the-pictorialist

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Romina Morais and Korlan Madi by Ruggero Lupo Mengoni for Luisaviaroma Magazine December 2013.

Fashion stylist: Valentina G.Ottobri @ Luisaviaroma
Hair stylist & makeup artist: Giulia Cresci
Retoucher: Tassos Sofroniou at The Pictorialists

Opening Soon: Adventures in Photography: Gifts from Harvey S. Shipley Miller

Explore diverse works that include rare early pictures, major examples of the Pictorialist art movement, and a broad range of twentieth-century art and vernacular photographs, opening May 9.

Sarah Hawkins (Aunt Sadie),” c. 1845-1855, Marcus Aurelius Root

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Takayama Masataka



Description from Wiki:  Masataka Takayama (高山 正隆, Takayama Masataka; 15 May 1895 - 14 April 1981) was one of the most prominent Japanese photographers in the first half of the twentieth century.

Takayama was born in Tokyo, Japan. As an amateur photographer, he published many of his works in the magazine Geijutsu Shashin Kenkyū (芸術写真研究), beginning in the 1920s. He remained an active photographer even after World War II.

He was talented at pictorialist (art) photography and took many photographs using a soft focus lens and deformation and “wipe-out” techniques.

Takayama usually used a “vest-pocket” Kodak camera (a very compact folding model taking 127 film) with a single-element lens (a tangyoku lens in Japanese). These cameras (and Japanese derivatives such as the Rokuoh-sha Pearlette and Minolta Vest) were popular in Japan at the time for snapshot use, and called ves-tan (ベス単, in Japanese pronunciation besutan) cameras; “ves” coming from “vest” and “tan” from tangyoku. Takayama’s works are thus said to belong to the “ves-tan” (besutan) school. (via: wiki) (images: dassai2.p2.weblife)



The Flatiron by Edward J. Steichen

1904, printed 1909

Steichen added color to the platinum print that forms the foundation of this photograph by using layers of pigment suspended in a light-sensitive solution of gum arabic and potassium bichromate. Together with two variant prints in other colors, also in the Museum’s collection, “The Flatiron” is the quintessential chromatic study of twilight. Clearly indebted in its composition to the Japanese woodcuts that were in vogue at the turn of the century and in its coloristic effect to the “Nocturnes” of Whistler, this picture is a prime example of the conscious effort of photographers in the circle of Alfred Stieglitz to assert the artistic potential of their medium.

Steichen and Stieglitz selected this photograph for inclusion in the “International Exhibition of Pictorial Photography” held at the Albright Art Gallery (now the Albright-Knox Art Gallery) in Buffalo, New York, in 1910. The exhibition of six hundred photographs represented the capstone of Stieglitz’s efforts to promote Pictorialist photography as a fine art.

(MET)

Consuelo Kanaga, one of the pioneers of modern American photography, began her career as a photojournalist in 1915 in San Francisco. In the 1920s, Alfred Stieglitz inspired her to develop a more aesthetic approach, and a trip to Europe in 1928 awakened her lifelong preoccupation with European modernist painting and the ways in which that work was influenced by the sculpture of Africa. Kanaga successfully combined a Pictorialist aesthetic with a realist strategy, producing handsomely composed and carefully printed images. She was one of few white American photographers in the 1930s to make artistic portraits of African Americans.

In Frances with a Flower, the focus is so sharp that the slightly rough texture of the woman’s skin, shiny with perspiration at the hairline, seems palpable. The forehead, nose, and cheeks, highlighted by flash, contrast with the deep-set eyes lost in shadow, thus producing a sculptural dimension that turns the photograph into hills and valleys of light. The stark white blossom pressed to the woman’s nose emphasizes the sensuality of her face.

C.R. Tucker, Day Dreams, 1907

From Photoseed:

First titled Study in Home Portraiture and published full page in the Oct. 1906 Photographic Times, (a variant print with the model’s right hand hanging loose on the sill) this interior study by amateur Charles Rollins Tucker (1868-1956) later appeared as a full-page halftone in the July, 1907 issue of Camera Craft magazine, and is a representative example of the pictorialist work that regularly appeared in its pages.

Camera Craft editor Fayette J. Clute wrote a lengthy article on the Postal Camera Club, a group in 1907 listing 26 mostly amateur photographers from around the United States, (he was a West coast member) for the issue. The group’s purpose was to gain criticism and insight into their work by sending through the mail a rotating portfolio album each month.