In pictures: the W* photography desk’s 2017 digest of visual inspiration

Untitled, from Three Sisters, Stephan Jahanshahi.

(Image credit: TBC)

Fresh sources
22 December

From today, The Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, Colorado, hosts its annual competition exhibition, featuring responses to the themes of ‘Water’ and ‘Portraits’. This year, photographers were encouraged to interpret and respond to the themes with carte blanche, and the selected entries are varied in subject and technique. This years jurors, Jennifer Murray of Filter Photo and Paul Martineau of the J Paul Getty Museum, considered over 3,000 entries prior to making their final selelctions. The competition culminates in a public reception, portfolio reviews, and a professional development seminar. Until 27 January.

Pictured: Untitled, from Three Sisters, Stephan Jahanshahi. © The artist

Writer: Lynsie Roberts

Frank & Mia, Capote Ball, by Harry Benson

(Image credit:  Harry Benson)

Celebrity skin
21 December

A new exhibition at Palm Beach’s Holden Luntz Gallery – ‘All the world is a stage and all the men and women merely players’ – collates a selection of vintage photographs of musicians and celebrities. Featuring photographers Terry O’Neill, Clive Arrowsmith, Harry Benson, Gered Mankowitz, Bert Stern, Roy Schatt, Arthur Elgort, and Norman Seeff, it presents photography as a form of mythology, capturing the power of images to create icons and legends. The show aims to pinpoint defining pop culture moments, and cavalier insouciance abounds across snapshots of smoking film stars, rockstars between gigs, and masked beauties at balls. Until 20 January.

Pictured: Frank & Mia, Capote Ball, by Harry Benson, New York, 1966

Writer: Lynsie Roberts

Kenilworth Elementary school where the students get into the spirit of Halloween celebrations

(Image credit: David Hurn)

Vintage Americana
20 December

In 1979, Magnum photojournalist David Hurn was awarded the ‘UK/USA Bicentennial Fellowship’ to pursue a personal photography project in America. He chose to spend a year in Arizona, documenting ‘ordinary people in ordinary pursuits’. The resulting collection of images has been published in a new book, Arizona Trips, by Reel Art Press. A keen observer, Hurn’s curiosity led him to capture rodeos, school dances, pageants, football games, patriotic marches, and sun-soaked road trips through the dry Arizona desert. The collection of black and white images is a nostalgic snapshot of America.

Pictured: Kenilworth Elementary school where the students get into the spirit of Halloween celebrations with the help of a dressed up teacher, by David Hurn, Phoenix, 1979. © The artist / Magnum Photos

Writer: Lynsie Roberts 

Broek, NY, by Eliza Hatch, 2017

(Image credit: Eliza Hatch)

Liberated visions
19 December

Photographer Eliza Hatch creates a visual representation of sexual harassment by taking portraits of women in the environments in which they have been threatened. Her exhibition, ‘Cheer Up Luv (London to NYC)’, poignantly demonstrates victimised people reclaiming their power, and is now on view at the ICP Museum in New York as part of its ‘Projected’ series. Hatch’s show develops a platform for individuals to voice their experiences, thereby creating a sense of agency in a situation where theirs was once taken away. The young women confront the camera straight on; Hatch has given them the opportunity to reclaim their narrative, which is thoroughly empowering. Until 25 December.

Pictured: Broek, NY, by Eliza Hatch, 2017, New York. © The artist

Writer: Lynsie Roberts

The Brown Sisters, New Canaan, Connecticut

(Image credit: Nicholas Nixon)

Family album
December 18

In 1974, Nicholas Nixon took a portrait of his wife and her three sisters with his 8x10 large format camera. Nixon continued to do an annual portrait of the sisters for 40 years, and the collection of images is currently being featured in his new exhibition ‘Persistence of Vision’ at the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston. The annual photoshoot of the Brown sisters captures the passing of time, with a focus on family relationships and the subtleties of aging. The show also includes his other large format documentary photography. Until 22 April 2018.

Pictured: The Brown Sisters, New Canaan, Connecticut, by Nicholas Nixon, 1975. Courtesy the artist and Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco. © Nicholas Nixon

Writer: Lynsie Roberts

Untitled, by Alexis Roitman

(Image credit: Alexis Roitman)

Fresh eyes
15 December

Opening today, Photostart showcases emerging talent from the Australian Centre for Photography. The exhibition is collated from a wide range of student work, including portraits, landscapes, and still lifes. This year, the showcase will culminate in the inaugural Wentworth Selborne Award for a single outstanding, technically adventurous photograph. The winning entry will receive a cash prize of $2,000. In addition to the exhibition, there will be talks, portfolio reviews, and workshops. Until 3 February 2018.

