Studies in Photographic Portraiture/Self-Portraiture

Marion Belanger • Thursday, 6:00-8:30 p.m.

Course Calendar

NOTE: This syllabus is subject to change

January 29 Introduction
Course policies, expectations, materials
Slides: Self-portraits by Lee Friedlander, John Coplans, Francesca Woodman, Nan Goldin, Samuel Fosso
Technical: How to make a self-portrait: self-timers, shutter release, assistance, shadows and mirrors.

Introduction, Richard Brilliant, Portraiture

Jean Francis Chevrier, "The Life of Forms: Fragmentation and Montage," A Self-Portrait, John Coplans, P.S.1., Contemporary Arts Center, 1977.

David Levi Strauss, "After You, Dearest Photography: Reflections on the Works of Francesca Woodman," Francesca Woodman, Scalo, 1988.

Holland Carter, "When the I Is the Subject, and It's Always Changing," The New York Times, Sept, 12, 2003. (Goldin) (Coplans) friedlander.html


February 5 Slides: Lucas Samaras
Class-wide critique of self-portrait images from the past week with an eye towards the technical.

Chapter 1 & 2, Brilliant, Portraiture


February 6, 6-8 Whitney Museum of American Art (pay what you can)
945 Madison Avenue at 75th Street
New York, NY

Unrepentant Ego: The Self-Portraits of Lucas Samaras
on view until February 8, 2004
Emily Fisher Landau Galleries Floor 4
Throughout a remarkably prolific career spanning over forty years, Lucas Samaras (b. 1936) has produced a heterogeneous and highly textured body of work. Self-depiction is arguably the driving force of his entire oeuvre, and this exhibition traces the self-portrait leitmotif through approximately three hundred objects, including drawings, photographs, sculpture, and film. Samaras's innovative, idiosyncratic art has occupied a position outside the dominant trends of his time, earning him a significant place in the history of American art and exerting considerable influence on younger artists.

John Currin
on view until February 22, 2004
Mildred and Herbert Lee Galleries Floor 2
The Whitney presents John Currin, the first solo museum show in the United States devoted to the artist's work. The exhibition is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, where it made its debut in May 2003, in collaboration with London's Serpentine Gallery. This survey exhibition includes approximately forty paintings from the past decade.
In the last decade, John Currin (b. 1962) has come to be recognized as one of the most important and provocative artists of his generation. His work is inspired by images ranging from Italian and Northern Renaissance figure paintings to modern and contemporary magazine advertisements and fashion photographs. Featured in the Whitney's 2000 Biennial, Currin's paintings explore issues of beauty, representation, and desire through the presentation of the physical body and human relationships.

February 14 The Intimate Portrait
Slides: Paul Strand, Edward Weston, Harry Callahan, Emmet Gowin, Sally Mann; Steiglez video.

Arthur Ollman, "Introduction," The Model Wife, The Museum of Photographic Arts, 2000

Sandra Matthews and Laura Wexler, "Family Photographs and the Pregnant Pose," Pregnant Pictures, 2000, Routledge

Jessica Todd Smith, "Time of Exposure; Nancy Newhall's Unpublished Book of Edward Weston's Nudes," Edward Weston: A Legacy, 2003, The Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery.

Intimate portrait - family or friends

February 21 The Other
Diane Arbus video, E.J. Bellocq, Edward Curtis, Katy Grannan

Janet Malcolm, "The Real Thing," The New York Review of Books, Jan. 9, 1997.

Joseph L. Ruby, Letter, in response to Malcolm.

Arthur Lubow, "Arbus Reconsidered," The New York Times, Sept. 14, 2003.

Jerry Saltz, "Only the Lonely,"

Choice of photographer for class presentation.

Photograph those who are unlike you.


10 images for critique

Reading: (due after break)
Chapter 3, 4, Brilliant, Portraiture

One page proposal with preliminary outline for paper if this has been your choice.
One page project proposal describing the photographic project you want to undertake.

Continue to make portraits.

March 25 No class due to conference

Myth, Reality and the Construction of Character

Due via email: paper & project proposals

Arthur C. Danton: Past Masters and Post Moderns: Cindy Sherman's History Portraits," Rizzoli, NY, 1991.

Arthur C. Danton, "Photography and Performance: Cindy Sherman's Stills," Untitled Film Stills, Jonathon Lade, London, 1990. (Lee) 6-1.html (Cameron)

April 1 Slides: Works by Julia Margaret Cameron, Cindy Sherman, Nikki S. Lee
Slides: Susan Kismaric, August Sander, Disfarmer, Graciela Iturbide.

Susan Kismaric, Judith Joy Ross, Museum of Modern Art

Alfredo Lopez Austin, Recurrent Letters," Images of the Spirit, Aperture, 1996. (Ross)

April 8 Slides: Lee Friedlander, Portraits

R.B. Kitaj, "Still in Praise of Still Photography," Lee Friedlander Portraits, Little Brown & Company, 1985.

"Maria: Photographs by Lee Friedlander," Photographers at Work, A Smithsonian Series.

April 15 Slides: Thomas Ruff, Reinke Dikstra

Boris v. Brauchitsch, Thomas Ruff, Museum of Moderne Kunst, 1992

"Thomas Ruff," Interview with Philip Pocock

April 22 Slides: Hiroshi Sugimoto, Lorna Simpson




May 6 Final Critique