Richard Benson’s The Printed Picture

Currently running at MoMA is an exhibit titled The Printed Picture. An accompanying book was published in October that has gotten a good deal of positive comment. MoMA says the book and exhibit “[trace] the changing technology of picture making from the Renaissance to the present, focusing on the vital role of images in multiple copies.”

Information on the exhibit, which runs through June, is here. If you are or will be in the area, you should note that there will be a Gallery Talk the morning of January 19.

The book has been reviewed by The Online Photographer and 5B4.

From The Online Photographer:

The Printed Picture is an effortlessly erudite and witty survey of the entire history of pictorial printing processes, from 15th century woodcuts to the latest digital methods. Benson’s organizing principle: the physical and æsthetic characteristics of a given printing method constrain and modify the meaning of the image reproduced by it. In roughly chronological order, he concisely summarizes each printing method, illustrated with reproduced examples. Most are pedestrian images chosen to illustrate the process more than the content, though some are astonishing feats of craftsmanship.

This book is so deftly written that it’s easy to plow through it over a weekend. It’s just as useful as a resource on the shelf. Great stuff.

You can buy The Printed Picture at Amazon, DeepDiscountMoMA, and photo-eye.

For more information on Richard Benson, you should read a fascinating interview John Paul Caponigro conducted in the late 90s.

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~ by David Cupp on January 6, 2009.

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