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Photo Museum Ireland

Photography Today: A History of Contemporary Photography

Photography Today: A History of Contemporary Photography

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A comprehensive and much-needed survey of the last 40 years of photography, charting its path from method of documentation to art form


A fully illustrated major new survey of contemporary photography

A lively and accessible survey of photography as art since the 1960s, exploring how, in the hands of some of the world's greatest photographic artists, it has developed into a respected and versatile artistic medium.

This major new survey of contemporary photography considers the work of 80-100 photographers through eleven thematic chapters on subjects such as street photography, portraiture, landscape photography and documentary. It traces the development of photography as an art form in each of these genres individually and also looks at the ties and links between them. What is revealed is a complex story with numerous tangents.

Mark Durden's narrative, combined with rich illustrative content and an easily accessible design, guides a clear path through this story, showcasing the work of great individual photographers while also being able to place this into the larger narrative of the medium's development.

About the Author

Mark Durden is a writer, artist and lecturer. He has written extensively on photography and contemporary art. Publications include Dorothea Lange (2001, 2012), Fifty Key Writers on Photography (2012), with David Campbell, Variable Capital (2007) and with Ken Grant, Double Take: Portraits from the Keith Medley Archive (2013). He is part of the artists’ group Common Culture and currently Professor of Photography at the University of South Wales, UK.

Photography Today

By Mark Durden



Chapter One The Copy: Authorship and Reproduction, 10,
Chapter Two The Face: The Pose and the Mask, 58,
Chapter Three Colour: Surface and Depth, 92,
Chapter Four The Street: Discord and Harmony, 136,
Chapter Five Landscapes: Nature, Culture and Power, 174,
Chapter Six History: Witnessing Atrocity, 224,
Chapter Seven The Body: Ideal and Real, 262,
Chapter Eight Documentary: Engagement and Exploitation, 298,
Chapter Nine Self: Looking In and Acting Out, 348,
Chapter Ten Constructions: Signs, Fantasy and The Tableau Form, 384,
Chapter Eleven Photography Tomorrow, 434,
Notes, 450,
Photographers' Biographies, 452,
Bibliography, 457,
Index, 460.
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