Sunday, December 13, 2009

Roy De Carava on Fresh Air

It was so sad to hear of the passing of one of New York's finest photographers, Roy De Carava. My sadness was tempered somewhat by the opportunity it afforded Terry Gross to re-broadcast her amazing archived interviews with him.

De Carava was the 1998 ICP Infinity Award winner of the award called "Master of Photography."

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Martha Rosler's Library

The tour ends soon.

See it in MA.

The video hardly does it justice.

It is so pleasing.

A video of its Liverpool iteration.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Printed Matter[s]

A haven for artists, collectors and bibliophiles and the capital of New York's most attractive bohemia, Printed Matter is among the first places our students are sent for "wow" moments. We are all big fans.

Printed Matter is being celebrated at PS1 with a retrospective.

Click here for more information.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Shore Thing

This is too short to be a blog post, but I am too tired to twitter at this hour.

My smart colleague Bernie Y. writes/thinks about books day and night [and educates his acolytes-formal and not, among them I am gladly a kid]. I hope he will be "leveraged" to regularly contribute here, but below is a free sample of what is on offer on his own allluuuring blog called "One Way Street."

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Edith an Little Bear Lend a Hand

Dare Wright’s Edith and Little Bear Lend a Hand

A few years back I read Jean Nathan’s gripping biography of Dare Wright and my childhood came flooding back upon me. I was compelled to reconstruct the holdings of the great books by Wright for both my own library and for the ICP Library – for different reasons. The home library books need not be in presentable condition – even ex-library – because I had read many of them as books signed out of the library and ICP’s set, in our glass cased rare book cupboard, would need to be in better condition, hoping that Dare Wright would not be lost to posterity.

Is it the intriguing, I daresay cinematic, story of Dare Wright that makes her a great subject for posterity? Not to me as a librarian. I recognize that Jean Nathan and I are characteristic of girls who were influenced visually and emotionally by that Lenci doll and her Steiff bear companions. These were great photographic books in the definition of Martin Parr and Gerry Badger.

In recent re-readings, I increasingly realize that the photographs were the meat of the matter, not the text.

Case in point is the ICP Library’s splendid book Edith and Little Bear Lend a Hand, which seems so very timely in the weeks following our observance of the 40th anniversary of Woodstock and how “green” is now an “idea” embraced by every corporation, no matter how oxymoronic.

Edith, a stand-in for Dare Wright, already retirement aged when she wrote the book, was standing up for a cleaner New York City in this book. She protests, she acts progressively, and dresses fabulously.

I had never visited New York when I first checked this book out of the library, yet its visuals captivated me…

What makes Dare Wright great as a photographer?

Anthropomorphizing toys as fully-fleshed emotional people through pose and gesture and point of view
The stimulating mix of real NYC streets and toys integrated into them
The great compositions and shadows, like New York street photography

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Dummies for Photographers

Last spring, in order for our library to more actively participate within the lively discourse about the artist book, we asked ICP Alumni and Guggenheim-grant winning artist Victor Sira to curate a show devoted to the photographer’s book dummy.

Victor chose a small group of artists who, like him, speak through the tireless working out of photographic ideas by binding them together into books, sometimes a multiple of them before they are satisfied that the book adequately conveys their intentions.

The greatest challenge was to re-vivify the books that were locked in the vitrines away from their interactive function. For this, Victor worked with each artist to video tape the interaction with the books, scan page spreads to allow the book to “explode” onto the adjacent walls, or select framed works that animate the subject within the book. The results are 7 small solo shows, as well as one show that works very well together.

Pax Paloscia, a 2007 graduate of ICP’s General Studies Program, was the graphic design force behind the inviting collage image in the school’s pavilion, the postcard and the poster.

Part of the exhibition is displayed in the library, where the published works are arrayed for more thorough perusal…including Victor’s own Book Dummy of his Book Dummies!

The impetus of the exhibition was ICP’s part in the first annual Contemporary Artist Book Conference in New York, which was held at the Museum of Modern Art and the New York Public Library, in cooperation with the Art Libraries Society New York Chapter and Printed Matter’s Art Book Fair. On October 24 I hosted a session called “Dummies for Photographers” at the New York Public Library’s beautiful South Court Auditorium featuring Darius Himes, Victor Sira, Yuichi Hibi, Leigh Ledare and Esther Levine. We hope that a transcription will be published as a part of the conference proceedings at a future date.

Victor Sira's website has more information.

The exhibition was in the Education Galleries of ICP at 1114 Avenue of the Americas last autumn. Please pass by and mention the blog and you may have a free poster.

Robert Adams on Art21

A recommended short video this week on Art21’s blog is Robert Adams: Working Along Freeways

Robert Adams is one of the library’s most popular artists and writers, required reading for the full-time students, and, likewise, an inspiration to the remarkable number of large-format photographers who haul their tripods around our halls.