Thomas Struth

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by nigel_turner, Jul 18, 2003.

  1. Having heard so much about Mr. Struth, I'd be really interested to
    know your views on the image below?

    Is this art? or is this the current state of LFP?

    I'll not go any further, as most of my posts get deleted by people
    that don't like my views.

    http://www.artnet.com/ag/fineartdetail.asp?
    aid=16228&wid=165273&page=4&group=&max_tn_page=

    Thanks.
    Nigel Turner.
     
  2. That is a very bad reproduction ofthat iamge. In general I suggest you look at a lot
    more of Mr. Struth's work before you start passing judgements on it.
     
  3. I don't know if it's art - you have to decide whether it's art to you or not, and only you can make that call.

    What I do know is that it's big. If nothing else, it sure puts the "large" in LFP doesn't it?
     
  4. What Ellis - you don't like the specular reflection from the gallery owner's flash in the upper right?
     
  5. And I'm not impressed in the slightest.

    Or are all the reproductions as bad and I'm missing something here?

    Is there some kind of print quality that goes beyond fantastic, that makes up for lack of subject.. poor composition, poor light, lack of anything to keep the attention..or what?

    Ellis.. you didn't give a reason for what you see in this image apart from the fact that you feel it is 'not reproduced very well.."

    Just wondering.. what is it that you like or dislike about it.
     
  6. The Emperor has no clothes

    Kind of reminds me of the old saying about rock bands. "If you can't be good, be Loud.
     
  7. Nigel, here's something to consider, if you're willing to try an experiment. Try adopting the possibility that all the people out there who say Struth is one of the most important photographers in the world right now, might possibly be onto something that you aren't. And, having taken that chance, then go out there with a curious mind to try to find out what that thing is. Singling out one badly-reproduced JPEG shot with a crappy camera from Struth's wall-sized original, and posting it with a thinly-veiled bad attitude about it, won't get you there. Instead, find Struth's books and take a long look at them, and read the essays, or maybe start with the Bechers' books, and also look at Andreas Gursky's work and read the essays by Peter Galassi, the MoMA Curator who curated Gursky's recent show. Try to figure out what the German school of photography is about, and why it is relevant in the art world right now. And after all of that, if you still don't get it, then keep the possibility in mind that the thing you are missing is so cool that it is worth really working for, and so keep trying. I'm not saying you ever have to LIKE Struth's work, but at least try to make a real effort to get what it is about, instead of taking the easier road of fishing around for others who will team up with you to belittle it.

    ~cj (Seattle)

    www.chrisjordanphoto.com

    Quote of the day: "Consider the possibility that there is something that you don't know, and you don't realize that you don't know it, and if you did know it, it would radically change the way you view the world." --Peter Ettel
     
  8. I agree with Don, the emperor has no clothes. We know that all the work of good photographers can't be superb, but this is "f8 and be there", just larger than life.
    I will have to see a lot more of his work to even try to understand this one.
    Paul
     
  9. Here's another one.. just can't see why people rant and rave over the guy myself?

    http://www.artnet.com/ag/fineartdetail.asp? aid=16228&wid=165273&page=4&group=&max_tn_page=

    He maybe somewhat good at urban photography, but he's nothing special. There are and have been far better!

    What is it that gets many of you going about him? I just don't see it!

    And as a landscape photographer, my 4 year old could do better!

    Sorry, but that is just the way I see it.
     
  10. Well given that this is what appears to be a photograph of a photograph, and allowing for the most magnificent colors and a full range of tones, I am with you Nigel. A boring piece with no cohesion and certainly no apparent composition. To me looks like he came to the end of a trail and took the pic for the hell of it, just so all the walking was not wasted.


    But of course since it probably is a big ink jet print it has to be good, similar to Gursky`s work. Some people might claim you are "not getting it" but the other side of the coin is that you "got it" perfectly alright and are not deceived just because it is a big ink jet print. I say trust your judgment and don't let it bug you, after all you are not buying the print, are you?
     
