Sunday, September 17, 2006

Abstract Photography

Abstract photography is on the rise again, according to Lyle Rexer in Art On Paper. This is a reaction to the dominance of the documentary-style genre of the past few years.

By definition abstract photography is an aspect of photography that does not depict subjects as they would appear in natural world. Non-objective photography was popular with the AvanteGarde artists of the 1920s, such as Man Ray and Monholy-Nagy, who used solarizing and photograms as a way of moving away from the camera. It had a resurgence in the 1960s with artists such as Robert Rauschenberg.

Today, the photographer can make an image of something that looks abstract, or abstract an image itself by manipulating it in the darkroom chemically or by using digital techniques. Visual thresholds are explored and transformed into something else. The image can be rendered in such a way to allow the viewer to make new associations and interpretations. Or the photograph can become an object itself, minimal, meaningless, metaphorical, spiritual, etc., all depending upon the viewer's attitude.

This is of interest to me as I move my work to a more abstract level, using all the digital tools available, but still keeping a hands-on and chemical element in the process.


Blogger mary said...

I can't wait to see some of your work!

1:10 PM  
Blogger Professor Melis said...

Do you have any good ideas for teaching beginning visual communication students how to look for abstraction as they learn to look through a camera or to manipulate picturest that have already been taken? At the intro level they are still so resistant to anything but documenting or representing/illustrating...

9:01 PM  

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