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Pure Invention: the Table Top Still Life - Photographs By Jan Groover Paperback – August 17, 1990

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

As Groover notes in Pure Invention , photography lends itself to division by genre, and it is along these lines that this new series, "Photographers at Work," is organized. The first four installments (two more on Annie Liebowitz and Elliot Porter are due out in spring 1991) each contain an interview, a portfolio of images, and a biographical essay augmented with an occasional technical note. Interview sections average 15 pages and succeed through well-phrased questions in eliciting technical information, as well as the photographers' thoughts on the image-making process. The format works well to integrate text and plates. Each of the four photographers works within a major genre in contemporary photography--the still life, the documentary narrative, the advertising product, and the landscape. Groover, known for her "constructed" still lifes, uses the platinum-palladium process, which renders a wide range of soft greys, giving her images the appearance of "relics" from some unknown culture, e.g., the image of a marble column on top of which sit a metal box, two apples, a rusty instrument of unknown function, and a seashell. Mark, in a shift to more "real" worlds, discusses the concerns of the photojournalist/photodocumentarian (roles she views as interchangeable). She offers a candid look at magazine and newspaper work. Mark has photographed the famine victims of Ethiopia, the red light districts of Bombay, and the elderly in Miami; therefore, her thoughts on objectivity and the potential of the camera to exploit the subject are fascinating. Maisel offers similar practical advice on the commercial and advertising photography business. However, his personal concerns differ from Mark's in that he is marketing a product by way of the image and is not exploring social issues. The strength of the Maisel interview lies in his strategies for retaining one's "passion, intellect, and wit" in a process that involves others (art directors, ad agency personnel, and clients) in the creative enterprise. Finally, Meyerowitz reflects on the experience of landscape or "spaces." He acknowledges the tradition of Adams, Weston, and others, yet does not wish to approach the landscape in a traditional manner, as evidenced in his series on Cape Cod, Atlanta, and St. Louis. These slim volumes offer a rich source of thought, images, and technical ideas and will appeal to readers at all levels, especially students. For their price and quality, they earn the highest recommendation for all collections.
- Kathy Anderson, Onondaga Cty. P.L., Syracuse, N.Y.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Series: Photographers at Work
  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Smithsonian; 1st edition (August 17, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560980052
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560980056
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 8.2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,080,461 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Kaywood on January 10, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is really a booklet, soft cover - an interview and photographs by Jan Groover. However the book came from Anybooks through Amazon and for the initial cost of $182 I expected a much more comprehensive book. I still can't believe the price!!!! Will continue to order through Amazon as I have had good service in the past but will be very wary of anything in this sort of price range. No-one has offered any explanation of the price - Is it a particularly rare book? Could someone help me to understand whY I was charged so much.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Beatrice Izzey VINE VOICE on January 28, 2006
Format: Paperback
Groover is super duper! Spell binding stuff. The book is great and of excellent print quality, but her stuff in a museum or gallery is truly special. The quality and technique of her work is astonishing. It's heartening to know that there are still people who have not only the eye but such mastery of antiquated methods.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer on October 2, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book arrived as expected and as ordered. I'm happy with my purchase and enjoying the book quite a bit.
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By Downtown Pearl on May 10, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
breakthrough artist - another female artist unjustly ignored
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