Loading... Please wait...

FLAX Canvas

A Masterclass in Portraiture at the CJM: Arnold Newman

Posted by

Arnold Newman, Self‐portrait, Philadelphia, 1938. Gelatin silver print © 1938, 14 ¾ x 16 ¾ in. Arnold Newman/Getty ImagesAs one of the most influential portrait photographers of the twentieth century, Arnold Newman (1918–2006) created iconic images of some of the most prominent cultural figures of his time. Arnold Newman: Masterclass, on view at the Contemporary Jewish Museum, presents seven decades of work and more than 200 images by this photographer—many works famous for both portrait and sitter, many never exhibited before.

At the entrance to this retrospective, there are short biographies of Newman’s subjects. Fitting, because his portraits are not simply likenesses; Newman’s portraits reveal biographies—environment, interests, collections, life works, musings and personalities-. Arnold Newman preferred photographing his subjects in their own environments, using natural light. It challenged him to have to make quick decisions about what he saw—chance juxtapositions, works in progress, personal collections, even clutter.

Robert Doisneau

Newman’s compositions are bold and striking. His pictures eloquently express the geometry of space through the contrast of black and white. It’s interesting to see his test prints on view, showing various cropping possibilities that reveal his process and attention to detail: the shot of Igor Stravinski (1946) is a brilliant example of how Newman’s choice of crop dramatically transforms an image.

Walking through the gallery, I wanted to step into some of the pictures: Ansel Adams (1976) standing by his darkroom, proudly smiling. Georgia O’Keefe (1968) venerable, outside her desert home. Edward Steichen (1955) deep in thought. Max Ernst (1942) in a waft of smoke, and that subtly surrealist home decor. Claes Oldenberg (1967) with sketches and works in progress strewn all over his apartment. Charles Eames (1974), wow. I have my favorites; I invite you to discover yours.

Arnold Newman: Masterclass, on view at the Contemporary Jewish Museum through February 1, 2015.

Images above:
(left) Arnold Newman, Selfportrait, Philadelphia, 1938. Gelatin silver print © 1938, 14 ¾ x 16 ¾ in. Arnold Newman/Getty Images.

(right) Arnold Newman, Robert Doisneau, photographer, New York, 1981. Gelatin silver print © 1981, 21 1/16 x 17 15/16 in. Arnold Newman/Getty Images. 

Marcel Duchamp

Arnold Newman, Marcel Duchamp, painter and sculptor, New York, 1942. Gelatin silver print © 1942, 28 1/8 x 22 5/8 in. Arnold Newman/Getty Images.

Igor Stravinsky,

Arnold Newman, Igor Stravinsky, composer and conductor, New York , 1946. Gelatin silver print © 1946, 17 15/16 x 21 1/16 in. Arnold Newman/Getty Images. 

Arnold Newman, Georgia O’Keeffe, painter, Ghost Ranch, New Mexico , 1968 Gelatin silver print © 1968, 22 5/8 x 28 1/8 in. Arnold Newman/Getty Images. 

We Are Moving, in 2016

I've read that San Francisco is in the midst of its biggest building boom since the 1906 earthquake, and by some accounts since the Gold Rush. Either way, tremendous change is evident wherever you look. And change is ahead for Flax, too. Last May it was revealed through the SF Planning Commission that the building where [...]

Read More »


The Arts pARTnership Movement

            Are you a member? Joining the Americans for the Arts Action Fund is free, and gives you the opportunity to advance the arts and arts education in your community and across the country. To join and learn more about the movement click here. Because Art Matters!                 For business leaders, managers and teams looking to build their competitive [...]

Read More »


2014 Holiday Craft Fairs: December Edition

There’s something for everyone at Bay Area gift shows this season, when it comes to finding what’s unique and hand-crafted. Fort Mason is aplenty with holiday shows in December by West Coast Craft, San Francisco Bazaar and SF Made. You’ll find a plethora of goods, many of which are made right here in San Francisco. What a great way to [...]

Read More »


2014 Holiday Craft Fairs: November Edition

San Francisco boasts an abundance of exceptionally good craft fairs every holiday season. Craft fairs present an opportunity to find an extraordinary selection of one-of-a-kind gifts, fine crafts and contemporary art. What could make a better gift than something unique and hand-made-— and something that supports the artist community. Kick off your holiday shopping with these three festive November events—and stay tuned, [...]

Read More »


Final Week of SF Open Studios

November 7-9 marks the last weekend of this year’s SF Open Studios. Weekend 4 includes some far off reaches of San Francisco where you might not expect to find our City’s creative community. The open studio weekends connect art-lovers and collectors with artists, and ultimately help artists sustain a living making art. Find some original, affordable art works you love, [...]

Read More »


Herakut Mural

Featured in 7x7's article  The Best Hidden Murals in San Francisco, this mural is adjacent to our back parking lot. In 2004 Herakut came together, finding a magic synthesis between the artistic skills and specialties of Hera’s broad, quick strokes and Akut’s photorealistic detail that has become an internationally recognized style. Their recent novel concept is the The Giant [...]

Read More »


Weekends of Art Adventure

There are three more weekends to enjoy San Francisco’s annual citywide art adventure. How often do you go to some of the City’s tucked away neighborhoods like Portola, Glen Park or Oceanview? Venture out and find some original, affordable art works you love; meet artists and support your local arts community at this year’s SF Open Studios. Pick up a program [...]

Read More »


Meet the Artist: Sharon Kyle Kuhn

FLAX interviews local artist Sharon Kyle Kuhn Hailing from Texas, with sojourns in Atlanta and New York, Sharon Kyle Kuhn is a San Francisco artist whose work assumes the form of highly textural, sculptural paintings—mixed media pieces incorporating encaustic (hot wax) and found objects. Sharon’s most recent work includes the addition of working with paper (with monotypes and chine colle) and [...]

Read More »


San Francisco Open Studios

A sure sign it’s autumn in San Francisco: SF Open Studios SF Open Studios is the oldest and largest open studios program in the country. This annual, month-long art event showcases more than 900 emerging and established San Francisco artists in their studios. Each weekend, art lovers, patrons, and collectors venture out on self-guided tours across [...]

Read More »



Newsletter

find out about new items and special offers

  • Locations
  • Flagship San Francisco Store
  • 1699 Market Street
    San Francisco, CA 94103
    415-552-2355
    Hours:
      Mon - Sat, 9:30am - 7pm
  • San Mateo Store
  • 3600 S El Camino Real
    San Mateo, CA 94403
    650-350-1980
    Hours:
      Mon - Sat, 9:30am - 7pm
      Sunday, 11:00am - 5pm
Design by custom Bigcommerce designerCart Designers - Experts in ecommerce webdesign.

View Cart Go To Checkout