  11. Is that what photography is all about? I'm Thomas Struth.. so anything goes?

    Or should we wait to get the light, composition, color, subject and exposure right.. and then be real proud of the work we did that 'split' moment in time.

    Or should we just do anything,regardless and not give a ferk?

    I know what I do.
     
  12. i'm with ya nige,

    i'm wondering though, was the struth spread in the may/june issue of VC the gantry fer yer wonderings? it wasn't my introduction to struth, but it affirmed what i had always felt about him. see, i had an instructor of photo history that was enamored with him(it's no slight coincidence that the instructor didn't have much of an eye for comp either). my instructor managed to spend 3 class periods on struth to my dismay... and had many, many words to back his words to butress his queer feelings for struth. all of which i thought were unadulterated bullshit. the saddest part... he coulda used those 3 days for Brandt, Koudelka or any of struth's contemporaries that possessed an eye for composition.

    call me bitter and ill-educated, but i label my struth-like compositions, 'tossers, culled cows, wastes of film'...

    me

    p.s. i'd even proffer that struth and similars might very well be the cause as to why i've no interest in pimping my photos out to galleries, etc.
     
  13. p.p.s. gursky is what struth could never be...

    a photographer with a fine eye.
     
  14. Struth is a superb craftsman and one of the finest photographic artists ever. How the chrome of this picture ever made it past the darkroom trash can is beyond me. It is in no way representative of Thomas Struth's work and it's a shame it ever got published. Don't let this tragic mistake of a "photograph" keep you from seeing and appreciating his good work, some of which I can only describe as sublime. I find his work far more powerful than that of Gursky, his fellow Becher protege.
     
  15. Its just not one.. but loads!
     
  16. I'll second Chris Jordan's comments and add that I haven't seen better portraits. I saw his show at the Metropolitan Museum several months ago. I didn't care for the 'concepts of Eden' landscapes at first - too green, blown out highlights - but they grew on me. They had a rich, lush, intense, borderline chaotic feel to them which I liked. They weren't easy images, but they were worth the effort. His portraits are wonderful - honest, empathetic, unsentimental. He has an amazing skill for conveying the humanity of his subjects.
     
  17. You bought TWO of his Landsapes?
     
  18. you guys just don't get it do you?

    to the sound of the hockey arena organ...

    trol troll troll troll, Troll Troll Troll Troll, TRoll TRoll TRoll TRoll, TROll TROll TROll TROll, TROLL TROLL TROLL TROLL nada daa dadaaa!

    Just a sad lonely trouble maker....
     
  19. And your reply is to whom??

    At least you could be somewhat effective.. rather than humming a song!
     
  20. It's a bogus exercise Nigel - you just set it up so you can knock it down and hopefully get a few people arguing.

    Friday nights must be pretty lonley for you I would imagine. Anyone with a life is out watching a movie with their friends, having dinner, going to a party - whatever - not sat on Photo.net (and before you bring it up I'm in Vanuatu for the weekend and it's already long been Saturday here - I had a very fulfilling Friday night thanks)
     
  21. Curious what the fuss is about, I looked at all the images on the site. I'm not really interested in essays, either the images stand on their own, or they don't. If you have strongly held about rules and composition, I can understand the frustration with most of these. That was my first reaction too. If you can let go of the rules, get out of your head and into his, the images start to say something. They're extremely subtle, maybe too much for some, and there are a few I still don't quite get, but these are no random snaps. I don't think he's the most important modern photographer, but no one really is. Look again without trying to force your frame of reference on the images. You may never want one in your living room (I don't) but there is pleasure in understanding why the content is arranged and presented the way it is.
     
  22. jeez.. is that what you really think?

    I spend more than 20 weeks of the year away from home.. and you feel that I 'troll' through theses pages because I have no life to live?

    Has it ever occured to you that I might actually care about what my work is, care about my clients, and the ethics of what I do?

    I'd like to see your committment to photography before you question mine Kevin.
     
