Following my previous post on photographic typologies and a post made a few weeks ago after my pilgrimage to the George Eastman House to see the re-created New Topographics show, I wanted to share a very informative audio piece on the New Topo show featuring Eastman House curator Allison Nordstrom. Listen to it here – WXXI: George Eastman House revives influential show
While you listen to the short audio piece, check out some of the photographs from the show after the jump…
Although the exhibition came and went without much fanfare in 1975, “new topographics photography” has become a widely understood term throughout the art world, and the show is unanimously considered a turning point in the history of the medium. The roster of artists is amazing, akin to the line-ups of the New York Yankees of the 1920s. But this cohort was more than just a group of great players; they changed the way the game was played. Stephen Shore was among the first to photographically explore the beauty of everyday colors, Nixon’s matter-of-fact views of Boston subtly revealed the tangle of hundreds of years of urban growth, Bernd and Hilla Becher’s typologies and teaching influenced an entire generation of German artists (think Gursky, Ruff, and Hofer), and Robert Adams, Lewis Baltz, Joe Deal, Frank Gohlke, John Schott, and Henry Wessel Jr. all unflinchingly confronted our bizarre modifications of the vistas of the American West. All are deeply respected, and many are bona fide legends, radically influencing what we now know as contemporary photography.
“Nature as Artifice and New Topographics” by Luke Strosnider for the Rochester CITY Newspaper, July 1, 2009