- Hardcover: 246 pages
- Publisher: Bulfinch Press; 2nd edition (March 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0821225634
- ISBN-13: 978-0821225639
- Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 1.5 x 14.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #955,943 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Alfred Stieglitz: Photographs & Writings 2nd Edition
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About the Author
Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946) was a pioneering photographer, a towering figure on the American arts scene, and the husband of Georgia O'Keeffe.
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Before going further, let me caution those who are offended by all forms of nudity that this book contains many female nudes. These are all tastefully done, and will not offend those who look with a desire to see the essence of beauty.
Alfred Stieglitz was a seminal figure in 20th century art. One of the foremost photographers in the century, he also helped other photographers define what the aesthetic means in photography. He also was a champion for many of the best known photographers, and seriously boosted their careers. In painting, he was an early advocate of important 20th century artists like Arthur Dove and Georgia O'Keeffe. In addition, he published two influential journals about photography, and exhibited art in his famous gallery in New York. Clearly, though, photography was his first love. "I have all but killed myself for Photography."
This book focuses on his central vision of photography ("search for objective truth and pure form") which increasingly was about "antiphotographs" or images that move beyond simple representation. This concept is examined both in 73 of his best images and through numerous excerpts from his voluminous writings on the subject (over 200 essays).
This book is based on the famous 1983 show of Stieglitz's work, and has been reproduced with amazing care and quality. The images are produced in tritone to give more texture and detail. The paper is of archival quality. Most people's diplomas are not on paper this good or this thick. There is a luxurious feeling to just hold the pages.
The 73 images were selected by Ms. O'Keeffe, Juan Hamilton (her friend and assistant), and curator Sarah Grenough from approximately 1600 images in the collection of the National Gallery of Art. Ms. Grenough selected the writings to be used, and wrote the wonderful introduction.
From looking at these remarkable images, I came away with the impression that Stieglitz was at his best (for my taste) when he was doing portraits, abstractions, and cityscapes. Those subjects seemed to allow him to strip away the unessential better than the others he used. My favorite images in the book are:
Sun Rays -- Paula, Berlin, 1889
From the Back-Window -- 291, 1915 Self-Portrait, 1907
Marie Rapp, 1916
Arthur G. Dove, 1911-1912
Charles Demuth, 1915
Hodge Kirnon, 1917
Marcel Duchamp, 1923
Georgia O'Keeffe, 1918 (3)
Margaret Treadwell, 1921
Waldo Frank, 1920
Dancing Trees, 1922
Music -- A Sequence of Ten Cloud Photographs, VIII, 1922
His writings are as rewarding as his photographs. I was particularly interested in his ideas about how humans make progress. "Progress has been accomplished only by reason of the fanatical enthusiasm of the revolutionist . . . ." "Experts . . . are the result of hard work."
After you have finished enjoying this astonishingly revealing volume, I suggest that you think about how you like to express truth and beauty in your life. How can you be more direct and simple in this expression?
Be sure to live a life of "constant experimenting" like Stieglitz did!