Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Polaroids at the Norton Museum of Art

Folks who live in Florida, or are headed that way to escape the current cold snap in the upper South, might want to drop into the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach.

The Norton is hosting a show of work entitled The Polaroid Years: Instant Photography and Experimentation, now up through March 23rd, 2014.

This show features works by over 40 photographers, including major photographers like Ansel Adams, Ellen Carey, Chuck Close, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Walker Evans, David Hockney, Andre Kertesz (see image above),  Robert Mapplethorpe, Joyce Neimanas, Andy Warhol, and William Wegman.

Also included are younger shooters like Anne Collier, Bryan Graf, Catherine Opie, Lisa Oppenheim, Dash Snow, Mungo Thomson, and Grant Worth.

This is a major show, originally put together by the folks at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College, with support from the Andy Warhal Foundation.   You can buy the catalogue for the show here. 

I've always thought that there is a distinctive look to images shot on Polaroid film. The images made with the large format Polaroid cameras especially seem to combine a sense of immediacy and formality. Perhaps its the discipline of knowing that with this gear every time you push the button you have spent a considerable amount of money.

But smaller format Polaroids lend themselves to all kinds of fun and games -- blurring the colors, playing with the process and the materials -- so  even though there do not seem to be many Southerners represented among the shooters in this show, it looks like its worth checking out if you are in the area.

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