The Museum Of Modern Art in New York City has opened an important retrospective of the work of Bill Brandt, one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century.
“Bill Brandt: Shadow and Light” covers the photographer’s entire career in more than 150 images. While Brandt was born in Germany in 1904, he made England his home until his death in 1983. He’s best known for his intriguing photos of London during the bombings in World War II. Images of civilians sleeping in Tube stations and a blacked-out London in moonlight quickly became iconic images of Britain in wartime.
Before this, Brandt was already making a name for himself with images of the English poor and working class, and also the English countryside.
After the war, Brandt began to create nudes and, once again, his photos had an ethereal, dreamlike quality to them. He’s also known for intimate portraits of famous people of his day such as Pablo Picasso and Martin Amis.
“Bill Brandt: Shadow and Light” runs until August 12.
[Nude by Bill Brandt taken in London in 1954 courtesy Museum of Modern Art]
For any child of the ’80s, Bryan Adams is that clean-cut Canadian rock star with a steady string of hits. While he’s not as big as he once was, he’s still making great music and going on tour.
What many people don’t know about him is that he’s also an accomplished photographer. He’s been published in magazines such as Esquire and Interview and has done numerous shows at top venues such as the Saatchi Gallery in London.
Adams takes advantage of his superstar status to get other famous musicians to pose for him. Check out the image of Amy Winehouse below. He’s also photographed Queen Elizabeth II and got that image used on a Canadian postage stamp.
Now his latest show has opened at the NRW-Forum in Düsseldorf, Germany. “Bryan Adams – Exposed” features a cross-section of his best work from the past couple of decades. Some 150 portraits of artists are included as well as numerous new works. Some of his newer images go beyond his circle of superstar friends to portray wounded British servicemen from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, like this image of Private Karl Hinett.”I took my first photos with a small camera that belonged to my parents,” Adams said in a press release issued by the NRW-Forum. “The subjects of my first film, in the mid 1970s, were concert photos of the Beach Boys, parking lot walls, my girlfriend in the bathroom, my Mom, my piano, just everyday things, but exactly the things I could see around me.”
“Bryan Adams – Exposed” runs until May 22.
[Images copyright Bryan Adams]
One of the best collections of Italian art in the world can be found in an unlikely place: a quiet street in the London borough of Islington.
The Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art is housed in an elegant Georgian mansion and boasts a comprehensive collection of Italian Futurist paintings. Futurism was a style born out of the havoc of industrialization and the carnage of World War One. It emphasized the speed and technological advance of modern society.
Typical of this style is Umberto Boccio’s The City Rises, shown here courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. This totally blew me away when I saw it at a special Futurist exhibition at the Estorick a few years ago. The people and buildings seem to be swept along by a windstorm of colored motion. It’s currently at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Other paintings show Futurism’s trading ideas with Cubism, like Gino Severini’s Portrait of Eric Estorick, the museum’s founder. It’s more a study of angles and shading than an actual image of a man.
It’s not all Futurism here and the current exhibition, United Artists of Italy, is a collection of photographs of leading Italian artists. You can also get a taste of Italy at the cafe, where they serve up excellent cappuccinos (hard to find in London) and snacks.
A new group photography exhibit is set to open at the Annenberg Space in Los Angeles this October that will spotlight the work of five artists who specialize in shooting environmental, wildlife, and climate imagery. The exhibition is entitled “Extreme Exposures” and will feature visually stunning photographs from some of the most remote and demanding environments on the planet. Many of these photos were captured after spending weeks in the field enduring subzero temperatures, battling active volcanoes, dodging dangerous wildlife, and other harrowing conditions.
The five photographers on display will each have their own theme. For instance, Clyde Butcher’s exhibit is entitled “Swamplands” and demonstrates an interesting display of light and shadows. Michael “Nick” Nichols’ “Lush Jungle” highlights amazing wildlife, such as tigers and gorillas, captured in their natural habitats. Paul Nicklen’s images evoke thoughts of alien landscapes in his photos from the Earth’s icy polar regions, while Donna and Stephen James O’Meara’s fiery images are from erupting volcanoes and flowing lava. All of the photographers share a common goal of drawing attention to environmental threats to the planet.
Visitors to the Annenberg Space for the exhibit will be treated to an amazing print display of these photographs which will be hanging in the gallery, but those displays will also be enhanced further by a digital film presentation too. That presentation will offer hundreds of more images from these talented photographers, as well as in depth profiles of each of the artists, and insights into the adventures they had while capturing their images.
The exhibit will open on October 23, 2010 and run through April 24, 2011.
[Photo courtesy: Paul Nicklen/Annenberg Space]
Madrid is known for its fine art museums displaying paintings by Spanish and Dutch Masters, but every year it also hosts one of the largest photography exhibitions in Europe.
PHotoEspaña, the International Festival of Photography and Visual Arts of Madrid, has been going strong since 1998 and is a major event here, with exhibitions and workshops in dozens of museums and galleries around town.
One of the most interesting exhibitions is a retrospective of László Moholy-Nagy at the Circulo de Bellas Artes. This Hungarian artist (1895-1946) was an important part of the Bauhaus movement in prewar Germany and worked in all media. His photography and short films document Berlin before it got leveled, and his experiments with photograms and photomontage are still being imitated by less creative artists sixty years later.
“El Circulo” is worth seeing in its own right. It’s one of Madrid’s most popular art centers. There are spaces for three different exhibitions, a cool radio station, a movie theater, and one of the most beautiful cafes in Madrid. Even if you visit Madrid too late to see PHotoEspaña, do try and see El Circulo.
PHotoEspaña 2010 runs until July 25.
Photo of Madrid’s metro courtesy il lele via Gadling’s flickr pool. Nicely done. It should be in the show!