  23. Has it ever occurred to you that some people are very happily married and like to be together at home, and don't need to go out and party?? In other words.. they don't need to find 'other' company to keep them happy.

    Just a thought you might like to keep somewhere safe for a later date.
     
  24. Hi

    I also not like the "Bechers children" but I like the Bechers itself.
    But they get a lot of money I would also like to get!
    I shaw one of the first big exipition of some Struth portraits about 15 years ago in Zürich Switzerland I was a bit shocked at thad time because the people looked not really nice.
    But I have to say it was a bit of honesty in thad pictures and thad was what I liked in them.
    But I have more a problem with his landscapes.
    But Nigel he is duing it very successfull, so why should he change something.
    Did you see his newest book project where he is taking very unsharp pictures of porno scenes from videos on his TV!
    I don't like it but it sells like mad I think!
    Because he has a name now!
    So he did something better then you and me in the past!
    If on the long run, he is the winner is not sure yet!
    Do your work as good and true for you as possible and I do it also and maybe on the long run we are the winner!
     
  25. In order to understand the Struth phenomenon you have to understand the world of high end (say $100,000 and up per peice) art. It's a tiny, self-contained, self-centered world consisting of a handful (literally) of critics, publications, museums, and most of all galleries, all of whom feed off of each other in a parasitic relationship that produces profits for all. It's very existence depends on constantly "discovering" the newest new thing so that he or she can be promoted, written about, exhibited, and sold. Read Tom Wolfe's "The Painted Word" or Calvin Tomkins "Off the Wall" and then you will understand Struth (not his work itself, which is the least important thing in the whole equation, but why he's so big at the moment). So relax, look at his work for what it is, not as art that you should be concerned about appreciating but rather as a product (of course it might also be very great art, it's just that whether it is or not isn't the point).

    Again, Wolfe and Tomkins explain all of this much better than I can here so I recommend that you read their books. It's a very liberating experience to never again worry about why you don't "get" someone who the art world is telling you that you must "get" or else be considered an unsophisticaed, intellectually inferior oaf.
     
  26. "The average man seeks agreement in the eyes of others and calls it perfection."

    "The man of knowledge seeks impeccability in works and calls it humility." Don Juan from Carlos Castaneda's books

    Since I am neither, I will be reduced to farting words or, "It is better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."

    Is money (and the collective wisdom which accompaines it) the measure of success, of art, of self-worth? People with too much time and money have to spend it on something, why not pictures? Is the value of a work ruined by the application of money or enhanced by it?

    Tim, AKA Quido Fartori, noseoil maker
     
  27. Nigel,<P>Here are some other photographers to avoid: Richard Misrach, Robert
    Adams, & Nicholas Nixon. <P>This wholething is sort of like jazz: if someone hs to
    explainn it to you, you'll never get it. But I do advise you to try and see the real prints
    sometime. Beyond the art world hype (andsome of the art that gets hyped by the
    "Painted word" types, actually has intrinisic value beyond the hype.
     
  28. Having spent months being saturated by Thomas Struth's work
    (my wife to be is the graphic designer who does the ads for the
    Met in NYC) I have several observations.

    I (and I put an emphasis on "I") don't feel that Struth is a "bad"
    photographer, I just don't feel that he is a great photographer.

    As for everyone getting their respective panties in a bunch over
    Struth, calm the f*ck down!!! If you get this bent of shape over
    this, I would hate to see what would happen in a real crisis!!!

    Struth does his thing, and so do you. As for the art world going
    ga ga over him, remember that on thursday Victoria Gotti had an
    opening in a Chelsea Gallery and sold poop loads of paintings
    for $10,000 a piece. We are talking here about sixth grade level
    painting of Rosie O' Donnel clad in leather, with a JOHN GOTTI
    tatoo on a motercylcle vaulting over leather clad lesbians.

    A fight nearly broke out over that painting over who shall own it!!!

    For those of you who will yell that $10,000 is not a lot of money
    for art- spent some time comparing how much you can buy
    weston prints for, and how much a 16x20 Link will cost you.

