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Famous Photographers / N

James Nachtwey
United States
1948
James Nachtwey is an American photojournalist and war photographer. He grew up in Massachusetts and graduated from Dartmouth College, where he studied Art History and Political Science (1966–70). Nachtwey started working as a newspaper photographer in 1976 at the Albuquerque Journal. In 1980, he moved to New York and began working as a freelance photographer. In 1981, Nachtwey covered his first overseas assignment in Northern Ireland illustrating civil strife. He has documented a variety of armed conflicts and social issues, spending time in South Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, Russia, Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union shooting pictures of war, conflict and famine, and images of socio-political issues (pollution, crime and punishment) in Western Europe and the United States. He currently lives in New York City. In 1994, Nachtwey was covering the upcoming elections in South Africa, the first non-racial ones in decades. As an associate of the Bang-Bang Club, he was at the scene when Ken Oosterbroek was killed and Greg Marinovich was seriously injured. Nachtwey had been injured previously in his work, but it was during his extensive coverage of the United States invasion of Iraq that he received his first combat injury. As Nachtwey, along with Time correspondent Michael Weisskopf rode in the back of a Humvee with the United States Army "Tomb Raiders" Survey Platoon, an insurgent threw a grenade into the vehicle. Weisskopf grabbed the grenade to throw it out of the humvee, but it exploded in his hand. Two soldiers were injured in the explosion, along with the Time journalists. Nachtwey managed to take several photographs of medic Billie Grimes treating Weisskopf before passing out. Both journalists were airlifted to Germany and later to hospitals in the United States. Nachtwey recovered sufficiently to return overseas to cover the tsunami in Southeast Asia of December 26, 2004. Nachtwey has worked with Time as a contract photographer since 1984. He worked for Black Star from 1980 until 1985 and was a member of Magnum Photos from 1986 until 2001. In 2001, he was a founding member of the VII Photo Agency (he disassociated from VII in August 2011). Nachtwey was present during the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, and produced a well known related body of work. He also compiled a photo essay on the effects of the Sudan conflict on civilians. In February 2011, Nachtwey contributed to a controversial piece for Vogue Magazine, which shone a favorable light on Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and his family. The article and the photo series were particularly controversial as a peaceful protest movement in the context of the Arab Spring that was gathering steam at the same time, was brutally put down by the Syrian regime's military and secret police services. By December 2011, death toll estimates of the uprising ranged between 3,500 and 5,000, while an approximate 30,000 civilians were imprisoned and, in many cases, tortured severely. Vogue later decided to remove the article from its pages. Nevertheless, the article can still be accessed on the Syrian presidency's own website. Source: Wikipedia James Nachtwey grew up in Massachusetts and graduated from Dartmouth College, where he studied Art History and Political Science (1966-70). Images from the Vietnam War and the American Civil Rights movement had a powerful effect on him and were instrumental in his decision to become a photographer. He has worked aboard ships in the Merchant Marine, and while teaching himself photography, he was an apprentice news film editor and a truck driver. In 1976 he started work as a newspaper photographer in New Mexico, and in 1980, he moved to New York to begin a career as a freelance magazine photographer. His first foreign assignment was to cover civil strife in Northern Ireland in 1981 during the IRA hunger strike. Since then, Nachtwey has devoted himself to documenting wars, conflicts and critical social issues. He has worked on extensive photographic essays in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza, Israel, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, the Philippines, South Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Rwanda, South Africa, Russia, Bosnia, Chechnya, Kosovo, Romania, Brazil and the United States. Nachtwey has been a contract photographer with Time Magazine since 1984. He was associated with Black Star from 1980 - 1985 and was a member of Magnum from 1986 until 2001. In 2001, he became one of the founding members of the photo agency, VII. He has had solo exhibitions at the International Center of Photography in New York, the Bibliotheque nationale de France in Paris, the Palazzo Esposizione in Rome, the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego, Culturgest in Lisbon, El Circulo de Bellas Artes in Madrid, Fahey/Klein Gallery in Los Angeles, the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, the Canon Gallery and the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam, the Carolinum in Prague,and the Hasselblad Center in Sweden, among others. He has received numerous honours such as the Common Wealth Award, Martin Luther King Award, Dr. Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award, Henry Luce Award, Robert Capa Gold Medal (five times), the World Press Photo Award (twice), Magazine Photographer of the Year (seven times), the International Center of Photography Infinity Award (three times), the Leica Award (twice), the Bayeaux Award for War Correspondents (twice), the Alfred Eisenstaedt Award, the Canon Photo essayist Award and the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Grant in Humanistic Photography. He is a fellow of the Royal Photographic Society and has an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from the Massachusetts College of Arts. Source: www.jamesnachtwey.com
 Nadar
France
1820 | † 1910
