Synopses & Reviews
Since its founding in 1952, Aperture has grown from a small periodical to a cultural phenomenon that reaches the largest and most diverse audience for significant photography worldwide. By examining it's own history, Photography Past/Forward: Aperture at 50
explores the currents in photography that have brought the medium to its present status as one of the most important art forms, and arguably, the most powerful medium of communication. It also demonstrates how Aperture has shaped and furthered this evolution, expanding the international audience for photography.
A remarkable selection of images culled from every period of Aperture's history illuminate photography's ever-expanding ability to evince uncommon beauty and render subjects as diverse as landscape and portraiture to issues of international social concern, whether civil rights, AIDS, domestic abuse, freedoms of speech, environmental conservation, or mass migration, to name a few. Other selections will explore evolving photographic techniques that have allowed image-makers to push artistic boundaries, from Aperture's revival of the vintage photogravure process to current explorations in the digital realm.
With groundbreaking images by such early masters as Joseph Nicéphore Niépce and William Henry Fox Talbot to seminal figures in the history of the magazine including Paul Strand, Dorothea Lange, Minor White, Ansel Adams, Barbara Morgan, and Henri Cartier-Bresson, this lush publication traces the evolution of both the magazine and the photographers whose work has become an important part of its story. Long-time collaborators Sally Mann, Eugene Richards, Richard Misrach, Robert Adams, Nan Goldin, Cindy Sherman, and Mary Ellen Mark, among many others, have made a selection of recent work, which together with images and original spreads from past issues offer a dynamic view of the medium's breadth of focus and innovation.
Remaining true to Aperture's history of providing a vital sounding board for a vast community of thinkers on and practitioners of photography, Photography Past/Forward: Aperture at 50 is supplemented by texts-excerpted from Aperture issues #1 (1952) through #165 (2001)-in which a range of voices from Nancy and Beaumont Newhall to Danny Lyon, Madonna, and Arthur Danto expound theories, manifestos, musings, and critiques on a broad range of photography-related subjects.
"Its arrangement is based on a curator's eye rather than on chronology, creating both haunting juxtapositions and delightful serendipity. Original page spreads from the magazine and documentary photographs of the artists add interest to this already inspiring and impressive book." Library Journal
Aperture's 240-page golden-anniversary hardcover book features 250 images by photographers that Aperture has published over the past fifty years--from the masters of the twentieth century to today's emerging innovators. Featured artists include Ansel Adams, Robert Capa, William Eggleston, Danny Lyon, Sally Mann, Robert Mapplethorpe, Ray K. Metzker, Duane Michals, Sebastiao Salgado, Cindy Sherman, Mary Ellen Mark, and more. More than forty images in the book have never before been published. It traces both Aperture's history as well as the currents in photography that have brought the medium to its present status as one of the most important art forms. The book also demonstrates how Aperture has shaped and furthered this evolution while expanding the international audience for photography and visual arts. The book accompanies a major traveling exhibition, which opened at Sotheby's in January, 2003. The show will travel worldwide for the next four years. Check listings for venues on Aperture's website, www.aperture.org.
About the Author
--longtime contributor to many Aperture books and articles--provides an in-depth anecdotal chronicle of Aperture's evolution based largely on the magazine issues themselves and interviews with Michael E. Hoffman, Publisher and Executive Director from 1964 through 2001, whose comprehensive vision and voice unearths a history as rife with innovation as the history of photography itself.