    What I do find utterly un-believable about Struth are his 30
    minute videos of people just staring at the camera. It reminds of
    those boring boring boring Warhol films (eat, sleep, and b*ow
    job).

    As for Struth being the current state of LFP, is like calling the it
    the current state of 1/2" drive ratchets. When you look at work,
    you don't care about what format it was shot in as much as when
    you admire a car you don't care about what size ratchet was
    used to put it together.

    As for the remark on people not having lives on Friday Nite, we
    fell asleep at 11:30 last nite. I guess we are losers........
     
  29. "Did you see his newest book project where he is taking very unsharp pictures of
    porno scenes from videos on his TV!"

    That's Thomas Ruff
     
  30. Nigel, what's your take on Hiroshi Sugimoto?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/gallery/0,8542,770712,00.html
     
  31. I couldn't find a decent sized reporduction on line, but this is one of my current favourites:

    http://www.photoeye.com/OpenSearchEmail.cfm?Catalog=sm159

    I like what it says about the "wilderness" and american icons - sort of the anti-ansel.

    An immediate question that comes to mind for me is, why has every picture I've ever seen of El Cap missed out the road and the stream of tourists? Has there been an unspoken conspiracy among photogrpahers to deceive those who have never visited Yosemite (that among other things a road as wide and as smooth as a major trunk road in the UK passes through this "pristine wilderness". or that everyone lined up along the road with their point and shoots will all be comoing hoime with the same iconic picture).
     
  32. I couldn't wait to see the discussions around contemporary photography getting restarted. Does anyone remember the illuminating debates around the citibank price?
    Here Mr. Struth himself gives some insights on his "Paradise" series mentioned above.
    I am really embarassed but for me this series is amoung the best he made. He called some of these pics "membranes for meditation"- thats it.
     
  33. martin, I'm glad you mentioned this series - a big favourite of mine too. limiting yourself to a very limited tonal pallette like this is a challenge, yet struth does it and produces mesmirising photos. Like all artists, I like some of his work and dislike others, but he works hard and often produces very in-depth work.

    Julian
     
  34. Martin, I find this quote interesting:

    "At this point, "Paradise" consists of twenty-five photographs I'm just beginning to understand. intuition is an old word, but many things sprout from inner processes and needs and then take on a form. My approach to the jungle pictures might be said to be new, in that my initial impulses were pictorial and emotional, rather than theoretical. They are "unconscious places" and thus seem to follow my early city pictures."

    I think the artist's own words regarding his working methodology, at least pertaining to the jungle series, sums it all up.

    I wouldn't put much stock in over-analysing his images after the fact. Intuition in art-making is an interesting subject, which reminds me of the surrealists and their auto-writing and group-poem methods of creating written works.

    Intuition in the photographic process is less well understood or appreciated, I suppose; although that is where many pinhole photographers are coming from, too.
     
  35. He appears to be an extremely competent commercial photographer. There's a lot of sour grapes in this thread.
     
  36. Ermm, Tim , wasn't it you that posted this link:

    http://www.artnet.com/ag/fineartdetail.asp?aid=16228&wid=165283&page=5&group=&max_tn_page=


    I'm not sure if he is saying "Wilderness, what wilderness?" or "Look what you did to the wilderness!".... I suspect, whichever it is, it will have delighted the East Coast art establishment.... I like it. Having been bought up on the Adams-esque images of El Capitan, it certainly supplies a jolt.

    .


    On a more general note, as for if it is "art" - dunno - don't care. If the creator of a work says it is art, I am willing to go along with that - I've never heard any other definition that holds water. Whole books, indeed, whole degree courses, have been set up to answer that question and still no one can agree so that definition will do as a working hypothesis for me....

    Asking if a work is "good" art gets things even more complicated. Taking the view that art is about communication (after all, we are Human - communicating is what we do - it is, to a large degree, what we are) then by definition it is a subjective matter so my definition of "good" art is different to someone else’s.

