Archive for July 2011
Eyewitness: Hungarian photography in the 20th Century
“Hungarian photojournalism showing stylistic developments”
by David Franchi – Thursday, 18th July 2011
The second room, “The First World War in Hungary”, focuses on the photographers reproduction of the conflict. With the Trianon Treaty (1920) Hungary lost the 72% of its territory and the 64% of its population.
Hungarian governments started to be more and more fascists, anti-Semitic and anti-intellectual. Affected by the situation, many people fled abroad. The third room, “Moving away: Germany, France” displays works of Moholy- Nagy who moved to Germany becoming an important Bauhaus member. Munkácsi went to Berlin working for magazines. Brassaï and Kertesz moved to Paris – the first was called ‘the eye of Paris’ while the second break out in magazines.
The fourth room is titled “Moving away: Britain, America”. Munkácsi moved to New York (1934) developing into an inspiration for many fashion photographers. Kertesz arrived in New York in 1936 but had many issues worsened after the 1941. Moholy- Nagy in 1937 became Director of the New Bauhaus in Chicago. In 1939 Robert Capa moved to New York.
“Moving away: Robert Capa, Photojournalism and War”, the fifth room, is entirely dedicated to this very celebrated war photojournalist whose ‘Death of a loyalist Militiaman’, taken during the Spanish Civil War, is still an icon.
The sixth room is “The Second World War in Hungary and the Aftermath”. Hungary declared war on the URSS in 1941, in 1943 tried to leave, in 1944 was occupied by Germans, in 1945 signed a ceasefire with the Allies, in 1946 the Republic was proclaimed but in 1948 became a Soviet satellite. The brief revolution in 1956 was immediately repressed and Hungary remained part of the “Soviet Empire” until 1989. Photographers pictured all these moments.
The last room, “Hungary 1945-1989”, displays Socialist Realism images, the only accepted by the regime, which slowly degraded their steadiness developing into a less inhibited style. When the Berlin Wall came down Hungarian photography grew increasingly but resembling other countries losing its national unique art form.
Showing until 2nd October 2011 at the Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly, London
Published for: www.remotegoat.co.uk
Direct link: http://www.remotegoat.co.uk/review_view.php?uid=7188
Sophy Rickett – “Auditorium and selected works” at Brancolini Grimaldi Gallery.
“Video installation shot in Glyndebourne”
by David Franchi – Thursday 13th July 2011
‘Auditorium’ is a video installation made in collaboration with Ed Hughes. It is shot at the opera house in Glyndebourne, Sussex, and it focuses particularly on stage mechanics and lighting. The video uses subtle and reduced movements to emphasise lights and shadows of the building. ‘Landscape’ an early series from her, also on display at Brancolini Grimaldi Gallery, uses a similar theme but in outdoor environment.
The focal point of Sophy Rickett work is the movement of the light, its up-and-down, and the effects the contraction and the expansion of the luminosity produces which goes together with the up -and-down of the mechanics of the opera house backstage. It reminds nature cycles, birth-death, seasons, natural phenomenon movements such as seawater, wind or night and day, and of course light and shadow. But also connected with human body: stand up -sit down, walking with a young straight back or old-curved, with an additional subtle, sexual but hidden hint.
But Sophy Rickett has a very special interest also in dimensions and in rendering the tri -dimensional reality with the available bi-dimensional media. This is a timeless art issue as the lack of technology allows artists to express using bi-dimensional means, such as video or prints, when real life is in three dimensions. Rickett work highlights the flatness of video and of photographs.
As part of the Sophy Rickett production “Auditorium and selected works” is offbeat. The artist, in fact, explores new trends in contemporary photography which, instead, follows a realist approach.
Sophy Rickett is born in London (22 September 1970). She owns a BA (Hons) in Photography at London College of Communication (1993) and graduate from The Royal College of Art, London (1999).
