The "Skira History of Photography" series will be released in four separate volumes: 1839-1890; 1890-1939; 1939-1980; and 1980-2010. Each volume is made up of essays by specialists, including a series of short monographic essays dedicated to individu al photographers written by a single author, providing a narrative voice that ensures continuity throughout and a historical framework that adopts a strictly chronological approach. This first volume (1839-1890) considers the years of the invention o f photography and those immediately following-extraordinary years from both the point of view of history and of the development of the inventions. Including the great early forebears, like Daguerre and Talbot, and the great photographic expeditions t hat placed the world before the eyes of an ever-increasing number of people, this first volume also stresses the fundamental links between photography and the world of science. The volume concludes by examining the burgeoning relationship between pho tography and the traditional arts disciplines, a point of fundamental importance in the development of a photographic language.
Brassai (1899-1984) was the first and is still the most famous photographer to chronicle Paris after dark. Born in Hungary, he came to the French capital in 1924, working first as a journalist and then embracing photography, but it was the Paris of the 1930s that came to form the bedrock of his body of work. Walking the city streets at night, Brassai discovered a previously unseen world and captured it on camera. He shows us every face and every facet, from tough guys and showgirls to prostitutes and pleasure-seekers, from the bustling cafes and dance halls to the stillness of deserted streets and mist-shrouded monuments. Through his eyes, Paris becomes a world of shadows, in which light, the prerequisite for any photograph, is reduced to dimly lit windows, streetlamps in the fog, or reflections on a rain-soaked pavement. Although firmly rooted in its time and place, Brassais night photography is nonetheless timeless in its appeal. Full of beauty, bleakness and insight, these images assure his place among the greatest photographers of the 20th century.
The Museum of Modern Art has one of the greatest collections of 20th-century photography in the world. As one of three volumes dedicated to a new history of photography published by the Museum, this publication comprises a comprehensive catalogue of the collection post-1960s and brings much-needed new critical perspective to the most prominent artists working with the photographic medium of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. At a moment when photography is undergoing fast-paced changes and artists are seeking to redefine its boundaries in new and exciting ways, "Photography at MoMA" serves as an excellent resource for understanding the expanded field of contemporary photography today. The book begins with an in-depth introduction followed by eight chapters of full-color plates, each introduced by a short essay. Over 250 artists are featured, including Diane Arbus, John Baldessari, Jan Dibbets, Rineke Dijkstra, William Eggleston, Lee Friedlander, Louise Lawler, Zoe Leonard, Helen Levitt, Sigmar Polke, Cindy Sherman, Wolfgang Tillmans, Jeff Wall, Carrie Mae Weems, Hannah Wilke and Garry Winogrand, among many others.
Published to accompany the first exhibition in Paris of highlights from The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Being Modern tells the stories behind 120 select artworks and design objects acquired by MoMA between the late 19th century and the present, providing a unique insight into the making of one of the greatest collections of modern and contemporary art in the world. Featuring work from all six of the Museum’s departments, from Edward Hopper’s House by the Railroad (1925) to the recently acquired original set of 176 digital emoji, the catalogue highlights the diversity and topicality of MoMA’s collection, and provides a fresh perspective on the modernist canon. The book is organized chronologically according to the year each artwork entered MoMA’s collection. Short texts by museum curators accompany each work, providing an overview of its significance as well as a behind-the-scenes look at the acquisitions process, often an untold aspect of a museum’s history. Rather than presenting the collection as a flawlessly structured, stable entity, the book reveals its complex evolution and wide-ranging scope, demonstrating multiple ways of looking at MoMA’s multidisciplinary collection.
One of the most significant photographers of our time, Stephen Shore has often been considered alongside other artists who rose to prominence in the 1970s by capturing the mundane aspects of American popular culture in straightforward, unglamorous images. But Shore has worked with many forms of photography, switching from cheap automatic cameras to large-format cameras in the 1970s, pioneering the use of colour before returning to black and white in the 1990s, and in the 2000s taking up the opportunities of digital photography, digital printing and social media. Stephen Shore encompasses the entirety of the artist’s work of the last five decades, during which he has conducted a continual, restless interrogation of image making, from the gelatin silver prints he made as a teenager to his current engagement with digital platforms. Published to accompany the major exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, the book allows for a fuller understanding of Shore’s work, and demonstrates his singular vision – defined by an interest in daily life, a taste for serial and often systematic approaches, a strong intellectual underpinning, a restrained style, sly humour and visual casualness – and uncompromising pursuit of photography’s possibilities.