Issue #189  2/28/2012
News About Contemporary Works Artists

By Alex Novak

All the following artists are represented by Contemporary Works/Vintage Works, and their photographs and art can be bought through our company. To order just contact us at 1-215-822-5662 or info@vintageworks.net .


Arthur Tress's newest book was just reviewed in the New York Times. ARTHUR TRESS: San Francisco 1964 by James A. Ganz has just been published by the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco/DelMonico Books/Prestel. The 111-page book is $34.95. Signed copies will be available at Contemporary Works/Vintage Works booth (#213) at the AIPAD New York Photography Show and through the websites.

To quote the NY Times review: "Tress, who is known in part for his keen sense of the everyday absurd, took these recently rediscovered photographs at the age of 23, in a pivotal year in which San Francisco was host to the Republicans' Goldwater convention, the first stop on the Beatles' first North American tour and the staging ground for a series of influential civil rights demonstrations."

An exhibition of this work will be held at the de Young Museum, part of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, from March 3 to June 3, 2012, in the Fisher Family Gallery. Over 70 photographs by Tress will be featured in this show. There will be a special program with the artist and curator having a conversation about the work on March 3rd at 2 pm in the Koret Auditorium of the museum. A book signing will be held afterwards.

To see more about Arthur Tress and his books and photographs, go to: http://www.contemporaryworks.net/artists/artist_imgs.php/1/6606 .


Contemporary Works/Vintage Works has been made the exclusive dealer for the vintage photographs of art photographer Tom Baril and will be exhibiting this important work at its booth (#213) at the AIPAD New York Photography Show for the very first time.

After graduating from New York's School of Visual Arts in 1980 with a BA in photography, Baril served as Robert Mapplethorpe's exclusive print maker. Since then Baril has distanced himself from the Mapplethorpe work and has enjoyed a solo career by bringing to us something uniquely his own-- stunning imagery from both behind the camera and out of the darkroom.

In the last 35 years, printmaking is not all that Tom Baril has mastered. He embraces every nuance of his medium. Whether it is 4 x 5 Polaroid pinhole or 8 x 10 collodion wet-plate, Baril manages to astonish us with technically perfect and pure prints. Baril's studies include urban architecture, minimalist seascapes and meticulously detailed botanicals and still lifes.

In the words of one commentator, Baril's "exquisitely imagined and powerfully rendered" images are "…clearly founded upon the photographic masters of the past. But his tones and techniques demonstrate a contemporary vision, offering an elegant synthesis of artistic tradition and current aesthetics." In other words, the effect achieved in Baril's work is "both classic and contemporary."

Tom Baril's work has been the subject of two monographs, the highly acclaimed sold out self-titled book published by 4AD in 1997, and Botanica published by Arena Editions in 1999. His work has been featured in numerous publications, and is in prestigious collections, both public and private, including: The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Center for Creative Photography, the George Eastman House, Amsterdam's Stedelijk Museum, The Fogg Museum at Harvard University, the Polaroid Collection and the Elton John Collection.

Despite foreshadowing some of his later photographs, Baril's early work has never been publicly exhibited prior to now and is largely limited to two bodies of work: "The American Diner" and "A Sense of Place". The latter series bears some similarity to work during the same period by Lee Fiedlander, Lewis Baltz and Robert Adams, but with Baril's distinctive twist and stunning prints. These hauntingly empty, largely urban landscapes possess a strange power to visually and viscerally engage the viewer.

The vintage images from the 1977-1986 period making up these two collections are quite rare, usually existing in less than a handful of prints, and often in only one to three vintage examples. Sizes are typically from 11 x 14 inches up to 20 x 24 inches.


The Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles is featuring a large selection of Claudia Kunin's 3-D photographs and video animations in its latest exhibition, The Digital Darkroom: An Exploration of Altered Realities. Kunin also gave a very well-received talk on February 4th at this institution and was prominently featured in the video documentation made especially for the Digital Darkroom show, which runs until May 28th. The location for the Annenberg Space for Photography is in Century Park, 2000 Avenue of the Stars, #10, Los Angeles, CA 90067; phone: 1-213-403-3000. Hours are Wed-Fri: 11am-6pm; Sat: 11am-7:30pm; and Sun: 11am-6pm. I found Kunin's work some of the most exciting and interesting in the show.

