Robert Maxwell: photographs

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Arena Editions, Aug 15, 2000 - Photography - 156 pages
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Robert Maxwell is one of the most exciting new photographers to have emerged on the savagely competitive scene of fashion and editorial photography. In Photographs, Maxwell shares his edgy nudes, portraits, and still lifes that are at once modern and, strangely, part of the past. Much has been written about the lack of innovation in contemporary photography, and this book, Maxwell's first, underscores why he is widely considered to be the one of the most interesting photographers of his generation.Combining a rough-edged eroticism with a genuine interest in form and beauty, Maxwell's nudes -- perhaps the most difficult genre to master -- are in a class by themselves. His elegant portrait studies of his family, friends, and passersby are fresh and original and bring to mind the groundbreaking work of Irving Penn and Horst P. Horst. But Maxwell is distinguished from his modernist forebears, aesthetically and by his unique approach to the medium: he utilizes the nineteenth-century glass wet-plate technology known as the ambrotype -- called the "black art" of photography for its rich, dark, and reflective surfaces. These gorgeous glass objects come alive, as do the artist's platinum and silver prints, in this striking book -- certain to become a milestone in the art of bookmaking.

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User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Commercial photography has long been a playground for photographers, allowing them to explore ideas while paying the bills. Many have emerged from the fashion and editorial milieu to mark a place in ... Read full review

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User Review  - MSarki - LibraryThing

Robert Maxwell is a photographer well worth examining. An original talent bent on the old style. Read full review


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About the author (2000)

Born in 1923, graduating from the School of Architecture at Liverpool University in 1950, James Stirling ranks as one of the most interesting figures to emerge in Britain in the second half of the twentieth century. His activity lasted from 1950 until 1992, the year of his death. His work exemplified a continuous and undogmatic research, in which modern architecture is constantly redefined through the attention given to its social content and its physical context. In 1955 he founded with James Gowan the practice known as Stirling and Gowan, and at once, with their flats at Ham Common, they gave a new twist to the term "Brutalism," while with their Engineering Laboratories at Leicester University they reinterpreted modern architecture in Britain. Between 1964 and 1970 Stirling, working on his own, made fresh impact with designs for Cambridge and Oxford Universities, at St. Andrew's in Scotland, and for Olivetti at Haslemere. In 1971 he formed a partnership with Michael Wilford, who inherited the practice after his untimely death. Their projects for museums at Dusseldorf, Cologne and Stuttgart (the Neue Staatsgalerie) initiated a post-modern architecture that never ceased to be functional and forward-looking. James Stirling was awarded the Alvar Aalto Award in 1978, the Royal Gold Medal in 1980, and the Pritzker Prize in 1981.
Robert Maxwell was educated at the Liverpool School of Architecture, where he was a contemporary of James Stirling. After qualifying in 1950 he worked as an architect, and there are some six buildings in London that can point to as his work, including the river facade of the Royal Festival Hall. From 1958 he taught architecture, first at the ArchitecturalAssociation, then at the Bartlett School, University College, London. In 1982 he was appointed Dean of Architecture at Princeton University, where he is now Professor of Architecture Emeritus. Among his many books and publications are "New British Architecture," 1972, and "The Two-Way Stretch: Modernism, Tradition and Innovation," 1996.

Genevieve Field is editorial director of "Nerve" magazine.

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