Monday, August 9, 2010

JIll Krementz Photo Journal - The Original Copy

Roxana Marcoci, Curator, Department of Photography. Ms. Marcoci curated this show and conceived the book which accompanies the exhibition.
The Original Copy: Photography of Sculpture, 1839 to Today
The Museum of Modern Art
August 1-November 1, 2010

The advent of photography in 1839 brought into focus the critical role that the copy plays in the perception of art, particularly as it pertained to the history of sculpture in particular.

Sculpture was among the first subjects to be treated in photography. There were many reasons for this, including the immobility of sculpture, which suited the long exposure times needed with the early photographic process. There was also the desire to document, collect, publicize and circulate objects that were not always portable. Throughout the years photographers have not only interpreted sculpture but they have created stunning reinventions of it.

Catalogue for The Original Copy: Photography of Sculpture, 1839 to Today exhibition, 256 pp. 302 color and duotone reproductions.
This exhibition has been conceived and organized by Roxana Marcoci, Curator of MoMA's Department of Photography. On view: over 300 photographs, magazines and journals by more than 100 artists, from the dawn of modernism to the present.

Conceived around ten conceptual modules, the show examines the rich legacy of photography and the aesthetic shifts that have taken place in the medium over the last 170 years. Eugène Atget, Walker Evans, Auguste Rodin, Constantine Brancusi along with Lee Friedlander, Bruce Nauman, Barbara Kruger, and Rachel Harrison, to name only a few, exemplify how fruitfully and unpredictably photography and sculpture has intertwined.

Ms. Marcoci had edited an excellent catalogue which is available on-line and in the gift shop.
Glenn Lowry with John Elderfield. Mr. Elderfield co-curated the Matisse Exhibition currently on view at MoMA, which I covered a few weeks ago for NYSD.
Roxana Marcoci, Curator, Department of Photography. Ms. Marcoci curated this show and edited the comprehensive (and beautiful) book which accompanies the exhibition. MoMA's Director Glenn Lowry with Ms. Marcoci.
The first section, Sculpture in the Age of Photography, considers how shortly after its advent in 1839, photography became the primary medium of analysis in the modern discipline of art history. Art history, in fact, as we know it today, is the child of photography. Photography is a child of the industrial era — a medium that came of age alongside the steam engine and the railroad. So, it is not surprising that one of photography's early functions was to wrench the physically inaccessible art object away from its original site and bring it closer to the viewer. This introductory module presents pictures of sculpture in situ, in the artist's studio, and in the context of museums, underlying photography's analysis of virtually every aspect of art.
William Henry Fox Talbot
British, 1800-1877
Bust of Patroclus
Before February 7, 1846
Salt print from a calotype negative
Adolphe Bilordeaux
French 1807-1875
Plaster Hand
1864
Albumen silver print
Lorraine O'Grady
American, born 1934
Sister IV, L: Devonia's sister, Lorraine;
Nefertiti's Sister. Mutnedjmet from Miscegenated Family Album

1980/94
Silver dye bleach print
Charles Nègre
French, 1820-1880
The Mystery of Death, Medallion by Auguste Préault
November 1858
Photogravure
Ken Domon
Japanese 1909-1990
Left: Right Hand of the Sitting Image of Buddha Shakyamuni in the Hall of Miroku, Muro-Ji, Nara
Right: Left Hand of the Sitting Image of Buddha Shakyamuni in the Hall of Miroku, Muro-Ji, Nara
Silver Gelatin Prints
Clarence Kennedy
American 1892-1972
Plate XXV from The Tomb by Antonio Rosselino for the Cardinal of Portugal
1933
Gelatin silver print
Clarence Kennedy
American 1892-1972
Plate XVIII from The Tomb by Antonio Rosselino for the Cardinal of Portugal
1933
Gelatin silver print
Clarence Kennedy
American, 1892-1972
Plate XX from The Tomb by Antonio Rosselino for the Cardinal of Portugal
1933
Gelatin silver print
Frances Benjamin Johnson
American, 1864-1952
Eastern High School, Washington, D.C. c.1899
Cyanotype
Brassaï (Gyula Halász)
French, born Transylvania, 1899-1984
At the Academy Julian 1932
Gelatin silver print
Barbara Kruger
American, born 1945
Untitled (Your Gaze Hits the Side of My Face) 1984
Gelatin silver print
Artist Jan De Cock from Belgium standing in front of his two works in the exhibition. Said Mr. De Cock: "Roxana Marcoci is so amazing. She flew all the way over to Belgium to see my work in the studio. Two years ago she curated at MoMA the first museum exhibition of my work in the States."
Peter Galassi, Chief Curator of MoMA's Department of Photography. Luis Medina, who has worked at MoMA as a security guard for 17 years.
This section highlights the influential and highly idiosyncratic photographic practices of four artists: Eugène Atget, Auguste Rodin, Constantin Brancusi and Marcel Duchamp.