    This is why it is important to distinguish between the art establishment (the aforementioned clique of self-supporting artists, galleries, auction houses and patrons, each spiralling around one another in a perpetual motion machine greased with money) and the work itself. Some such work is good, some is bad. Which is good? Which is bad? Well, the stuff I like is good - the other stuff isn't... Contrary to some other people's opinions, the well worn phrase: "I don't know anything about art, but I know what I like" is a perfectly valid position to me: if only because the speaker *does* know about art, we *all* do - we are human.

    If a work communicates to you in a way you find fulfilling then it is good art for you, if it doesn't, it isn't. Any other definition of "good" and "bad" art is to abdicate control of your own emotional responses to some self-justifying, elite committee of experts who have all the training and professional qualifications (and the money) to decide for you.

    Well, stuff that!
     
  37. Nigel: As many others recommended, see more of Struth's work. His recent exhibition in Los Angeles was excellent (or did you pick this one as a straw man, easy to attack??) Brian: You clearly know little of the "art world" you so unfortunately attempt to describe. A "literal" "handful" of artists and critics? Count up the artists who have been shown at major US museums alone in the past decade, add in all the other working artists in the country, including art department faculty at US colleges... that's only a fraction, yet far more than a "handful." Please actually have something to say before wasting space here.
     
  38. Hi All,
    When I saw the article about Struth in View Camera, I thought it was a joke. When I realized it wasn't, I became angry that such trash was wasting magazine space. If a photograph needs paragraphs of verbal filler to be understood, I consider it meaningless as photography. His work, to me, is boring and amaturish. The fact that it sells for what it does is regretable.
    Peter
     
  39. Paul, What's wrong, do you have a reading comprehension problem or something? I was talking about what I called "high end art," which I arbitrarily defined as art selling for $100,000 and up. And you tell me I wasted space because I ignored college art department faculty members and "artists all around the country?" I apparently shocked you by pointing out the obvious, i.e. that artists' reputations and prices are often based on things other than pure artistic merit. So I'm sorry to do this to you but get ready for another shock - college faculty members and 99.9% of the "artists all around the country" don't produce work that commands $100,000 and up prices and so they weren't the subject of my message.
     
  40. Part of what made the "Paradise" series hard for me at first was the limited color palette. They're not images that I would immediately identify as beautiful. They're full of life, but they're not conveying a romantic vision of Paradise. I see the photographs and realize that Paradise may in fact be hot, humid, and full of mosquitoes. It is not necessarily pretty, well organized, or germ-free.

    Tim Atherton raises a good issue, why do so many pictures of El Capitan happen to omit the road and the hordes of tourists? Well, many people, both photographers and people who buy photographs, demand their nature in all its grandeur. If they're going to hang a landscape on their wall, it damn well better be pristine and pretty - preferably with majestic mountains and some dramatic thunderclouds - gentle meadows containing delicate flowers are also acceptable. Struth doesn't give them that. (No knock on the aforementioned subjects, but if you think that romantic images are all that's worth looking at, you're missing out on a lot).

    I don't think Struth's nature landscapes are his best work. (BTW, if the jpeg referenced in the original post is of the print I think it is, it bears only the slightest resemblance to the actual item.) As I noted in my earlier post, I think his portraits are great. I also think his urban landscapes are quite good. Anyone else with a take on those?

    Chris
     
  41. Nigel

    I could not get through to the site, BUT, I did spend several hours looking at the Met's exhibit of his stuff last April.

    WHAT A TOTAL WASTE OF TIME!!

    I came with an open mind and am glad for that, as none of it stuck to pollute my senses. For all I could see, it was just a LF camera pointed at random and the shutter clicked at random.

    I can understand photos of urban desloation, but please have something in the images rather than just empty buildings. I know some will say it is art even if it invokes a negative emotion in me, but that stuff did not even do that.

    Not to mention the videos he did where some people just stared blankly at a video camera for an hour. There was a lot of twaddle about getting intouch with the inner "self" of the subject- FFEHHH.

    My respect for for the photo dept of the Met has diminished greatly.

