Spirit into Matter: The Photographs of Edmund Teske

Overview

"Edmund Teske (1911-1996) was one of the alchemists of twentieth-century American photography. Working in obscurity, over a sixty-year period he created a richly diverse body of work that explored the expressive and emotional potentials of the medium. His drive to experiment with alternative techniques, such as solarization and composite printing, liberated a younger generation of American photographers seeking to break away from established darkroom procedures. At the same time his subject matter - sometimes abstract, often frankly homoerotic,
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Overview

"Edmund Teske (1911-1996) was one of the alchemists of twentieth-century American photography. Working in obscurity, over a sixty-year period he created a richly diverse body of work that explored the expressive and emotional potentials of the medium. His drive to experiment with alternative techniques, such as solarization and composite printing, liberated a younger generation of American photographers seeking to break away from established darkroom procedures. At the same time his subject matter - sometimes abstract, often frankly homoerotic, always lyrical and poetic - opened up new areas for younger photographers to explore." "Spirit into Matter is published to coincide with the first major retrospective of Teske's work. Julian Cox, the curator of the exhibition at the Getty Museum, provides an introduction and extensive biocritical essay on Teske that traces his long and varied career, from Chicago in the 1930s to his association with Frank Lloyd Wright and, in Los Angeles, with such iconic figures as filmmaker Kenneth Anger and Jim Morrison and the Doors." Also included is a transcript of a conversation with artist George Herms, who knew Teske for more than thirty years; a chronology of Teske's life; a checklist of Teske exhibitions; and a complete bibliography.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Published to accompany a retrospective at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, this book brings to light the photographs of an artist not well known even among photography scholars. Born in Chicago, Teske (1911-96) migrated to Los Angeles in the 1940s, establishing contacts with artists, patrons, actors, and collectors, among them Frank Lloyd Wright, Aline Barnsdall, Tony Smith, and Walter Hopps. His early photographs adopted a socially aware, documentary style akin to Walker Evans and Berenice Abbott (he briefly assisted her in the 1930s), and as his work matured, he merged experimental darkroom techniques such as solarization, double exposure, and composite printing with spiritually questing, romantic imagery. Teske didn't invent the solarization process (which results in patterns of rich brown, gray, and rust tonalities), but he elevated it. An essay by Julian Cox (associate curator of photographs, Getty Museum) and an interview with George Herms, an artist friend of Teske, offer a glimpse into the bohemian subculture of mid-century Los Angeles. Beautifully printed plates convey the depth of the solarized prints. For libraries collecting books on contemporary photography. Michael Dashkin, Qualcomm, San Diego Literature Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Julian Cox is associate curator of photographs at the Getty Museum. He is the author of In Focus: Julia Margaret Cameron and coauthor, with Colin Ford, of Julia Margaret Cameron: The Complete Photographs.

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