May 19, 2002

Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Cincinnati Art Museum

How Small the World is: Selected Photographs by Manuel Alvarez Bravo 
Cincinnati Art Museum
May 18 - October 28, 2002

The Cincinnati Art Museum presents an exhibition of the powerful photographs of Manuel Alvarez Bravo that span his career of nearly 80 years. The exhibition is drawn entirely from the permanent prints, drawings and photographs collection at the Museum. 

Manuel Alvarez Bravo's life and work have coincided with radical changes in the twentieth century; he is the last of a generation of artists with direct ties to the avant-garde movements in Mexico during the 1920s and 1930s. While growing up in the midst of the Mexican revolution (1910-1920), Manuel Alvarez Bravo witnessed the horror of nearly one million Mexicans' deaths due to starvation and the fighting between rebel factions struggling for power. This experience compelled him to become part of Mexico's national search for identity by capturing with his camera the daily life activities of humble people and focusing on the subtleties of human interaction.

Two primary factors characterize his work: an early openness to artistic influence from outside Mexico and a thoroughly Mexican subject matter. The effort to establish a unified Mexican cultural identity in conjunction with the emergence of Mexico City as an international center for artistic and intellectual exchange provided the backdrop against which Manuel Alvarez Bravo pursued his lifelong vocation. His photographs capture the eloquent images of dreams, death and transient life, juxtaposed with the everyday existence of street signs, cafes, shop windows and street vendors.

The photographs Manuel Alvarez Bravo made on the streets of Mexico City in his career were taken with the hand-held Graflex camera, which gave him two very desirable qualities in his pictures: the Graflex is a large-format, single-lens reflex camera which gives the photographer the ability to render surface, texture and detail; it also has a larger negative that provides for more detail in the finished print. This was particularly suited for Alvarez Bravo because his pictures appear to derive from a thoughtful, more deliberate matter of picture making. Through his work, he encouraged a way of looking at the world that emphasized the form of isolated images and artifacts, and his camera was the most essential tool for doing this.

Manuel Alvarez Bravo's images are timeless descriptions of a community that came back to life after a period of devastation. He has had an immeasurable influence on Mexican and Latin American photography. His insistently ambiguous irony and redemption of common folk and their daily subsistence have marked out a path of high standards for photographers from his area.

Born in Mexico City, 1902, Manuel Alvarez Bravo attended a Catholic school from 1908 to 1914, but left in 1915 to work. At this time, he began to educate himself in photography while asking for advice from photography suppliers. The 1923 arrivals of Edward Weston and Tina Modotti to Mexico were crucial to Alvarez Bravo's development, and he bought his first camera in 1924. In 1935 he won his first major award and decided to pursue photography as a full-time career. Alvarez Bravo met Andre Breton in 1939, and his work was included in a Paris Surrealist exhibit.

The Museum of Modern Art, New York, acquired their first works by Manuel Alvarez Bravo in 1942, and in 1955 his photographs were included in Edward Steichen's Family of Man. During 1959, Alvarez Bravo became the photographer of important art books for the Gondo Editorial de la Plastica Mexicana, of which he was the founder. Manuel Alvarez Bravo left the Fondo in 1980 to work with the Mexican-based media empire, Televisa, where his collection of photography was exhibited and published in a three-volume set. In 1996, his collection was moved to the newly created Centro Fotografico Alvarez Bravo in Oaxaca City, Mexico. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, California, hosted a retrospective exhibition, Optical Parables, or Alvarez Bravo's work this past winter.

This exhibition is supported by James M. Marrs M.D.