Nadar was the pseudonym of Gaspard-Félix Tournachon. Nadar was born in April 1820 in Paris (though some sources state Lyon). He was a caricaturist for Le Charivari in 1848. In 1849 he created the Revue comique and the Petit journal pour rire. He took his first photographs in 1853 and in 1858 became the first person to take aerial photographs. He also pioneered the use of artificial lighting in photography, working in the catacombs of Paris. Around 1863, Nadar built a huge (6000 m³) balloon named Le Géant ("The Giant"), thereby inspiring Jules Verne's Five Weeks in a Balloon. Although the "Géant" project was initially unsuccessful Nadar was still convinced that the future belonged to heavier-than-air machines. Later, "The Society for the Encouragement of Aerial Locomotion by Means of Heavier than Air Machines" was established, with Nadar as president and Verne as secretary. Nadar was also the inspiration for the character of Michael Ardan in Verne's From the Earth to the Moon. On his visit to Brussels with the Géant, on 26 September 1864, Nadar erected mobile barriers to keep the crowd at a safe distance. Up to this day, crowd control barriers are known in Belgium as Nadar barriers. In April 1874, he lent his photo studio to a group of painters, thus making the first exhibition of the Impressionists possible. He photographed Victor Hugo on his death-bed in 1885. He is credited with having published (in 1886) the first photo-interview (of famous chemist Michel Eugène Chevreul, then a centenarian), and also took erotic photographs. From 1895 until his return to Paris in 1909, the Nadar photo studio was in Marseilles (France). Nadar died in 1910, aged 89. He was buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. Source: Wikipedia
Takuma Nakahira
Japan
1938 | † 2015
Takuma Nakahira was a Japanese photographer, critic, and theorist. He was a member of the seminal photography collective Provoke, played a central role in developing the theorization of landscape discourse, and was one of the most prominent voices in 1970s Japanese photography. Born in Tokyo, Nakahira attended the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, from which he graduated in 1963 with a degree in Spanish. After graduation, he began working as an editor at the art magazine Contemporary View (Gendai no me), during which time he published his work under the pseudonym of Akira Yuzuki. Two years later, he left the magazine in order to help organize the major 1968 exhibition One Hundred Years of Photography: The History of Japanese Photographic Expression at the invitation of Shōmei Tōmatsu, an effort to which photo critic Kōji Taki also contributed. In 1968, he and Taki teamed up with photographer Yutaka Takanashi, and critic Takahiko Okada, to found the magazine Provoke: Provocative documents for the sake of thought. By the second issue, Daidō Moriyama had joined the group, but Provoke ceased publication with its third issue, First discard the world of pseudo certainty: the thinking behind photography and language, in March 1970. Nakahira and the other Provoke members were well known for what was termed their "are, bure, boke" (rough, blurry, and out of focus) style, associated with spontaneity and thus supposedly a more direct confrontation with reality in that it would circumvent conscious control. While working on Provoke, Nakahira published his first photobook, For a Language to Come, which has been described as "a masterpiece of reductionism." Ryūichi Kaneko and Ivan Vartanian feature the book prominently in their book on seminal Japanese photobooks of the 1960s and 70s, and Martin Parr and Gerry Badger include it in the first volume of their international photobook history. Vartanian describes the volume as exemplary of Provoke's vision and concept of photography in Nakahira's use of the are, bure, boke style, but also for presenting full-bleed snapshots of anonymous corners of Tokyo that either cross over or abut each other at the book's gutter. Vartanian argues that "By erasing the conventional functionality of the photograph as document, memory, verification, emotion, and narrative, he revealed the illusory nature of photography as a conduit of information or portrayal of reality, while at the same time underscoring the only tangible reality available to the viewer—the printed image," eschewing documentation of social issues to instead present a personal, diaristic perspective. In 1977, at the age of 39, Nakahira suffered alcohol poisoning and fell into a coma. As a result of this trauma, he suffered permanent memory loss and aphasia, effectively ending his prolific writings. This event has also conventionally been understood as marking a change in his photographic practice since, after a hiatus from his image-making activities, he returned to the medium in a style quite distinct from that for which he was known. Curator and photo critic Kuraishi Shino and Masuda, however, argue that in spite of any stylistic differences with his earlier work, Nakahira's post-1977 practice should be understood as a conceptual continuation of the project he embarked on in 1973 with Why an Illustrated Botanical Dictionary. Nakahira's post-1977 photographs were collected in three photobooks: A New Gaze (1983), Adieu à X (1989), and Hysteric Six Nakahira Takuma (2002). While Nakahira was always an important figure within Japanese photographic circles, the upsurge in research and exhibitions on post-WWII Japanese photography since the 2000s has led to a reevaluation of Nakahira's contributions to Japanese photographic, media, and art discourses in recent years, especially outside of Japan. His work has been included in recent seminal exhibitions of Japanese post-WWII art including the Getty Research Institute's Art, Anti-Art, Non-Art: Experimentation in the Public Sphere in Postwar Japan, 1950-1970 (2007), the Museum of Modern Art's Tokyo: 1955-1970 (2012), the Museum of Fine Arts Houston's For a New World to Come: Experiments in Japanese Art and Photography 1968–1979 (2015), National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo's Things: Rethinking Japanese Photography and Art in the 1970s (2015), and the Art Institute of Chicago's Provoke: Photography in Japan between Protest and Performance, 1960-1975 (2017).Source: Wikipedia
Lu Nan
China
1962