Pictured: Untitled, by Alexis Roitman, 2017. © The artist

Writer: Lynsie Roberts

Nico in Times Square, by Steve Schapiro

(Image credit: Steve Schapiro)

Home of the brave
14 December

‘Heroic Times’ presents a selection of iconic imagery from the archives of Steve Schapiro at Howard Greenberg Gallery. Through his 60-year career, 83 year old Schapiro has captured key moments of American history and pop culture, with commissions to capture portraits of celebrities, politicians, and artists. The display features his documentation of Robert F Kennedy’s presidential campaign, the civil rights movement, and Andy Warhol’s Factory days, among other important milestones of the 1960s and 1970s. Until 27 January 2018.

Pictured, Nico in Times Square, by Steve Schapiro, 1972. © The artist

Writer: Lynsie Roberts

Brilliant Star Rocket, Three Revolutions Exhibition, Pyongyang

(Image credit: Eddo Hartmann)

Secret city
12 December

Eddo Hartmann has traveled to North Korea four times since 2014 to gain intimate access to the closed city of Pyongyang. He takes people’s portraits in contrast to the city’s sleek architecture and enlarged monuments, in order to capture the individual experience amid Pyongyang's highly crafted, political persona. ‘Setting the Stage: Pyongyang, North Korea, Part 2’ is currently on view at Huis Marseille Museum for Photography in Amsterdam, and includes photographs, film, and several 360-degree videos from Hartmann’s trip, to create an immersive experience for the viewer. Until 4 March.

Pictured: Brilliant Star Rocket, Three Revolutions Exhibition, Pyongyang, by Eddo Hartmann, 2017

Writer: Lynsie Roberts 

12 de Mai de 2016 2:55

(Image credit: Daniel Blaufuks)

Table talk
11 December

Daniel Blaufuks photography exhibition ‘Attempting Exhaustion’ opened last weekend at the Jean-Kenta Gauthier gallery in Paris. The show explores themes of time and memory in a series of images that study the artist’s kitchen table from 2009 through to 2016. Blaufuks was inspired by the French writer Georges Perec, who would document his thoughts on the banality of daily life in Paris while sitting at his local café, observing ‘that which is generally not taken note of, that which is not noticed, that which has no importance […]’. The artist documents his personal space with various photography techniques, including large prints, Polaroids, and slides. Until 10 March 2018.

Pictured: ‘12 de Mai de 2016 2:55’ [12 May 2016, 2.55], by Daniel Blaufuks, 2016. © The artist

Writer: Lynsie Roberts

Go For It, Viper Bowl, Hollywood, CA, by Hugh Holland

(Image credit: Hugh Holland)

Get your skates on
8 December

‘Silver. Skate. Seventies’ – a collection of never-before-seen Hugh Holland prints currently on view at M+B Photo – depict California’s skateboard revolution of the 70s, which ‘spread like wildfire all over Southern California.’ The collection captures the poise and strength of boarders carving up in the drainage and ditches along the Laurel Canyon Boulevard. In monochrome, we catch a glimpse of the early artistic flair which helped to define his later colour practice. Until 31 January 2018.

Pictured: Go For It, Viper Bowl, Hollywood, CA, by Hugh Holland, 1976. © The artist

Writer: Samantha Thompson

rom the series Diavik, by James Reeve. @ The artist

(Image credit: James Reeve)

Break the ice
7 December

As the wintry weather continues in France, Marseille based photographer James Reeve’s exhibition at VV, Les Voûtes is a fitting one. The barren grounds of Canada’s northwest terrain are the subject of ‘Fractures’ and ‘Diavik’. The latter explores Canada’s most ethical diamond mine – Reeve is the first artist who has gained access. Both series possess rich and exceptional detail, while remaining geographically ambiguous. They could be images of the arctic, or another planet entirely. Until 17 December.

Pictured: from the series Diavik, by James Reeve. @ The artist

Writer: Samantha Thompson

K Means kite, by Krzysztof Ćwik.

(Image credit: TBC)

Opportunity knocks
6 December

One month remains for photographers around the world to enter the 11th edition of the Sony Photography Awards. A medley of new entries has been released by the World Photography Organisation, in anticipation of the deadline. The pre-released batch provides a sneak peak into the high quality of entries in the open competition for the best single image, with striking aerial landscapes, intimate portraits, wildlife shots and stolen moments – like this one caught at a kite competition on Marseille beach in France.

