About the New Topographics

The 'New Topographics' is a contemporary style of photography that emerged in the USA during the 1970s. The term derives from the 1975 exhibition at the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York entitled 'New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-altered Landscape', in which curator William Jenkins presented works by Robert ADAMS, Lewis BALTZ, Bernd and Hilla BECHER, Joe DEAL, Frank GOHLKE, Nicholas NIXON, John SCHOTT, Stephen SHORE and Henry WESSEL. These photographers turned their attention to places and landscapes or sections of landscapes (often urban suburbs) characterized by human intervention. It was not the ideal conception of landscape, but the documentary view of an environment shaped by industry, transportation and the exploitation of nature that became the subject of a new photography critical of civilization. The approach of photographers in this genre is often conceptual.

Reception

The 'New Topographics' is generally understood as the beginning of a new photographic view of the landscape and a drastic change in US landscape photography. Until then, photographers such as Ansel ADAMS and Edward WESTON in particular had defined the ideal of modern American landscape photography, guided by the view of a landscape and nature largely untouched by man.
The impetus provided by the photographers of the 'New Topographic Movement' continues to have an impact on the current generation of photographers. Joachim BROHM, Hans-Christian SCHINK, Michael SCHMIDT, Hildegard OCHSE and Heinrich RIEBESEHL, among others, can be seen as German representatives of this movement with parts of their work. (Text created using a Wikipedia entry, retrieved on 25.01.2024)

Literature about the 'New Topographics'

  • 'New Topographics. Photographs of a Man-Altered Landscape' (1975); 'New Topographics' (1999, by Paul Highman); 'New Topographics' (2013, by Britt Salvesen); 'New Topographics. Texte und Rezeption' (2013); 'Reframing the New Topographics' (2013); 'New Topographics and Tomboy. Landscape transformation and photography' (2016, by Akihito Onishi); 'New American Topographics' (2018)

About the photographers associated with and influenced by the 'New Topographics'
  • Robert ADAMS, Lewis BALTZ, Bernd and Hilla BECHER, Joe DEAL, Frank GOHLKE, Nicholas NIXON, John SCHOTT, Stephen SHORE, Henry WESSEL, Joachim BROHM, Hans-Christian SCHINK, Michael SCHMIDT, Hildegard OCHSE, Heinrich RIEBESEHL
Photo books by and with works by photographers associated with and influenced by the 'New Topographics'
  • ADAMS, Robert
    BALTZ, Lewis
    BECHER, Bernd and Hilla BECHER
    DEAL, Joe
    GOHLKE, Frank
    NIXON, Nicholas
    SCHOTT, John
    SHORE, Stephen
    WESSEL, Henry
  • BROHM, Joachim
    OCHSE, Hildegard
    RIEBESEHL, Heinrich
    SCHINK, Hans-Christian
    SCHMIDT, Michael

In 'Sea Stories', the photos by Robert ADAMS describe the cycles of nature with a new naturalism. It contents a sequence of three visual narratives: among alder and maple trees, along the beachand back through meadows and what remains of the inland forest
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This edition contains b/w photos taken between 1973 and 1991, a six-page interview with as well as a two-page biography. It was published in the 'Photographers at Work' series by the American Smithsonian Institute - like EGGLESTON's 'Horses and Dogs'.
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Traffic/Sunset Park/Continental Divide' by Henry WESSEL presents three independent bodies of work by the photographer, each being a precise sequence arranged to give the viewer the experience of what it felt like to pass through the territory described.
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Linen bound HC (no dust jacket, as issued), 27 x 22 x 2 cm., 136 pp., 76 b/w ills., bilingual texts: German / English
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A primer for understanding photographs. 'The Nature of Photographs' by Stephen SHORE is based on his teaching at Bard College. It is an indispensable tool for students, teachers & anyone who wants to take better pictures or learn to look more consciously.
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This retrospective photo volume about American photographer Henry WESSEL tracks his contribution to the 'New Topographics Movement' of the 1970s and continues through more than thirty years of incisive observations on the American social landscape.
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HC with dust jacket, 23,5 x 28 x 3 cm., (with works by Edouard BALDUS, Mathew BRADY, Louis DE CLERCQ, Maxime DU CAMP, Roger FENTON, Jean-Baptiste FRENET, Charles HUGO und David Octavius HÜGEL, Robert ADAMSON, Gustave LE GRAY and many more
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The corpus of his work - following on from Walker EVANS' and Robert FRANK's epic experiences of crossing America - influenced photographers such as Martin PARR and Bernd & Hilla BECHER, who in turn introduced a new generation of students to SHORE's work.
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Three linen bound HCs with dust jacket, 25 x 30 x 8 cm., 640 pp., b/w ills., text language: English
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In this late photo book photographer Robert ADAMS allows us to take a look at his very personal surroundings. The b/w photographs gathered here can hardly be called special, but this calm view onto the private sphere makes it extraordinarily interesting.
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