Lu Nan is a contemporary photographer who was born in Beijing, China in 1962. After working for National Pictorial for 5 years, he decided to become an independent photographer. From 1989 to 1990, he shot a series of images of the living conditions of patients in Chinese mental hospitals. From 1992 to 1996, he shot a series of images about Catholicism in China. From 1996 to 2004, he shot a series of images of the daily life of Tibetan farmers. Lu Nan is known as "the most legendary photographer in China". He is also the only Chinese contemporary photographer chosen by Aperture magazine as a topic colon. Lu Nan is constantly invited to participate in numerous exhibitions; however, he is extremely selective about the exhibitions he is involved with. Lu also refused to have his portrait taken by others, so it’s very rare to see any photo documentations of him. For fifteen years, Lu has been leading a life that is almost like a monk, spending his time working and studying, as he believes that “good stuff comes out of reticence.” Since 1989, Lu Nan has spent 15 years completing his trilogy of photographic series: The Forgotten People, China's Catholicism and Four Seasons in Tibet. These images have allowed Nan to place himself in the international spotlight. But perhaps more importantly, he became one of the first people who exposed another side of Chinese society; people often considered outcasts. “I just respect them and care about them… They are the same as us,” said Lu as a reminder that all human beings are equal and deserve dignity. His black and white photographs depict people within their own environment by using a rather straight glance, which is yet associated with delicate contrasts and elegant compositions.Source: Wikipedia Correspondent for the prestigious international cooperative Magnum Photos since the 1990s, Lu Nan 呂楠 (born in 1962 in Beijing) is an independent photographer who has been documenting marginalized people in China. His pivotal series started in 1989 with The Forgotten People: The Condition of China’s Psychiatric Patients. Pursing his intentions to document Chinese people from the margins of society, his subsequent series captured members of the Catholic Faith (On The Road: The Catholic Faith in China, 1992-1996), peasants’ life in Tibet (Four Seasons: Everyday Life of Tibetan Peasants, 1996-2004), and prisoner’s conditions (Prisons of North Burma, 2006).Source: photographyofchina.com “In 15 years, not a day went by when I didn’t question my own work,” says Chinese photographer Lu Nan, in an interview included in his new book Trilogy. “That’s why I scrutinize what I was doing by means of reading. This mode of assessing action through thought and assessing thought through action helped me to complete these projects." “The trilogy is concerned with human beings. I hope that by looking into real life, I’ll find something fundamentally and enduringly human.” Lu Nan isn’t well known outside China but this book, his first in English, should change all that. It collects together three projects he shot over 15 years – The Forgotten People, a look at the lives of Chinese psychiatric patients, shot from 1989-1990; On the Road, a look at the lives of Catholics in China, shot from 1992-96; and Four Seasons, a look at the lives of rural Tibetans, shot from 1996-2004. These microcosms are apparently very different and yet, to Lu Nan, they’re intimately interrelated. Inspired by image-makers such as Josef Sudek and Sebastiao Salgado and extremely well-read, Lu Nan says the three projects represent the three states of life – The Forgotten People is about suffering and adversity, On the Road purification, and Four Seasons about a blessed, serene state.Source: British Journal of Photography
Carlo Naya
Italy
1816 | † 1882
Carlo Naya was an Italian photographer known for his pictures of Venice including its works of art and views of the city for a collaborative volume in 1866. He also documented the restoration of Giotto's frescoes at the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua. Naya was born in Tronzano di Vercelli in 1816 and studied law at the University of Pisa. An inheritance allowed him to travel to major cities in Europe, Asia, and northern Africa. He was advertising his services as portrait photographer in Istanbul in 1845, and opened his studio in Venice in 1857. He sold his work through photographer and optician Carlo Ponti. Following Naya's death in 1882, his studio was run by his wife, then by her second husband. In 1918 it was closed and publisher Osvaldo Böhm bought most of Naya's archive.Source: Wikipedia Carlo Naya studied law in Pisa before becoming a diplomat according to his father’s wishes. After his father’s death Naya embarked on a tour through Europe and Asia with his brother. During his stay in Paris in 1839 he was taught the daguerreotype process, which fascinated him. Naya settled in Venice in 1857, where he set up a photographic studio. For several years he collaborated closely with photographer Carlo Ponti but in 1868 he founded his own studio. During his long career, Naya photographed every aspect of the city of Venice. His views of the palaces on the Grand Canal, and his panoramas of the city give a complete picture of Venice’s architecture in the mid-nineteenth century.Source: The National Galleries of Scotland Carlo Naya (1816-1882) was born Carlo Naja at Tronzano Vercellese near Turin. He studied law in Pisa, where he graduated in 1840. Until recently it was thought that for the next fifteen years, he and his brother Giovanni travelled widely throughout Europe, Asia and Africa, only photographing occasionally for pleasure. However, recent research has revealed that Carlo Naya worked as a professional daguerreotypist long before his move to Venice. He apparently operated briefly in Prague around 1845, before opening a daguerreotype studio in Constantinople the following year. When his brother died in 1857, Carlo returned to Italy and settled in Venice. Initially he worked with the established publisher Carlo Ponti, who distributed his prints. The two men soon quarrelled, however, and Naya opened his own studio. In 1868 he opened a larger photographic shop in the Piazza San Marco, his business soon growing to rival Ponti‘s. In the latter half of the nineteenth century, the two firms were considered the leading photographic concerns in the city. At the time of Naya‘s death in 1882, Edward Wilson, an experienced and knowledgeable writer on photography, described Naya‘s studio as ‘the largest establishment we think we ever saw devoted to photography, in an old palace on the other side of the grand canal‘. Ponti and Naya were both photographic chroniclers of the city‘s tourist sights. Greater ease of travel meant that tourists came in ever increasing numbers to see the splendours of Italy, and these visitors were eager to take away with them souvenirs to show their friends and family at home and to help them remember what they had seen. Thus a photographer with a large stock of negatives showing the buildings and monuments, canals and palaces, harbour views and gondolas of Venice was assured of a steady, reliable income for years to come.Source: Luminous-Lint