Pictured: K Means kite, by Krzysztof Ćwik. © the artist. Poland, Open entry, Street Photography (Open competition). Courtesy of 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Writer: Samantha Thompson

Sierra de La Libertad, Peru, by Moises Samen

(Image credit: Moises Samen)

History repeats
5 December

To honor the 70th anniversary of Magnum photos, four of the agency’s current photographers have responded to an inspiring narrative from Magnum’s archives, supported by Olympus. Asked to consider a work or artist that had influenced their own practice, Olivia Arthur references the ‘Children of Europe’ project shot by Magnum founder David Seymour in the years after the Second World War. Meanwhile, Thomas Dworzak and journalist Julius Strauss retrace the steps of Robert Capa through Russia, Ukraine, and Georgia in A Russian Journal. Highlights include the work of Moises Saman and Marco Bischof, who follow the footsteps of Werner Bischof as he documented life in the Peruvian mountains, where he also tragically died in a road accident in 1954. Until 9 December at Art Bermondsey Project Space.

Pictured: Sierra de La Libertad, Peru, by Moises Samen, September 17, 2017. © the artist and Magnum Photos

Writer: Samantha Thompson

Moraigny, Madagascar, France

(Image credit: Christian Sanna)

For africa
4 December

The 11th edition of the African Biennale of Photography launched over the weekend in Bamako, Mali. Curator Maria-Ann Yemsi has fashioned a programme focussed on freedom, expression and creativity. ‘Afrotopia’ takes a progressive stance in supporting up and coming talent, and pools together traditional photography in parallel to contemporary formats and new media, showcasing installations videos and digital arts. Until 31 January 2018.

Pictured: Moraigny, Madagascar, France, by Christian Sanna, 2014-2016. © the artist

Writer: Samantha Thompson

Fountain by Raha Raissnia, 2017.

(Image credit: TBC)

Drawing board
1 December

Iranian-American artist Raha Raissnia grew up in Tehran during the 1978-79 revolution, and she often accompanied her father, an amateur photographer, on trips to the city center to document mass protests against the shah. Mirroring this early experience in her current work, Raissnia continues to take photographs of stolen moments. ‘Alluvius’ – The Drawing Centre in New York’s solo exhibition of the artist – features two series of abstract charcoal drawings, inspired by Raissnia’s archival photography and found imagery. Until 4 February.

Pictured: Fountain by Raha Raissnia, 2017. Courtesy of the artist and Miguel Abreu Gallery, New York

Writer: Samantha Thompson

Monumental imagery

(Image credit: TBC)

Monumental imagery
30 November

Throughout December, Marco Walker is showing a new body of work ‘Utopia/Dystopia’ in a private home in the heart of Mayfair. Opened yesterday, the exhibition explores the photographer’s recent journey through isolated territories of former Yugoslavia including Bosnia, Serbia, Kosovo and Croatia, uncovering a series of gargantuan, concrete monuments commissioned by the late President Tito. Employing analogue film techniques alongside traditional printing processes, the photographs cast a window back in time at these statues. Until 20 December.

Pictured: N45° 34’, E14° 14’, by Marco Walker, 2016. © The artist

Writer: Samantha Thompson

Christine Keeler pictured in a secret screen test for the movie

(Image credit: Tom Blau)

Go platinum
29 November

This year saw the 70th anniversary of Camera Press. In honor of the platinum celebration, photographic artist, curator and co-owner Emma Blau has created a film, delving into the history of some of Camera Press’ extraordinary photographers. We also witness the narratives behind some of the agency's most iconic images, including insights into the work of Tom Blau, Yousuf Karsh, John Swannell, Clive Arrowsmith, Jillian Edelstein, Chris Floyd and curator Terence Pepper, among others.

Pictured: Christine Keeler pictured in a secret screen test for the movie 'The Christine Keeler Story’, by Tom Blau, 1963. © The artist / Camera Press

Writer: Samantha Thompson

Mum and I in bathrobes, Washington, D.C, 2000, by Sage Sohier.

(Image credit: Sage Sohier)

Mother nature
28 November

‘As I grew older, there was no use competing with her, so I assumed my position, quite happily, on the other side of the camera,’ said Sage Sohier, ahead of her solo exhibition at New York’s Foley Gallery, opening tomorrow. ‘Witness to Beauty’ is a compelling chronicle spanning Sohier’s 25-year relationship with her sister, Laine, and her mother, Wendy Morgan. The exhibition explores notions of beauty, particularly in respect to Morgan who previously graced the cover of several magazines and was photographed by Richard Avedon, Irving Penn and more. Until 7 January 2018.

