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Mark Steinmetz
Mark Steinmetz

Mark Steinmetz

Country: United States
Birth: 1961

Mark Christopher Steinmetz (born 1961) is an American photographer. He makes black and white photographs "of ordinary people in the ordinary landscapes they inhabit". Steinmetz's work was shown in a group exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 1993/1994 and in solo exhibitions at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in 2015, the High Museum of Art in 2018 and at Fotohof in Salzburg, Austria in 2019. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. His work is held in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, Hunter Museum of American Art, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art and Museum of Modern Art, New York, and Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

Steinmetz was born in New York City and raised in the Boston suburbs of Cambridge and Newton until he was 12. He then moved to the midwest before, aged 21, he went to study photography at the Yale School of Art in New Haven, Connecticut. He left that MFA program after one semester and in mid 1983, aged 22, moved to Los Angeles in search of the photographer Garry Winogrand, whom he befriended. He moved to Athens, Georgia in 1999 and was still living and working there as of 2017.

Marc Steinmetz makes photographs "of ordinary people in the ordinary landscapes they inhabit", and "in the midst of activity". Most of his work has been made in the USA but also in Berlin, Paris, and Italy. His books combine portraits (portrait-like but spontaneous) and candid photos of people, and also include animals and still life photos. He finds many of his subjects whilst walking around but he has also spent time at Little League Baseball and summer camps.

Steinmetz predominantly works with black and white film, usually medium format, developed and printed in his own darkroom. He has mostly worked the same way with the same film, chemicals, and cameras since beginning in the mid 1980s.

Source: Wikipedia


Mark Steinmetz is an Athens, Georgia-based photographer whose work captures black-and-white images of Southern Americana as seen in urban, rural and suburban landscapes. “I like to stress the poetry and ambiance of a place, while still trying to be truthful,” he has remarked, and his candid shots of everyday life reflect this statement. Examples of this sentiment are strikingly portrayed in Steinmetz's new photo series Terminus, showing the everyday moments of people passing through airports. “At the airport, people from all over the world and from all walks of life can be found in the midst of their journeys,” Mark Steinmetz has said. “Though my main subject has been the passengers, I am also photographing the people who work at the airport, the interiors and exteriors of the planes, as well as the hotels, parking lots and neighborhoods that surround and support the airport.” Mark Steinmetz draws inspiration from a number of Southern artists whose talents extend beyond the realm of photography, and has remarked “the South has many great writers—William Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor, Carson McCullers—and they've influenced me.”

Surprisingly, Mark Steinmetz did not originate in the South. In fact, he attended high school in Iowa and received his MFA from Yale University in 1986. (Though he initially dropped out in 1983 in order to move to Los Angeles and work with photographer Garry Winogrand) It wasn’t until 1999 that he left shooting freelance in Chicago and moved south for a teaching job at the University of Tennessee. He has remained in the South ever since. “I love the South for the weeds growing through the cracks of its sidewalks, for its humidity and for its chaos,” he has said. Interestingly, Mark Steinmetz has worked with analog since the beginning of his career, and even uses the same camera, film and development process today as he did as a novice photographer.

Mark Steinmetz’ monographs include South Central (2007), South East (2008), Greater Atlanta (2009) and Summertime (2012). He has also been published in Aperture, Blind Spot and DoubleTake magazines. In 1994, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, and in 1998 he participated in Light Work’s Artist-in-Residence Program. Mark Steinmetz has taught at a number of institutions, including Harvard, Sarah Lawrence College, Emory University and Yale.

Steinmetz’ photos can be found in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Art Institute of Chicago and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Source: Jackson Fine Art


 

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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
Arthur Fields
Ireland
1901 | † 1994
Arthur Fields was an Irish street photographer of Ukrainian descent. He took more than 180,000 photographs of pedestrians on the south end of Dublin's O'Connell Bridge, over more than 50 years. Fields was born into a Ukrainian Jewish family. His family fled antisemitism in Kiev in 1885, and later settled in Dublin. Fields originally ran a sound studio where people could make a recording of their own voice, but later began his photography when he bought a box camera. Fields switched to a Polaroid instant camera later in his career. Field's brother was also a photographer on the bridge. Fields' extensive photographs are recognised as a social record of Dublin from the 1930s to the 1980s, depicting the changing fashions and shopfronts of the city. Nelson's Pillar often featured in Field's photograph until its destruction by Irish republicans in 1966. Fields took an estimated 182,500 photographs of pedestrians on the bridge from the early 1930s until 1985. Notable people photographed by Fields on the bridge included the playwright Brendan Behan, the actors Margaret Rutherford and Gene Tierney, and Prince Monolulu, who claimed to be a chief of the Falasha tribe of Abyssinia, and who wore a headdress and a fur coat. Fields lived in the Dublin suburb of Raheny, and would walk seven miles to and from the bridge each day to work. Field's modus operandi would be to "pretend to take a picture of a passer-by and, when they stopped, he'd take the real one. Then he'd give them a ticket and they could collect the photograph from a nearby studio run by his wife; she developed all the photos." Arthur Fields' work has been documented on the interactive documentary website, Man On Bridge: 50 Years as a Photographer on O’Connell Bridge produced by El Zorrero Films. The website encourages the public to submit their photographs to an online archive. The web project which features an image archive and documentary videos won best website at the Digital Media Awards in 2015. The Man on Bridge project was also a winner of the Arthur Guinness Projects. In December 2014 an exhibition of 3,400 photographs collected for the project was held at the Gallery of Photography in DublinSource: Wikipedia
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United States
1960
Andrea Modica, born in 1960 in New York City, is an American photographer renowned for her intimate and evocative black-and-white portraits. Modica's fascination with photography began at an early age, inspired by her father's passion for the craft. She pursued her interest in photography at Yale University, where she studied under the mentorship of renowned photographers such as Walker Evans and Tod Papageorge. Modica's work often explores themes of memory, identity, and human connection, capturing the essence of her subjects with profound sensitivity and depth. She is particularly known for her portrait series, which often feature individuals from marginalized communities or overlooked subcultures. One of Modica's most acclaimed projects is "Treadwell," a series of portraits documenting the residents of a rural community in upstate New York. Taken over the course of several years, these intimate portraits offer a glimpse into the lives of the people living in this close-knit community, celebrating their resilience and humanity. In addition to her portrait work, Modica is also recognized for her hauntingly beautiful landscapes, which evoke a sense of timelessness and contemplation. Her images often feature desolate rural landscapes or abandoned buildings, imbued with a sense of mystery and nostalgia. Modica's photographs have been exhibited in galleries and museums around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. She has received numerous awards and accolades for her work, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Fulbright Grant. In addition to her artistic endeavors, Modica is also a dedicated educator, sharing her passion for photography with students at various institutions, including the University of Oregon and Drexel University. She is known for her compassionate and nurturing approach to teaching, inspiring her students to explore their own creativity and develop their unique artistic voices. Modica's work continues to resonate with audiences, inviting viewers to contemplate the complexities of the human experience and the beauty of the world around us. Through her evocative imagery, she reminds us of the power of photography to transcend boundaries and forge connections between people from all walks of life.
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