Charles Nègre
France
1820 | † 1880
Charles Nègre (French: 9 May 1820 - 16 January 1880) was a pioneering photographer, born in Grasse, France. He studied under the painters Paul Delaroche, Ingres and Drolling before establishing his own studio at 21 Quai Bourbon on the Île Saint-Louis, Paris. Delaroche encouraged the use of photography as research for painting; Nègre started with the daguerreotype process before moving on to calotypes. His "Chimney-Sweeps Walking", an albumen print taken on the Quai Bourbon in 1851, may have been a staged study for a painting, but is nevertheless considered important to photographic history for its being an early instance of an interest in capturing movement and freezing it forever in one moment. Having been passed over for the Missions Héliographiques which commissioned many of his peers, Nègre independently embarked on his own remarkably extensive study of the Midi region. The interesting shapes in his 1852 photograph of buildings in Grasse have caused it to be seen as a precursor to art photography. In 1859, he was commissioned by Empress Eugénie to photograph the newly established Imperial Asylum in the Bois de Vincennes, a hospital for disabled workingmen. He used both albumen and salt print, and was known also as a skilled printer of photographs, using a gravure method of his own development. A plan commissioned by Napoleon III to print photographs of sculpture never came to fruition, and in 1861 Nègre retired to Nice, where he made views and portraits for holiday makers. He died in Grasse in 1880.Source: Wikipedia
Arnold Newman
United States
1918 | † 2006
Arnold Abner Newman was an American photographer, noted for his "environmental portraits" of artists and politicians. He was also known for his carefully composed abstract still-life images. Born in Manhattan, Newman grew up in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and later moved to Miami Beach, Florida. In 1936, he studied painting and drawing at the University of Miami. Unable to afford to continue after two years, he moved to Philadelphia to work for a studio, making 49-cent portraits in 1938. Newman returned to Florida in 1942 to manage a portrait studio in West Palm Beach. Three years later, he opened his own business in Miami Beach. In 1946, Newman relocated to New York, opened Arnold Newman Studios and worked as a freelance photographer for Fortune, LIFE, and Newsweek. Though never a member, Newman frequented the Photo League during the 1940s. Newman found his vision in the empathy he felt for artists and their work. Although he photographed many personalities—Marlene Dietrich, John F. Kennedy, Harry S. Truman, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso, Arthur Miller, Marilyn Monroe, Ronald Reagan, Mickey Mantle, and Audrey Hepburn—he maintained that even if the subject is not known, or is already forgotten, the photograph itself must still excite and interest the viewer. Arnold Newman is often credited with being the photographer who articulated and who consistently employed the genre of environmental portraiture, in which the photographer uses a carefully framed and lit setting, and its contents, to symbolize the individual's life and work; a well-known example being his portrait of Igor Stravinsky in which the lid of his grand piano forms a gargantuan musical note representative of the melodic structure of the composer's work. Newman normally captured his subjects in their most familiar surroundings with representative visual elements showing their professions and personalities. A musician for instance might be photographed in their recording studio or on stage, a Senator or other politician in their office or a representative building. Using a large-format camera and tripod, he worked to record every detail of a scene. Newman's best-known images were in black and white, although he often photographed in color. His 1946 black and white portrait of Stravinsky seated at a grand piano became his signature image, even though it was rejected by Harper's Bazaar, the magazine that gave the assignment to Newman. He was one of the few photographers allowed to make a portrait of the famously camera-shy Henri Cartier-Bresson. Among Newman's best-known color images is an eerie portrait from 1963 that shows former Nazi industrialist and minister of armament Alfried Krupp in one of Krupp's factories. Newman admits his personal feelings influenced his portrayal of Krupp. On December 19, 2005, Newman made his last formal portrait of director James (Jimmy) Burrows at the NBC studio on the Saturday Night Live stage. This session was particularly special for Newman because he had photographed Jimmy's father Abe Burrows several times.Source: Wikipedia Arnold Newman (1918-2006) is acknowledged as one of the great masters of the 20th and 21st century and his work has changed portraiture. He is recognized as the “Father of Environmental Portraiture.” His work is collected and exhibited in the major museums around the world including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Chicago Art Institute; The Los Angeles Museum of Art; The Philadelphia Museum; The Tate and the National Portrait Gallery, London; The Israel Museum, Jerusalem; and many other prominent museums in Europe, Japan, South America, Australia, etc. Newman was an important contributor