953 Eden Park Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45202

May 13, 2002

Olympus Camedia C-720 Ultra Zoom Digital Camera

Olympus Camedia C-720 Ultra Zoom Digital Camera

Olympus Camedia C-720 Ultra Zoom Digital Camera
The CAMEDIA C-720 Ultra Zoom is an upgraded version of the CAMEDIA C-700 Ultra Zoom (introduced in April 2001) that has been widely acclaimed for its high zoom power and compact design. While retaining the advanced functions, outstanding ease of use, and affordable pricing that made its predecessor a worldwide success, the new CAMEDIA C-720 Ultra Zoom adds a 3-megapixel CCD for even higher image quality. Plus, it features new all-in-one packaging that includes a variety of connecting cables and advanced new image-editing software.
Combining the advanced functionality that expert photographers demand with the ease of use that entry-level users require, the CAMEDIA C-720 Ultra Zoom is the smallest and lightest digital camera equipped with an 8x optical zoom lens in the world to offer ultra-high zoom power.
Top Features
High-performance 3-megapixel imaging and exclusive image processing technology
High-power 8x optical zoom for ultra-telephoto shooting
Compact and exceptionally easy to handle Simple enough for entry-level users to operate
Development Background
Olympus first opened the door to compact, affordable, ultra-high zoom power when it introduced the CAMEDIA C-2100 Ultra Zoom (August 2000) and the CAMEDIA C-700 Ultra Zoom (April 2001), both of which featured zoom lenses with a level of telephoto power that would be prohibitively bulky and expensive to achieve on a conventional 35mm film camera. As digital cameras have grown in popularity, however, some users have come to demand higher image quality than that offered by 2-megapixel cameras. It was in response to this demand that the 3-megapixel CAMEDIA C-720 Ultra Zoom was developed. Now, users can choose between 2-megapixel convenience and 3-megapixel image quality, and enjoy ultra-high zoom power with either choice.
Main Features
3-Megapixel CCD for Superior Image Quality
A 3.34-megapixel CCD is used to ensure truly outstanding image quality, even on large, A4-size prints or when cropping and enlarging images. In addition, the advanced TruePic image processing technology featured on our top-of-the-line CAMEDIA E-20 digital SLR is also included to enhance image clarity and color fidelity.
High-Performance 8x Optical Zoom Lens
The lens is a bright, high-performance, F2.8 - 3.4 8x optical zoom lens that incorporates one glass aspherical element and one element that is aspherical on both sides. The zoom range is equivalent to 40 - 320mm on a 35mm film camera, eliminating the need for interchangeable lenses, while high telephoto power makes it possible for users to shoot natural looking candid photos from a considerable distance. When used in combination with the digital seamless zoom function, a maximum of 24x magnification is offered (equivalent to 960mm telephoto on a 35mm film camera), making it easy to photograph sports events and, concerts, wildlife, and a wide range of other subjects.
Compact, Yet Easy to Hold and Handle
Despite its powerful, 8x zoom lens, the CAMEDIA C-720 Ultra Zoom measures only 107.5mm (W) x 76mm (H) x 77.5mm (D) (excluding protrusions), and weighs just 315g. Extremely compact and portable, it is exceptionally easy to hold and operate.
Exceptional Ease of Use
Convenient Menu-Based Setting-Selection System
Camera settings are controlled via the easy-to-use menu-based system first featured on the CAMEDIA C-700 Ultra Zoom. The menu's top-level directory features four tabs: one allows users to access all of the advanced settings; the other three can be customized to provide quick access to frequently used settings.
'My Mode' Setting For Personalized Image Control
A user-customizable 'My Mode' on the Mode Dial allows users to select their favorite combination of camera settings and register it in the camera's memory. They can then access these settings with one-touch ease at any time simply by selecting My Mode.
'Scene Program' Shooting Modes
The Mode Dial provides instant access to four programmed shooting modes (Portrait, Sports, Landscape-Portrait and Night Scene). Users simply choose the mode that matches the scene they wish to shoot; the camera automatically applies the appropriate exposure, contrast, sharpness, and color reproduction settings, assuring that even first-time users can obtain outstanding image quality.
Customizable One-Touch Button
The AE Lock Button is user-customizable and can be programmed to provide one-touch access to the user's favorite feature or function.
Easy-to-Use Function Buttons
