Thursday, September 24, 2009

InFocus: Face to Face at Phoenix Art Museum

Last night I attended the first official event sponsored by InFocus, the Photography Support Organization at the museum. It featured a talk by Dr. Rebecca Senf, the Assistant Curator at the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson. Also in attendance from the Center was Linda Truesdale, Director of Development.

Dr. Rebecca Senf leads a discussion on photographic portraiture.

Among topics discussed were the stories portraits can tell, the ways photographers convey the essence of their subjects and the impact of the relationship between photographer and subject. Including nearly 60 portraits from the Center, as well as key loans from a few local collections, the exhibition raises engaging questions:

New York City, Gary Winogrand, 1968

How does a portrait become iconic?
What is unique about a photographic self-portrait?
What are the advantages of working in the studio, or in the field?

Alfred Steiglitz, by Paul Strand, 1924

How do photographers use setting, pose, camera angle, or scale to add meaning to a picture?

Prints by some of the greatest portraitists and photographic image-makers of the 19th-, 20th-, and 21st-century are included: Southworth and Hawes, Gertrude Kasebier, Edward Weston, Dorothea Lange, W. Eugene Smith, Ansel Adams, Diane Arbus, Yousuf Karsh and Richard Avedon.

Bob Dylan, by Richard Avedon

Our friend, Randy Efros, Brett Weston's last assistant.

A private reception for InFocus members followed.

Photographers Randy Efros and John Prouty

The exhibit continues through January 10, 2010 in the Norton Photography Gallery at the Phoenix Art Museum.

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