During the first quarter of the twentieth century, Atget took hundreds of photographs of sculptures in Paris and its outlying gardens, especially at Versailles, Saint-Cloud, and Sceaux, his oeuvre amounting to a visual compendium of the French heritage at the time.

Bernice Abbott wrote that Atget was "an urbanist historian, a Balzac of the camera, from whose work we can weave a large tapestry of French civilization." The tapestry to which Abbott is referring included series of pictures of statues, monuments and reliefs in the neighborhoods of Old Paris and its surburban environs.
Eugène Atget
French, 1857-1927
Versailles, Vase
1906
Albumen silver print
Eugène Atget
Versailles, Vase
1906
Albumen silver print
Eugène Atget
Versailles, Vase
1906
Albumen silver print
Eugène Atget
Cluny-12th century
1921
Albumen silver print
Eugène Atget
Parc de Sceaux
Morning, 8:00, 1925
Gelatin silver printing-out paper print
Eugène Atget
Parc de Sceaux
June 1925
Gelatin silver printing-out-paper print
Eugène Atget
Versailles—Hercules and Telephus by Jean-Baptiste Jouvenet
1923-24
Matte albumen silver print
Eugène Atget
Versailles—Deceit by Louis Le Conte
1923-24
Jamie Niven was sitting in the lobby waiting to see the Matisse show. Mr. Niven is Vice Chairman of Sotheby's and on the board of MoMA. He was telling me about a wonderful new program at MoMA where they take Alzheimer's patients through the exhibitions and relate to what they are seeing, especially when there are vibrant colors involved. Matt Whitworth and Janet Borden, who run the Janet Borden Gallery.
Kenneth Baker, art critic for the San Francisco Chronicle.
Rodin never took pictures of his sculptures yet he reserved the creative act for himself, actively directing the enterprise of photographing his work by controlling staging, lighting, background, and point of view.
Edward Steichen
American, born Luxembourg, 1879-1973
Rodin—The Thinker
1902
Gum bichromate print