Flash, exposure and macro mode settings each have their own independent button to allow easy adjustment. A separate ON/OFF switch is also provided.
Easy-to-Use Mode Dial
A Mode Dial on the top of the camera allows fast, easy mode selection, even for first-time users.
Video Cable
A video cable is bundled as standard equipment. It allows the camera to be connected directly to a TV so that photographs can be enjoyed with family and friends.
USB Cable
A quick-connect USB cable is bundled as standard equipment for fast, easy image file downloading.
'CAMEDIA Master 4.0' Image Processing and Management Software
CAMEDIA Master 4.0 image processing and file management software is bundled as standard equipment. Featuring a user-friendly interface that even computer novices can use with ease, the software makes it simple to download, edit, and organize image files. In addition, it allows calendars and photo albums to be created with point-and-click ease.
Other Features
Pre-Set White Balance Settings
In addition to Auto White Balance, four pre-set white balance settings are provided (Daylight, Overcast, Tungsten Light and Fluorescent Light). As a result, users can obtain correct color balance even if lighting conditions are too complex to be handled by the Auto White Balance function.
Versatile Flash Mode Settings
In addition to Auto Flash in low light and backlight, Red-Eye Reduction, Off, Fill-In, Night Scene, and Red-Eye Reduction Night Scene flash modes are provided.
1.5-Inch TFT Color LCD Monitor
A 114,000-pixel, 1.5-inch TFT LCD color monitor on the back of the camera provides bright, clear image display. It can be used as an external viewfinder when shooting, and to review images after shooting.
0.5-Inch TFT Color LCD Viewfinder
A built-in, 0.5-inch TFT color LCD viewfinder provides parallax-free viewing across the entire 8x zoom range. In addition, information about essential settings is displayed inside the viewfinder so that users can keep their eye to eyepiece when shooting.
Two Light Metering Modes
Two light metering modes are offered: digital ESP metering, which ensures natural-looking exposures even when shooting in backlight or high-contrast situations, and spot metering, which allows users to take a reading from a particular area of the composition to get the precise results they want.
Exposure Compensation and Auto-Bracketing
Exposure compensation of up to ±2EV can be set in 1/3-step increments. In addition, a convenient, three or five-shot, auto-bracketing function is provided. With auto-bracketing activated, the camera automatically 'brackets' a picture taken at standard exposure settings with two others taken at slightly higher and lower exposure settings.
Sharpness Settings
Hard, Normal and Soft image sharpness settings allow users to choose the level of image sharpness that best suits their purpose (i.e., printing, image manipulation, etc.).
Contrast Settings
Image contrast can be set to High, Normal or Low according to the user's preference.
ISO Sensitivity Settings
In addition to Auto, a choice of three fixed ISO sensitivity settings is offered. The settings are approximately equivalent to ISO 100, 200 and 400.
Continuous Shooting Mode
Continuous shooting is possible in all modes except TIFF. In HQ mode, up to five shots can be taken at a speed of approximately 1.2 frames per second.
Rotated Image Display
Captured images can be rotated by ±90 degrees for viewing. Pictures taken with the camera rotated for vertical framing will therefore be displayed on a TV.
LB-01 (CR-V3) Lithium Battery Pack
Two CR-V3 lithium batteries are bundled as standard equipment. The batteries provide sufficient power for approximately 8,000 pictures under continuous operating conditions, and approximately 450 pictures under normal operating conditions. In addition, optionally available NiMH batteries or an AC adapter, as well as commercially available NiCd or alkaline batteries, can also be used to power the camera.
* Test conditions for continuous operation: SQ (640 x 480) mode, LCD monitor off, flash off, zoom setting fixed at wide angle, no image display or file downloading. Test conditions for normal operation: repeated 2-shot shutter release followed by 10 minutes of rest, HQ mode, LCD monitor on when shooting, flash used on 50% of shots, zooming for each shoot, no image display or file downloading.
Optional Accessories
Conversion Lens Adapter and Lenses
By attaching an optional CLA-4 lens adapter to the camera, users can extend the camera's shooting capabilities with the optional WCON-08 wide-angle conversion lens or MCON-40 macro conversion lens.
The company names and product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of each company. Pictures (c) Olympus Corporation - All rights reserved - Olympus Press Release - 13.05.2002