Pictured: Mum and I in bathrobes, Washington, D.C, 2000, by Sage Sohier. © The artist

Writer: Samantha Thompson

Deanna Tub II, 2015, by Deanna Pizzitelli.

(Image credit: TBC)

Dark arts
27 November

This weekend saw the opening of ‘Koža’, a new show by photographer and writer Deanna Pizzitelli at Stephen Bugler Gallery in Toronto. Employing a myriad of analogue approaches to photography, Pizzitelli questions the versatility of historical processes, evoking lost times and places in her poignant landscapes. With bleak, isolated backdrops setting the scene, a narrative of the artist’s own wanderlust unfolds across the small images, weaving together tales of desire, eroticism, longing and loss. Until 13 January 2018.

Pictured: Deanna Tub II, 2015, by Deanna Pizzitelli. © The artist. Courtesy of Stephen Bulger Gallery

Writer: Samantha Thompson

Astronaut extreme environment training from The New Colonists

(Image credit: Monica Alcazar-Duarte)

Spaced out
24 November

Monica Alcazar-Duarte is at the vanguard of emerging photographers. Today, The Photographers’ Gallery in London is launching her first publication, The New Colonists. As this year’s winner of the gallery’s Bar-Tur Photobook Award, she has worked alongside the gallery and Bemojake to publish the project. The three part tome begins in the American suburban town of Mars, Pennsylvania, interspersed with images of the science community who are attempting to make space colonisation a reality. Onwards and upwards!

Pictured: Astronaut extreme environment training from The New Colonists, 2017, by Monica Alcazar-Duarte. © The artist. Courtesy of The Photographers’ Gallery

Writer: Samantha Thompson

Ludvig Ravensberg in Åsgårdstrand, by Edvard Munch

(Image credit: TBC)

Second life
23 November

Norwegian artist Edvard Munch is celebrated the world over for his paintings, prints and watercolours, but a new retrospective opening this week is set to reveal a lesser known side of his oeuvre: photography. Scandinavia House in New York is showing 50 images from the Munch Museum in Oslo, alongside films and an assortment of prints from private collections. Adopting an experimental approach, Munch questioned and exploited photography’s potential, using distortion, blurred motion and eccentric camera angles. Until 5 March.

Pictured: Ludvig Ravensberg in Åsgårdstrand, by Edvard Munch. Courtesy of Munch Museum

Writer: Samantha Thompson

I will be Wolf, by Bertien van Manen

(Image credit: Bertien van Manen)

Flash back
22 November

In December 1975, Dutch photographer Bertien van Manen captured daily life in metropolitan Hungary, capturing a country on the brink of development. Published by MACK, I will be Wolf draws together her black and white photographs, combining conceptual rigor with poetic ambiguity. A nostalgic throwback to a bygone era, the book includes unseen snapshots of commuters, grocers, chemists and street vendor, with editorial direction from notable photographer Stephen Gill.

Pictured: I will be Wolf, by Bertien van Manen, 2017. Courtesy of the artist and MACK.

Writer: Samantha Thompson

Graig Nettles, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

(Image credit: Stephen Shore)

Shore to Shore
21 November

The American photographer Stephen Shore soared to fame in the 1970s by highlighting the hidden spectacle of the everyday. New York’s Museum of Modern Art is holding a comprehensive retrospective of his career, all the way back to its formative moments (and including works produced at the age of 14, which were acquired by the hugely influential photographer and curator Edward Steichen). The exhibition tracks the prolific thematic divergences of Shore’s output, drawing on hundreds of photographic works and pivoting from the gelatin silver prints he made as a teenager to his current digital practice surveying Israel and Ukraine. Until 28 May 2018.

Pictured: Graig Nettles, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, March 1, 1978, by Stephen Shore, 1978. © the artist

Writer: Samantha Thompson

Elvis Costello and The Attractions

(Image credit: Brian Griffin)

Facing the music
20 November

British photographer Brian Griffin, a landmark practitioner of the 1970s and 80s, has released a new photobook with GOST. POP documents his thriving career as a music photographer; composed of photographs from album covers, single sleeves, posters and press, the book's 350 pages shed light on the juxtaposition of Griffin’s technical naivety and major visual intention. Tomorrow evening, Griffin takes centre stage at the London College of Communication for an all-inclusive dialogue with Terry Rawlings, offering an exclusive insight into a pioneering era in music and visual history.

