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The pictures of Ansel Adams visiting Athens

06 March 2010 / 10:03:25  GRReporter
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Emanuela Karastoyanova

An exhibition of the art work of Ansel Adams – one of the greatest photographers of the 20th century is visiting in the museum Benaki in Athens. The exhibition was opened with official ceremony on 04.03.2010 and the pictures of the American artist could be seen until 30.04.2010. In Greece the pictures of the famous nature lover are visiting within the charming “trip around the world” organized under the initiative of his daughter – Anne Adams – Helms and her husband.

The exhibition consists of 72 original pictures which Adams himself has gathered in a special collection 5 years before his death. The pictures from this collection he has considered to be among the most representative ones of his work and that is why he calls them “The Museum Set”. “The Museum Set” the artist publishes in six copies one of which he gives as a present to his daughter. That is how the collection reaches us today. The pictures of Adams from “The Museum Set” cut pieces from the life of the nature and the earth and more rarely the human. The elaborate presentation of the details makes impression in his pictures. Walls of houses or old churches, landscapes, flowers, natural materials – the photographer presents with perfect precision and clarity. It is surprising the fact that even though they are black and white the pictures create an illusion for a color. Adams creates strong contrasts with the help of the shades and this way before realizing it his art work is sneaking into the colorful reality. The interweaving between the black and the white colors which the author works with create various shades of grey. In this way before the eyes of a person are proudly standing mountains and glades crossed by rivers, as if they were colored by a colorful palette. The pictures, Adams presents with perfect precision and clarity. The technique he uses in his photographs is studied and applied by the next generations of photographers.

Born in 1902, Adams passes away at the age of 82. Throughout his entire life he studies and takes pictures of the American nature, however shows particular interest towards the national parks. His art work is apotheosis of the greatness and beauty of the American nature. He is particularly inspired by California, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado and Texas.

Adams is a follower of the “pure” photography. In 1966 together with Edward Weston and Imogen Cunningham he finds the group Groupf/64, which makes a stand against the idea of the photography widely accepted at the time according to which the pictures had to look like a painting. Group f/64 introduces a new type of photography, where the picture presents the reality exactly as it is and there is no place for “finishing touches” on the part of the photographer. Besides being a photographer Ansel Adams is also an author of books about the theory of photography. The most popular one of them is the trilogy “The Camera”, “The Negative”, “The Print”. Together with Fred Aster he is considered to be the father of the zone system in the photography. An interesting fact is that as a child Adams is interested in music, not in the painting. Barely reached the age of twelve he drops out of school in order to give his full attention to the music and the piano. His interest in the photography develops later in time. Typical for the artist is his particular sensitivity towards preserving the nature. At the age of seventeen he enrolls in an organization Sierra Club which fights for the preservation of the nature. Adams remains a member of the organization until the end of his life. In 1966 the photographer is chosen to become a member of the American Academy of Studies and Art and in 1980 he receives a Medal of freedom from the president of the United States Jimmy Carter. A year after his death the peak of Sierra Nevada is named after him.

The exhibition in the Benaki museum is the first exhibition of the photographer in Greece.



Benaki Museum

No. 138 Piraeus str., tel.: 210 345 3111

Working time: Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday from 10.00 until 18.00 o’clock

Friday and Saturday from 10.00 until 22.00 o’clock.

Price of the ticket: 4 euro, 6 euro

Tags: Ansel Adams exhibition photography
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