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blansky
08-14-2006, 11:21 PM
To be honest I'd forgotten about him.

I went to Borders and tried to find a book but they had only one and it wasn't the one I'd seen before so I'm going to order one.

For some reason I'm drawn to the period between the wars although he did a lot more than that. Also I'm drawn to the elite of the time. I watch Peroit on BBC or Biography Channel every week and and love the period.

I think the 1920-1930s were one of the most interesting times of that century. Don't know why but a lot of great writers and artists came out of that time.


Michael

Kino
08-14-2006, 11:33 PM
I guess the server migration stripped the image out of the original posting... bummer.

Kino
08-14-2006, 11:47 PM
A final observation; I find his work totally refreshing in that I cannot detect a hint of cynicism in any of his photos. I don't recall a time I EVER totally free of cynicism in my life; its like looking into paradise lost, something I'll never know but can truly appreciate.

Its all wide eyed wonder, playfulness and what appears (to me) to be a person intently aware of living in the eternal present, not gathering wool in the past or planning for the future.

Jim Chinn
08-15-2006, 12:20 AM
To be honest I'd forgotten about him.

I went to Borders and tried to find a book but they had only one and it wasn't the one I'd seen before so I'm going to order one.

For some reason I'm drawn to the period between the wars although he did a lot more than that. Also I'm drawn to the elite of the time. I watch Peroit on BBC or Biography Channel every week and and love the period.

I think the 1920-1930s were one of the most interesting times of that century. Don't know why but a lot of great writers and artists came out of that time.


Michael

I agree about the between war years. I found a Christies auction catalogue at a used bookstore from a sale back in the 80s. It was an auction of a huge private collection of photography from those years. Mostly European, but some vintage American (Evans, Abbott, Sheeler). Absolutely fascinating work by a lot of people I never heard of. Also a lot of what is considered modern or post modern art has its roots (for good or bad) in the dadists and surrealists whose work was a response to the traumas of WWI. Also the zenith of a lot of the robber barons, Morgan, Rockefeller, Carnegie, etc. Add to all that acceptance and growth on a broad scale automobiles, airplanes, radio, movies, recording of music and first mass produced consumer goods.

David H. Bebbington
08-15-2006, 12:40 AM
Books - I appear to have 2. The larger one is "Jacques Henri Lartigue Photographer" edited by Vicki Goldberg, ISBN 0-500-54226-0. This has all the best-known shots including the lady with the vast fox fur walking her dog. It also has a number of interesting shots showing a bold use of the panoramic format (I think JHL had a stereo camera which had the option of shooting single-shot panoramas as well).
The other book is called "Boy With A Camera - The Story of Jacques Henri Lartigue" by John Cecil, ISBN 1-85793-600-0. This is far less comprehensive and the repro quality is not as good, but it contains some great shots of family activities such as half a dozen people testing their (self-built) amphibious bicycle in their swimming pool, another family member testing his self-designed inflatable rubber trousers, also in the pool, and the quite well-known shot of a female family member taking a flying leap down a stone staircase to allow JHL to practise his speed photography technique. Never a dull moment chez Lartigue, to be sure!

Best regards,

David

PS: Amazon is showing these 2 books and others as being in stock!

copake_ham
08-15-2006, 12:54 AM
.....

I think the 1920-1930s were one of the most interesting times of that century. Don't know why but a lot of great writers and artists came out of that time.


Michael

It was a time of enormous contrasts. In the US there was the unbounded prosperity of the 1920's followed by the economic collapse of the 1930's. The hey day of the Twenties was "sobered" by an unenforceable Prohibition against alcohol that fostered a disdain for government - to be followed by a Thirties that "slaked the thirst" while using the power of government to save many from deprivation.

Meanwhile, in Europe you had total economic chaos on the Continent as Germany attempted to use inflation to absolve its unbearable war reparation debts leading to the rise of Fascism even while in Russia (and thus the nascent Soviet Union) the Communists were proclaiming their own vision of a "new order" to society.

Lay on top of this an older European elite desparately trying to re-establish the pre-WWI order upon a world that they could no longer "control". The composer escapes me right now - but there is a famous "waltz" symphony written in the early 1920's that starts out very "formal" but slowly and inevitable "decays" to cacaphony - representing an ordered world that cannot be restored.

The 1920's and '30's were times of social forment - so it is not surprising that there was a flowering of new forms artistic endeavors.

They were echoed in the 1960's for different (but similar reasons).

What is more interesting is that since the latter era - the arts, and the society they reflect, have been derivative and quiescent. Perhaps there will one day soon be a volcanic explosion of both?

blansky
08-15-2006, 11:55 AM
Books - I appear to have 2. The larger one is "Jacques Henri Lartigue Photographer" edited by Vicki Goldberg, ISBN 0-500-54226-0. This has all the best-known shots including the lady with the vast fox fur walking her dog. It also has a number of interesting shots showing a bold use of the panoramic format (I think JHL had a stereo camera which had the option of shooting single-shot panoramas as well).
The other book is called "Boy With A Camera - The Story of Jacques Henri Lartigue" by John Cecil, ISBN 1-85793-600-0. This is far less comprehensive and the repro quality is not as good, but it contains some great shots of family activities such as half a dozen people testing their (self-built) amphibious bicycle in their swimming pool, another family member testing his self-designed inflatable rubber trousers, also in the pool, and the quite well-known shot of a female family member taking a flying leap down a stone staircase to allow JHL to practise his speed photography technique. Never a dull moment chez Lartigue, to be sure!

Best regards,

David

PS: Amazon is showing these 2 books and others as being in stock!

Thanks David,

I think the Goldberg one is the one I'd seen before.

Michael

Bill Hahn
08-15-2006, 12:48 PM
The 1920's and '30's were times of social forment - so it is not surprising that there was a flowering of new forms artistic endeavors.


It's interesting to note that there was a revolution, a "loss of control" in some of the sciences as well: Quantum Mechanics in physics, distressing the older scientists (Einstein's comment that he didn't believe "God rolled dice"), the amazing incompleteness theorems of Goedel, spelling the end of the deterministic Hilbert program for mathematics.

tim atherton
08-15-2006, 03:33 PM
One important test as the whether a picture has any value or quality (aka is it "good") is its "narrative" element. This is true for the most representational to the most abstract of pictures - it doesn't matter. The picture needs to reveal new messages and images on subsequent viewings and not exhaust itself in one "Big Bang" the first time you look at it and then having a lessening impact on each subsequent viewing.

The narrative is how the picture reveals itself to you over time (it's also your story, and ultimately, only you can judge it).

If you are impressed with a picture on its first viewing, but it leaves you with nothing when you are gone, chances are it isn't very good. But if it continues to call itself to memory without your asking it, if it keeps insisting at the back of your mind then there is probably something to it.

If, on each subsequent viewing its impact is a little less - or even if it merely remains the same as the first time you saw it, it's probably a dud. (This is also why good pictures sometimes take a little more time and effort than a one-trick-pony type photograph).

This is of course only one factor, though without it the picture probably fails

This picture of Lartigue's definitely falls into the category of continually revealing more about itself.