Photography Blog

Ansel Adams at Greenwich, London: Three of the wall-sized prints which were produced for the American Trust Company Building

Ansel Adams: Photography from the Mountains to the Sea
National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London.

The National Maritime Museum is not the obvious venue for a major exhibition of this seminal photographer of American landscapes. This exhibition features more than a hundred original Ansel Adams prints, including three of the wall-sized prints which were produced for the American Trust Company Building in San Francisco. These three alone justify a visit to the exhibition, add the opportunity to see the detailed and dynamic original prints of some familiar images of Yosemite and this exhibition becomes a must-see despite the disappointment that it is not displayed in an "Art" venue.

Read more: Ansel Adams: Photography from the Mountains to the Sea

A very pleasant and sunny afternoon walking in Brighton seeing various artists’ work. The Artists Open Houses (AOH) event has been going for thirty years or so as a semi-official part of the Brighton Festival. There’s a well-produced guide of 96 pages plus several individual walking routes and maps.

It’s a great tradition, an opportunity to meet with the artists and to see their work displayed in informal domestic surroundings; many of the houses were also offering tea and homemade cakes in the charming gardens of the Victorian houses. There’s a wide variety of types of art and craft on show, the artists have themselves developed in different ways, some are independent whilst others have aligned with various groups and co-operatives. Some are glorious amateurs others are professional. And of course it is an opportunity to buy their work.

Read more: Artists Open Houses - Brighton, May 2012

Billed as The biggest Bauhaus exhibition in the UK in over 40 years, the Barbican Art gallery’s Bauhaus exhibition features a wide range of artefacts from UK, Berlin, New York, San Francisco and Paris. Not only are there works of the Masters (ie teachers) of the Bauhaus school and the students, there are also posters, photographs and printed materials illustrating life in the Bauhaus school.

At last a decent Bauhaus exhibition here in London but it’s a very British selection with few translations for non-German speakers and no “Continental” perspective. I am surprised that London and Britain have ignored Weimar culture and its apogee, the Bauhaus school of art and design, over the past few decades. Their pre-WWII art and design was far in advance of British attempts: Arts and Crafts was a pale and diffuse light compared to the strong clear light of Bauhaus Weimar and Bauhaus Dessau, whose influence has proved enduring.

Read more: Bauhaus: Art as Life - Barbican Art Gallery

Not a live concert alas, though Pink Floyd played “Dark Side of the Moon” at Brighton Dome nearly thirty years ago before the release of the album. The story is that the sound system failed on one of those nights and the concert had to be abandoned; another show was filmed.

This is an exhibition of photographic prints by Jill Furmanovsky, Storm Thorgerson, Colin Prime and Tony Collins from the time of “Dark Side of the Moon” and “Wish You Were Here”, informal shots from the studio recording sessions at Abbey Road and from open air festival concerts and the 1981 shows of “The Wall” at Earls Court. (I'm happy to admit to having enjoyed the latter back in 1981, of course including buying the t-shirt).

Read more: Pink Floyd at Brighton Dome - February 2012

Concrete Circus was guerrilla television at its best. Director Mike Christie’s feature-length documentary was shown as part of Channel 4’s Street Summer. The film challenged four outstanding urban athletes and their producer/directors to make new films in the UK to follow their viral video successes.

Read more: Concrete Circus - Channel 4