I knew Edward Steichen when he was married to my friend Joanna. Following his death, Joanna Steichen continued to live in Manhattan and in the summer, in Montauk. I am sad to say she died on Saturday, July 28th. Her death by drowning was reported in the East Hampton Star.
Eugène Druet
French, 1868-1917
Clenched Hand emerging from a Blanket
1898
Gelatin silver print
Eugène Druet
Clenched Hand emerging from the Folds of a Blanket
1898
Gelatin silver print
Michele Gerber Klein. Richard Oldenburg and Peter Galassi. Mr. Oldenburg's brother Claes is represented in the exhibition.
Brancusi made explicit photography's capacity to formulate “optical manifestoes.” His pictures of gleaming bronzes, known as photos radieuses, are characterized by flashes of light that explode the unity of the sculptural gestalt, and his scenographic combination of sculptures and pedestals within the studio for the camera constitutes a visual journal as integral to the understanding of his work “as, it has been suggested, Delacroix's journal or Van Gogh's letters were to their paintings.”
Constantin Brancusi
French, born Romania, 1876-1957
Mademoiselle Pogany II
1920
Gelatin silver print
Constantin Brancusi
Bird in Space
c.1929
Gelatin silver print
Constantin Brancusi
Princess X
c. 1930
Gelatin silver print
Constantin Brancusi
The Blond Negress Viewed from the Front (polished bronze)
1926
Gelatin silver print
Constantin Brancusi
Overall view of the Studio: Bird in Space (plaster), The Sorceress, Plato, Socrates, Princess X
c. 1923-24
Gelatin silver print
Alfred Stieglitz
Fountain (photograph of assisted Readymade by Marcel Duchamp)
1917
Gelatin silver print
Duchamp probed the critical role mechanical reproduction plays in the conception of the readymade with Box in a Valise, a case of 69 miniature replicas of his works, “authorized 'original' copies,” which he “copyrighted” in the name of Rrose Sélavy, his female alter ego.
Marcel Duchamp, H.P. Roche, and Beatrice Wood
American, born France, 1887-1968
"The Richard Mutt Case" in the Blind Man no. 2
1917
Journal
Marcel Duchamp
Box in a Valise (From or by Marcel Duchamp or Rrose Sélavy)
1935-41
Leather valise containing miniature replicas, photographs, color reproductions of works by Duchamp, and one "original" drawing.
Detail of
Marcel Duchamp
Box in a Valise (From or by Marcel Duchamp or Rrose Sélavy)
1935-41
Detail of
Marcel Duchamp
Box in a Valise (From or by Marcel Duchamp or Rrose Sélavy)
1935-41
Peter Galassi with Jon Hendricks. Mr. Hendricks is a consulting curator for the Fluxus part of the Contemporary Art show presently on view at MoMA. Stephen Abramson, a collector.
Luigi Terusso, painter and poet. Christophe Cherix, co-curator of The Contemporary Art Exhibition presently on view at MoMA, with John Hendricks.
Peter MacGill, President of Pace/MacGill Gallery. Mr. MacGill is one of the most important contemporary photographic gallerists. Artist Cristian Alexa with his wife, Roxana Marcoci, curator of the exhibition.
Anne Umland, Curator of Painting and Sculpture at MoMA
Cristian Alexa, Director of Lombard-Freid Projects
Roxana Marcoci, Curator of Photography at MoMA and curator of The Original Copy: Photography of Sculpture, 1839 to Today
Agnes Gund, President Emerita, MoMA
David Teiger, Trustee, MoMA
Klaus Biesenbach, Director of PS1 and Chief Curator at Large at MoMA
Among thematic groupings, Cultural and Political Icons examines the world that public statues inhabit, introducing selections from such influential 20th century photographic essays as Walker Evans's American Photographs (1938), Robert Franks' The Americans (1958), Lee Friedlander's The American Monument (1976), and David Goldblatt's The Structure of Things Then (1998).
Sibylle Bergemann
German, born 1941
The Monument, East Berlin
1986
Gelatin silver print
Henri Cartier-Bresson
French, 1908-2004
Polonaruvia, Ceylon
March 1950
Gelatin silver print
Henri Cartier-Bresson
Vatican, Rome, Italy
1958
Henri Cartier-Bresson
Place de la République, Paris
May 28, 1958
Henri Cartier-Bresson
Capitol, Washington, United States
1957
Silver gelatin print
Henri Cartier-Bresson
Capital, Washington, United States
1957
Henri Cartier-Bresson
Tuskegee, Alabama, United States
Henri Cartier-Bresson
What Are Americans Up To? in Paris Match
May 10, 1958
Journal
Walker Evans
American, 1903-1975
Battlefield Monument, Vicksburg, Mississippi
1936
Lee Friedlander
American, born 1934
Mount Rushmore, South Dakota
1969
Gelatin silver print
Tod Papageorge
Alice in Wonderland
1978
Gelatin silver print

The sculpture, dedicated in 1959, was commissioned by philanthropist George Delacorte from Jose de Creeft. Alice is seated on a giant mushroom, while March Hare and Mad Hatter flank the sculpture on both sides. The timid mouse is perched on top of a smaller mushroom, while the Cheshire cat looks over Alice's shoulder.
David Goldblatt (South African, born 1930)
Monument Honouring the 'Contribution of the Horse to South African History.' Erected by the Rapportryers of Bethulie in 1982. Laura Rautenbach was the Sculptor.
Guy Tillim (South African, born 1962)
Bust of Agostinho Neto, Quibala, Angola
2008
Pigmented inkjet paper
Guy Tillim (South African, born 1962)
Statue of Henry Stanley which Overlooked Kinshasha in Colonial Times

2004
Pigmented jet print
Cyprien Gaillard (French, born 1980) stands in front of his installation of 10 groupings of Polaroids: Geographical Analogies, 2006-09.
Tahila Brenner, who is working this summer as an intern at Howard Greenberg Gallery. Ms. Brenner is a 19-year-old student who lives in Paris the rest of the year, studying at Université Paris Dauphine. Dorian Deaux, who works at P.S.1. When asked what he did he replied, "I'm just one of the slaves out there."
The Studio Without Walls considers the radical aesthetic changes that took place in the 1960s when a number of artists who did not consider themselves photographers in the traditional sense began using the camera to rework the idea of sculpture, dispensing with the immobile object in favor of an altered site: the built environment, the remote landscape, or a space in which the artist intervened.
Christo
American, born Bulgaria 1935
The Museum of Modern Art Packed Project
1968
Oil on cut-and-pasted gelatin silver prints (by Ferdinand Boesch) on board with pencil, colored pencil, cut-and-pasted transparentized paper and pressure-sensitive tape on board.