to publications such as The New Yorker, Newsweek, Vanity Fair, LIFE, Look, Holiday, Harper's Bazaar, Esquire, Town and Country, Scientific American, New York Times Magazine, and many others. There are numerous books published of Newman’s work in addition to countless histories of photography, catalogues, articles and television programs. He received many major awards by the leading professional organizations in the U.S. and abroad including the American Society of Media Photographers, The International Center of Photography, The Lucie Award, The Royal Photographic Society Centenary Award as well as France’s “Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters.” In 2005, Photo District News named Newman as one of the 25 most influential living photographers. In 2006, Newman was awarded The Gold Medal for Photography by The National Arts Club. He is the recipient of nine honorary doctorates and has lectured and conducted workshops throughout the country and the world. Arnold Newman died on June 6, 2006 in New York City. He was 88 years old.Source: arnoldnewman.com Arnold Newman is widely renowned for pioneering and popularizing the environmental portrait. With his method of portraiture, he placed his sitters in surroundings representative of their professions, aiming to capture the essence of an individual’s life and work. Though this approach is commonplace today, his technique was highly unconventional in the 1930s when began shooting his subjects as such. He is also known for his carefully composed, abstract still lifes.Source: Howard Greenberg Gallery "We do not take pictures with our cameras, but with our hearts and minds,” so said Arnold Newman, one of the world's best-known and most admired photographers to have ever lived. Known for his “environmental portraits” of artists and politicians, he captured the essence of his subjects by showing them in their natural surroundings. As he said, “I didn't just want to make a photograph with some things in the background. The surroundings had to add to the composition and the understanding of the person. No matter who the subject was, it had to be an interesting photograph. Just to simply do a portrait of a famous person doesn't mean a thing.” Newman was a master at composition and was meticulous about his work. He even used a large-format camera and tripod to ensure that every detail of a scene was recorded. His signature image, the one most will remember him by, is the last one in this post. It's a beautiful, black and white portrait of Russian Composer Igor Stravinsky seated at a grand piano. Look closely and you'll notice that the piano was strategically silhouetted against a blank wall, creating an illusion that the lid is an abstract musical note.Source: My Modern Met
Helmut Newton
Germany/Australia
1920 | † 2004
Helmut Newton was a German-Australian photographer. The New York Times described him as a "prolific, widely imitated fashion photographer whose provocative, erotically charged black-and-white photos were a mainstay of Vogue and other publications." Newton was born in Berlin, the son of Klara "Claire" (née Marquis) and Max Neustädter, a button factory owner. Newton attended the Heinrich-von-Treitschke-Realgymnasium and the American School in Berlin. Interested in photography from the age of 12 when he purchased his first camera, he worked for the German photographer Yva (Elsie Neuländer Simon) from 1936. Any photographer who says he’s not a voyeur is either stupid or a liar. -- Helmut Newton The increasingly oppressive restrictions placed on Jews by the Nuremberg laws meant that his father lost control of the factory in which he manufactured buttons and buckles; he was briefly interned in a concentration camp on Kristallnacht, 9 November 1938, which finally compelled the family to leave Germany. Newton's parents fled to Argentina. He was issued with a passport just after turning 18 and left Germany on 5 December 1938. At Trieste, he boarded the Conte Rosso (along with about 200 others escaping the Nazis), intending to journey to China. After arriving in Singapore, he found he was able to remain there, first briefly as a photographer for the Straits Times and then as a portrait photographer. Newton was interned by British authorities while in Singapore and was sent to Australia on board the Queen Mary, arriving in Sydney on 27 September 1940. Internees travelled to the camp at Tatura, Victoria by train under armed guard. He was released from internment in 1942 and briefly worked as a fruit picker in Northern Victoria. In August 1942, he enlisted with the Australian Army and worked as a truck driver. After the war in 1945, he became a British subject and changed his name to Newton in 1946. In 1948, he married actress June Browne, who performed under the stage name June Brunell. Later she became a successful photographer under the ironic pseudonym Alice Springs (after Alice Springs, the town in Central Australia). In 1946, Newton set up a studio in fashionable Flinders Lane in Melbourne and worked on fashion, theatre and industrial photography in the affluent postwar years. He shared his first joint exhibition in May 1953 with Wolfgang Sievers, a German refugee like himself, who had also served in the same company. The exhibition of New Visions in Photography' was displayed at the Federal Hotel in Collins Street and was probably the first glimpse of New Objectivity photography in Australia. Newton went into partnership with Henry Talbot, a fellow German Jew who had also been interned at Tatura, and his association with the studio continued even after 1957, when he left Australia for London. The studio was renamed Helmut Newton and Henry Talbot. Newton's growing reputation as a fashion photographer was rewarded when he secured a commission to illustrate fashions in a special Australian supplement for Vogue magazine, published in January 1956. He won a 12-month contract with British Vogue and left for London in February 1957, leaving Talbot to manage the business. Newton left the magazine before the end of his contract and went to Paris, where he worked for French and German magazines. He returned to Melbourne in March 1959 to a contract for Australian Vogue. Newton and his wife