Read Avedon at Work: In the American West by Laura Wilson Free Online
Book Title: Avedon at Work: In the American West|
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Reader ratings: 3.1
The author of the book: Laura Wilson
Edition: University of Texas Press
Date of issue: November 1st 2003
ISBN 13: 9780292701939
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 5.46 MB
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Internationally acclaimed for his portraits of powerful and accomplished people and women of great beauty, Richard Avedon was one of the twentieth century's greatest photographers--but perhaps not the most obvious choice to create a portrait of ordinary people of the American West. Yet in 1979, the Amon Carter Museum of Fort Worth, Texas, daringly commissioned him to do just that.
The resulting 1985 exhibition and book, In the American West, was a milestone in American photography and Avedon's most important body of work. His unflinching portraits of oilfield and slaughterhouse workers, miners, waitresses, drifters, mental patients, teenagers, and others captured the unknown and often-ignored people who work at hard, uncelebrated jobs. Making no apologies for shattering stereotypes of the West and Westerners, Avedon said, "I'm looking for a new definition of a photographic portrait. I'm looking for people who are surprising--heartbreaking--or beautiful in a terrifying way. Beauty that might scare you to death until you acknowledge it as part of yourself."
Photographer Laura Wilson worked with Avedon during the six years he was making In the American West. In Avedon at Work, she presents a unique photographic record of his creation of this masterwork--the first time a major photographer has been documented in great depth over an extended period of time. She combines images she made during the photographic sessions with entries from her journal to show Avedon's working methods, his choice of subjects, his creative process, and even his experiments and failures. Also included are a number of Avedon's finished portraits, as well as his own comments and letters from some of the subjects.
Avedon at Work adds a new dimension to our understanding of one of the twentieth century's most significant series of portraits. For everyone interested in the creative process it confirms that, in Laura Wilson's words, "much as all these photographs may appear to be moments that just occurred, they are finally, in varying degrees, works of the imagination."
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Laura Wilson is an American photographer. Her photographs have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the New Yorker, Vanity Fair, GQ Magazine, London’s Sunday Times Magazine, Wallpaper and the Washington Post Magazine.
Wilson has done four books. Her latest, Avedon at Work, documents one of the great photographers of the twentieth century. Wilson was Richard Avedon’s assistant for six years and her photographs and journal entries show Avedon’s creative process, working methods, and range of subjects as he worked to complete, In the American West. (Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center/University of Texas Press October 2003).
Yale University Press published Hutterites of Montana: photographs and text by Laura Wilson (Fall 2000). Winner: Book of the Year, Carr P. Collins Award, Texas Institute of Letters 2001. Winner: Golden Light Book of the Year Award, Maine Photographic Workshops 2001. David McCullough, the historian, said “A book such as this – a book so clearly and genuinely extraordinary comes along rarely and only as a result of exceptional skill and dedication.”
Watt Matthews of Lambshead: photographs and text by Laura Wilson (Texas Historical Association 1989). The New York Times said the book has become “a classic of Texas history”.
Grit & Glory documents the energy and thrill of six-man football in small Texas towns. (Bright Sky Press September 2003).
Wilson is currently working on three projects, one documents life along the Texas/Mexico border, the second, Making Movies, documents Hollywood directors, screenwriters, cinematographers, and actors behind the scenes. The third documents American fighter pilots, who have seen combat in Afghanistan and Iraq.
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