Karsh: Regarding Heros exhibit at USC's Fisher Museum
Flew to LA last week specifically to see the Karsh exhibit ("Regarding Heros") at USC's Fisher Museum. Although I have several Karsh books and two Karsh photogravures displayed in my office, there is absolutely nothing like seeing the actual finished portraits. The subjects sort of pop out of the frame. The gradation of their skin tones is extraordinarily reflected. Fine detail is everywhere to be seen -- in the shadows, the highlights, and throughout.
Much has been said and written of Karsh's work -- the lighting, the Olympian poses of his subjects, and the emotion these portraits convey.
Little has been said and written, it seems to me, of the master printer and other technicians who worked for Karsh in his studio. Karsh's master darkroom printer was with him for 40 years. Ignas Gabalis is his name. He and the other technicians deserve proper credit and acknowledgement for their artistry -- and it is that, fine artistry -- without which Karsh's portraits would perhaps be less than masterful. The finished prints we see, of course, are the result of manipulating the original negatives, of artful darkroom printing, and of final print finishing. All of these technical and artistic talents conspire together with Karsh's own to create a collaborative work of fine art.
Karsh realized that his work was a collaboration among photographer, subject, and studio technicians. I have seen several of Karsh's personal notes written to Ignas Gabalis in which Karsh celebrates and expresses deep appreciation for their personal collaboration. And Karsh's collaborative and friendly relationship with his subjects is well known and acknowledged.
What an extraordinary gift and legacy Karsh has left behind.
Today, I am looking into who is behind the works signed only as "X. Phot". I am so close to discovering his/her true identity it's scary (just dreaming). I would like to purchase more prints by this photographer if anyone has some to offer up at a reasonable price.
Not today, but recently, Todd Hido (his 'House Hunting' series) and Michael Wolf's 'The Transparent City' I find fascinating.
Just ordered a Thomas Joshua Cooper book.
Stephen Dupont - I just can't imagine the life of a photojournalist/war photographer. I couldn't take it mentally. I'm really glad we have people like that though who can show us what life for the people and for the military is like.
Herb Ritts. Just saw a segment on CBS Sunday Morning on him. Awe inspiring. What style!!
The fix is in!
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I've been intensely researching Steichen these days--with the focus on his early work. To understand early Steichen, you also need to study his contemporaries, including the members of the photo-secession--Stieglitz, F. Holland Day, Clarence White, Alvin Langdon Coburn, Gertrude Käsebier, and others.
I went to out local art organization's art gallery today (Humboldt Art Council -- Morris Graves Museum) and saw some nice photographs (understatement alert!).
Eureka, the biggest city in the county has about 16,000 people and the county about 130,000. So one may not expect much. But on the walls were the following
Brett Weston, Canal, Holland
Edward Weston, Pepper #30
AA, Monolith, Face of Half Dome
A large panoramic of San Francisco burning after the '06 quake
Abbot, Night View, NY
Hines, Powerhouse Mechanic
Minor White, Bullet Holes, Capital Reef
Imogen, Magnolia Bud
Bernhard, Draped Torso with Hands
Dorothea Lange, Migrant Mother
Karsh, Andy Warhol
Steichen, Flatiron Building (Photograveur)
Wayne Bullock, Burnt Chair
and a few other odds and ends.
What a treat!
Last edited by Vaughn; 03-05-2011 at 08:24 PM. Click to view previous post history.
At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.
Spotted a few typos.
You mean Wynn Bullock, of course. One of my favorites.
Also, Lewis Hine, and Imogen Cunningham.
I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.
david lynch and robb todd