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These pictures from Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center aren’t great; they were taken with a yet-to-be fully explored Canon SX130. Somewhat like this post of a yet-to-be fully explored art show at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center called The Polaroid Years: Instant Photography and Experimentation.  

David Graves Pembroke Studios London 27th April 1982 David Hockney Composite of SX-70 Polaroid prints

David Graves Pembroke Studios London 27th April 1982
David Hockney
Composite of SX-70 Polaroid prints

About the Show

This survey exhibition brings together ground breaking Polaroid pictures by forty artists spanning the period from the initial release of the SX-70 camera in 1972 until the present…

Curatorial research for the exhibition was sponsored by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. The exhibition is made possible in part by the Smart Family Fund for Art Exhibition Support.

The Prospero blog has a very interesting write-up, too, which lends historical color to Polaroid’s Artist Support Program that began in the 1940s.

Instant Forever

When Edwin Land, inventor of the Polaroid, first unveiled his instant camera in 1947, such thoughts were at the front of his mind. “The purpose of inventing instant photography was essentially aesthetic,” he declared, “to make available a new medium of expression to numerous individuals who have an artistic interest in the world around them.” This was not just product-launch hyperbole. By 1949, Land had placed Ansel Adams, a revered photographer of the American landscape, on a monthly retainer as a consultant.

When Land saw how useful Adams was in suggesting improvements to his product he began Polaroid’s Artist Support Program which offered grants of cameras and film to artists such as Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg in order to have his products tested to their limits.

Self Portrait in Nine Parts, (Left) Chuck Close 1979. Exhibit: Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center -- The Polaroid Years: Instant Photography and Experimentation

Self Portrait in Nine Parts, (Left) Chuck Close 1979. Exhibit: Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center — The Polaroid Years: Instant Photography and Experimentation

As mentioned above, the exhibit revolves around the SX-70.  Here’s something from a 2006 2008 Wall Street Journal article about the Polaroid 20X24 camera, which Chuck Close used for his self-portraits featured above. I haven’t read the article completely yet, but I wanted to introduce the large format Polaroid.

Big Artists, Big Camera: Not a Typical Polaroid

When, back in February, Petters Group Worldwide, current owner of Polaroid Corp., announced that it would stop producing instant photography film, the company left the door open for any interested party to acquire the technology needed to manufacture the film for whatever customers remained. 

As a result, investor and philanthropist Daniel H. Stern and long-time Polaroid artist John Reuter now have “an agreement in principle” to produce the chemicals and related products essential for making Polaroid images. 

Their company, 20X24 Holdings LLC, will support only the Polaroid 20×24, which produces images two feet high and 20 inches wide. Polaroid introduced the model in the late 1970s as a glamour product.

“The Polaroid Years: Instant Photography and Experimentation” is at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York April 12th until June 30th 2013

♠♠♠

NOTE: I doubt I’ll be posting about the show until June 30th, but I anticipate a few more this month.

 

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