If you look carefully you will see the MoMA building in the background.
Daguerre's Soup: What is Sculpture? is a section dedicated to Dada, Surrealist, and post-Conceptual manifestations. Different generations of artists from Man Ray, Marcel Broodthaers and Alina Szapocznikow to Robert Gober, Rachel Harrison, and Fischli & Weiss, conceived tongue-in-cheek sculptures that exist only as photographs.
Man Ray
American, 1890-1976
Man
1918
Gelatin silver print
Robert Gober
American, born 1954
Untitled
1999
Gelatin silver print
Bruce Nauman
American, born 1941
Composite Photo of Two Messes on the Studio Floor
1967
Gelatin silver print
Robert Smithson
American 1938-1973
Yucatan Mirror Displacements (1-9)
1969
Chromogenic color prints from 35 mm slides, printed 2010
Peter Fischli (Swiss, born 1952) & David Weiss (Swiss, born 1946)
The Three Sisters
1984
Chromogenic color print
Gabriel Orozco
Mexican, born 1962
Cats and watermelons
1992
Silver dye bleach print

I covered Orozco's retrospective at MoMA in a previous photojournal for NYSD.
Rachel Harrison
American, born 1966
From Voyage of the Beagle
2007

This series consists of 57 inkjet prints, many of which were featured in Holland Cotter's front page Weekend Arts review of this show for The New York Times on Friday, July 30, 2010.

The work, whose title alludes to Darwin's voyage on the Beagle before he wrote the Origin of the Species, includes photographs of mehnirs, modernist sculptures, drag-queen mannequins and stuffed animals.
Joachim Pissarro, the great grandson of the painter Camille Pissarro. Mr. Pissarro is a former MoMA Curator, and currently the director of the Hunter Cuny Art Galleries, and the Bershad Professor of Art History.
Julie Galant, owner of Fotofolio, which produces postcards, posters, and greeting cards. Rebecca Dayan, a 26-year-old model (for Karl Lagerfeld) and actress, Kimberly Pariente, 22, a fashion student and shoe designer, and Marine Adda, 24, who is from Paris.
Robert Storr and Kerstin Bonnier. Mr. Storr is an art critic, curator and dean of the Yale School of Art. Ms. Bonnier is a film producer and head of film production at Svensk Filmindustri, the largest Swedish film company. MoMA's chief curator of Painting and Sculpture, Ann Temkin.
The Pygmalion Complex section explores the perturbing mix of stillness and living, alluring lifelikeness of statues through the photogenic uncanniness of animated puppets, wax mannequins, dummies, and automata.
André Kertész
American, born Hungary, 1894-1985
Geza Blattner
1925
Gelatin silver print
Henri Cartier-Bresson
Alberto Giacometti in the Galerie Maeght, Paris
1961
Gelatin silver print
Robert Mapplethorpe
Louise Bourgeois
1982
Gelatin silver print

This is a photograph of the feisty Bourgeois (who died a few months ago) with her famous sculpture, Fillette, which has a phallic form.
Man Ray
American, 1890-1976
Francis Picabia Imitating Rodin's Sculpture of Balzac, 1923
Gelatin silver print
Max Ernst
French, born Germany. 1891-1976
Health through Sports
c. 1920
Gelatin silver print of photomontage and collage
Man Ray
Le Violon d'Ingres
1924
Gelatin silver print mounted on paper
Man Ray
Noire et blanche
1926
Gillian Wearing
British, born 1963
Self-Portrait at 17 Years Old
2003
Chromogenic color print
Man Ray
Coat Stand
1920
Gelatin silver print
Robert Mapplethorpe
American 1946-1989
Untitled
1973

Fans of Mapplethorpe should visit MoMA's current exhibition on Contemporary Art, which I recently covered for NYSD. The photographer's luminescent photograph, "Hermes," is hanging in the gallery with the AIDS wallpaper.
The Performing Body as Sculptural Material highlights a series of Happenings, Fluxus and contemporary performances in which the artist's body is manipulated as a prop that could be picked up, bent, or deployed instead of traditional materials like plaster or clay.
Claes Oldenburg
American, born Sweden 1929
Claes Oldenburg: Projects for Monuments
1967
Offset lithograph
Yves Klein
French 1928-1962
Yves Klein's Leap into the Void
1960
Gelatin silver print (Photograph by Harry Shunk and János Kender)
Milan Knížák
Czech, born 1940
Small Environments on the Street
1962-63
Collage of gelatin silver prints, safety pin, and staples on paper

When you go see this exhibition, look for that safety pin, which is very hard to find ... almost as hard as the needle in the haystack in the Contemporary Art Exhibition now on view at MoMA.
Red Grooms
American, born 1937
The Burning Building
1959
Gelatin silver print (photograph by Max Baker)
Jim Dine
American, born 1935
The Car Crash
1960
Gelatin silver print
Bruce Nauman
Self-portrait as a Fountain
1966-67/1970/2007
Inkjet print (originally chromogenic color print), printed 2
Bruce Nauman
Feet of Clay
1966-67/1970/2007
Inkjet print (originally chromogenic color print), printed 2010
Bruce Nauman
Bound to Fail
1966-67/1970/2007
Inkjet print (originally chromogenic color print), printed 2010
Alan Cumming, who used his Razor to get to the MoMA opening.

