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Winogrand: Figments From The Real World Hardcover – June 2, 2003

4.7 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Director of photographic exhibitions for New York's Museum of Modern Art, Szarkowski in this companion volume to a show traveling nationwide celebrates a camera artist whose pictures for decades elevated the mundane in American life to a distinctive, almost ethereal stature. Random-looking, even disorderly at times, Winogrand's images, his humanistic "figments" of reality, catch the eye in a detached, virtually trance-like mood: a blonde female flight attendant carrying a black child; a couple in a tentative sidewalk embrace seen over the shoulder of a distressed pedestrian; a Maine family trio inexplicably sad and perhaps angry; and the cover shot, a diapered toddler emerging from a dark garage interior toward an over-turned kiddie car in a brooding desert scene. Winogrand (1928-1984), in an era of ferment for artistic photography, produced as many as a half-million film images, many of which are published here for the first time.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

In a manner variously described as manic, compulsive, and voyeuristic, Garry Winogrand produced hundreds of thousands of black-and-white snapshots, street photographs of ordinary people and situations rich in gesture and body language. Szarkowski, director of MOMA's photography department, cultivated Winogrand and, after his death in 1984, was left with the task of editing 6500 rolls of unprinted (and 2500 rolls of undeveloped) 35mm negatives (about 300,000 unedited images altogether). Nine stages of Winogrand's work are presented chronologically here and in a traveling exhibition, along with a sizable selection of "unfinished" later work described by Szarkowski as "deeply flawed" and "pointless." The uninitiated might see much of the earlier work the same way. Kathleen Collins, Library of Congress
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 260 pages
  • Publisher: The Museum of Modern Art, New York (June 2, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0870706357
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870706356
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 11.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,847,459 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
A very good retrospective of Garry Winogrand's career. All my favourite Winogrand photos are included, and the quality of the printing is excellent -- the images are not too dark nor too contrasty, with plenty of detail.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Gary Winogrand came out of the generation of street photography inspired by Henri Cartier-Bresson that included Diane Arbus, Robert Frank, Lee Friedlander, and Joel Meyerowitz. He worked at framing the "decisive moment" as he filled his black and white composition with split-second accuracy and detail. His subjects are caught mid-flight in candid moments of personal introspection, or engaged in social activity. There are photos of secretaries walking back to their Manhattan mid-town offices after lunch. There are photos of couples dancing, holding each other's gaze and unaware that the camera has recorded their intimate glance into each other's eyes. He shot the famous at night clubs, and took photos of passengers arriving and departing international airports. Wherever there were people on lines at movies, at airports, or walking down crowded city avenues, or stopping at store windows, or entering and exiting revolving doorways of skyscrapers, or of people waiting at street corners, kids hanging out, the elderly on benches, the young in love in each other's arms, Winogrand was there with his camera.

What you see through his lens is his version of America, of who we are, and what we look like, and how we fill in the spaces we inhabit from small towns in America out west, to the big city streets of Los Angeles and New York. He captures us as we work and play, he records how we gape as spectators at rodeos or at stippers at strip tease clubs, or at movies, or at square dances and Fourth of July parades in small-towns. He captures us at home, in our yards, in our cars, at zoos and at ball games and in our rooms isolated and alone.

Winogrand captures the soul of a nation.
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By Leela on April 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover
You won't regret putting this one in your collection. Garry probably lost the plot out there in tv land toward the end but Moma maestro plucks 20 or 30 pictures out of the dead zone to give us a treat. Frankly liked the post-humous stuff just as much and the book gives you a super buzz if you like that good ol' street stalker stuff. Don't even think about it ...whack it in the collection or send it as a gift...it's a great book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Winogrand is in Europe not so well known as in the US.
This is great, inspiring work. And a nice view of the States in the 70's.
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Format: Paperback
Winogrand is something of an oddity in that his epigrams on the craft – or the art, if he would allow – are often more impressive than his images. Statements such as

“I photograph to find out what things look like photographed.”

“Good photographs get made despite, not because.”

resonate more deeply than pedestrian images redolent of contemporary vernacular shots reproduced over and over again on blogs and photo sites across the internet: a head in a car window, a baby on the beach, two pairs of walking feet. There are, of course, the iconic shots that show up in surveys of photographic history and which retain a special power: the couple in the zoo holding chimpanzees, the laughing girl with ice cream cone, girls on a park bench at the World’s Fair. But seen as a collection, the overall impression left by much of his work is uninspiring.

Szarkowski provides an informative essay summarizing Winogrand’s career, portraying the New York native as something of a “city hick” suspicious and even contemptuous of the institutions that supported his work after the decline of the photo magazines – the galleries and the academy. He produced only four photobooks during his lifetime, none of which enjoyed any commercial success, but experienced greater recognition and some middling fortune in the galleries and as a university lecturer. The end of his career was a slow fade into obscurity, in which he shot, but left unedited, a third of a million images.
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