May 20, 2004

Nikon F70 DSLR Grand Prix 2004 Award

(c) Nikon Corporation. All Rights Reserved
Nikon announces that the D70 DSLR camera has been selected to receive the Camera Grand Prix 2004 award as the single most outstanding still camera.
The Camera Grand Prix is the most prestigious award presented to a camera in the Japanese photo industry. It is sponsored by the Camera Press Club, an organization founded in September 1963 and comprised of writers from thirteen of Japan's leading photography and camera publications.
This year's selection committee of 51 photographers, scholars, and magazine editors selected the D70 to receive the 21st annual Camera Grand Prix award as the single most outstanding still camera from 172 nominees released between April 2003 and March 2004. This is the 4th time Nikon has received the award, with previous wins in 1984 (the 1st Grand Prix) for the Nikon FA, in 1989 (the 6th Grand Prix) for the Nikon F4, and in 1997 (the 14th Grand Prix) for the Nikon F5.
The committee members issued the following statement of reasons for bestowing the honor of camera of the year on the D70: "The Nikon D70 delivers a superior balance of performance, price, and size. Despite being positioned as a new popular-priced digital SLR model, the camera is loaded with features that challenge even higher priced products. It overcomes the traditional weaknesses of digital cameras by realizing fast power-up and fast continuous shooting, and earns special notice for realizing response that is on par with 35mm film SLR cameras while improving practicality and comfort of use. Clearly labeled menu options make operation easier for novices and combine with the camera's other features to make it accessible to a wider range of users, thereby achieving a level where the D70 establishes an entirely new trend in digital SLR cameras.
In addition, the following features help welcome a new era of digital SLR cameras that are ready to perform and accessible to a wide audience: Quick response that allows shooting the instant the camera is turned on.
3 frame per second continuous shooting for bursts of up to 144 shots.
Fast 1/8000 second shutter speed and 1/500 flash sync shutter speed.
A fast and precise autofocus system.
Menu options that are easy to view and easy to understand.
Quality feel and design that is consistent with the Nikon lineup."

May 11, 2004

Ricoh GX Appareil photo compact numérique

Présentation à venir...

