in Photography Award on acclaimed international photographer Todd Eberle. New York City–based Eberle has been Vanity Fair magazine’s Photographer at Large for over 20 years and is known widely for his “clean and analytical minimalist aesthetic,” according to a press release issued in support of the award. Eberle's work includes photographs of designs by Mies van der Rohe, Phillip Johnson, Oscar Niemeyer, Donald Judd, Le Corbusier, John Pawson, Peter Zumthor, among others. His portrait works include photographs of works by Oscar Niemeyer, Morris Lapidus, Donald Judd, Tadao Ando, Annabelle Selldorf, Herzog & de Meuron, Rem Koolhaas, David Adjaye, Peter Zumthor, Massimo and Lella Vignelli, and Dan Kiley. The university will hold an exhibition of Eberle’s work—titled Todd Eberle: Empire of Space and curated by Audrey Landreth—at Woodbury University’s Hollywood Outpost (WUHO) gallery featuring his portraits of well-known architects, including Zaha Hadid, Frank Gehry, Julius Shulman, Florence Knoll Bassett, and Phillip Johnson. The award will be presented to Eberle by architect and executive director of the JSI Barbara Bestor at a ceremony marking the occasion at WUHO Gallery.
Todd Eberle: Empire of Space Opens at WUHO May 4, 2017 Curator: Audrey Landreth May 4 to June 25, 2017 Opening Reception: May 4, 2017, 6 to 8 pm
Placeholder Alt Text

James Casebere explores Luis Barragán’s haptic modernism through constructed photography

American artist James Casebere is showcasing Emotional Architecture, a collection of photographs named after and inspired by the sun-bleached and platonic forms of Mexican architect Luis Barragán’s most famous works, at Sean Kelly Gallery in New York City.

The exhibition consists of constructed photography, a technique Casebere developed in the 1970s that involves constructing desk-sized architectural mock-ups and photographing those models as facsimiles of full-scale interior spaces. Casebere lights his models to highlight the spatial and emotional qualities of blank, unfurnished interiors.

For the exhibition at Sean Kelly, Casebere has mined the work of Barragán and artist Mathias Goéritz, who together appropriated color, light, and space through their own brand of modernist architecture to generate works of nuanced emotional character that stood in contrast to the era’s rigid formalism. In turn, Casebere’s constructed photography dwells on the evocative nature of these spaces. In the past, the artist has rendered works that explore the social implications of architecture—like prison cells and suburban bedrooms—and ply banal, extant spaces to thought-provoking effect.

In Emotional Architecture, Casebere investigates, among other works, a yellow corridor from Barragán’s Casa Gilardi. The Juicy Fruit–colored passage, completed in 1976 as the architect’s final work, stands in stark contrast to images made from models of Casa Barragán, a home the architect designed in Mexico City in 1947. These images—highlighting views of an empty studio, skylit vestibule, and an austere library—focus on the interplay between the formal aspects of Barragán’s architecture, its vibrant color palette, and direct light. Another series of images highlighting Barragán’s Casa Gálvez from 1952 showcases a view of a pottery-populated, bubblegum-hued courtyard.

Emotional Architecture Sean Kelly Gallery, 475 10th Avenue, New York Through March 11, 2017

Placeholder Alt Text

New exhibition at the Arkansas Art Center highlights the early works of Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams: Early Works, the first exhibition of Ansel Adams’s photography hosted by the Arkansas Arts Center, will showcase 41 prints done by Adams from the 1920s through the 1950s, highlighting his small-scale images. Adams was known for his photography of natural sites such as Yosemite National Park, Sequoia National Park, and the Sierra Nevadas, and this exhibition will tie into the completion of the 100th anniversary of the National Park System. According to the Arkansas Arts Center, Adams wasb a “photographer, musician, naturalist, explorer, critic, and teacher, was a giant in the field of American landscape photography. His work can be viewed as the end of an arc of American art concerned with capturing the ‘sublime’ in the unspoiled Western landscape.”

Ansel Adams: Early Works Arkansas Arts Center 501 East 9th Street, Little Rock, Arkansas Through April 16, 2017

Placeholder Alt Text

Visual chaos descends on a gallery in downtown Manhattan

The Gallery at Cadillac House, located just west of Soho, is hosting Toiletpaper Paradise—an exhibition that is as eccentric as it sounds. Toiletpaper Paradise invites audiences to touch, play, move, sit, recline, and position themselves in the visual antics of artist Maurizio Cattelan and photographer Pierpaolo Ferrai's curated space. The kaleidoscopic spaghetti world features over-sized stringy pasta pasted to the walls and floor joined on either side by enclaves of further obscurities enamored with space popcorn and cloud fish wallpaper. This description alone should suffice in setting the tone for the exhibit: The inclusion of risqué carpets, a life-size crocodile, tombstone, and ionic column are strangely unsurprising inclusions in their context of peculiarity. Though overwhelmed with imagery, furniture and accessories of note have been interspersed throughout the space. Despite not jumping out at you as much as the wallpaper, a range of midcentury modern furniture can be found within the setting, a feature that has led the exhibition to be dubbed "Mad Men on acid." Meanwhile, if you can spot them, works produced by Italian homeware manufacturers Gufram and Seletti are on display, all carrying with them inflections of Toiletpaper Magazine's off-beat Instagram-ready aesthetic. The exhibition was made possible through creative media agency Visionaire and Toiletpaper Magazine; Ferrari and Cattelan are co-creators of the latter. Toiletpaper Paradise runs through April 12 and is free to the public. The Gallery at Cadillac House 330 Hudson Street New York City