The Theatre of the Face : Portrait Photography Since 1900 (Max Kozloff)
Phaidon Press (1 Oct 2007): "The face is where we are. We kiss, eat, breathe and speak through it. It's where we look,...
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Phaidon Press (1 Oct 2007): "The face is where we are. We kiss, eat, breathe and speak through it. It's where we look, listen and smell. It is where we think of ourselves as being finally and conclusively on show. It's the part we hide when we are ashamed and the bit we think we lose when we are in disgrace" - Jonathon Green. Though portrait photography is one of the most popular and enduring of all photographic genres it is also the least studied, with no publication that fully examines the intrinsic psychological and social aspects of portraiture. This important publication redresses this imbalance, revealing a new history of photography through this genre, with an engaging text that also reveals the personalities behind the camera and in front of it. As such, it is an essential text and will be the key title for photography students, specialists and enthusiasts for years to come, as well as appeal to a wide general readership who will engage with Max Kozloff's passion for the portrait and his lively and entertaining narrative. The book is fully illustrated with over 300 images, which include some of the best-known portraits of all time and the work of seminal figures in photographic history, alongside lesser-known photographers whose contribution has been overlooked in general histories of photography. This expansive book also includes a range of photographic styles and movements, and photographers whose intentions vary considerably. From Edward Sheriff Curtis' ethnographic project portraying the Native American Indians, to the social documentarist Lewis W Hine's depiction of the lives of children working in sweatshops; from the major FSA project documenting the Depression in the United States through the work of figures like Dorothea Lange and Margaret Bourke-White, to the street photography of Brassai and Robert Doisneau; from August Sander's ambitious intention to photograph the totality of German society, to Chris Verene's portrayal of his family in Galesburg, Illinois. The chapter structure is broadly chronological and thematic, with analyses of the photographs featured, alongside a wider discussion of the photographers themselves, accompanied by an illuminating preface and conclusion, and a selected bibliography by the author.
About the Author
Max Kozloff is one of the leading photography critics working today, and the recipient of numerous prizes and fellowships. Formerly the editor of Art Forum, he is a prolific writer whose contribution includes the first monograph on Jasper Johns, a book of collected essays entitled, Photography and Fascination (1978), two further books of essays on the medium, a study of Duane Michals and a history of New York street photography that accompanied a travelling museum show, which he curated in 2002. Kozloff has also taught on numerous photography courses and is a noted photographer himself, having exhibited in the United States, Mexico and India. His passion for portraiture stems from his own visual practice and informs his belief that this genre is photography's central project.