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Minor White, A Major Photographer

January 06, 1985|JOSINE IANCO-STARRELS

An exhibition of more than 100 photographs by Minor White, selected from the permanent collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, will be at the California Museum of Photography at UC Riverside Friday through March 8.

Regarded as one of the most influential American photographers, White was admired for his photographs and for his work as a teacher, editor, critic and theoretician. He believed that the essence of any object or place could be captured through the lens of a camera.

Photographs in the exhibition, taken between 1939 and 1968, include landscapes, portraits, close-ups of elements in nature, human environments, manufactured objects and cityscapes. Many of the images will be arranged in sequences, to be viewed as the artist intended them to be seen; he wanted individual prints to enhance each other and create a unified statement.

Ansel Adams once described White as "one of the greatest photographers" and cited "the extraordinary dignity of his work" and his "creative craft."

White had his first solo exhibition in 1942. Encouraged by Adams and Alfred Stieglitz, he joined the faculty of the California School of Fine Arts in 1946.

He was founder and editor of Aperture, an internationally noted photography magazine, and taught workshops throughout the United States. In 1965, he joined the faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he taught until his death in 1976.

Information: (714) 787-4787.

Stephan Lackner, art historian, poet and author of several books and articles on Max Beckmann, will speak on "Max Beckmann: Memories of a Friendship" today at 3:30 p.m. in the County Museum of Art's Bing Theater. The lecture is in conjunction with the Beckmann retrospective currently at the museum.

Lackner knew the artist and his family in Berlin and Amsterdam, and was an early collector of his work.

Two other lectures on Beckmann are scheduled. Next Sunday, at 3:30 p.m., James Hofmaier of the Kunsthaus Lempertz, Cologne, will discuss "The Prints of Max Beckmann: The Problem of a German Artist in a German Tradition." Hofmeier is the author of the forthcoming catalogue raisonne of Beckmann prints.

On Jan. 27, Peter Selz, professor of art history at UC Berkeley, will talk about "Max Beckmann in America." Beckmann emigrated to the States in 1947 and taught in St.Louis and New York until his death in 1950.

Admission to all Sunday lectures is free to members and included in the general admission fee for other visitors.

Three new shows open Wednesday at UC Santa Barbara's University Art Museum: "I Am Not Myself: The Art of African Masquerade," "Seattle Subtext/ Photographs by Paul Berger" and "Selections from the Jay Keystone Collection of Photographs." Material for the African masquerade exhibition, culled from the extensive holdings of UCLA's Museum of Cultural History, consists of 65 masks and six fully dressed mannequins representing 17 different cultures of the African continent. In Africa, masquerades involving masked dancers, musicians and their audiences are important cultural events providing the impetus for the creation of art objects.

Berger's photographs are based on the symbolic language of television imagery and magazine layout.

The selection of photographs from the Keystone collection was made by UCSB art history professor Ulrich Keller, adjunct curator of photography for the University Art Museum. The images range from 19th-Century photographs to recent work, diverse in style and subject matter.

All three exhibitions will run through Feb.10.

A symposium titled "Switching Channels: New Frontiers in Art Communication," takes place Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., in UCLA's Haines Hall 39. The program is presented by UCLA Extension.

Part of the proceedings is a panel discussion, moderated by Suzanne Lacy, performance artist, writer and educator. Panelists are: Jacki Apple, intermedia artist/writer (who hosts and produces "Audio Networks" on KPFK and writes for Artweek, Media Arts and High Performance); Peter Kirby, video artist, editor/producer and co-founder/vice-president of Video Transitions (a post-production video company); Max Almy, video artist, and Julie Lazar, curator of media and performing arts at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Fee for the program is $85. Registration: 206-8503.

"Venice: The American View, 1860-1920" can be seen at San Francisco's California Palace of the Legion of Honor in Golden Gate Park through Jan. 20. The exhibition of 120 paintings, watercolors, etchings and pastel drawings features work inspired by Venice and depicted by John Singer Sargent, Maurice Prendergast, James McNeill Whistler, Thomas Moran, William Merritt Chase, John Twachtman and Frank Duveneck.

According to curator Margaretta Lovell, the purpose of the exhibition is "to point up the extraordinary achievement which these Venetian views represent and to move toward a general reappraisal of the relationship between American artists and Europe during this critical period in American art. At least 3,000 such works survive, making Venice by far the most often painted city by Americans during the period. These works of stunning beauty are often mixed with sweet melancholy; more interestingly, they frequently exhibit a startling modernity."

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