Born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1935, Philip Melnick grew up in Los Angeles, where he attended the University of California. In the 1970s, shooting with a medium format camera, Melnick made black-and-white photographs of his surroundings, exploring the unique sense of style found in the Southern California urban landscape. Nineteen Seventies California offers a beautifully presented selection of Melnick’s most striking work from this period, in which he displays a keen eye for the character of its vernacular architecture and the distinctive look of its streets: the quirky confluence of a single parked car with a street facing wall and a fragmented apartment building; the intersection of street, fence and another non-descript apartment house. He isolates the intricate pattern of a wall, creating arresting fusions of everyday sights and geometric abstraction. “Melnick’s images emphasize a push-pull, hard-soft tension that give his pictures distinguished style and great beauty,” wrote the late Fred McDarrah, who was himself a photographer for The Village Voice, as well as a writer, during the years that this series was produced.
Philip Melnick’s work has been widely exhibited and written about; his photographs are included in the permanent collections of numerous important institutions, including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and Bibliothèque National, Paris.
12 x 15, 48 pages,
31 duotone plates