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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Still-Life Mentor to a Filmmaking Generation

Jerome Liebling, Morning, Monessen, Pa. (1983). The filmmaker Ken Burns said
Mr. Liebling taught him that "all meaning accrues in duration."

By Randy Kennedy, The New York Times

For much of a half-century of taking quiet, subtly powerful pictures that demand and reward long looking, Jerome Liebling has been known as a photographer’s photographer. The label is both a high compliment and an acknowledgment that Mr. Liebling, now 82, has not enjoyed the acclaim accorded to many of his contemporaries who first took their cameras to the streets of New York after World War II.

But a more fitting way to describe Mr. Liebling would be as a documentarian’s photographer. And judged by that standard, his work has rarely suffered from a lack of attention. In fact, spend any time watching the films of Ken Burns, or those of the legions of documentary makers he has inspired, and you will see Mr. Liebling’s work, in a sense, even if you have never laid eyes on one of his photographs....




Blogger aizan said...

*sigh* liebling was before my time.

i can still catch michael lesy, though.

2:27 AM  
Blogger Daniel Sroka said...

I attended Hampshire College while he was teaching there. I didn't take a class with him (since at the time I was studying cognitive science instead), but Jerome Liebling was definitely a presence on campus. The photography classes were legendary, and getting into one was notoriously difficult. Those who made it in were proud and excited, as well they should be. That energy showed in their projects, their intensity, and their shows.

10:37 AM  
Blogger matt~ said...

I find myself less and less interested in photographers who "go figure out where the pain" is. While their art may have a place and serve an admirable purpose, I find it difficult to aproach their work with anything but a deep cyncicism regarding the artist's motives.

9:50 PM  
Blogger Scott Kirkpatrick said...

GRRR -- It sounds like a story that I would like to have read, if the NY Times online were available at some price other than a daily subscription... What's the connection to Michael Lesy?


2:25 AM  
Blogger matt~ said...

There's no cost for NYT online unless you want there premium service, which last time I checked was only necessary for digging through the archives. For a current article, it just takes a free registration.

7:46 AM  
Blogger aizan said...

he's a professor currently teaching at camp hamp (notorious for being hard on his students). "wisconsin death trip" and the recent "angel's world" are a couple of his books.

11:31 AM  

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