The New York School: Photographs, 1936-1963
The New York School of Photography refers to a loosely defined group of photographers who lived and worked in New York City during the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s sharing influences, subjects and stylistic earmarks. Jane Livingston examines 16 photographers in a study that defines this seminal episode in American photography. These photographers, many of whom also worked for the magazines of the day, stretched the boundaries of their medium in their personal work as street photographers. As their subjects, they chose the random choreography of New York’s sidewalks, the crush of bodies on Coney Island’s beaches and the glare of festival lights and neon signs. Many of the photographers identified with the look and values embodied in “film noir”. The 250 photographs in the book are printed on three kinds of paper – dull, matte and uncoated – in duotones of varying colour combinations. Through a selection of both classic and rediscovered photographs and a text full of quotes from the photographers themselves, Jane Livingston shows the distinctive stylistic nature of this newly understood group. The book includes photographs by Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon, Alexey Brodovitch, Ted Croner, Bruce Davidson, Don Donaghy, Louis Faurer, Robert Frank, Sid Grossman, William Klein, Saul Leiter, Leon Levinstein, Helen Levitt, Lisette Model, David Vestal and Weegee. The author also wrote “L’Amour Fou: Photography and Surrealism”, “Manuel Alvarez Bravo”, “Hispanic Art in the United States” and “Lee Miller: Photographer”.
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