Photography Is Magic

Authored by Charlotte Cotton. By Charlotte Cotton.

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Photography Is Magic draws together current ideas about the use of photography as an invaluable medium in the contemporary art world. Edited and with an essay by leading photography writer and curator Charlotte Cotton, this critical publication surveys the work of a diverse group of artists, many working at the borders of the "art world" and the "photography world," all of whom are engaged with experimental ideas concerning photographic practice and its place in a shifting photographic landscape being reshaped by digital techniques. Readers are shown the scope of photographic possibilities in the context of the contemporary creative process. From Michele Abeles and Walead Beshty to Daniel Gordon and Matthew Lipps, Cotton has selected artists who are consciously reframing photographic practices using mixed media, appropriation and a recalibration of analog processes. Cotton brings these artists together around the idea of magic, the properties of illusion and material transformation that uniquely characterize photography. Beautifully produced and critically rigorous, Photography Is Magic is aimed at younger photo aficionados, students and anyone interested in gaining a deeper understanding of contemporary photography. It includes images and text by more than 80 artists, including Sara Cwynar, Shannon Ebner, Annette Kelm, Josh Kline, Elad Lassry, Jon Rafman, Shirana Shahbazi and Sara VanDerBeek, among many others.

Format: Paperback / softback
Number of pages: 384
Publication date: 2015-09-29
Measurements: 8.9 x 10.3 x 1.1 inches
ISBN: 9781597113311


The book addresses the present moment: an incredibly rich image environment, freely circulating, disembodied, destabilized, precarious, and in flux.ArtSlant
[Cotton] shares some of that wisdom with a sense of joy and sparkle, showcasing highlights from the world’s most incredible image-makers.W Magazine
Charlotte Cotton casts a spell with her magnificent new book that celebrates the art of photographic magic.AnOther
A thorough primer in the present-day scene of art photography.Surface

Authored by Charlotte Cotton. By Charlotte Cotton.

Charlotte Cotton has been at the forefront of the appraisal of contemporary art photography for more than twenty years. She has held curatorial positions at institutions including the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Photographers’ Gallery in London, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She has been a visiting scholar and critic at Parsons the New School for Design, New York University, and the School of Visual Arts, New York; California College of the Arts, San Francisco; Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles; and Yale University, New Haven. Cotton is the author of The Photograph as Contemporary Art (2004) and founder of the discussion forum Words Without Pictures.