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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A trip to 80 (good) art galleries in a single book
It is difficult to find good contemporary photography overviews -- typically, you could go to galleries or museums for several years or buy a stack of art photography books and spend days going through them -- assuming you had a strong Art background. This book offers a nice alternative and it is one of the best overviews of contemporary fine art photography...
Published on May 7, 2006 by Chris Kitze

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47 of 64 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars one-sided view
to call this 'art photography now' is a bold move, and this collection is less a survey than an advertisement for a particular style of photography. the work doesn't vary much from artist to artist, and if you don't like color fictive constructions and digital manipulation then you probably won't like this book. as the trend of this type of large scale, color, set-up,...
Published on June 20, 2006 by jack kerr


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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A trip to 80 (good) art galleries in a single book, May 7, 2006
By 
Chris Kitze (San Francisco, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Art Photography Now (Hardcover)
It is difficult to find good contemporary photography overviews -- typically, you could go to galleries or museums for several years or buy a stack of art photography books and spend days going through them -- assuming you had a strong Art background. This book offers a nice alternative and it is one of the best overviews of contemporary fine art photography available.

Aperture, a respected photography publishing house, has beautifully produced this handsome book with 80 of what they consider to be the best living and working art photographers. The selection is broad, encompasses many areas and is well organized into 7 sections from Portrait to City. Several works from each artist are presented along with a short description of an artist's Work from a curator's perspective. Even more valuable are quotations from each artist describing their Work from their perspective. This alone makes the book worth owning.

Photographers you might know; Cindy Sherman, Thomas Ruff, Gregory Crewdson, Jeff Wall, Uta Barth, Joel Sternfeld, Thomas Demand and many others are alongside people you have probably never heard of but should get to know. The coverage of the cinematic, self exploration/psychological, conceptual and to some extent digital influences presented here should be thought provoking. Clearly, the "digitalness" of photography as a medium and all that implies -- interaction and collaboration, manipulation and realism, and authenticity and authority -- is growing in importance and will no doubt be better covered in the future as those artists emerge.

There are only two omissions that would have been interesting to see included; artists such as Gerhard Richter, best known for his painting and who uses photography extensively -- and some of the newest up and comers, like Idris Khan. To be fair, those areas are rich enough to support separate books and you should not let this keep you from buying this book. Overall, this is an excellent way to quickly learn about contemporary photography and you will not be disappointed.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much more than your usual photography exhibition, December 5, 2005
This review is from: Art Photography Now (Hardcover)
Photography not only shaped art in the last century, it dominated it - and what better to demonstrate and celebrate this domination than Susan Bright's Art Photography Now, which surveys eighty of the most important and influential contemporary artist-photographers working today. Seven sections are divided by photo type: portrait, landscape, fashion, etc., and each explores and contrasts methods used by artists in their genres. Not only are styles compared, but inspirations and different philosophical and artistic approaches shared. Much more than your usual photography exhibition, Art Photography Now seeks an explanation of the nature and purposes of contemporary art photographers.
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47 of 64 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars one-sided view, June 20, 2006
By 
jack kerr (northport, NY) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Art Photography Now (Hardcover)
to call this 'art photography now' is a bold move, and this collection is less a survey than an advertisement for a particular style of photography. the work doesn't vary much from artist to artist, and if you don't like color fictive constructions and digital manipulation then you probably won't like this book. as the trend of this type of large scale, color, set-up, advertising-influenced work fades, this book will seem a sad reminder of a rather lame period in photo history when the majority of galleries, critics, artists, and dealers joined forces to produce (like this title) little more than a shopping mall of trendy, elitist, high-priced commodity under the guise of art.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 2011 Edition Improved from the 2005 Edition, But Selections of Photographers and Photographs Are Not Optimal, December 15, 2011
This review is from: Art Photography Now (Second Edition) (Paperback)
I compared this 2011 "Revised and Expanded Edition" with the first edition of 2005. As with the first edition, the stated goal of this edition is to "explore the diverse subjects, styles and methods of the leading practitioners" of art photography. After a 12-page Introduction, the book is divided into seven sections: Portrait, Landscape, Narrative, Object, Fashion, Document, and City. A three-page essay introduces each section, which covers about 10 photographers with 1-4 pages devoted to each photographer. In these 1-4 pages are photo(s), a paragraph by the author in ALL CAPS, and a quotation from the photographer up to a few paragraphs in length. The photographers given more than two pages are AES&F, Tina Barney, Gregory Crewdson, Katy Grannan, Rut Blees Luxemburg, Susan Meiselas, Richard Misrach, Allen Sekula, Hannah Starkey, Joel Sternfeld, Larry Sultan, and Jeff Wall.