Pictured: Elvis Costello and The Attractions, ‘Armed Forces/Taking Liberties’, by Brian Griffin, 1978. © the artist

Writer: Samantha Thompson

Interior No.51, by Marleen Sleeuwits

(Image credit: Marleen Sleeuwits)

Space out
17 November

The worlds of photography and sculptural practice are meeting head on in the site-specific installation ‘Not the Actual Site’, by Dutch photographic artist Marleen Sleeuwit at LhGWR in The Hague this weekend. Playing with the changes of surface patinas in a room, original images, edited works, reconstructions and 3D works are brought together to create a new whole. Until 20 January 2018.

Pictured: Interior No.51, by Marleen Sleeuwits. Courtesy of LhGWR

Writer: Samantha Thompson

La Belle Americaine, by Jean Depara

(Image credit: Jean Depara)

Golden age
16 November

Today, Tristan Hoare’s London gallery opens a celebration of African studio photography. Dating back to 1950s – the heyday of the medium – ‘Studio Africa’ represents a time of sovereignty, youth and energetic optimism. The exhibition draws on seven photographers from the epoch, including the late Jean Depara, who was dedicated to capturing life after dark in Kinshasa city. Until 20 December.

Pictured: La Belle Americaine, by Jean Depara, 1965. Courtesy of Tristan Hoare Gallery and Magnin-A

Amadou Sumaila, by César Dezfuli

(Image credit: César Dezfuli)

Face time
15 November

Marking the 10th anniversary of National Portrait Gallery’s prestigious Taylor Wessing photographic Portrait Prize, this year saw 5,717 submissions entered by 2,423 photographers from 66 countries. In the midst of all this, three photographs were shortlisted in an anonymous judging. Along with work by Abbie Trayler-Smith and Maija Tammi, Cesar Dezfuli's photograph Amadou Sumalia shined, from a series documenting the plight of migrants fleeing from conflict, discrimination and poverty. The showcase of finalists opens tomorrow at London’s National Portrait Gallery and continues until 4 February.

Pictured: Amadou Sumaila, by César Dezfuli, 2017. © The artist

Writer: Samantha Thompson

Heli Lake, from the series ‘Light’ by Michel Comte

(Image credit: Michel Comte)

Cool customer
14 November

Today marks the opening of multimedia exhibition ‘Light’, a new body of work by eminent photographer Michel Comte at the MAXXI Museum in Rome. A keen climber and aviator, Comte has been traversing and capturing glacial landscapes for the past 30 years, observing the impact of environmental decline, and confronting the traditions of conventional landscape photography. As well as being enchanting landscapes, his photographs are known to prompt vast political dialogue. The showcase will be on view until 10 December alongside Black light – a large-scale installation to be unveiled on 28 November at the Triennale di Milano, on view until 6 January.

Pictured: Heli Lake, from the series ‘Light’ by Michel Comte, 2017

Writer: Samantha Thompson

The Ward. Courtesy Gideon Mendel and Trolley Books.

(Image credit: Gideon Mendel)

Positive impact
13 October

London’s Fitzrovia Chapel welcomes a compelling celebration of London Middlesex Hospital's Broderip and Charles Bell AIDS wards. ‘The Ward’ records the lives of those suffering with HIV in 1993, an era before the availability of antiretroviral medications and a time when the disease was considered a death sentence. Through Gideon Mendel’s black and white photographs, we discern the considerable bravery of the patients confronted with the frightening prospect of a painful, untimely death. The chapel is opening its doors each Sunday and Wednesday in November, in the lead up to World AIDS Day on 1 December. The exhibition is being held in conjunction with publication of The Ward by Trolley Books. Until 3 December.

Pictured: The Ward. Courtesy Gideon Mendel and Trolley Books.

Writer: Samantha Thompson

Untitled by Tod Papageorge, New York

(Image credit: Tod Papageorge)

Grand Tour
10 October

In the heart of Paris every angle of the photography medium is set to collide at the imperial Grand Palais. The 21st edition of Paris Photo, the eminent global art fair devoted to photography, has yet again fashioned an illustrious roster of events. The fair features 151 carefully selected galleries from 29 countries which are exhibiting an array of artistic diverseness, accompanied by talks, book signings, photobook awards, films, videos and a carte blanche for up-and-coming artists. The fair-goer plays spectator to a myriad of works from across the preceding decades, setting sights on the art form of photography that is endlessly reinventing itself. With Karl Lagerfeld as this year’s guest of honour, this is a Paris Photo not to be missed. Until 12 November.

