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Tod Papageorge: American Sports, 1970
     

Tod Papageorge: American Sports, 1970

by Tod Papageorge (Photographer)
 

Coolly observational yet intensely engaging, the immensely influential American photographer Tod Papageorge's American Sports, 1970 draws a subtle but sharp parallel between the war in Vietnam and the American attitude toward spectator sports during a time of conflict. In 1970, a watershed year for popular opinion against the war, Papageorge was awarded a

Overview

Coolly observational yet intensely engaging, the immensely influential American photographer Tod Papageorge's American Sports, 1970 draws a subtle but sharp parallel between the war in Vietnam and the American attitude toward spectator sports during a time of conflict. In 1970, a watershed year for popular opinion against the war, Papageorge was awarded a Guggenheim Foundation grant. His ostensible subject—sports and its role in American life—quickly became charged with the political, racial and sexual conflicts ignited by the war. Each and every picture is electric with disquiet. Military men in uniform parade across a field or relax in the stands. Cheerleaders rehearse beneath the gaze of the police. A couple sprawls and embraces in the debris of the Indianapolis 500. And hundreds of fans are drawn in unsettling group portraits at various stadiums and in the stands of many classic American sporting events.
Papageorge eloquently and palpably captures the civic and psychic distress of the time on the faces of his subjects and in their gestures and interactions. This is a remarkable, unexpected body of work—published here for the first time—by an artist and teacher who has shaped the creative efforts of many of the most influential American photographers of the past three decades.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

On his 1970 Guggenheim Fellowship, Papageorge sought "to document as clearly and as completely as possible the phenomena of professional sport in America." To Papageorge, the "theater of spectator and sport is comprised of a thousand brief acts." This collection mostly shows audiences taking in America's greatest pastimes-baseball and football-on campuses and in professional parks throughout 1970, the year that 4,221 American troops died in the Vietnam War and four students were killed at Kent State University. This politically tense year in American history is captured from the sidelines in photographs with formal elegance and hilarious happenstance that reveal the country's escapist tendencies. In one image, competing newspaper headlines say it all: "Baltimore Wins First One" leads the Cincinnati Post, whereas the Kentucky Postreports on a "Secret attempt to buy city hall," suggesting radically different ideas of what is worth noticing and reporting. Many of Papageorge's photos reveal people either intensely watching or paying no attention whatsoever, but it is Papageorge who invites us to look and look closely at a majorette's baton, lines that separate spectators from police and the head of a veteran's memorial that nearly vanishes into a tree. The results are utterly absorbing and seamless in their poetry. 70 b&w photos. (Feb.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781597110501
Publisher:
Aperture Foundation
Publication date:
01/28/2008
Pages:
131
Product dimensions:
12.00(w) x 10.70(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Tod Papageorge earned his BA in English literature from the University of New Hampshire, in 1962, where he began taking photographs during his last semester. He is the recipient of two Guggenheim Fellowships and two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships. In 1979, Papageorge was named Yale University’s Walker Evans Professor of Photography and director of graduate studies in photography, positions he continues to hold today.

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