finally settled in Paris in 1961 and work continued as a fashion photographer. His images appeared in magazines including the French edition of Vogue and Harper's Bazaar. He established a particular style marked by erotic, stylized scenes, often with sadomasochistic and fetishistic subtexts. A heart attack in 1970 reduced Newton's output, nevertheless his wife's encouragement led to his profile continuing to expand, especially with a big success, the 1980 studio-bound stark infinity of the Big Nudes series. His Naked and Dressed portfolio followed and in 1992 Domestic Nudes which marked the pinnacle of his erotic-urban style, these series all underpinned with the prowess of his technical skills. Newton also worked in portraiture and more fantastical studies. Newton shot a number of pictorials for Playboy, including pictorials of Nastassja Kinski and Kristine DeBell. Original prints of the photographs from his August 1976 pictorial of DeBell, "200 Motels, or How I Spent My Summer Vacation" were sold at auctions of Playboy archives by Bonhams in 2002. I just had a bellyful and realized I had shot enough nudes to last a lifetime. In fact, although I have no idea of the number, I think I photographed too many naked women. -- Helmut Newton In 2009, June Browne Newton conceptualized a tribute exhibition to Newton, based on three photographers that befriended Newton in Los Angeles in 1980: Mark Arbeit, Just Loomis, and George Holz. All three had been photography students at The Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. All three became friends with Helmut and June Newton and to varying degrees assisted Helmut Newton. Each went on to independent careers. The exhibit premiered at the Helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin and combined the work of all three with personal snapshots, contact sheets, and letters from their time with Newton. Since the 1970s Newton regularly used Polaroid cameras and film for instant visualization of compositions and lighting situations, especially for his fashion photography. By his own admission, for the shoot of Naked and Dressed series that started in 1981 for the Italian and French Vogue he used Polaroid film “by the crate”. These polaroids also served as a sketchbook, where he scribbled notes with regard to the model, client or location and date. In 1992 Newton published Pola Woman, a book consisting only of his Polaroids. Over 300 works based on the original Polaroids were shown at 2011 exhibition Helmut Newton Polaroids at the Museum für Fotografie in Berlin. In his later life, Newton lived in both Monte Carlo and Los Angeles, California where he spent winters at the Chateau Marmont, which he had done every year since 1957. On 23 January 2004, he suffered a serious heart attack while driving his automobile down Marmont Lane from the Chateau Marmont to Sunset Boulevard. He was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center; doctors were unable to save him, and he was pronounced dead. His ashes are buried at the Städtischer Friedhof III in Berlin.Source: Wikipedia
Artur Nikodem
Austria
1870 | † 1940
Artur Nikodem (1870-1940) was born in Trent, Austria. As a young man, Nikodem studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, Milan and Florence. He then served in the Austrian Navy before settling briefly in Paris, where he was strongly influenced by the works of Monet and Cezanne. Awestruck by the ability of pigment to rearrange and restructure life on canvas, Nikodem began his endeavors as a painter. His burgeoning artistic career was delayed by military service during World War I. After the war, Nikodem returned to his home in Innsbruck where he began work as a freelance artist. He agreed to test cameras and film for a friend who sold photographic supplies, privately pursuing this means of artistic expression. The modest size and intimate subject matter of these photographs provides a window into the artist's life and mind. After a series of successful international exhibitions, Nikodem emerged as a spokesman for Tyrolean artists. As Nikodem grew older, the changing political climate resulted in his paintings being outlawed in Germany and part of the collection in Nuremberg was destroyed. Unable to secure a teaching position at the Viennese Academy, Nikodem withdrew from public life and lived in seclusion with his wife, Barbara Hoyer, until his death in 1940. Nikodem's photographs were not exhibited or discussed outside of the studio until after his death. Although he worked as a painter for the bulk of his artistic career, he was also a prolific photographer, documenting the small towns and pastoral beauty of the Austrian countryside as well as the women in his life. Nikodem captures these women, his models and lovers, including Gunda Wiese - who died of tuberculosis - and his wife Barbara Hoyer. These sensual portraits portray the erotic tension between the older artist and his much younger subjects. Artur Nikodem's portraits have invited comparison to the paintings of Egon Schiele and the series of photographs by Alfred Stieglitz of Georgia O'Keefe, similarly characterized by both playful experimentation and somber meditation. Source: Robert Mann Gallery
Nicholas Nixon
United States
1947
Nicholas Nixon is an American photographer, born in 1947 in Detroit, Michigan, known for his work in portraiture and documentary photography. Influenced by the photographs of Edward Weston and Walker Evans, he began working with large-format cameras. Whereas most professional photographers had abandoned these cameras in favor of shooting on 35 mm film with more portable cameras, Nixon preferred the format because it allowed prints to be made directly from the large format negatives, retaining the clarity and integrity of the image. Nixon has said "When photography went to the small camera and quick takes, it showed thinner and thinner slices of time, [unlike] early photography where time seemed non-changing. I like greater chunks, myself. Between 30 seconds and a thousand of a second the difference is very large." His first solo exhibition was at the Museum of Modern Art curated by John Szarkowski in 1976. Nixon’s early city views taken of Boston and New York in the mid-seventies