Pictured: Untitled by Tod Papageorge, New York. © the artist. Courtesy Galerie Thomas Zander

Caught a Plane to Spain, by Steve Parke

(Image credit: TBC)

Stroke of genius
9 November

Musical innovator Prince, whose creative voice continues to unravel posthumously with a new album, is centre stage of Proud Galleries’ latest showcase, opening today. Picturing Prince charts the flourishing alliance between the artist, his art director and official photographer Steve Parke. Documenting Prince’s dazzling charm, Parke leads the way to understanding the star’s rousing image. With Paisley park setting the scene, we unearth a glimpse of a life once largely mysterious, mapping out the drive behind his triumph and ambition. Parke’s highly praised photobook will coincide with the intimate showcase. Until 3 December.

Pictured: Caught a Plane to Spain, by Steve Parke. © the artist. Courtesy of Proud Galleries

Writer: Samantha Thompson

Northern soul

(Image credit: TBC)

Northern soul
8 November

The North of England harbours a unique slice of British identity, landscaped by industrial architecture (and stereotypically bolshy temperaments), it has proven to be a bountiful breeding ground for style and creative vision for decades. As seen earlier this year at Liverpool’s Open Eye Gallery and now at London's Somerset House, 'North: Fashioning Identity' aims to explore the Northern truths depicted through the eye of those native to the area and those who are not. Curators Lou Stoppard and Adam Murray have explored the many avenues of representation and themes that are frequently rehashed in both design and media, which question our cultural understanding of its reality. The Somerset House show also houses thus far unseen visual assets such as Eric Jacquier’s charming double-portrait of a woman and boy in Leeds in 1969 (pictured). Unpicked through film, fashion and photography dating from the 30’s to the present day, the exhibition explores the multifaceted and fascinating North – let’s hope you’re as mad fer it as we are!

Writer: Rosanna Bruce

Guest of honour

(Image credit: TBC)

Guest of honour
7 November

The International Center of Photography – the worlds leading organisation dedicated to photography and visual ethos – today hosts the Spotlights Awards Luncheon in New York. The seventh installment honours this year's Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist Lynsey Addario. Known for calling attention to thorny concerns and brutal conflicts, her courageous take on world events is evidenced through her winning portfolio. The benefit lunch will host an on-stage dialogue between Addario and journalist Katie Couric.

Photography: © Lynsey Addario. Writer: Samantha Thompson

Deep Springs, by Sam Contis

(Image credit: Sam Contis)

Go west
6 October

Earlier this year, Sam Contis released Deep Springs – her first publication with MACK Books – in which she surveys the isolation of a sheltered valley east of California's Sierra Nevada mountain range. Centred on an all-male arts college founded by the pioneering early 20th-century educator LL Nunn, Contis has pooled together a selection of new photographs alongside some taken a century ago, by the college’s first students.

Pictured: Deep Springs, by Sam Contis, 2017. Courtesy of the artist and MACK

Writer: Samantha Thompson

The Eye of Love, Lying Nude (No. 532), Paris

(Image credit: René Groebli)

Life's work
3 November

To honor Swiss photographer René Groebli’s 90th birthday, Zurich’s Bildhalle Gallery is presenting a comprehensive solo exhibition of the artist's vast and diverse oeuvre. Hailed as a leading character in Switzerland’s photographic narrative, Groebli's career is here traced through a smattering of his oft-forgotten portfolios – like ones he captured in Ireland and New York – alongside well-known series like ‘The Eye of Love’, created during Groebli’s honeymoon with his wife Rita in France. Until 2 December.

Pictured: The Eye of Love, Lying Nude (No. 532), Paris, by René Groebli, 1952. Courtesy of the artist

Eternal Light 62 #9 Allahabad, India, by Kenro Izu

(Image credit: Kenro Izu)

Lease of life
2 November

New York-based photographer Kenro Izu’s prevailing work on India is on view at the city’s Howard Greenberg Gallery until 9 December. Focused on the ethos and spirituality of India’s traditions, 'Eternal light' brings into beguiling focus the experiences of joy and suffering related to death and the afterlife. Sacred cities Varanasi and Allahabad supply the backdrop to the portraits and landscapes, which outwardly translate earthy concerns. In tune with the emotions of his subjects, Izu says, 'It’s as though the Hindu gods have suggested that I think about the question, "Where are people heading, in this life and after?"'.

