Since its invention, photography has served diverse purposes—from fine art to criminology, for uses, personal, photojournalistic, or scientific. In the last decade artists have scoured visual culture and its abundance of images, often borrowing the styles and approaches of other fields to inflect or expand what art photography can be. Contemporary Photography 2008–2018 surveys 62 artists who together provide a cross-section of the ways the medium refuses to remain stable, whether exploring new technologies or applying nineteenth-century tools to contemporary subjects.
Some have taken advantage of digital tools to manipulate their own or appropriated imagery, playing off the traditional but incorrect assumption that photographs present truth. Others experiment with analog ways of pushing images into abstraction or illegibility. Eschewing the historic medium-specific divisions some artists document performative work with cameras, while others bring their images into three dimensions. This group also includes those who prove the “straight” photograph is still a fertile area to investigate—through portraiture, still life, and landscape, and with scenes both found and staged. Some artists look outward at family, history, politics, and memory, while others create formal images that highlight their own construction. Together these artists provide a survey of the current and future directions of contemporary art, and of the still-unexhausted potential of photography.
Joe Arnold, Jan Blythe, James Reeder, Marcus DeSieno, Hal Gage, Jack Long, Pauline Chernichaw ,Krista Svalbonas, Charles Williams, Nancy Floyd, Arie Knoops, Natalie Christensen, Renluka Maharaj, Jodie Goodnough, Andy Mattern, Kristin Street, Tatiana Gulenkina, Eric Kunsman, Isabel Gouveia, Emma Ressel, Dominic Quintana, Ellen Jacob, Tianran Qin, Niv Rozenberg, Jack Deese, Marta Wapiennik, Brenda Biondo, Joe Whalen, Jerry Takigawa, Bruce Hooke, Rachel Liu, Daniel George, Liz Claus, Paul Lee, Garin Horner, Dorian Lee, Ken Dreyfack, Robert Kalman, Amy Becker, Lori Kella, Richard Westerhuis, Deborah Wing-Sproul, Michael Borowski, Flora Wilds, Nick Shepard, Christine Atkinson, Anna Cone, Samuel Harnois, Hyungjo Moon, Lauren Orchowski, Zeren Badar, Milt Connors, Rebecca Jacobs, Eric Thompson, Francis Crisafio, Benjamin Samuel, Sydney King, Caitlin Mitchell, Caroline Yoo, Shih-Hui Chang, Cody Bratt, David McGlynn