One of her earliest works, ‘Vauxhall Bridge’, was a shocking series depicting Rickett herself urinating standing up while attired in high-priced feminine clothes. Sophy Rickett has been awarded many times. Her works are present in collections and museums worldwide including, Centre Pompidou (Paris, France), Government Art Collection (UK), Musee des Beaux-Arts (Nantes, France), Victoria and Albert Museum (London, UK) and MART (Trento, Italy).
She has been part of solo and group exhibitions in venues worldwide renowned including La Biennale di Venezia (Venezia, Italy), Nichido Contemporary Art (Tokyo, Japan), Centre Pompidou (Paris, France), Courtauld Institute (London, UK), Galleria Civica, Modena (Modena, Italy), Museum der bildenden Künste (Leipzig, Germany), Estorick Collection (London, UK) Il Museo di Trento (Trento, Italy), Victoria and Albert Museum (London, UK), Kunsthalle Münster (Münster, Germany) and Musee des Beaux-Arts (Nantes, France).
‘Auditorium’ was commissioned by Photoworks, Glyndebourne Education and De La Warr Pavilion. Showing until 27 August 2011.
Published for: http://www.remotegoat.co.uk/
Direct link: http://www.remotegoat.co.uk/review_view.php?uid=7179
Glamour of the Gods: Hollywood Portraits
David Franchi – Friday, 8th July 2011
“iconic and previously unseen portraits”
Showing until 23/10/11
The National Portrait Gallery exhibition “Glamour of the Gods: Hollywood Portraits” poses an intriguing excursus on picturing famous people and photography.
The National Portrait Gallery exhibition cover a period of forty years of the Hollywood story and it displays portraits of many famous actors and actresses such as Clark Gable, Marlene Dietrich, Joan Crawford, Vivien Leigh, Loretta Young and Joan Collins never previously exhibited in the UK. It is the first museum exhibition of vintage prints from the John Kobal Foundation. It is a rare opportunity to view important artworks of a now extinct Hollywood studio system.
“Glamour of the Gods: Hollywood Portraits” analyses the impact of the photography in generating notoriety of the Hollywood stardom system from 1920s to 1960s. Therefore it looks at the photographers work and how they could turn actors and actresses into international mass phenomenon icons.
This new exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery displays photographs which are vintage prints drawn from the John Kobal Foundation archive. Portraits are of Cary Grant, Marlon Brando, Elizabeth Taylor and Rita Hayworth by nearly forty photographers including George Hurrell, Clarence Sinclair Bull, Laszlo Willinger, Bob Coburn and Ruth Harriet Louise.
“Glamour of the Gods: Hollywood Portraits” shows both iconic and previously unseen portraits and various of these are shown alongside film scene. Some of the images are very famous and they have been used so many times that it is easy to recognise them immediately, for example, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers for ‘Swing Time’, James Dean for ‘Rebel without a Cause’ and Charlie Chaplin and Jackie Coogan for ‘The Kid’. There are also a Marilyn Monroe nude, Laurel and Hardy and Louise Brooks. Stills photographs were used for lobby cards and posters and had to summarize the film and attract film-goers in just one image.
The Hollywood studios, still today, heavily control the image of the stars. The photographers in this exhibition were the leading photographers at that time. Davis Boulton was one of the few British photographers working for the Hollywood studios. Ruth Harriet Louise the only woman to run a studio photo gallery. Clarence Sinclair Bull build up a relationship with Greta Garbo, and also Joan Crawford and George Hurrell did the same.
Paparazzi did not exist. These photographs were the only connection between stars and fans. Thousands of them were sent out worldwide both to fans and to publications. To allow the widest possible publicity they were stamped ‘copyright free’, so the names of many photographers remained unaccredited.
John Kobal (1940-1991) was a collector and author. He began collecting photographs in the 1950s, visiting Los Angeles frequently when many of the major studios were being bought by corporations who cared little for the history of the film industry. Kobal tracked down the surviving photographers of great Hollywood and through a series of major exhibitions and books sought to gain them the recognition they deserved.
The exhibition is organised by the Santa Barbara Museum of Arts and supported by the Blavatnik Family Foundation.