To read a review in the LA Times about the show, go to: http://framework.latimes.com/2011/12/15/digital-darkroom-december-17-may-28-2012/ .

To see the one in the New York Times, go to: http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/13/in-her-garden-of-digital-delights/ .

Kunin's work was also featured along with the work of Robert Heineken, Edmund Teske, James Fee, Dean Brierly and Stephen Berkman in an article in the September 2011 issue of Black & White magazine, which was written by curator Carol McCusker and entitled "Sunstruck: Southern California Expressionism". In referring to Kunin's images, McCusker says: "Animated by 3D, they tenderly address the complicated, invisible aspects of the human condition." You can also see Kunin's work in a show of the same name as the article and curated by McCusker, which is showing at Wall Space Gallery, 13 West Ortega St., Santa Barbara, CA; 1-805-637-3898, until February 28th.

To see more about Claudia Kunin and her photographs, go to: http://www.contemporaryworks.net/artists/artist_imgs.php/1/6782 .


Artist Lisa Holden is featured in a new film by Robert Adanto, called 3D: Darkly Digital & Divine. The film examines, what some theorists have deemed the "post photographic world", through eye-opening personal interviews with some of the most adventurous image makers working today, including Tereza Vlcková, Ruud van Empel, Erwin Olaf, Julia Fullerton-Batten, Oleg Dou, Jonny Briggs, Jamie Baldridge, Sabine Pigalle, Vee Speers, Esther Janssen, Clinton Fein, Carla Gannis, Emily Allchurch, Bernd Preiml, Katerina Belkina, Jasper de Beijer, Michel Valentino, Mel Bagshaw, and, of course, Lisa Holden. You can see a clip of Holden discussing her work here: http://vimeo.com/24332401 .

To see more about Lisa Holden and her books and photographs, go to: http://www.contemporaryworks.net/artists/artist_imgs.php/1/4205 .


Stanko Abadzic's newest book, "Zagreb – Sketches for a Portrait of the City" has just been published by ArTresor Naklada. We have a limited number of copies of this book available for sale at $39.95.

Black & White Magazine is also planning to publish another large portfolio of Stanko Abadzic's newest work this summer's June 2012 issue, which goes on newsstands mid-April.

The Chinese magazine, Photographers Companion, has also just published Abadzic's work in a large article with accompanying portfolio of images.

To see more about Stanko Abadzic and his books and photographs, go to: http://www.contemporaryworks.net/artists/artist_imgs.php/1/4783 .


By the way, more than 200 new photographs have been posted up on I Photo Central's website, which you can see here: http://www.iphotocentral.com/search/result_list.php/16/30/0 .

Novak has over 45 years experience in the photography-collecting arena. He is a long-time member and formally board member of the Daguerreian Society, and, when it was still functioning, he was a member of the American Historical Photographic Society. He organized the 2016 19th-century Photography Show and Conference for the Daguerreian Society. He is also a long-time member of the Association of International Photography Art Dealers. Novak has been a member of the board of the nonprofit Photo Review, which publishes both the Photo Review and the Photograph Collector, and is currently on the Photo Review's advisory board. He was a founding member of the Getty Museum Photography Council. He is author of French 19th-Century Master Photographers: Life into Art.

Novak has had photography articles and columns published in several newspapers, the American Photographic Historical Society newsletter, the Photograph Collector and the Daguerreian Society newsletter. He writes and publishes the E-Photo Newsletter, the largest circulation newsletter in the field. Novak is also president and owner of Contemporary Works/Vintage Works, a private photography dealer, which sells by appointment and at exhibit shows, such as AIPAD New York and Miami, Art Chicago, Classic Photography LA, Photo LA, Paris Photo, The 19th-century Photography Show, etc.