    Thanks for letting me rant.

    Cheers
     
  42. I think Struth is intermittently interesting, though not as interesting as Andreas Gursky or Rut Blaes Luxembourg (who hasn't been mentioned yet). What is also interesting is that this kind of Large Format photography is currently fashionable in the gallery world, most of it in a 'cold' documentary manner influenced by the Bechers. This is possibly a reaction to the ubiquity of disposable 35mm and hand-held digital cameras. No doubt the fad will pass, and then we'll all be in a better position to assess the work of those involved (as well as those passed over).
    Struth did a series of church interiors, in effect photos of people looking at paintings. Someone once said that Atget mattered because of where he placed the camera. Looking at Struth's pictures of Italian churches, I constantly find myself thinking the opposite: what a stupid place to put the camera. (I have shot interiors in the same churches that he used, and possibly tried to answer some of the same compositional questions that interested him.) On the other hand, there are other series where the placement is very intelligent. I feel quite entitled to pick and mix, and be discriminatory. It's not necessary to accept or reject an entire body of work wholesale.
     
  43. "I think Struth is intermittently interesting, though not as interesting as
    Andreas Gursky or Rut Blaes Luxembourg (who hasn't been mentioned yet)"

    To which I would add Candids Hoefer and Lynn Cohen

    "I feel
    quite entitled to pick and mix, and be discriminatory. It's not necessary to
    accept or reject an entire body of work wholesale."

    Absolutley (though some hit the mark more consistently than others perhaps). To me, what is interesting, is the overall thrust of this movement in photogprahy/art - in many different parts of the globe, coming at this views from slightly different directions, and yet with certain common threads
     
  44. Candida Hoefer
     
  45. Tim mentioned Candida Hoefer. Her last book was a tour deforce in technique IMO. Her lighting is wonderful, as is her composition which I can only describe as 'ruthless' - and, unusually she shoots square - anyone know how?? Not a good edit or webe friendly but you can see ehr stuff here http://www.renabranstengallery.com/hofer.html
     
  46. This guy is quite interesting: Anders Krisar. He's not been photographing long, but is already selling prints at prices these discussions on photo.net usually regard as ridiculous.
    He's had a mixed press here in his homeland, Sweden. Our version of Pop Photo ("Foto - better than Pop, but still aimed at camera users as much as photographers) couldn't get over how much he was selling prints for, and kept banging on about money instead of photography. The pro photographers' association rag, knowing that the look is old hat in interior and cosmetics advertising, panned him for having that same old uncharted wilderness nostalgia.
    Since he's not a big name, it's fun to make your own mind up and see what happens later. I found his approach refreshing amoung landscape photography, and particularly liked some of the cows, but wouldn't stump up the required money if asked.
     
  47. Stru,

    thanks so much for that link to Krisar. his landscapes reminded me very much of another photographer of similar talents, whom, if the artworld deemed fit, would very much like the attention and subsequent monies.

    my mom,

    me

    p.s. she's got some lovely shots of cozumel, puerto vallarta and hawaii with the horizon centered just so. i'll start the bidding at $100,000. anyone? anyone?
     
  48. Perhaps this is more your style?
    I have Found Art in my mother's photography. Not often now she uses APS admittedly, but she has a good eye.
     
  49. aaw stru,

    it's so nice of you to remember my tatoo. makes me blush. also makes me remember that jug of uzo we shared on knossos. the night i showed you that tatoo?

    meeeeemo-reeeeez,

    me

    p.s. i find art in my nieces'(3, 8 y-o) photos... not mom's. they break every compositional rule but backwards and upside down. mom's rule-breaking looks too much like krisar's. i'm thinking maybe she's a big fan of his and this streak of emulation is just a passing phase. the next item up for bid by this magnificent 'naive' artist is called 'lenscap', we'll start bidding at $300,000.

    p.p.s. let's hook up again real soon shoog. i'll let you eat omelettes off my latest tatoo just like that wild night on knossos. the new one fairly sprawls across my entire back. it's a wizard, with scepter in one hand, levitating an orb in the other while a unicorn flits past a crescent moon in the background. very tasteful... and tasty. hint hint. giggle giggle.
     
