Gary Schneider: Portraits

Overview

Considered one of the most thought-provoking photographers practicing today, South African-born Gary Schneider creates unique luminescent portraits that transform their specific subject matter and probe the enigmatic character of identity. This remarkable book is the first to examine Schneider's innovative portrait work. Deborah Martin Kao discusses Schneider's re-presentation of nineteenth-century studio portraits, his handprint photograms, and his fragmented face portraits-all of which reveal as much about the ...
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Overview

Considered one of the most thought-provoking photographers practicing today, South African-born Gary Schneider creates unique luminescent portraits that transform their specific subject matter and probe the enigmatic character of identity. This remarkable book is the first to examine Schneider's innovative portrait work. Deborah Martin Kao discusses Schneider's re-presentation of nineteenth-century studio portraits, his handprint photograms, and his fragmented face portraits-all of which reveal as much about the language of photography as they do about the subjects being depicted. She shows how Schneider portrays the collaboration between artist and subject, seen in his use of a light pen to sculpt or trace his subjects over long exposures, and in his prints that display traces of movement in time. Kao also discusses Schneider's work with scientists to create negatives from which he makes strikingly beautiful images of blood, DNA, and strands of hair, and how these represent a fascinating evolution in traditional thinking about the nature of photographic portraiture. Gary Schneider: Portraits also features an interview with Schneider that provides insight into the life and working methods of an extraordinary contemporary photographer.

Author Biography: Deborah Martin Kao is the Richard L. Menschel Curator of Photography at the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, and senior lecturer in Harvard University's department of the history of art and architecture. She is co-author of the award-winning Ben Shahn's New York, published by Yale University Press.

This book accompanies an exhibition at the Harvard University Art Museums (Feb. 28 to June 13, 2004) and The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu (Aug.13 to Oct. 10, 2004); Published in association with Harvard University Art Museums

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The photographic portraits of Gary Schneider encompass myriad influences and technologies, ranging from the 19th-century work of Julia Margaret Cameron to the recent advances of the Human Genome Project. These intimate portraits take a variety of forms, including fractured sections of a person's body, tightly cropped faces, photograms of hands, and DNA. Schneider describes them all as self-portraits. Some literally are, others are poetic reflections on friends lost to AIDS, and still others are documents of a slow process and interaction between Schneider and his sitter. Several of his portraits are made in a dark studio, where the subject lies on his or her back for a lengthy duration. The camera is suspended above, and Schneider illuminates small sections of the face with a penlight. The first to collect Schneider's portraiture, this book features 103 color and 49 black-and-white illustrations, plus three gatefolds, as well as an interview with the artist and an informative introductory essay by Kao (Harvard Univ. Art Museum). Recommended for libraries with contemporary photography and art collections.-D'Arcy Curwen, San Bernardino, CA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300100549
  • Publisher: Harvard Art Museum
  • Publication date: 2/24/2004
  • Pages: 134
  • Product dimensions: 8.58 (w) x 10.24 (h) x 0.53 (d)

Table of Contents

Director's Foreword
Acknowledgments
The Obsession of Looking at Things Up Close 1
Plates 32
Gary Schneider in Conversation 101
Selected Exhibition History 118
Selected Bibliography 120
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