Annette Messager
[Artist, b. 1943, Berck-sur-Mer, France, lives in Paris.]

 I never take a picture of a face because a face is somebody, an arm is not recognizable as somebody. When you take a photograph of someone’s face, it identifies it as somebody, but if you take just a fragment, it’s everybody. It’s not one person. 

Minor White
[Photographer, writer, and theorist, b. 1908, Minneapolis, Minnesota, d. 1976, Cambridge, Massachusetts.]

 The spring-tight line between reality and photography has been stretched relentlessly, but it has not been broken. These abstractions... have not left the world of appearances; for to do so is to break the camera’s strongest point—its authenticity. 

Uta Barth
[Photographer, b. 1958, Berlin, lives in Los Angeles.]

 Everything is pointing to one’s own activity of looking, to an awareness and sort of hyper-consciousness of visual perception. The only way I know how to invite this experience is by removing the other things (i.e., subject matter) for you to think about. 

Harry Callahan
[Photographer, b. 1912, Detroit, Michigan, d. 1999, Atlanta, Georgia.]

 Everything was Bauhaus this and Bauhaus that. I wanted to break it... I got tired of experimentation. I got sick of the solarization and reticulation and walked-on negatives. What I was interested in was the technique of seeing... I introduced problems like “evidence of man,” and talking to people—making portraits on the street... I thought [the students] should enter into dealings with human beings and leave abstract photography. I felt that social photography would be the next concern. 

Mel Bochner
[Artist, b. 1940, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, lives in New York.]

 Photography Cannot Record Abstract Ideas (Title of a 16x20 inch photograph depicting an index card on which that phrase is handwritten.) 

Barbara Kasten
[Photographer, b. 1936, Chicago, Illinois, lives in Chicago.]

 I am asking the question “can a photograph be an abstraction?” simply because it seemed almost impossible. A camera has to have something to record... Can I make a photograph that is based in something that is not tangible? 

William Eggleston
[Photographer, b. 1939, Memphis, Tennessee, lives in Memphis.]

 I’ve always assumed that the abstract qualities of [my] photographs are obvious. For instance, I can turn them upside down and they’re still interesting to me as pictures. If you turn a picture that’s not well organized upside down, it won’t work. 

Andreas Gursky
[Photographer, b. 1955, Leipzig, Germany, lives in Dusseldorf.]

 In retrospect I can see that my desire to create abstractions has become more and more radical. Art should not be delivering a report on reality, but should be looking at what’s behind something. 
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