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Arnold Newman [Hardcover]

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Item description for Arnold Newman by Philip Brookman...

Portrait photographer extraordinaire I?m not so much interested in documenting as in expressing my impressions of the individuals with the constantly expanding narrative means of my medium. ?Arnold Newman Piet Mondrian behind his easel, Igor Stravinsky at his piano, Max Ernst sitting smoking on his throne-like chair: the photographs of Arnold Newman (1918-2006) are classics of portraiture. His subtle arrangements constituted the foundations of ?environmental portraiture.? His photographs integrate the respective artist's characteristic equipment and surroundings, thus indicating his or her field of activity. The enormous fame of Newman's portraits can be ascribed to their daring compositions and sometimes astounding spatial structures. The photographer's beginnings, however, were none too promising. During the Great Depression, Newman had to abandon his art studies for financial reasons. Between 1938 and 1942 he concentrated on socio-documentary photography in the ghettos of West Palm Beach, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. One might think that being forced to earn his living in a photography studio would have stifled his artistic potential: Newman portrayed up to 70 clients a day. Yet he still succeeded in developing a very personal touch and establishing himself in the New York art scene of the early 1940s. His subjects included Marcel Duchamp, Marc Chagall, Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, and Alexander Calder among many others. With his unmistakable style, Newman became the star photographer of artists, writers, and musicians. This new edition, which includes recent work and an updated biography, provides a sweeping overview of Newman's illustrious career. The author: Philip Brookmanis curator of photography and media art at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington. Brookman's projects include the exhibition and book Half Past Autumn: The Art of Gordon Parks, and the touring exhibitions and books Raised by Wolves: Photographs and Documents by Jim Goldberg, and Hospice: A Photographic Inquiry for the Corcoran Gallery.

There's a famous photograph of Picasso in his 70s that probably would make you think "genius" and "visionary" even if you had no idea he was a great artist. One hand pushes up against his forehead, carving a few extra wrinkles and hooding one eye; the other eye stares out with implacable intensity. This is the work of Arnold Newman, one of the great contemporary American portrait photographers, whose images--frequently made on assignment in Europe--appeared in Harper's Bazaar, Fortune, Life, Look, and other major magazines. Trained as a painter, he believes (as he writes in a short, passionate essay prefacing his selection of 60 years of his work) that "we do not take pictures with our cameras, but with our hearts and minds." He has always been fascinated by the kind of people--scientists, musicians, actors, politicians, writers, and artists--with whom he could have "long conversations until late at night."

Arnold Newman, probably the most extensive of the many samplings of the photographer's work, amply displays his vaunted skill at portraying mostly well-known sitters in their native habitats, whether these happen to be lonely-looking palaces (Haile Selassie, Generalissimo Franco), book-lined offices (Golda Meier, Stephen Jay Gould), a shabby road veiled in darkness (Shelagh Delaney), a bed (Woody Allen, scribbling on a legal pad), or mysterious precincts that capture the willful individuality of artists and architects. With 240 black-and-white and color plates, this beautifully produced book (marred only by the awkward way the elegant black silhouette of a grand piano lid in the Igor Stravinsky portrait bleeds across two pages) accompanies an exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. (March 18-May 21, 2000). --Cathy Curtis

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Item Specifications...

Pages   280
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 11.57" Width: 9.29" Height: 1.34"
Weight:   4.19 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Aug 1, 2006
Publisher   Taschen
ISBN  3822825921  
ISBN13  9783822825921  

Availability  0 units.

More About Philip Brookman

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Philip Brookman is director of curatorial affairs at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.

Philip Brookman currently resides in Washington, in the state of District Of Columbia.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Photography > Equipment
2Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Photography > General
3Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Photography > Photographers, A-Z > General
4Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Photography > Portraits
5Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Photography > Professional

Reviews - What do customers think about Arnold Newman?

Excellent  Jul 28, 2007
Excellent collection of Newman.
Everyone does environmental portraits these days.
Newman is the original and the best.
A beautiful and inspirational collection.
Another Fine Artist Has Gone: Legends Never Die  Jun 8, 2006
Arnold Newman died recently at age 88 but his photographic work will live one. Newman was known for his environmental portraiture - capturing the famous faces of his time in the atmosphere in which they created their magic and lived their lives, sometimes private, but most times public.

In this superb collection of Newman's work there are the famous photographs of Igor Stravinsky at his piano, Marilyn Monroe ('she was terrified of aging'), Carl Sandburg, Mickey Mantle, Truman Capote, Pablo Picasso, Frank Lloyd Wright, Sir Cecil Beaton, Diana Vreeland and many more. Each subject is part of a personality scape, accompanied with the trappings that made them famous.

Arnold Newman felt that a subject's environment illuminated the subject, and while many other photographers have followed his lead, Newman remained at the top of his genre. This book is an excellent tribute (though not published as such!) to an artist departed whose legacy will linger. Recommended. Grady Harp, June 06
Almost as good as being there  May 20, 2000
I just got back from the Newman exhibit at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington D.C. and although I thought I had seen most of his work, I was stunned by the boldness of some of the photo collage work and color work which I had previously only seen in B&W. The book has all of the show and many more. It was $40 there and they were selling like hotcakes. The book is beautiful and has $1 million worth of images in it. Hard to pick a favorite. Certainly Picasso and maybe Isaac Asimov too.
Simply AMAZING photographs  May 18, 2000
I'm an amateur photographer, so when I heard an interview with Arnold Newman on NPR's Morning Edition, I knew I had to get this book. Newman is considered the inventor of "environmental portraits," in which the photographer uses surroundings to capture essential elements of his or her subject.

The photos collected in this volume span Newman's entire career and range from Senator John F. Kennedy to President Bill Clinton. The collection is mostly black-and-white. Leafing through the book, I've gotten many ideas for my own photography, but I've also gained a new appreciation for many of the historical figures Newman captured in his work.

The book is large and heavy, very satisfying to hold and look through, and will make an excellent coffee table book. Whether you're into history or photography, you'll really enjoy this book.


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