Picturing Modernity

 
 

THE BOOK  |  HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY COLLECTION OF THE SAN FRANCISCO MUSEUM OF MODERN ART  -  SFMOMA


 
 

Picturing Modernity is a wonderful compendium of photographs capturing  the rebellious spirit of photographers that transformed the modern era.

Compiled by then director Douglas Robert of SFMOMA, the book documents the rich collection of images procured early on by the museum, as it was one first to recognize  photography as an art form.

 
 
Electron Volt Pendant
 

When thumbing through the pages, one can note a culture of either adoption or rebellion in regards to the design  principles photographers used. It seems they were either firmly with, or firmly against the principles of fine art,  but either way,  their statements were apparent and decisions deliberate.

For example, pictured below is Andy Warhol's clean-white, Plate 57 on the left side, pictured with Ende Collective's Valentina's Orbit bangles. The white on white approach is a statement that atones the idea of simplicity, rebellion, and offers a question as to what the viewer assumes should be presented. Kenya Hara of Muji once said that "Emptiness - irrespective of who uses it or how - is the pursuit of ultimate freedom." That is modernity. That is the essence of minimalism.