A review of Wayne Thiebaud’s 2018 exhibition at theJan Shrem & Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art at UC Davis.Read More
William Karl Valentine’s review of Geoff Dyer’s book “The Street Photography of Garry Winogrand” and his March 23, 2018 lecture at the Getty celebrating the books release.Read More
Review of the Boston Museum of Fine Art’s Unexpected Families exhibitionsRead More
William Karl Valentine's review, and images, of Pier 24 Gallery's exhibition "The Grain of the Present"Read More
The Sebastião Salgado "Genesis" exhibition at MoPA in San Diego is wrapping up this weekend, luckily I was able to get to see it earlier this month. I am a huge fan of MoPA, and a member. Its a great space, always worth the trek south, and this was another solid exhibition.
I had seen silver prints from Sebastião Salgado's Workers series before and was impressed. I am pretty sure this is the first time I have seen prints from the Genesis series. All the prints at MoPA were digital prints either from original digital files or scanned negatives. The massive scale is impressive and appropriate for the subject matter. The quality of most of the prints were very good. I think MoPA did an outstanding job getting so much work up without it feeling crowded.
The The International Center of Photography was the first venue in the United States to host this exhibition in 2014 which was curated by Lélia Wanick Salgado. The ICP described the exhibition this way: "Genesis is the third long-term series on global issues by world-renowned photographer Sebastião Salgado (born Brazil, 1944), following Workers(1993) and Migrations (2000). The result of an eight-year worldwide survey, the exhibition draws together more than 200 spectacular black and white photographs of wildlife, landscapes, seascapes, and indigenous peoples—raising public awareness about the pressing issues of environment and climate change." A powerful body of work, relevant to today, and well worth the view.
This past year the Autry Museum in Los Angeles and the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana both had exhibitions of some amazing photographs by the masters. Bowers had its final exhibition in a series on Edward Weston's work and the Autry highlighted Group f/64 and Richard Misrach's photographs from the Bank of America collection. I believe it so important to see prints by the masters of our craft for a photographer to really have the understanding of what a good print looks like. I remember early in my career getting to see, and hold, a Weston pepper print and learning so much from that experience. Another important exhibition I saw was SFMOMA commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ansel Adams where they exhibited 100 of his prints curated by John Szarkowski. What I enjoyed most in that exhibition was seeing prints of the same image that were printed at different times in Ansel's career. It really highlighted how he honed his craft as a master printer.
My only criticism of these two exhibitions was the lighting in the galleries at both venues. At the Autry it was too dim and you couldn't see print detail. I especially remember two split toned images by Misrach which looked they were beautiful but there wasn't enough light on them to show the green and purple tones. The lighting at Bowers was inconsistent, one image would be lit perfectly then the next would have fall off that prevented the viewer from seeing the full beauty of the image.
As a side note, here are some favorite works I saw at the Autry on my last visit (I am Maynard Dixon) :