  50. Heart of a heartless world, I am touched, but truly. However, I
    think you are confusing me with some other Struan Gray. It's a
    very common name.

    I'm glad you have some friends to play with though.
     
  51. [​IMG]
    Arigato Michael-san Arromanches, Dec. 2002.
    It's infectious this art stuff.....
     
  52. First of all, it doesn't seem to me that Nigel is a troll.

    Second of all, he is not the only person who is dumbfounded by the Streuth's reputation.

    And I did see Streuth's works in person...at the recent Met exhibition. I went with an absolutely open mind, not having seen most of the works in reproduction before.

    They are not "bad" photographs. But, in my opinion, there is absolutely nothing remarkable about his cityscapes other than their size.

    I will keep an open mind, however, because I am a little bit curious about this phenomemon.

    Btw, I am also unimpressed by another favorite of the current critique circles: Richard Avedon's white-background portraits of famous people. Again, not "bad" photographs; but lacking in emotional or artistic content, in my opinion, unless you are moved by the sight of powerful people. Shall we start another argument?
     
  53. One thing about Struth's landscapes, especially the Paradise series, is they explore landscape from within a different tradition than is normally popular within photography - especially N American photography.

    A huge amount of landscape photography is in a direct line from the whole romantic Hudson Valley/giant redwood/Promised Land school of painting of Bierstadt (to some extent), Church and Cole et al. A style of painting that wasn't popular for terribly long and whose influence on landscape painting wasn't all that great in the long run. But its influence on photography was much stronger. Ansel Adams is the most obvious example, but almost every Yosemite/Half Dome/heroic waterfall/forest glade photograph descends from this influence. For some unknown reason it stuck - which probably wasn't a good thing - as a school of landscape painting it had it's place and time, but was overblown even then. Now for every Adams impersonator it has become the standard approach

    By contrast, many of the early western landscape photographers, such as O'Sullivan or even Witkins (despite his giant redwoods) were, by comparison, un-influenced to the same extent and their work often seems minimalist and post-modern when put side by side with the later Ansel Adams school.

    This is merely perpetuated in the colour version we find today, with romantic/heroic photographs of canyons, mesas and long-exposure waterfalls. It's really a creative dead end doomed to repeating what was, as an artistic movement, already dead when Ansel adopted it.

    Struth (and others) by comparison are mining other rich (and possibly still vibrant) seams in the landscape art tradition to inform their approach to the subject. Struth's Paradise photographs, for example, very obviously have their roots in the Germanic landscape traditions, with a very different understanding of forest and place than the normal N American one, following from Altdorfer through Casper Friedrich to Anlsem Kiefer. Struth then clearly brings his own view and vision, building on this tradition, to the project.

    I've looked at Mr Turner's landscapes (the photographer, not the incomparable painter) and from both his photographs and his words, it appears he has a very shallow understanding of not only the landscape, but also of the various photogrpahic and artistic traditions and movements.
     
  54. Interesting discussion I stumbled upon. There is one glaring ommission from all of these posts I believe...and that would be the ability to actually produce a piece that is 6 by 8 feet, with serious detail, and serious color tones. A few mentioned that because it's big, doesn't make it good - but as Gursky also - BIG is an integral part of the process, AND the art. It is also craft. I've been moving in the direction of big myself, and I am a total amateur, but I honestly don't like small photos. They bug me. I don't like small paintings either. Now that I've decided to pursue making prints that have serious footage - i've come to the conclusion that this is SERIOUS business. I've been researching for a month now, and still haven't developed a plan as to how I am going to render certain ideas in that size. I've heard different explanations of how they do it, but really - it's a serious undertaking from what I can gather. Some of gursky's newest work is pushing 20 feet in length. I think it's an integral part of the art, and I don't think most people have the wherewithal, understanding, or even ability to produce works so large. My 2 cents.
     

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