were exhibited at one of the most influential exhibitions of the decade, New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-Altered Landscape at the George Eastman House in 1975. In the late nineties, Nixon returned to this subject matter to document Boston’s changing urban landscape during the Big Dig highway development project. In 1976, 1980, and 1987, Nixon was awarded National Endowment for the Arts Photography Fellowships. In 1977 and 1986, he was awarded Guggenheim Fellowship. Nixon's subjects include schoolchildren and schools in and around Boston, people living along the Charles River near Boston and Cambridge as well as cities in the South, his family and himself, people in nursing homes, the blind, sick, and dying people, and the intimacy of couples. Nixon is also well known for his work People With AIDS, which began in 1987. Nixon recorded his subjects with meticulous detail in order to facilitate a connection between the viewer and the subject. In 1975, Nixon began his project, The Brown Sisters consisting of a single portrait of his wife, Bebe, and her three sisters each year, consistently posed in the same left to right order. As of 2020, there are forty-six portraits altogether. The series has been shown at the St. Louis Art Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Harvard University's Fogg Art Museum, the Cincinnati Art Museum, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth the National Gallery of Art, and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. In 2010, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston organized the exhibition Nicholas Nixon: Family Album which included The Brown Sisters series among other portraits of his wife Bebe, himself and his children Sam and Clementine.Source: Wikipedia Nicholas Nixon is known for the ease and intimacy of his black and white large format photographs. Nixon has photographed porch life in the rural south, schools in and around Boston, cityscapes, sick and dying people, and the intimacy of couples. Recording his subjects close and with meticulous detail, he facilitates an emotional connection between the viewer and the subject. In 1975, he began an ongoing series, The Brown Sisters, an annual portrait of his wife, Bebe, and her three sisters unchangingly posed in the same order. This seminal project has been the subject of multiple publications and exhibitions. In Summer 2013, Nixon’s book Close Far was released by Steidl. The body of work explores the self in physical and psychological proximity to the urban landscape. On the 40th anniversary of Nixon’s The Brown Sisters series, in 2014, the complete sequence of images was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art and re-published in an anniversary catalogue. In 2017, Fundación MAPFRE in Madrid opened a comprehensive survey of the artist’s work to date, accompanied by a catalogue illustrating over 200 images, and the ICA Boston mounted a chronological retrospective exhibition. In 2021, Galerie Le Château d’Eau in Toulouse mounted an ambitious survey exhibition, accompanied by an expanded catalogue.Source: Fraenkel Gallery
Sonya Noskowiak
Germany/United States
1900 | † 1975
Sonya Noskowiak was a 20th-century German-American photographer and member of the San Francisco photography collective Group f/64 that included Ansel Adams and Edward Weston. She is considered an important figure in one of the great photographic movements of the twewntieth century. Throughout her career, Noskowiak photographed landscapes, still lifes, and portraits. Her most well-known, though unacknowledged, portraits are of the author John Steinbeck. In 1936, Noskowiak was awarded a prize at the annual exhibition of the San Francisco Society of Women Artists. She was also represented in the San Francisco Museum of Art’s Scenes from San Francisco exhibit in 1939. Ten years before her death, Noskowiak's work was included in a WPA exhibition at the Oakland Museum in Oakland, California. Noskowiak was born in Leipzig, Germany. Her father was a landscape gardener who instilled in her an awareness of the land that would later become evident in her photography. In her early years, she moved around the world while her father sought work in Chile, then Panama, before finally settling in Los Angeles, California, in 1915. In 1919, she moved to San Francisco to enroll in a secretarial school. Interested in photography from an early age, in 1925, at age 25, Noskowiak became a receptionist in Johan Hagemeyer's photographic studio in Los Angeles County. Upon expressing her interest in photography to him, Hagemeyer wrote off her dream as a joke in his diary. In early April 1929, Noskowiak met photographer Edward Weston at a party, and the two began a relationship immediately; she eventually became his model, muse, pupil, and assistant. Weston first taught her to "spot" photos—touching up flaws in prints—before giving her her first professional camera. This camera contained no film, and for several months Noskowiak worked with Weston, pretending to photograph while he taught her the mechanics of photography. During her time with Weston, Noskowiak's photography developed greatly, suggesting her understanding of craftsmanship as well as expressing her own style. Several of Weston's works, such as Red Cabbage Halved and Artichoke Halved, were inspired by Noskowiak's early negatives. Weston once said: "Any of these I would sign as my own." Dora Hagemeyer (sister-in-law of Johan Hagemeyer) wrote that while Noskowiak's photographic style was clean and direct like Weston's, she "put into her work something which is essentially her own: a subtle and delicate loveliness." Art photography in the late 1800s and early 1900s was defined by pictorialism, a style that refers to a photographer's manipulation of an otherwise straightforward photograph as the means of 'creating' the final work. This was in response to claims that photography was not an art but merely scientific or mechanical documentation. Weston and other photographers began to turn away from pictorialism, with many having growing concerns about their place in photography. In 1932 Noskowiak became an organizing member of the short-lived Group f/64, which included