Posted inArts & Culture

Shades of Winter

Barbara Crane: Artifacts and Entities at Lallak + Tom Gallery, through December 31 By Stephen Longmire In the 60s and 70s, Barbara Crane created wonderfully complex photographs using the “whole roll,” printing sequences of similar images on long scrolls of paper or in grids. Although the individual panels are of interest, the dark spaces between […]

Posted inFilm

Films by Joseph Cornell

Films by Joseph Cornell Outside the cult of cinema buffs (to which he belonged), few people know that box maker and collagist Joseph Cornell also made short experimental films. The Film Center owns prints of several, appropriately enough given the Art Institute’s fine collection of Cornell’s quirky, theatrical boxes; like the films, they re-create a […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Grand Dams

Toshio Shibata at the Museum of Contemporary Art, through January 4 By Stephen Longmire Most of the photographs Toshio Shibata has just made on a commission from the Museum of Contemporary Art are of dams and other public waterworks in the arid American west, where control of water is and always will be a pressing […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Cinema in a Single Frame

Harry Callahan at the Museum of Contemporary Art, through September 21 By Stephen Longmire As a young photographer in Detroit in the late 30s, like many amateurs at the time Harry Callahan relied on camera clubs for artistic guidance. In 1941 his friend Arthur Siegel arranged for Ansel Adams to visit the Detroit Photo Guild. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

On Film: the city as theater

Yasuhiro Ishimoto lets his camera do the talking. On the phone he’s cordial but hardly forthcoming. His friends say he’ll sometimes cover his mouth with his hand while speaking. His subjects often hide behind masks and sunglasses, or they’re enveloped in shadows; like them, he maintains a detached, impassive exterior. Yet if the street can […]

Posted inArts & Culture

How The West Was Lost

Crimes and Splendors: The Desert Cantos of Richard Misrach at the Museum of Contemporary Art, through June 29 By Stephen Longmire The fate of America’s west has preoccupied American landscape photographers for at least two decades. Whether it’s the deadpan minimalism of “new topographer” Robert Adams, the reenactment of 19th-century photographic land surveys practiced by […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Gray Areas

Roy DeCarava at the Art Institute of Chicago, through September 15 By Stephen Longmire Not long ago I was wondering what it would take for a photograph to show the photographer’s love for the people portrayed. Roy DeCarava’s best pictures–such as Sherry, Susan, Laura, Wendy, a 1983 study of the artist’s wife and (presumably) their […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Remembrances of Things Past

SALLY MANN: STILL TIME at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, through November 6 Most Americans photograph their children. Few do so in black and white; fewer still use a century-old view camera for the job. The somber gray tones give Sally Mann’s large-format snapshots of her three utterly modern kids the haunting look of the […]