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The Photograph as Contemporary Art (World of Art) 2nd Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
The first 217 pages of the 2nd ed. are different in only minor ways from the first 217 pages of the 1st ed.* However, pages 218-241 in the 2nd ed. contain a new final chapter 8, "Physical and Mental," discussing photographic works for which "the very nature of the medium is part of the narrative of the work." Among other topics, chapter 8 covers appropriation (e.g., rephotographing photographs); analog versus digital photography; and photographs in sculptures, collages, multimedia installations, books, and Web sites. Artists discussed in this chapter include James Welling, Isa Genzken, Walead Beshty, Zoe Leonard, An-My Le, Ed Ruscha, Rinko Kawauchi, and others. The writing style is similar to the first seven chapters, and is again of high quality. The "Further Reading" list on pages 242-243 in the 2nd ed. has references as recent as 2009. In conclusion, if you own the 1st ed., you MAY wish to replace it with the 2nd ed., but it's not an absolute must.
* In specific, p.10 has a new paragraph summarizing the new final chapter, material on Sherrie Levine has been moved from p.214 to the new final chapter, and the paragraph on Vibeke Tandberg on p.217 is slightly reworded.
--- DECEMBER 14, 2004, REVIEW OF FIRST (2004) EDITION FOLLOWS ---
This information-packed paperback, which is relatively small for an art book, has an Introduction and seven chapters.Read more ›
What distinguishes a contemporary art photograph from other beautiful photographs is not always clear, but like Supreme Court Justice Stewart, I know it when I see it. From what the author suggests, it may be that contemporary art photography is less concerned with the form and more with the content, and that viewers are meant to be semiologists decoding what a photograph stands for.
Cotton begins her book with an introduction that includes a taxonomy of contemporary art photography, and to the extent that classifying an object helps us to know and understand it, the introduction alone justifies the book. Surprisingly, rather than look at style or subject matter, she organizes the book based upon the photographers' motivations and working practices. For example one of the classes is pictures of events that have been specifically organized to be photographed while another is pictures that aim to reproduce or refer back to something in the history of photography and other arts.
Each of the classes is allocated a chapter, and allocates a paragraph each to the work several artists, along with a representative photograph. Cotton explains how the photograph fits into the genre and explains something of the meaning of the work. Most of the photographs are just large enough to provide some appreciation of the work and the explanations are as concise as possible.
The book is meant to be a survey and so is more useful for providing a framework for understanding the overall categories than appreciating any individual picture.Read more ›
Charlotte Cotton provides an education in contemporary art photography in the first two pages of Chapter one of her book, its conceptual genesis, its development and its meaning. Otherwise like some other books on the subject one would have continued mystified throughout the whole book.
In essence Photographic Contemporary Art exists when, as the final act of the artist’s installation set-up, the artist photographs it and the photograph becomes the Art. The key point is that the photograph doesn’t have to be a “good” photograph.
This definition reveals the King’s new suit of clothes, and one can enter the world of photography as contemporary art with the necessary magic glasses.
This revelation alone makes the purchase price of the book worthwhile.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of the best books I've read in my career as an artist. An excellent read for young artists learning their process, as it shows you examples of different artists and their... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
A must for any photography student or photographer, easy to ready, good illustrations.Published 3 months ago by rebekah r
A great overview of some amazing working artists and the basic of contemporary photographyPublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
There seem to be so many ways of using the camera and creating wonderful pieces of art. This book helps to begin my process.Published 8 months ago by Frederick Dumas
Not cutting edge by 2015 standards, but a great resource for seeing what has been done recently, explains recent photographic trends very accurately.Published 8 months ago by John Beneke