The major differences between this edition and the first edition are: (1) it's published by Thames & Hudson, not Aperture; (2) it has 240 pages and 275 illustrations, as opposed to 224 pages and 261 illustrations; (3) it's paperback, not hardcover; (4) there are new selections of photos and/or new quotations for Gregory Crewdson, Bill Henson, Candida Höfer, Justine Kurland, Boris Mikhailov, Gabriel Orozco, Mario Sorrenti, Hannah Starkey, Wolfgang Tillmans, Hellen van Meene, and Jeff Wall; and (5) there is a new "Transitions" section (pages 218-231) with subsections "Photography About Photography," "Documentary Drive," and "New Directions." Overall, then, the book is slightly improved from its predecessor.

The book is certainly well-printed and nicely laid out. However, I think it spends too much space on some photographers who are not very noteworthy, such as Camille Vivier and Jonathan De Villiers. The book could have covered photographers such as Stephen Gill, Anthony Goicolea, Rinko Kawauchi, An-My Lê, Barbara Probst, Alec Soth, and Jules Spinatsch instead. Furthermore, in order to "explore... diverse subjects, styles and methods" it would have been better for one photo from each of several of a photographer's different series to be presented instead of several photos from one series. Take Sam Taylor-Wood on pages 30-31; although she is known for many series, such as "Crying Men," "Soliloquy," and "Bram Stoker's Chair," the book contains only five rather repetitive photos from her 2004 "Self-Portrait Suspended" series. Four of Richard Misrach's "On the Beach" photos appear on pages 56-59, possibly leaving the reader to wonder what his much more famous "Desert Cantos" photos look like.

With its limitations in mind, buy this book from Amazon.com!

BTW, unlike a reviewer of the first edition, I didn't miss the exclusion of artists using photography such as Gerhard Richter. Also, I disagree with another reviewer who wrote that "the work doesn't vary much from artist to artist... [and it is] trendy, elitist, high-priced commodity under the guise of art." Finally, the book gives us more than "a potpourri of unrelated photographs" as a third reviewer wrote.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Art Photography Now - mostly really good., January 27, 2014
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This review is from: Art Photography Now (Paperback)
As one of the reviewers said: „a single tome probably won't manage to end any art/photography debates, but as a resource and up-to-date expose to the state of photography today, Art Photography Now hits the mark."

The book though is both excellent and... a bit confusing. Although she mentions the most famous and accomplished of photographers in the chapter introductions and shows a few of their pictures, like those of Nan Goldin, Martin Parr or Andreas Gursky, many of the photographers, while known, are not from the most famous. All things being equal, getting an introduction to photographers with whom we are not familiar is a good thing. Unfortunately all things are not equal.

Still, to be fair, this indispensable survey presents the work of almost 80 of the most important and best-known art photographers in the world: Andreas Gursky, Thomas Struth, Cindy Sherman, Boris Mikhailow, Jeff Wall, Sophie Calle, Wolfgang Tillmans, Nan Goldin, Martin Parr, Allan Sekula, Inez van Lamsweerde, Sam Taylor-Wood, and many more are featured in its pages.

