The Most Refractory Medium: Albert Renger-Patzsch, Edward Weston, László Moholy-Nagy and Photographic Discourse circa 1929 Open Access

Ryan, Caitlin Elizabeth (2013)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/jw827b71p?locale=en
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Abstract

This thesis considers the artistic practice and theory of three major modernist photographers of the interwar period: Laszló Moholy-Nagy (1895-1946), Albert Renger-Patzsch (1897-1966) and Edward Weston (1886-1958). While these artists worked throughout the interwar period my focus will remain around the year 1929 and the moment of the watershed exhibition presented by the Deutsche Werkbund entitled Film und Foto, where all three artists were featured. The underlying goal of this project is to examine the ways in which each artist's photographic production responded to the central discourse of the day, particularly the question of photography's tenuous status as art. Each chapter considers the work of one photographer in the critical context in which their work has been conventionally viewed in the discipline of Art History. Through close visual analyses of key photographs and close readings of the writings by the artists themselves, this thesis challenges many of the canonical assumptions of photographic discourse in this important moment in the history of art.

Table of Contents

Introduction………………………………………………..........1 Chapter One: The Author as Creator…………………….…10 Chapter Two: The Camera's Empathetic Eye……….……22 Chapter Three: The Beholder as Producer?.................33 Conclusion…………………………………………......….………44 Figures……………………………………………………………….50

Bibliography………………………………………………….…….61

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