Impressionism to Modernism, Masterworks of Early Photography at Methodist University

Gertrude Käsebier (1852-1934), Untitled (Billiard Game), circa 1909, Platinum print, 7 5/8 x 9 1/2 inches

Gertrude Käsebier (1852-1934), Untitled (Billiard Game), circa 1909, Platinum print, 7 5/8 x 9 1/2 inches

The David McCune International Art Gallery at Methodist University, a North Carolina art gallery and art museum bring another high-caliber art exhibit to the area.  artGuide art news art blogger is there to showcase the best works and give you a little insight about the art exhibit.  artGuide Magazine also carries an in-depth article discussing the North Carolina art gallery and its exhibit.

Karl Struss (1886-1981), New York Street Scene with Flatiron Building, ca. 1915, Gelatin silver print, 4 ½” x 3 ½” ©1983 Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Ft. Worth, TX, P1983.25.1217.

Karl Struss (1886-1981), New York Street Scene with Flatiron Building, ca. 1915, Gelatin silver print, 4 ½” x 3 ½” ©1983 Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Ft. Worth, TX, P1983.25.1217.

“Why, Mr. Stieglitz, you won’t insist that a photograph can possibly be a work of art – you are a fanatic!” 
 -- Metropolitan Museum Director Luigi Palma de Cesnola to Alfred Stieglitz, 1902

This exhibit celebrates an intrepid and colorful group of photographers at the turn of the 20th century on both sides of the Atlantic who fought to establish photography as a fully-fledged fine art, coequal with painting, sculpture, and etching. Their leader was Alfred Stieglitz, whose exhibition space, the “Little Galleries of the Photo-Secession,” and exquisitely printed magazine, Camera Work, advanced the vision of the most ambitious artist-photographers, including Heinrich Kühn, Gertrude Käsebier, Edward Steichen, and Clarence White, as well as Stieglitz himself. While they had their individual approaches to picture-making, these all involved the marriage of traditional painting subject matter – landscape, allegorical study, nude, still life – to a suitably hand-crafted photographic print.  This combination of painterly imagery and print-making is known as Pictorialist photography. The works in this exhibit, drawn from the private collection of Michael Mattis and Judith Hochberg, include superb examples of a variety of photographic printing techniques employed by the Pictorialists, such as platinum, gum-bichromate, carbon, cyanotype, and bromoil prints.     

The exhibit also covers the explosive aftermath of the Photo Secession, when, starting  with
the work of Paul Strand in 1915-16, photography transitioned by fits and starts from Pictorialism to Modernism.  Some photographers, clustered around Clarence White, continued to make painterly photographs.  Others, particularly Steichen and Strand, adopted “straight” photography and staked out the Modernist idiom.    

This exhibition opens on February 9th, and runs until April 8th.  Collection of Michael Mattis & Judith Hochberg.  Courtesy of art2art Circulating Exhibitions, LLC.

The David McCune International Art Gallery featured exhibits from world renowned artists in a variety of mediums.  Last year they featured amazing works from Rodin.  artGuide art blog has been excited to featured their exhibits for the past few months. Located at Methodist University in Fayetteville, North Carolina be sure to check them out!

 

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