BWGallerist

Aesthetic Theory 101: Is Photography Dead (again)?

In Article, Exhibits, Photographer on April 25, 2010 at 3:36 pm

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Andreas Gursky and work from his “Ocean Series”

When the world’s “proclaimed” greatest contemporary fine art photographer off handedly suggests “ I must say that photography is not anymore so important for me”  we should take note in earnest.

"This is my interpretation [of his subject]," he says. "I am not interested in an objective view of the world; I am interested in a painterly view. In terms of the composition, there is an affinity with Clyfford Still, or maybe Barnett Newman."

In conceptual art where Jeff Wall, Gursky and students of the Bechers live, photography has  been relegated to secondary tool status where the symbolism or “message” of the work takes preeminence. It really stands in contrast to the fine art of straight photography.

References to abstract painting or classical Renaissance compositions are more likely to be found in these discussions than technical photographic approaches. As the computer continues to offer more and more flexibility in the visual arts field … just where does that leave photography?

And the “market” has defined the value of conceptual work to be many times that of contemporary straight photography.

Just what does that say about the value of straight photography as art?

For more on Gursky and his thoughts: FT Gursky article

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