Gallery of Fine Art Photography - Atlanta GA

Critical Praise for “Politics & the Utopian Dream”

Critical Praise for “Politics & the Utopian Dream”

ArtCriticATL – Exhibition Review
Alluring and Illuminating “Photography as Propaganda” at Lumiere

October 11, 2011
By Robert Stalker

What countries could be more different than the Soviet Union and the United States during the first half of the 20th century? Yet, as suggested by Lumiere’s illuminating “Photography as Propaganda: Politics and the Utopian Dream,” many of their ideals and fantasies were actually alike, and so were the images that served their goals and cultural values.

Inspired in part by “Propaganda and Dreams,” the 1999 exhibit at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, the exhibit opens with pictures by American and Soviet photographers celebrating technology and the built environment. Margaret Bourke-White’s “George Washington Bridge” (1933) and Berenice Abbott’s “Night View, New York” (1932) sit alongside contemporary photographs of the Dneprostroy Dam and Kherson Shipbuilding Factory by Max Alpert and Simon Fridland, respectively.

The photos were produced in divergent contexts with quite different aims. Bourke-White worked for the capitalist Henry Luce’s Fortune as well as Look magazines, creating photos that seemed almost to advertise the romance of commerce and industry. Abbott worked independently in the 1930s on her “Changing New York” series, promoting a view of urban planning that she continued under the sponsorship of the Federal Art Project. Fridland and Alpert documented Soviet manufacturing and engineering for government news platforms such as ITAR-Tass, Izvestia and Pravda, constructing the not entirely accurate impression that the young, impoverished nation was heading full steam into the 20th century. Despite these differences, however, the photos share an almost palpable optimism about technological modernity and its culture of speed and mechanization…… ArtsCriticATL. Follow this link to read the entire review. (opens new browser window).

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12 months ago

Celebrating the work of Alexander Rodchenko born on this day in 1891. Rodchenko was a Russian artist, sculptor, photographer and graphic designer. He was one of the founders of constructivism and Russian design. Rodchenko was one of the most versatile Constructivist and Productivist artists to emerge after the Russian Revolution. He worked as a painter and graphic designer before turning to photomontage and photography. His photography was socially engaged, formally innovative, and opposed to a painterly aesthetic. Concerned with the need for analytical-documentary photo series, he often shot his subjects from odd angles—usually high above or below—to shock the viewer and to postpone recognition. He wrote: “One has to take several different shots of a subject, from different points of view and in different situations, as if one examined it in the round rather than looked through the same key-hole a#lumieregallery&#AlexanderRodchenkol#rodchenkon#sovietphotographyhenko
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1 years ago

Celebrating the work of Robert Glenn Ketchum on his 75th birthday. Ketchum's imagery and books have helped to define contemporary color photography while at the same time addressing critical national environmental issues. This has made him one of the most successful artist/activists in American history. His work in Alaska illustrate this point, first in the Tongass Rain Forest, where his images were credited with helping to pass the Tongass Timber Reform Bill of 1990. One of his current efforts is in Southwest Alaska, aimed to protect the largest wild salmon habitats from the ill-advised Pebble Mine. Wishing you many more years to continue your work!!

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1 years ago

Sharing some beautiful Georgia landscapes by Diane Kirkland on this pretty fall day. #lumieregallery #dianekirkland ... See MoreSee Less

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