Pictured: Eternal Light 62 #9 Allahabad, India, by Kenro Izu, 2013. Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Writer: Samantha Thompson

Sitting, Durational performance (Variation on position)

(Image credit: TBC)

Caught in the act
1 November

London based photographer Polly Brown and Swiss graphic and type designer Philippe Karrer have allied their creativity to construct a new book in which unassuming commercial and public galleries provide the sets. Available from Spheres PublicationPerformances documents a series of interventions that the duo staged in London galleries throughout the summer. Each photograph is presented alongside a text composed of sentences from the featured galleries’ press releases, in a tongue-in-cheek version of the ‘cut-up’ technique, originally established by William S. Burroughs.

Pictured: Sitting, Durational performance (Variation on position), by Polly Brown and Philippe Karrer, at Hauser & Wirth, London, 2017

Writer: Samantha Thompson

Stability and Constructivity by Jorge Luis Dieguez

(Image credit: Jorge Luis Dieguez)

London calling
31 October

There is new addition to London's festival circuit, Pic.London, opening today for one week only. Established by artists Rakesh Mohindra and Yuxin Jiang, the show aims to display the work of artists at different stages of their careers, while making audiences think twice about how they appreciate the art form. The festival provides a platform for both well-known and establishing photographers, set across different city locations in installations, discussions and markets. Rising talent Jorge Luis Dieguez is amongst the exhibitors with his series Stability and Constructivity that reinterprets the photograph as a solid 3D structure. Until 5 November.

Pictured: Stability and Constructivity by Jorge Luis Dieguez, 2016. Courtesy the artist.

Writer: Samantha Thompson

Run DMC, Hollis Queens, by Janette Beckman

(Image credit: Janette Beckman)

Gavel talk
30 October

The 38th annual fundraiser for San Francisco Camerawork took place this weekend. The famed photography auction was populated by collectors on a national scale, who gathered to raise money for the institution’s events programme, which focuses on nurturing rising talent. The not-for-profit organisation is well known for vetting tomorrow’s up and coming art stars alongside classic jewels, which this year’s auction reflected. A selection of 90 photographs, including work from Walker Evans, Danny Lyon and Janette Beckman, presented a medley of cutting-edge technique and vintage prints.

Pictured: Run DMC, Hollis Queens, by Janette Beckman

Writer: Samantha Thompson

Bouy, by Tom Lovelace, 2017.

(Image credit: Tom Lovelace)

Park life
27 October

This weekend sees the opening of ‘On the heights’ – an exhibition of new work at Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Earlier this year, four artists (Miriam Austin, Sam Belinfante, Tom Lovelace and Frances Scott) were invited to spend two weeks at the park, in exchange for a creative response to its rugged landscape. The resulting works, on display in the atmospheric Bothy Gallery and en plein air, survey the character and narratives of the surrounding valley, along with the local history of YSP. Tom Lovelace’s work prompts us to question what anecdotes and high tales can be believed about the park, through photographic assemblage, sculpture and a new performance that takes visitors on an ‘alternative tour’ of the Estate. Until 3 December.

Pictured: Bouy, by Tom Lovelace, 2017. Courtesy of the artist and Art Licks

Writer: Samantha Thompson

Policeman with Baton Facing Demonstrators

(Image credit: Jill Freedman)

Social protest
26 October

To mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King Jr, New York’s Steve Kasher Gallery is hosting a major showing of Jill Freedman’s series ‘Resurrection City, 1968’. Over 70 rare black and white prints rawly recount what life was like inside a camp built on the Washington Mall by activists protesting the asassination of the civil rights leader. In the words of Freedman, ‘I had to see what was happening, to record it and be a part of it, I felt so bad’. The work has never before been seen in a gallery setting. Until 22 December.

Pictured: Policeman with Baton Facing Demonstrators, Poor Peoples Campaign, Washington, D.C, by Jill Freedman, 1968. Courtesy of Steven Kasher Gallery, New York

Writer: Samantha Thompson

Cigarettes #34, New York, by Irving Penn

(Image credit: Irving Penn)

Finders keepers
25 October

Today sees the opening of Masters of Photography, at London’s Beetles + Huxley Gallery, showcasing a rare collection of photographs by leading practitioners. With a strong emphasis on the rarity and quality of the print, we witness a program of 30 masterpieces, picked for the imporant role they played in the development of photography. Highlights include Gustave le Grey’s vintage prints made in 1656, Irving Penn’s celebrated ‘Cigarette’ series (pictured) and an enchanting portrait of triplets by Diane Arbus. Until 18 November.

