June 2, 2011

The Modern Photographer Exhibition at San Jose Museum of Art

The Modern Photographer 

Observation and Intention 
San Jose Museum of Art, California 
Through July 3, 2011

This exhibition explore the role of the photographer as a purposeful observer and editor of everyday experience. THE MODERN PHOTOGRAPHER: OBSERVATION AND INTENTION features some 50 photographs and photogravures by notable photographers of the first half of the 20th century: Ansel Adams (1902, San Francisco - 1984, Carmel, California), Ruth Bernhard (1905, Berlin - 2006, San Francisco), Walker Evans (1903, St. Louis - 1975, New Haven, Connecticut), Gordfrey Frankel (1912, Cleveland - 1995, Washington, DC), Jack Delano (1914, Kiev, Ukraine - 1997, Puerto Rico), John Gutmann (1905, Breslau, Germany - 1998, San Francisco), Dorothea Lange (1895, Hoboken, New Jersey - 1965, Marin County, California), Barbara Morgan (1900, Buffalo, Kansas - 1990, North Tarrytown, New York), André Kertész (1894, Budapest - 1985, New York), Wright Morris (1910, Central City, Nebraska - 1998, Mill Valley, California), PH Polk (1898, Bessemer, Alabama - 1984, Tuskegee, Alabama), Arthur Rothstein (1915, New York - 1985, New Rochelle, New York), Peter Stackpole (1913, San Francisco - 1997, Novato, California), Edward Steichen (1879, Bivange, Luxembourg - 1973, West Redding, Connecticut), Alfred Stieglitz (1864, Hoboken, New Jersey - 1946, New York), Paul Strand (1890, New York - 1976, Orgeval, France), Edward Weston (1886, Highland Park, Illinois - 1958, Carmel, California), Weegee (1899, Zloczew, Poland), Minor White (1908, Mineapolis - 1976, Boston), Ida Wyman (b. 1926, Malden, Massachusetts). Drawn from the San Jose Museum of Art’s permanent collection, the exhibition emphasizes the ability of the photographer to both craft and chronicle reality.

“These photographers believed in the utmost importance of detailed observation,” said JODI THROCKMORTON, assistant curator at the San Jose Museum of Art. “Regardless, their photographs are carefully orchestrated and highly subjective, influenced by the photographer’s particular vision and consciousness.”

The images on view range from abstract still-lifes, such as Paul Strand’s Wire Wheel, New York (1920) or Ruth Bernhard’s Lifesavers (1930), to documentary images of Depression-era life, be it the desolate dust bowl farms of Arthur Rothstein or the San Francisco streets of John Gutmann. 

The Modern Photographer is on view since October 1, 2010, through July 3, 2011.