May 10, 2002

Ceal Floyer, Lisson Gallery, London

Ceal Floyer
Lisson Gallery, London
9 May - 29 June 2002

“I want the manifestation of my ideas to be life-sized, not only regarding their scale, but also in terms of their relevance to their situation or medium. Then they’re more like the ideas behind something. Art is just a manifestation, a Trojan Horse, for ideas.”
- Ceal Floyer
The Lisson Gallery presents Ceal Floyer’s first major solo exhibition in London. She will be presenting a new body of work involving video installation, sound and light projection, works on paper and sculpture.

Ceal Floyer’s clarity of thought and the elegantly concise presentation of her ideas resonate through all areas of her practice. The deceptive simplicity of the work is informed by Floyer’s particular sense of humour and an almost Beckettian awareness of the absurd; her use of double-takes and shifting points of view forces the viewer to renegotiate his perception of the world.

Ceal work examines a dialectical tension between the literal and the mundane, and an imaginative construction of meaning. Helix, 2001 consists of a circles template filled with everyday objects selected precisely because they are exactly the same size as the circles. In Warning Birds, 2002 Floyer uses mass- produced adhesive ‘warning birds’; simple bird shaped silhouettes used to deter birds from plate-glass windows. Rather than using a single sticker she covers the whole window, obscuring the original form and function of both the window and the warning bird. Through its multiplication, this simple almost elegant image is brought to the verge of hysteria.

In the sound piece Goldberg Variation, 2002 the title is used as a framing device, determining the identity and meaning of the work. ‘The Goldberg Variations’ was originally composed by Bach as a Baroque keyboard exercise in musical structure and reasoning. It subsequently became a standard in classical keyboard repertoire, consisting of 30 variations of a single aria. Ceal Floyer takes the initial prototype aria as her starting point, simultaneously presenting all the different piano recordings and interpretations of it that she could find commercially. The condensation of the individual versions into one composite playfully acknowledges and articulates the conceptual themes of the original.

The video work H20 Diptych, 2002 consists of two monitors, one showing a pan of water slowly reaching boiling point whilst on the other a glass of fizzy mineral water gradually goes flat. Both processes are almost imperceptible, as the water inexorably moves towards equilibrium.

For Ceal Floyer, language itself is utilised as a material, intangible yet integral to the work of art. Ink on Paper, 2002, a new version of the series made specifically for this exhibition, acts as both the title of the work and a description of the medium. The circles of colour that are produced by the draining of felt tip pens onto sheets of blotting paper are both visually beautiful and conceptually pure.

Since graduating from Goldsmiths’ College in 1994 Ceal Floyer has exhibited extensively around the world. Previous solo exhibitions include: Ikon Gallery, Birmingham; CCA, Berkeley, California; Institute of Visual Arts, Milwaukee; Kunsthalle Bern; and City Racing, London. Ceal Floyer was awarded the prestigious Philip Morris Scholarship at Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin in 1997.


May 2, 2002

Gregory Crewdson Luhring Augustine Gallery


New Photographs Exhibition
Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York
May 11 - June 15, 2002



© GREGORY CREWDSON – Courtesy Luhring Augustine Gallery


Luhring Augustine Gallery announces an exhibition of twenty new photographs by Gregory Crewdson on view from May 11 to June 15, 2002. Gregory Crewdson continues his ongoing series of elaborately staged, large-scale color photographs that explore the psychological underside of the American vernacular. The photographs combine a realist aesthetic sensibility with a highly orchestrated interplay of cinematic lighting, staging, and special effects. This collision between the normal and the paranormal produces a tension that serves to transform the topology of the suburban landscape into a place of wonder and anxiety.

Gregory Crewdson’s recent photographs are increasingly dark and mysterious in tone as they move deeper into the psychological bedrock of social alienation, personal obsession, and sexual desire. Crewdson’s narratives occur at moments of enigmatic transformation. Submerged in water, a lifeless woman stares blankly upwards, as she lies in a flooded living room. Sitting at a diner room table with his father and sister, an adolescent boy witnesses his absent mother appear nude at the front door, wet with rain and mud, carrying uprooted flowers from the garden. Framed by a picture window, a lone man is viewed ascending a magnificent flowering vine that has mysteriously erupted from the front lawn of a nocturnal suburban street. Crewdson’s brand of psychological realism is shaped by an American aesthetic tradition of art and film that explores the intersection of everyday life and theatricality.

In conjunction with this exhibition, Harry N. Abrams will publish a hardcover book of the complete Twilight series with an introduction by Rick Moody, due to be available in bookstores this May. There will be a lecture and book launch at the New School Auditorium presented by the Public Art Fund on May 23, 2002.

Gregory Crewdson is an internationally exhibited artist. He is the subject of numerous monographs and articles. He is on the faculty of the Department of Photography at Yale University and lives in New York City. This is his fourth exhibition at Luhring Augustine Gallery.


Luhring Augustine Gallery
531 West 24th Street
New York, NY 10011