Last Call! Women of Abstract Expressionism at Palm Springs Art Museum. Best painting show at PSAM I’ve seen in 12 years.
2 by Lee Krasner.
Jay DeFeo, above, below
Ethel Schwabacher above and below. Noticed these on my 3rd visit. Under the influence of Hans Hofmann as were many East Coast abstract painters. Ethel is now one of my favorite painters. These canvasses are amazing.
Elaine De Kooning, Bill De Kooning
Elaine De Kooning
iPhone 6 snaps at Palm Springs Art Museum. 2/23/17.
Andre Kertesz, OF NEW YORK… Knopf, 1976. 184 gravure printed photographs.
I remember seeing OF NEW YORK… in the MoMA bookstore around the time it was published. $22.50 was a lot in 1976.
The book left a lasting impression. I’ve loved gravure printing of black and white photographs since I discovered Weegee’s Naked City in the stacks at the old LA Main Library, 1968. Another gravure printed masterpiece is William Claxton’s Jazz. The first edition, 1952, of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s The Decisive Moment and Verve magazine, 1937-39 were printed in heliogravure, in Paris. All of these publications are classics of black and white photography.
When I sell my own work I nearly always blow the proceeds on records, photo gear, music gear or photo books. These are my luxury items. Found OF NEW YORK… on eBay and jumped on it as soon as the description got to 184 gravure prints! That’s what made an impression on me in 1976, looking at the book in MoMA store. The greatness of Kertesz, enhanced by the velvet richness of gravure.
I put on the new Willie Nelson CD, God’s Problem Child, when I got home from the Post Office. Opened the package and took a joy ride through OF NEW YORK… Put on Rodney Crowell’s new cd Close Ties about halfway through the book. Suffice it to say, I love New York City and great photographs of NY are also special to me. Weegee’s Naked City, a love letter written in 1945. OF NEW YORK–memoir of a love affair 1937–1976.
Andre Kertesz at home, Greenwich Village NYC.
Walker Evans- Havana 1933. Pantheon, 1989. Essay by Gilles Mora.
Best $7 ever spent on eBay. Walker Evans first major photo-essay, to illustrate The Crime of Cuba, 1933, a political book by Carleton Beals with 31 Evans photographs printed in aquatone. By today’s standards the 1933 book has sub par photo reproduction. Havana 1933, 1989, has 111 gorgeous duotones printed in Italy.
I haven’t yet read Gilles Mora’s essay, translated from French, but I am familiar with another great photo book he did, Bernard Plossu’s New Mexico. Text by Gilles Mora, foreword by Edward T Hall. Plossu’s Frenchmans take on New Mexico, my home state, in the early 80s is another recently discovered favorite of mine. It’s easy to see how Mora would be drawn to the work of Walker and Plossu. Foreigners discovering a new cultures through the lens of a camera.
Evans photographs of Cuba were well received. The Museum of Modern Art exhibition and catalog, American Photographs, followed in 1938. The 1938 MoMA book currently selling for $3-4,000. I have the 75th anniversary edition. This book has long been considered a benchmark of American photojournalism/fine art street photography. Walker Evans– Havana 1933 displays his greatness every bit as much as American Photographs.
Walker Evans in Cuba, 1933.
Mazie of the Bowery, © by Todd Webb. From Webb retrospective exhibition at Museum of the City of New York. Link below.
Todd Webb is not a familiar name to me. He was a fine art, large format street photographer in 1940s New York City, a contemporary of Weegee the Famous and friends with many of the leading photographers of the day, Alfred Stieglitz, Harry Callahan, Berenice Abbott, Helen Levitt, and Lisette Model.
The shot of Mazie of the Bowery is astonishing. It’s just how I pictured her, one of Joseph Mitchell’s Profile subjects in The New Yorker. Mazie was a fantastic New York character and famous on the Bowery for her generosity.
a novel based on Mazie, 2015.
The movie theater she owned was home to hundreds of bums, homeless, down-and-out alkies–the life blood of the Bowery. The Mitchell collection “Up In the Old Hotel” from the 1990s is a great place to start if you like your journalism with a pinch of literature. Mazie is my all time favorite New Yorker. A great biopic subject, no doubt.
Link to New Yorker archive. Mazie by Joseph Mitchell. 12/21/1940 (New Yorker subscribers)
I’ve re-read Mitchell’s Up in the Old Hotel cover to cover, a few times. I fall in love with Mazie every time.
Best road to California
Carrizo Plain, San Andreas Fault, Temblor Range
Orion watches over the moonlit Plain.
Carrizo Plain National Monument, central California. All photos ©2017 by DavidButterfield.com. #carrizoplain
Rancho Mantequilla-creative content celebrates first anniversary. Thank you followers.