Photos (c) Ricoh - 2004 - Tous droits réservés

May 5, 2004

Ed Ruscha and Photography at the Whitney

Organized to celebrate the Whitney’s acquisition of a treasure trove of photographs by Ed Ruscha, the museum presents Ed Ruscha and Photography, an exhibition of more than seventy original prints, many of which have never been published or exhibited before. The collection of 456 objects acquired by the Museum makes the Whitney the principal repository of Ruscha’s photographic works. Because of what the photographs reveal about his vision and his career, the collection will be an essential resource for the study and appreciation of Ruscha’s art in all media. The show runs June 24 to September 26, 2004. “Since the beginning of Ed Ruscha’s career in the late 1950s, photography has been both an inspiration and a source of discovery,” notes Sylvia Wolf, the Whitney’s Sondra Gilman Curator of Photography, who organized the show. “This exhibition presents Ruscha’s signature photographic books and dozens of previously unseen original prints. Among these are unique photographs taken in Europe in 1961 that contain motifs and stylistic treatments that would emerge in Ruscha's paintings in later years. The exhibition suggests the depth of Ruscha’s engagement with photography and sheds light on his career as a whole.” Ruscha’s photographic books of the 1960s and 1970s have come to embody the Conceptualists’ embrace of serial imaging. The books have had a profound impact on the art and careers of many American artists, including Lewis Baltz, Dan Graham, and Robert Venturi. German photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher presented Ruscha’s work to their students, including Thomas Struth and Andreas Gursky, whose own work incorporates a similar dry documentary aesthetic. And Canadian artist Jeff Wall has called Ruscha the “American Everyman.” Ruscha’s involvement with photography extends far beyond his books, however, as is revealed in the publication accompanying this exhibition. The artist identifies photographers Walker Evans and Robert Frank as influential to his art. He also acknowledges the impact of photography on his work in other media. Last month, the Whitney announced that it had acquired a major body of original photographic works from Ruscha through the generosity of The Leonard and Evelyn Lauder Foundation, with additional support from Tom and Diane Tuft, and through a significant gift of unique early works from the artist. Included are original prints from his photographic books Twentysix Gasoline Stations (1963); Various Small Fires and Milk (1964); Some Los Angeles Apartments (1965); Thirtyfour Parking Lots in Los Angeles (1967); Royal Road Test (1967); Babycakes with Weights (1970) and Real Estate Opportunities (1970). Also in this acquisition are several photographs Ruscha never published, in particular 16 images from Twentysix Gasoline Stations (1963) that were not included in the book. In addition, the acquisition contains more than 300 vintage photographs from a seven-month tour that Ruscha took of Europe in 1961. Photographs from Austria, England, France, Greece, Italy, Spain, and Yugoslavia feature many motifs and stylistic elements that have marked Ruscha’s work over the past 40 years, in particular his interest in typography and signage, and his strong graphic sensibility. They also show him experimenting with the camera. Ms. Wolf observes, “The lack of self-consciousness and intense curiosity reflected in these early photographs makes them both refreshing and revelatory of a fertile time in a young artist’s career. Ruscha’s use of photography would later develop into a systematic inquiry with clarity of purpose, but during his months in Europe, his pictures suggest spontaneity, playfulness, and a pure delight in seeing.”
ED RUSCHA - Born in 1937 in Omaha, Nebraska, and raised in Oklahoma City, Ed Ruscha moved to Los Angeles when he was 18. He attended the Chouinard Art Institute until 1960, before working briefly in commercial advertising. In 1961, Ruscha embarked on a career as an artist and produced enigmatic paintings, drawings, and photographic books of gasoline stations, apartment buildings, palm trees, vacant lots, and Los Angeles’s famous “Hollywood” sign. The irony and objective stance of his works from this period placed him in the context of Pop art and Conceptualism, but Ruscha consistently defies categorization. Now, Ed Ruscha is recognized as one of our most important and influential contemporary American artists.
WHITNEY HOLDINGS AND EXHIBITIONS - The Whitney first exhibited Ed Ruscha’s work in the 1967 Annual Exhibition of Contemporary Painting. It has since collected his art and exhibited it in several group exhibitions. In 1982, the Whitney was the New York venue for an SFMoMA retrospective. Among the Whitney’s holdings are two master paintings, Large Trademark with Eight Spotlights (1962) and Hollywood to Pico (1998), two portfolios of prints, six individual prints, and three drawings. This initiative extends a vigorous program of acquisitions in contemporary photography that began with the formation of the Photography Collection Committee in 1991.
About the Whitney Museum of American Art [click the link for more information]
The museum is located at 945 Madison Avenue, New York City. Museum hours are: Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., closed Monday and Tuesday.

May 1, 2004

Red Grooms at Marlborough Gallery, New York - New Works in Wood

Red Grooms, New Works in Wood 
Marlborough Gallery, New York
May 6 – June 5, 2004

Since 1976 when Red Grooms had his first exhibition at Marlborough of Ruckus Manhattan he has staked his claim as one of America’s most original, inventive, and popular artists. His work combines the sophistication of high art with the naiveté of folk art and the caricature of the cartoonist. The current exhibition includes one large oil on canvas and approximately twenty-five of the artist’s hallmark dimensional constructions which meld painting and sculpture. The painting entitled Manet at the Met (78 1/4 x 120 1/2”) is bound to be one of the show’s highlights. It portrays a large room at The Metropolitan Museum where Red Grooms has painted the various Manet works on view. The gallery is “ruckused” with a veritable comédie humaine of art goers while Red Grooms shows off his anecdotal ability to make characters believable. 

