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Photography Past/Forward: Aperture at Fifty
Cravens, R H Since its founding in 1952, Aperture has grown from a small periodical to a cultural phenomenon that reaches the largest and most diverse audience for significant photography worldwide. By examining it's own history, Photography Past/Forward: Aperture at 50 explores the currents in photography that have brought the medium to its present status as one of the most important art forms, and arguably, the most powerful medium of communication. It also demonstrates how Aperture has shaped and furthered this evolution, expanding the international audience for photography. A remarkable selection of images culled from every period of Aperture's history illuminate photography's ever-expanding ability to evince uncommon beauty and render subjects as diverse as landscape and portraiture to issues of international social concern, whether civil rights, AIDS, domestic abuse, freedoms of speech, environmental conservation, or mass migration, to name a few. Other selections will explore evolving photographic techniques that have allowed image-makers to push artistic boundaries, from Aperture's revival of the vintage photogravure process to current explorations in the digital realm. With groundbreaking images by such early masters as Joseph Nicéphore Niépce and William Henry Fox Talbot to seminal figures in the history of the magazine including Paul Strand, Dorothea Lange, Minor White, Ansel Adams, Barbara Morgan, and Henri Cartier-Bresson, this lush publication traces the evolution of both the magazine and the photographers whose work has become an important part of its story. Long-time collaborators Sally Mann, Eugene Richards, Richard Misrach, Robert Adams, Nan Goldin, Cindy Sherman, and Mary Ellen Mark, among many others, have made a selection of recent work, which together with images and original spreads from past issues offer a dynamic view of the medium's breadth of focus and innovation. Remaining true to Aperture's history of providing a vital sounding board for a vast community of thinkers on and practitioners of photography, Photography Past/Forward: Aperture at 50 is supplemented by texts-excerpted from Aperture issues #1 (1952) through #165 (2001)-in which a range of voices from Nancy and Beaumont Newhall to Danny Lyon, Madonna, and Arthur Danto expound theories, manifestos, musings, and critiques on a broad range of photography-related subjects.