Post #1047 • September 6, 2007, 7:00 PM • 5 Comments
Los Angeles - This one I'm punting. Here's Lawrence Alloway writing in 1969:
If we agree that the correspondence between the complex world and complex display is untenable... what is there to see in the show? An exhibition of blown-up photographs, and these are always handsome, getting grainier, more porous, and less lifelike as they reach life size. The only message that such images can carry are platitudes like "time marches on" and "we're all human." The first theme plays on nostalgia... and the second on our most automatic reflexes of good will.
To that I can only add that putting this exhibition adjacent to the Weston show was awfully hard on it. That the Chad photo evoked the crowded panels of Benozzo Gozzoli, or the one of the dead Jihadi, Holbein's entombed Christ, surprisingly made me want to go back and have a look at photos made on a modest scale, doing photograph-y looking things like sensitive studies of mills and gauzy sepia-toned portraits. They were, without a doubt, handsome, but self-conscious, so much so that the arty-ness one might ascribe to Weston didn't appear as such by comparison. This was an odd and uncomfortable thing to note given the grim situations of the subjects.