Photography's Antiquarian Avant-garde

Photography's Antiquarian Avant-garde

The New Wave in Old Processes

Book - 2002
Average Rating:
Rate this:
It started in the 1970s with a group of artists seeking to reengage the physical facts of photography, its materials and processes, by turning to the history of photography for metaphors, technical information, and visual inspiration. By the 1980s it had become a movement with a fervent following. And now, for the first time in book form, Photography's Antiquarian Avant-Garde charts this full-blown rebellion of contemporary photographers against the advent of digital technology and their reversion to photographic methods used in the nineteenth century. By beginning with a narrative history of photography that allows the reader to understand the forebears of this movement, author Lyle Rexer provides a context for engaging with the contemporary work. For all of the artists illustrated, stepping into the past is a way to reimagine and redirect not only the photographic object, but the very act of photography itself. In each subsequent chapter, he introduces the reader to a different technique and, along with providing vivid insights into the creative processes of the artists, makes visible the astonishing diversity of their work. The photographers in this volume are from all over the world and use a wide array of processes. Among the artists and methods featured are Adam Fuss's Cibachrome photograms, Jayne Hinds Bidaut's tintypes, Jerry Spagnoli's daguerreotypes, Gabor Kerekes's carbon dichromates, and Laurent Millet's toned silver prints. An interview with Sally Mann about her collodion prints and a statement written by Chuck Close about his work with daguerreotypes give the reader a clear sense of what has driven them to pursue these long-obsolete processes. The book is completed by a glossary of technical terms to enhance the reader's understanding of the technical aspects of each process. Fans of photography will prize this beautifully illustrated volume by Rexer (a contributor to Aperture who has written other catalogs on photography and contemporary art). The current movement to use 19th-century techniques is described. Five of these techniques each get their own essay, namely, daguerreotype, tintype, cyanotype, photograms, and glass plates. Two additional essays include an interview with Sally Mann, and an essay by Chuck Close on his use of daguerreotype. A technical glossary is provided.
Publisher: New York : Harry N. Abrams, 2002
ISBN: 9780810904026
Branch Call Number: 770 R455
Characteristics: 159 pages : illustrations ; 30 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

There are no comments for this title yet.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at OPL

To Top