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March 14-20, 2007

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'Art and Photography'

Art and Photography
(Edited by David Campany; Phaidon; 304 pages; $39.95 paper)

In Art and Photography, David Campany asserts that "art has become increasingly photographic." This survey aims to prove that, since the 1960s, the medium has moved beyond "self-conscious art photography" to address the issues of modernism. The well-annotated samples include Andy Warhol's photo-booth snaps, John Baldessari's mystery narratives constructed from old movie stills, Jan Dibbets' grid of identical shots taken at 10-minute intervals during a single day and the ubiquitous Jeff Wall, who stages elaborate tableaux with actors, props and digital montage—all to achieve results that sometimes look like fabulous stills from imaginary movies and sometimes resemble magazine ads. The breadth of artists is admirable, but why no Avedon or Burtynsky? The volume also includes excerpts from theoretical writings, plus statements by and interviews with artists.

Review by Michael S. Gant


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