Friday, August 04, 2006

6' x 8' Photographs

In 2002 while browsing in a bookstore I came upon Thomas Struth: 1977-2002, a book and catalog of his 100 print exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art. I liked the work immediately and wanted to know more about this work. Two of the oddest things I noticed about his work are that he made very small editions - editions of 10. Also the prints were very large - often 6' x 8'. I had seen very large prints before with Sandy Skoglund's photographs. She had done an incredible exhibit at the Norton Art Museum. The Struth prints were quite a bit larger than the Skoglund prints. Currently the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston is hosting an exhibit of photographs by Laura McPhee. Again giant prints in very small editions. They are also 6' x 8' and based on past work possibly in editions of 5. By making them so large, as Thomas Struth has done before her, the size itself functions as an innovative style independent of content. All 3 photographers work with a camera that shoots 8"x10" film allowing them to make very large prints and still hold detail. After spending a couple of hours at the Laura McPhee exhibit I walked away with a sense of pride. When I began photography in 1970 most photographs as art were 8"x10" or smaller, black and white and selling for less than $100. Photography was barely considered art. It's very exciting to see galleries and museums taking photographs seriously, selling at prices that reflect the amount of work put in to them and at sizes as large as many paintings.

all rights reserved © 2006 Paul Light


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