such important photographers as Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, and Willard Van Dyke, as well as Weston and his son Brett. Noskowiak's works were shown at Group f/64's inaugural exhibition at San Francisco's M. H. de Young Museum; nine photographs of hers were included in the exhibit – the same number as Weston. In the summer of 1933, Noskowiak, along with Weston and Van Dyke, traveled to New Mexico to photograph the scenery. Her photographs Cottonwood Tree - Taos, New Mexico, and Ovens , Taos Pueblo, New Mexicowere taken on this trip and differ from her previous work. Cottonwood Tree is not nearly as intimate as her other works, while Ovens is the earliest of her work to focus on human-made culture. Later that summer, she had her first solo show at Denny-Watrous Gallery in Carmel. The exhibition included a series of photographs from New Mexico. She had another solo exhibition at 683 Brockhurst in November. Between 1933 and 1940, she participated in a few of Group f.64 exhibitions, including shows such as those at the Fine Arts Gallery in San Diego, Fresno State College, and the Portland Art Museum in Oregon. Noskowiak and Weston broke up in 1935, and Group f. 64 disbanded shortly thereafter—perhaps because of to her frayed relationship with Weston and perhaps because other members of the group were going their separate ways. Although Noskowiak's writing began to diminish during this time, her photographic career did not. Noskowiak moved to San Francisco and opened a portrait studio that year on Union Street. In 1936, she was one of eight photographers, including Weston, selected from the California region of the Federal Art Project to document California during the Great Depression. Noskowiak also engaged in commercial work and commissions to make a living. After Groupf.64 dissolved, she spent the next year photographing California artists and their paintings, sculptures, and murals. These images then toured to a variety of public institutions. Though she continued to photograph as an artist, Noskowiak's livelihood from the 1940s on was based on portraiture, fashion and architectural images. Noskowiak photographed many prominent figures such as painter Jean Charlot, dancer Martha Graham, composer Edgard Varèse, teenage violinist Isaac Stern, and writers Langston Hughes and John Steinbeck. The portrait of Steinbeck is particularly powerful and is one of only a handful of images of the writer in the 1930s. It is still used extensively to represent him. She continued commercial photography up until the 1960s, photographing images for manufacturers of lamps and stoves, as well as for architects. Noskowiak primarily focused on landscapes and portraits between the 1930s and 1940s. Noskowiak embraced straight photography and used it as a tool to give newer meaning to her photographs. She emphasized the forms, patterns, and textures of her subject, to enrich the documentation of it. Her earliest works reflect the work of photographers of her period and their thoughts on pictorialism. In her earliest works, such as City Rooftops, Mountains in Distance (the 1930s), there is a graphic quality to how she abstracted the piece. There is a dark, strong industrial structure that contrasts with the light sky. There are almost no logs seen on the buildings as if they are they are blurred beyond readability. This is an example of the New Objectivity movement, which focused on a harder, documentary approach to photography. Noskowiak often composed her photographs to intersect her subjects, which gave a more dynamic feel to her photographs. Examples of these are provided by her works Kelp (1930) and Calla Lily (1932). The composition crops the boundaries of the kelp plant and flower and draws the viewer's eye to the texture of the plants. The kelp is so abstracted that if not for the title it would be unrecognizable. In Calla Lily, her use of chiaroscuro gives a luminous, almost floating feeling to the photograph. Her photograph Agave (1933) is an intimate viewing of the cactus plant—another example of a composition separating the object from what is made visible shown and emphasizing the plant's beautiful pattern. Noskowiak utilized the same technique of straight photography in her pictorial portraits and commercial works. The same intimacy shown in Agave can be seen in portrait works such as John Steinbeck (1935) and Barbara (1941). In both, she creates an intimate atmosphere, in which the viewer feels as though they are there interacting with the subjects. Even in her more commercial works, Noskowiak's style and technique still remained important. In her untitled 1930s photograph, you have a model with a broad-brimmed hat that conceals her face. The composition of the piece relieves viewers from thinking about the photograph as an advertisement. The cropping and position of the model offer closeness, and viewers get the feeling of being in the moment with the model more than simply responding to the photo as an advertisement. In 1965, Noskowiak was diagnosed with bone cancer, and she ended her photographic work. She lived another ten years before passing away on April 28, 1975, in Greenbrae, California. It is hard to say what legacy Noskowiak left behind, as the discussion of her work began to dwindle after her breakup with Weston; nevertheless, some observers, such as Richard Gadd, the director of the Weston Gallery in Carmel, who believe that Noskowiak forged a path for young photographers. In recent years, Noskowiak's work has been included in group shows at the Weston Gallery, the Oakland Museum in California, and the Portland Museum of Art in Maine. In 2011, thirty-six years after her death, Noskowiak shared an exhibition with Brett Weston at the Phoenix Art Museum. In 2015, eight of Noskowiak’s works were on view at the Allentown Art Museum in Pennsylvania. The exhibition, named Weston's Women, however, acknowledges Noskowiak and other female artists only in their relation to Weston. Her archives, including 494 prints, hundreds of negatives, and many letters to Edward Weston, are now housed at the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, Arizona.Source: Wikipedia
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