Mr. Cumming is a Scottish stage, television and film actor, writer, director, producer and author. On Broadway he has appeared as Mac the Knife in The Threepenny Opera, the Emcee in Cabaret, for which he won the Tony in 1998, and Design for Living. He also played Fegan Floop in the Spy Kids trilogy and introduces Masterpiece Mystery for PBS.

Mr. Cumming plays Eli Gold on the CBS television show The Good Wife, which is one of my favorite programs.
In MoMA's garden: Angelique Campens, curator in Belgium for Domus magazine; Jan De Cock, an artist in the show; Kerstin Bonnier; and Peter Galassi.
Marcel Duchamp
Tonsure
1921
Gelatin silver print (photograph by Man Ray)

And yes, that is the back of Marcel Duchamps' head with a star-shaped stenciled hair-do. Only the pipe looks familiar.
This is a photograph I took of Marcel Duchamp in New York City on October 24th, 1967. The artist was at the Knoedler Gallery where he was exhibiting his sculpture of Duchamp-Villon (Le Cheval Majeur). Because he was unable to attend the opening of his exhibition, Mr. Duchamp met with members of the press that afternoon at 3 pm. He smoked his cigar the entire time.
Robert Morris
American, born 1931
I-Box
1962
Painted plywood cabinet. Sculptmetal and gelatin silver print

Seen from one side ...
Robert Morris
American, born 1931
I-Box
1962
Painted plywood cabinet. Sculptmetal and gelatin silver print

... and seen from the other!
Edwin Wurm
Austrian, born 1954
One Minute Sculptures
Montage of 9 Chromogenic color prints

Details in the following photos ...
Charles Ray
American, born 1953
Plan Piece I and II
1973
Gelatin silver prints, printed 1992
These two photographs made me laugh out loud.
Ana Mandieta
American, born Cuba, 1948-1985
Omage from Yagul
1973
Lifetime color photograph
Ana Mandieta
American, born Cuba, 1948-1985
Tree of Life
1976
Lifetime color photograph
Hannah Wilke
American (1940-1993)
S.O.S. - Starification Object Series
1974-82
Gelatin silver prints with chewing gum sculptures.

That is chewed chewing gum at the bottom of the photograph.
Raj Roy, Chief Curator of Film at MoMA. Mr. Roy co-curated the brilliant Tim Burton retrospective at MoMA. Bob Morris, a producer at WNET, Channel 13, with Paul Jackson, MoMA press officer.
Cyprien Gaillard, artist in show. Laura Bartlett, who runs the gallery in London by the same name that represents the work of Cyprien Gaillard.
Nick Ruiz (MoMA events department), Casey Fitzpatrick (MoMA press communications), Nathan Kovach (Fashion PR for Doc Martens), Martin Levandowki (non-fiction writer specializing in philosophy), and Bryan McKee (fashion editor at GQ magazine).
I have always loved photographing sculptures (and the artists who produce them), which is why I can't resist adding a few of my favorites at the end of this piece.

I did this cover of Niki de Saint Phalle's whimsical Nanas in 1968 for New York Magazine. The installation was on 104th street.
Niki de Saint Phalle and her husband, Jean Tinguely.
Artist Marisol with The Royal Family, one of five pieces in her exhibition, "Heads of State," which she exhibited at the Sidney Janis Gallery in New York City.

November 1, 1967; Photograph by Jill Krementz.
Sculptor George Segal queues up behind his lifelike commuter line in New York's Port Authority bus station.

This photograph was not that easy to take because every time I stepped back with my camera various commuters would see the line and just assume they should be in it. I kept having to shoo them away.
Walter Channing's tree sculpture is in the background. The Channings' 11-month-old daughter Sylvia is seated in the foreground. Bridgehampton, New York.
One of the best vacations my husband, Kurt Vonnegut, and I ever took was to Rome in 1974.
Text and photographs © by Jill Krementz; all rights reserved.