27th ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL LOS ANGELES PHOTOGRAPHIC ART EXPOSITION
©Tony Vaccaro, Hitler's Window, Courtesy of Monroe Gallery
CLASSIC PHOTO LA
"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs." - Ansel Adams
How does one define classic photography? However one interprets it, Classic Photography has always been an integral part of photo la, since its very beginnings in 1992 at Butterfield's (now Bonhams) Auction House. Classic photo la 2017 continues to present an important expanse of photography and photo-based art for our guests to view and enjoy at the fair.
photo la 2017 is proud to present a fantastic collection of classic images produced by world-renowned photographers, which will all be on view at this year's fair. Classic photo la presents the best classic photography around, and as Ansel Adams implies so eloquently, it celebrates those exceptional photographers who knew no bounds.
Jacques Henri Lartigue
O. Winston Link
W. Eugene Smith
The Stars of "Oceans 11" Stage a Fight, 1960 Sid Avery mptvimages
There are many parameters to what the term "classic" can refer to. A dictionary definition includes the following:
The most accepted definitions would be black and white photography from the 19th and 20th century. Alfred Stieglitz, Clarence White, Edward Steichen and F. Holland Day, the photo-secessionists, many of whom were published in Camera Work, the quarterly published by Alfred Stieglitz that gave wide exposure to many now considered classic photographers.
Photographers working in the mid-20th century were producing what was for them, contemporary photography. The subject matter included still lifes, landscapes, nudes and architecture. With the passage of time, a sense of nostalgia for the way things were in a less complicated and complex society that these photographs depicted defined classic. With WWI and the depression what everyone concedes is classic was the documentary work produced through the U.S. government's Work Progress Administration (WPA) and the Farm Security Administration (FSA) which became the Office of War Information after WWII broke out. This gave work to many of the photographers we consider classic: Walker Evans, Ben Shahn, Arthur Rothstein, Berenice Abbott, Eudora Welty, Esther Bubley, Jack Delano, Dorothea Lange, Russell Lee and Gordon Parks. They produced a body of work now considered classic but was actually documenting contemporaneous American life.
Photography auctions over the past thirty years include repeat certain images every year. Perhaps that defines classic. The renown of the photographer, be it Cartier-Bresson, Josef Sudek, Ansel Adams, Edward Weston as well as Diane Arbus, Weegee, Lisette Model and Larry Clark have all produced classic images. But there are thousands of images created by hundreds of photographers without the name recognition that are also "classic". Classic photography doesn't just include work produced last century, or before. Much of William Eggleston's ground-breaking use of color, starting in the 1970's, is now considered classic. Perhaps a certain style could define it. A Josef Sudek still life and Danny Lyon's image of bikers crossing the Ohio River are both classics but they are as different as any two images can be.