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Modern Photographers

Below are biographies and analysis of the work of artists central to Modern And Contemporary Photography.

Modern Photography: 22 of 264 Total Artists

Arbus, Diane

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Diane Arbus is recognized for her insightful street-based compositions and black-and-white portraits of marginalized individuals on the fringes of mainstream society, including images of nudists, transvestites, and mentally and physically handicapped people.

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Atget, Eugène

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Eugène Atget was a French photographer who in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century carefully and comprehensively documented the street scenes, architecture and artists of Paris. Atget, whose work was characterized by long exposure, famously sold his photographs to a great number of Parisian artists, including Man Ray, which were used as visual aids for painting.

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Avedon, Richard

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Richard Avedon revolutionized fashion photography by enlivening his models, by showing them in movement. He also excelled in black-and-white portraiture - celebraties and common folk were exhibited in psychologoically revealing ways. His large and powerful body of work makes Avedon one of the most famous photographers of all time.

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Bellmer, Hans

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Hans Bellmer was a twentieth-century German avant-garde photographer and draughtsman, commonly associated with the Surrealism movement. Bellmer is best known for creating a series of pubescent female dolls in the 1930s, which were designed as a direct criticism of Nazi-controlled Germany and its idealization of the perfect human form. Bellmer eventually fled Germany for Paris and was embraced by Breton and the French Surrealists.

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Cartier-Bresson, Henri

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The French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson defined the field of photojournalism and created some of the most memorable photos of the greatest world events of his era. He also brilliantly captured "the decisive moment", the split second when an intersting and powerful composition is best photographed.

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Evans, Walker

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The photographs of Walker Evans told the story of American working-class life with an exacting frankness that was truly revolutionary for its time. He is best well-known for his documentation of the effects of the Great Depression, especially for the iconic portrait of Southern Farmer's wife.

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Feininger, Lyonel

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Lyonel Feininger was a German-American painter and caricaturist associated with the Die Brucke and Der Blaue Rider groups. He painted in an original style reminiscent of Cubism and Futurism, but he is most famous for helping Walter Gropius build the Bauhaus school where Feininger taught until the school was closed down by the Nazis.

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Lange, Dorothea

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Dorothea Lange's images of Depression America made her one of the most acclaimed documentary photographers of the twentieth century. She went on to become a leading photo-journalist working for magazines such as Fortune and Life.

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Mapplethorpe, Robert

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Robert Mapplethorpe was an American photographer known for his large-scale, highly stylized black and white portraits, photos of flowers and nude men. The frank, homosexual eroticism of some his work triggered a more general controversy about the public funding of artworks and censorship.

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Mendieta, Ana

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Ana Mendieta was a Cuban-American performance artist who created work in the late twentieth century focusing on violence against the female body, as well as pieces involving a close connection with nature and the landscape.

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Moholy-Nagy, Laszlo

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Laszlo Moholy-Nagy was a Hungarian painter, photographer and teacher at the Bauhaus School. Moholy-Nagy was influential in promoting the Bauhaus's multi- and mixed-media approaches to art, advocating for the integration of technological and industrial design elements.

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Penn, Irving

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Irving Penn was a fashion photographer and worked for many years for Vogue magazine, founding his own studio in 1953. Influenced by European Modernism - and in particular Surealism - he became one of the most famous photographers of all time erasing the lines between fashion photography, fine art photography, and "high art".

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Prince, Richard

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Richard Prince created collages containing photographs, such as his series of Cowboys that question advertising, and series of Nurses that show off popular stereotypes.

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Ray, Man

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Man Ray was an American artist in Paris whose photograms, objects, drawings, and other works played an important role in Dada, Surrealism, modern photography, and avant-garde art at large.

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Rodchenko, Alexander

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Alexander Rodchenko was one of the influential founders of the Constructivist movement, a leading member of the Productivist movement, and a revolutionary modern photographer.

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Segal, George

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American sculptor and painter George Segal is best known for his life-size plaster cast figures, often in monochromatic white. He also worked with artists such as John Cage and Allan Kaprow at Rutgers University in the 1950s and 60s; Kaprow's famous "happenings" performances first took place on Segal's farm in New Jersey.

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Sheeler, Charles

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A major figure in the early development of American modern art, Charles Sheeler incorporated motifs related to industrialization and urbanization, such as towering buildings and flattened geometric planes. His work explored the tension between pre-modern America and its increasingly mechanized future.

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Sherman, Cindy

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Cindy Sherman is an American photographer and film director, best known for her conceptual portraits. Sherman has raised challenging and important questions about the role and representation of women in society, the media and the nature of the creation of art.

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Siskind, Aaron

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Aaron Siskind was a 20th-century American photographer whose catalog of work bears the mark of Abstract Expressionism. Siskind's photographs of found objects were often closely focused on simple shapes in the object, reflecting the artist's preoccupation with basic form, line and texture. Siskind was a significant pioneer is turning photography into an abstract medium.

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Stieglitz, Alfred

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Alfred Stieglitz was an American photographer who published the pioneering journal Camera Work. His gallery 291 was a locus for modern artists in America.

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Modern Photography: 22 of 264 Total Artists



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