The absence of interesting contemporary photography may be one of the reasons why the photography boom of the Seventies, which had been focused on the achievements of the past, ultimately faded away. The young photographers never really demonstrated the relevance of the past to the present. And the dearth of engaging new talent left a vacuum that’s been filled in the Eighties by a group of artists who take as their subject the public’s lust for photographs while at the same time making it clear that their work isn’t really photography at all. Cindy Sherman and Sherrie Levine, as well as more recent entrants onto the scene like the Starn Twins and Clegg & Guttmann, are far more knowing about the needs of the audience than any photographer who has emerged in the past quarter century. Indeed, these artists seem to be onto everything about photography—its romance, its place in modern...

 

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