Edited by Ms. Susan Bright, former Curator of Photographs at London's National Portrait Gallery, has organized the book into seven sections -- Object, City, Portrait, Fashion, Document, Landscape and Narrative--and provides an introductory essay for each. Along with each photographer's works, presented in sequence within those divisions. Ms. Bright's commentaries provide, most of the time, a true context and depth, and quotations from the artists themselves offer valuable insights into the motivation, inspiration, and intentions behind the work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very beautiful book, excellent print quality., March 21, 2013
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This review is from: Art Photography Now (Second Edition) (Paperback)
I wasn't too sure what to expect from this book, but it's really stunning. I teach and this gives me some new photographers to follow, new images to use in class, new things to think about. A lovely book, well worth the price.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, October 11, 2009
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This review is from: Art Photography Now (Paperback)
Ms. Bright provides truly wonderful text and insight into some quite diverse photographers. The photo illustrations are bright (no pun intended) and large. With fewer photographers or illustrations she might have been able to provide more information about the genre, photographer or concept but then I am a visualist and seeing the images alongside her breakdown of them is an immense help to my own progress.
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3.0 out of 5 stars just ok..........., February 20, 2014
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This review is from: Art Photography Now (Second Edition) (Paperback)
not quite what I expected. just a simple intro, not a serious. photography book..... but can read it for fun...
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not About the State of the Art, November 30, 2008
This review is from: Art Photography Now (Paperback)
Even the author Susan Bright admits in her introduction that Art Photography is hard to define. (Some aestheticians even claim that photography is not an art.) She appears to offer an operational definition. If it's taken with a camera and people are willing to pay for it and hang it on a wall then it is art photography. The problem for Bright is that that definition includes images by artists ranging from Annie Liebovitz and Art Wolfe to the most extreme of the post-modernists and it is clear from the pictures in the book that that is not what Bright is presenting. Instead she seems to be aiming at some middle ground.

Her book is divided by genre into chapters on Portrait, Landscape, Narrative, Object, Fashion, Document and City. After a brief introduction she presents one to four pages on each individual photographer, with good sized images from each. Along with the pictures, Bright offers quotations from the photographers that I presume are meant to give us insight into their works. Most of the images show good control of the technical side of photography, unlike the work of many post-modernists who seem not only to challenge the meaning of a photograph, but also to reject established techniques.

Although she mentions the most famous and accomplished of photographers in the chapter introductions and shows a few of their pictures, like those of Jeff Wall and Cindy Sherman, many of the photographers, while known, are not from the most famous. All things being equal, getting an introduction to photographers with whom we are not familiar is a good thing. Unfortunately all things are not equal.

A photography book, just like an exhibit, works best when it has a theme that helps us to understand the works. A book can reveal the work of one photographer, or one school of photography, or one subject. This book gives us a potpourri of unrelated photographs that leaves the meaning of most of the pictures as enigmatic. From the title, the book suggests that it will provide some kind of insight into the state of the art. But it doesn't. The chapter introductions appear trite and merely a recitation of the artists contained in the book and their subject matter.

People who read this book probably want to get their arms around the meaning of modern photography. It's possible for a book to do this. As witness, look at Charlotte Cotton's "The Photograph as Contemporary Art (World of Art)". Although nowhere as extensive in content as "Art Photography Now" Cotton provides a taxonomy within which to consider pictures that makes it easy to understand how they fit into a larger scene. It's true that she only examines post-modernists, but even examining that school (or really, schools) can give us a better understanding of photography.

It's too bad for the photographers whose works appears in this book. Some of them are worth our attention. You just can't tell it from this book.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars really completed!, March 26, 2014
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This review is from: Art Photography Now (Second Edition) (Paperback)
the one only problem i had with it is that the cover was scratch but i guess it has a lot more to do with the UPS than with anyone else... love the edition and i really recommend it
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Art Photography Now (Second Edition)
Art Photography Now (Second Edition) by Susan Bright (Paperback - October 24, 2011)
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