Pictured: Cigarettes #34, New York, by Irving Penn, 1974. Courtesy of Beetles + Huxley

Writer: Samantha Thompson

Viviane Sassen, In Bloom

(Image credit: Viviane Sassen)

In vogue
24 October

Photographer, writer and lecturer Eugénie Shinkle has collated 180 of what she deems to be the most pivotal fashion photographs in a new book published by Thames & Hudson. Fashion Photography: The Story in 180 Pictures charts how fashion photography flourished through the rise of illustrated magazines, how influential art directors collaborated with photographers to shape epochs of style, and how generations of fashion photographers have built upon one another's success. An art object in itself, this weighty tome provides an all-inclusive, visual record of 150-years worth of unforgettable fashion frames.

Pictured: Viviane Sassen, In Bloom (1), from Dazed & Confused, 2011. © The artist

Iain, by William Selden

(Image credit: William Selden)

A cut above
23 October

Aid organisation St Mungo’s works to rebuild the lives of those sleeping rough or otherwise facing homelessness. In collaboration with Cuts, a well-known Soho barbershop, British photographer William Selden has focused his camera on the charity’s work, volunteering to take portraits of homeless people having their hair cut. It's a show of solidarity that’s also ‘fun and heartwarming’, explains Selden.

Pictured: Iain, by William Selden. © St Mungo's Portraits 2017

Writer: Samantha Thompson

Dennis Hopper, by Wim Wenders

(Image credit: Wim Wenders)

Behind the screen
20 October 

‘You couldn’t help feeling that you had stolen this image-object from the world. You had transferred a piece of the past into the present,’ says Wim Wenders on the magic of polaroid photography, ahead of his ‘Instant Stories’ exhibition, on display from today at The Photographers’ Gallery in collaboration with Wim Wenders Foundation and C|O Berlin Foundation. Serving as a visual diary, the show offers a singular insight into the Oscar-nominated filmmaker’s life, pivoting between the early 1970s and mid 80s. Taking us on a lyrical journey, we catch a glimpse of his way of thinking, with tribute to his artistic inspirations, Fassbinder and Warhol. Until 11 February. 

Pictured: Dennis Hopper, by Wim Wenders, 1976. © The artist. Courtesy of Deutsches Filminstitut Frankfurt AM

Writer: Samantha Thompson

Untitled, 2017, by Mel Bles

(Image credit: Mel Bles)

Curve appeal
19 October

Tomorrow, London’s Webber Gallery is launching an exhibition of Mel Bles’ series Islands – a sophisticated study of femininity. Toying with the contours of the human body, Bles paints lines on her nude models. She positions the female body as independent, complex and powerful through the use of traditional photographic tropes – shadows, mirrors, nudity and still life. Until 25 November.

Pictured: Untitled, 2017, by Mel Bles, from the series Islands

Writer: Samantha Thompson

KVKM, the missing sculptures of Krishna Menon

(Image credit: Leon Chew)

Waiting game
18 October

As London braces itself for Brexit, ‘independence’ seems an apt theme for the five-day Bloomsbury Festival, which opens today. The topical subject is explored through photographs at the atmospheric Crypt Gallery on Euston Road. ‘In the waiting room’ sees Maria-Edmée di Samuy and Irene Barontini curate a 13-strong series of images from both seasoned and fledgling practitioners, each exploring ways of striving for independence – or redefining the concept altogether. Among the exhibitors is Leon Chew with his series, ‘The India League’. Until 22 October.

Pictured: KVKM, the missing sculptures of Krishna Menon, 2015, by Leon Chew, from ‘The India League’. Courtesy of the artist

Writer: Samantha Thompson

Number 22, by Tania and David Willen.

(Image credit: Tania and David Willen)

Untitled, New York

(Image credit: Mitch Epstein)

On to a winner

(Image credit: TBC)

On to a winner
13 October

The annual William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize has brings together Australia’s finest photographers. With the largest number of entries to date, this year’s illustrious judging panel (including Susan Fereday) has narrowed it down to 59 exceptional images. According to Fereday, selection was tough: ‘There were enough strong photographs to fill several shows.’ Gender diversity, LGBTQI rights, repatriation of indigenous remains, biodiversity in first nations and drone photography are some of the powerful thematic concerns explored by shortlisted finalists, on view from tomorrow, at the Montash Gallery ART in Melbourne. On 19 October the judges will convene to deliberate a first prize-winner from the vast display of exemplary photographic prints. On view until 26 November.

Pictured: Untitled II (from the family archives), by Janelle Low, 2017. Courtesy of the artist, This Is No Fantasy, and Dianne Tanzer Gallery

Writer: Samantha Thompson

Vogue Paris, Ottobre,

(Image credit: Guy Bourdin)