Archive for September, 2009

The La Brea Matrix

September 27, 2009


This seems like a crazy yet interesting idea coming out of Germany:

The La Brea Matrix

What spheres of influence are there within photography? How can we grasp reception history in a specific case? How can we recognize the references of creative works? The La Brea Matrix Project explores the complex relationship between art photographers on both sides of the Atlantic. At its core is an icon of New Color Photography by Stephen Shore.

shore_labreaStephen Shore, Beverly Boulevard and La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles, California, June 21, 1975

Although I love the above photograph by Stephen Shore and acknowledge that it’s a classic, I never really thought of it as an icon of New Color Photography but the writing on the project website makes some good arguments:

La Brea made photographic history. With the help of German photo-grapher Bernd Becher, the photograph was shown at documenta 6 in Kassel, Germany, as early as 1977. It was also printed in Sally Eauclaire‘s survey The New Color Photography, which was published in 1981 and which helped American color photography achieve its international break-through. The following year, La Brea appeared in Shore‘s photobook Uncommon Places. Thereafter, the photograph began exerting a long-terminfluence as a result, among other things, of Becher‘s work as a teacher at the art academy in Düsseldorf. Thomas Struth, Thomas Ruff, Andreas Gursky and other renowned art photographers of the Becher school have all acknowledged the influence of Stephen Shore.

The six German photographers involved are listed here but I haven’t heard of most of them:

Jens Liebchen (Berlin)
Max Regenberg (Köln / Cologne)
Oliver Sieber (Düsseldorf)
Olaf Unverzart (München/Munich)
Robert Voit (München / Munich)
Janko Woltersmann (Hannover / Hanover)

The end result of the project will be a book put out by Schaden and an exhibition in Cologne at Kaune, Sudendorf.


Börse Prize 2010

September 27, 2009

Hornstra_1lowresFrom Rob Hornstra’s 101 Billionaires

Rob Hornstra has announced that he is already in the running for the 2010 Deutsche Börse Photography Prize. I’m really not surprised and could easily imagine 101 Billionaires taking home the grand prize.

Who else will be in the running will have to wait until the official announcement at the end of October.

On a side note, Hornstra is now officially represented by Yossi Milo Gallery in New York City.

It seems that Hornstra was nominated for the prize but hasn’t been officially shortlisted. I apologize for the confusion.

The photographers officially in the running will really have to wait until the announcement in October to find out.

Elad Lassry

September 24, 2009

EL 09-039-1Elad Lassry,
Melocco, 2009

If you are in the Los Angeles area, Elad Lassry is currently having a solo exhibition of his recent photographs and films at David Kordansky Gallery.

I first saw Lassry’s photographs at the New Museum’s Younger Than Jesus exhibition earlier this year and was thoroughly intrigued. Combining appropriated and collage elements into his conceptually staged photographs, Lassry digs into the history of photographic practice and image making in general.

eEL08009Elad Lassry, Circles and Squares (A Tasteful Organic Melons Arrangement) 2, 2007

Although it’s territory already covered by many artists (think Pictures Generation), I like the slick, commercial spin he puts on things. It seems like there is no limit to what he’s willing to put in front of the camera and that makes each image a surprise as you never know what’s coming next.

If I had to describe his style I guess I would say it’s something like Irving Penn meets Anne Collier meets Roe Ethridge meets Carol Bove and with a little Sarah Charlesworth thrown in for good measure.

eEL08054_2Elad Lassry, Julie Christie, 2008

Read a brief interview with Lassry at Flash Art Online.

Michel Polnareff – Holidays

September 24, 2009

Can’t get this haunting song out of my mind.

Seems like Polnareff is just lip synching in this live performance for television but the sunglasses he’s wearing definitely add to the 70’s space pop vibe.

Watching this, it’s almost hard to take seriously but close your eyes and it’s like the French David Bowie.

Photographic: 17-09

September 22, 2009


To request the above photograph:

Send an email (subject: Photographic: 17-09) to horses [at] with your name and mailing address.

If you are the first person to respond after the posting, you will receive the photograph in the mail.

*This photograph is no longer available.

If One Thing Matters

September 21, 2009


If Wolfgang Tillman’s is your thing then maybe you want to catch If One Thing Matters: A portrait of a Photographer which is screening all this week at Anthology Film Archives.

I could have been curious to see the film and hear what Tillmans has to say about his work and process but after reading this harsh review, I’m not quite sure.

New Kings of Convenience, Finally

September 17, 2009

I was lucky to catch the Kings of Convenience’s live show last week at the Bowery Ballroom and it was just incredible. They had the whole place hushed in silence as we listened to their soft voices and gorgeous melodies. Feist coming out for the encore was a perfect ending.

If you have an opportunity to catch them live on this upcoming tour, don’t miss it. Photographers, don’t bring your camera, as the Kings really don’t like being photographed while they play.


Kings of Convenience new album, Declaration Of Dependence is out 10/20.

Zycles + Cassini

September 17, 2009

Thomas-RuffThomas Ruff, Cassini 10, 2009

Will Thomas Ruff every stop?

He seems to just keep going and going. Not that he’s picked up a camera in the past ten years but his use of appropriated imagery is incessant. It was only a matter of time before Ruff got his hands deep down into the Nasa Archive.

His most recent work combines two distinct elements, Zycles + Cassini:

thomas_ruff_mai36_08Thomas Ruff, Zycles 3048, 2009

Zycles consist of large-format inkjet prints on canvas. I wouldn’t dare call them photographs. According to a press release:

“The images originate in mathematics, or more precisely, in antiquated 19th century books on electro-magnetism that portrayed magnetic fields on copperplates. Thomas Ruff was particularly interested in translating these drawings into three-dimensional space. For this he used a 3D computer programme that translated mathematic formulas into complex, three-dimensional linear structures.”

cassini-01-2008Thomas Ruff, Cassini 1, 2008

Cassini, on the other hand, consists of digitally processed and appropriated images of the planet Saturn and its moons from the NASA website originally taken by the Cassini spacecraft. I’m really not surprised that Ruff took this direction, it’s almost the obvious thing to do but I must commend him. As they say, he thought of it first.

I started thinking of checking the Atlas to see if Richter had included any pictures of the moon or outer space, but only found one newspaper photo of what appears to be the moon’s surface and a couple of images of what appear to be nighttime starry skies. I don’t know why I always associate Ruff with Richter but in my mind they are forever linked and would probably make for a fascinating exhibition.

By the way, Gerhard Richter has one of the most comprehensive and exhausting websites I have ever seen. It seems quite unique, especially for a painter of his caliber, so definitely check it out when you have lots of extra time on your hands.

Photographic: 16-09

September 13, 2009


To request the above photograph:

Send an email (subject: Photographic: 16-09) to horses [at] with your name and mailing address.

If you are the first person to respond after the posting, you will receive the photograph in the mail.

*This photograph is no longer available.

Harmony Korine – Trash Humpers

September 9, 2009

Nothing really to say about this except that it looks like Korine has gone back to basics with this one. I hope it’s as crazy as Gummo.