The first segment of this week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast spotlights the work of photographer Minor White.
J, Paul Getty Museum curator Paul Martineau discusses "Minor White: Manifestations of the Spirit," a retrospective on view through October 19. It’s the first White retrospective in 25 years, since a show that was organized by the Princeton University Art Museum and that debuted at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Getty itself published the catalogue for Martineau’s exhibition and it’s terrific. It’s a must-own not just for the many rarely published White photographs, but for Martineau’s unusually strong essay. Amazon offers it for under $30.
White was one of the most important and influential American photographers of the mid-20th-century. Not only was he a teacher and a founder and editor of Aperture magazine, but White’s brand of metaphorical modernism was perfect for an era in which much of what individuals thought or felt could not be said for fear of repercussions from the state.
These are the three pictures with which Martineau opens both the exhibition and his book: Copper Creek, Oregon (Wallowa Mountains) (1941), Tom Murphy, San Francisco (1948), No. 30 from the series “The Temptation of St. Anthony Is Mirrors,” (sequenced 1948), and Cabbage Hill, Oregon (Grande Ronde Valley) (1941), respectively.
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