The medium for all the dimensional works in this show is acrylic on wood and among the several stand out pieces the largest is based on a gangster funeral. Measuring approximately seven by ten feet the scene of Death in the Family is set in the 1930s and we see FBI agents in the process of surveillance, peering through Venetian blinds as the gangsters load the coffin into a hearse. Another eye-catching work entitled Joseph’s Bridge has for its genesis the famous painting by Joseph Stella of the Brooklyn Bridge set against the New York skyline. In Red Grooms’ adaptation we see the bridge from the same vantage point as in Joseph Stella’s painting but the bridge is now projected into space and the footbridge is peopled by joggers, bicyclists and tourists while their general bustle is echoed by the repeating forms of the suspension cables and in the movement of car traffic on the ramps below and by the motoring of boats in the East River. The bright colors of the painting enhance the scene’s boisterous activity and overall radiant joyfulness.

It could be said that Red Grooms’ work is theatrical in nature, that it conveys through his special, resonant colors the buoyant feeling of a circus atmosphere, and that it is entertaining. “He is living proof that art can be fun,” and as another critic has pointed out, “the vibrant hues and dynamic motion of his work capture the energy of the circus in a way which immediately calls to mind the renderings of the very same subject in late 19th century art of Seurat and Signac.” Grooms himself once stated, “As a kid I was mad about the theater, absolutely mad about it. Circuses, carnivals, movies, it didn’t matter what they were. All of them are theater to me.” While the spirit of the theater indeed informs much of his work, one must remember, however, as Clare Henry rightly pointed out in Sculpture Magazine that Red Grooms’ large scale figurative tableaux are more than mere entertainment: “A superb draftsman with a keen, unforgiving eye yet easy going, light touch, he translates a lifetime’s acute observation (laced with strong satire) into bright Pop Americana with universal appeal. Caricature is often vicious and Grooms can offer a no-holds-barred message with bite. But he stops short of the malicious in favor of the benign commentary on human frailties with which we can all identify. Such humanity and honesty imbues his stereotypes with conviction.”

RED GROOMS was born in Nashville, Tennessee in 1937. He studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the New School for Social Research in New York City and at the Hans Hoffman School of Fine Arts in Provincetown, MA. Along with developing the painted relief as both a painting and sculpture, Grooms invented the three dimensional form called sculpto-pictorama that allows the viewer to walk through and interact with an environment created by the artist’s vision. He has had three retrospective shows: in 1985 at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, in 1987 at the Whitney Museum, and in 2001 at the National Academy of Design of his graphic work. This last exhibition traveled to eight other venues through 2004. He has also been honored with several important survey exhibitions, of which two recent ones were at Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ in 2000 and at the Katonah Museum, NY in 2003. The Frist Center for Visual Arts, Nashville, TN, will present an exhibition of Red Grooms’ work from May 7 - October 10, 2004.

He has received numerous awards and commissions throughout his career. His most recent award is the Lifetime Achievement Award given by the National Academy of Design in 2003. His most recent major commissions are a large (132 x 188 x 88”) painted aluminum and plastic sculpture entitled Piragüas de Frambuesa (Raspberry Shaved Ice Cone) for Coamo, Puerto Rico to be completed in 2004; a monumental cyclerama and accompanying canvases for Shelly’s Restaurant, in New York in 2000; the permanent outdoor installation entitled Tennessee Fox Trot Carousel in Nashville in 1998; and a permanent outdoor sculpture commissioned by the City of Nagoya, Japan in 1996. Grooms’ additional artistic activities include happenings, filmmaking and theater designs. The artist lives and works in New York City.

Red Grooms’ work can be found in thirty-nine museums throughout the world. Among them are the following: American Museum of the Moving Image, Astoria, NY; The Art Institute of Chicago, IL; The Brooklyn Museum of Art, NY; The Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA; The Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, VA; The Cleveland Museum of Art, OH; Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, DE; Des Moines Art Center, IA; The Denver Art Museum, CO; Fort Worth Art Museum, TX; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; Nagoya City Art Museum, Japan; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA; Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY.

In June 2004 Rizzoli will publish a new monograph on Red Grooms entitled Red Grooms with essays by Arthur Danto and Marco Livingstone and an interview with the artist by Timothy Hyman.

In collaboration with Marlborough’s exhibition will be a show of the artist’s watercolors and prints at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery. Entitled The Private World of Red Grooms the exhibition will run from April 29 to May 28, 2004.