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Art and Photography (Themes & Movements) [Paperback]

David Campany
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

12 Mar 2012 Themes & Movements
The first major survey of photography's place in recent art history.

Product details

  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press Ltd; Abr Rev Up edition (12 Mar 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780714863924
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714863924
  • ASIN: 0714863920
  • Product Dimensions: 29 x 24.6 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 145,969 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'Presented thematically, with succinct texts that are both readable and informative, the book meets both academic and general needs, without ever compromising the images in display.' Pictured 'Imagine the best group show of photographers you've ever seen. Now imagine it's a book. Campany skillfully curates the leading lights of post-1960 into a thematically arranged form with tempting essays by Barthes and Baudrillard into the bargain. It's timely survey that aspires to be the document of record for the most exciting, universal and accessible art form we've got.' i-D 'Exploring developments from the Sixties to the present day, this beautiful book covers every major school, style and name, and includes work by the likes of Jeff Wall, Andreas Gursky and Gillian Wearing. The perfect family album' Vogue

About the Author

David Campany is a writer and artist, and Reader in Photography at the University of Westminster, London. He was co-founder of the organization Photoforum, which brings together theorists and practitioners working in the photographic arts. His published work includes essays in Rewriting Conceptual Art, ed. Jon Bird and Michael Newman (Reaktion, 1999); Postcards on Photography: Photorealism and the Reproduction (Cambridge Darkroom, 1998); Cruel and Tender: the Real in the Twentieth Century Photograph (Tate, 2003) and Stillness and Time: Photography and the Moving Image (Photoforum/Photoworks, 2006). He is the editor of the anthology The Cinematic (Whitechapel/MIT Press, 2007) and the author of Photography and Film (Reaktion, 2007).

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite what I was expecting 27 Nov 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have several of these 'Themes & Movements' books from Phaidon, as a student I found the collection of texts missing from this edition useful and interesting. Maybe the photography book never had the documentation the Conceptual Art, Minimalism, Arte Povera and Feminism ones did ... which would explain why it is so much cheaper. as a large format paperback the reporductions are easily clear enough to demonstrate the point of the photographs and the captions have worthwhile content, though the description of Jeff Wall's 'The Destroyed Room' fails to mention the allusions highlighted in the current 'Seduced by Art' exhibition at the National Gallery.
Useful to stimulate interest and identify works and photographers
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Avant-Garde 24 April 2012
By Conrad J. Obregon - Published on Amazon.com
Note: This is the same book issued by the publisher five years ago in a hard cover. The following is my review from that time.

Notwithstanding the promise of its title, "Art in Photography" is simply a survey of avant-garde photography of the last half of the twentieth century.

The book is divided into three parts: an essay by Campany, photographs and other works, and documents consisting of excerpts of articles, interviews and statements. The essay is divided into sections with titles like "The Urban and the Everyday" with similar sections of the photographs and documents. Each essay section makes a few general comments about the new in photography and then discusses in a sentence or two the particular photographers whose works appear among the photographs.

The essay's principal thesis is that while other plastic arts moved away from content toward form in modern times, photography has generally moved away from form to content. At the same time, the goal of either set of movements was always self-referential, although it seemed as if photographers were deliberately subverting the form to show its inadequacies. (The author ignores the main stream of photography during that same period, when there were many portrait, fashion and landscape photographers who clung splendidly to the combination of form and content, using form to explicate the content.)

The essay is often supported by thumbnails an inch and three-quarters high, but it is difficult to see much at this small size, and the reader may be further confounded in the effort to relate the picture to the text by the fact that the captions for the thumbnails are printed vertically in small type, requiring one to rotate the book 90 degrees and then look closely to confirm the relationship of the picture to the text.

The pictures themselves are difficult to understand out of the context of a particular photographer's work, although occasionally an image will arrest one's eye, like the photograph of a single woman's face turned toward the camera in a sea of black-cloaked praying Moslem women, or Chuck Close's painting of Philip Glass. For the most part the pictures, out of context, are enigmatic. Campany acknowledges that it is difficult to draw any consistent theory of photography from the pictures.

The documents vary in interest from insightful articles to artistic double-speak. It pained me to see Walter Benjamin's seminal article "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction" abridged to a short excerpt, but it does add the flavor of the work to some understanding of the pictures presented.

Survey books are always difficult for me because they can never go into enough detail to comprehend larger movements. Still, for the individual interested in a collection of representative works of avant-garde photography, this book may fill the bill.
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