The Indecisive Image
"The reasons for the resurgence of abstraction are almost as diverse as the work itself. 'The question of what sort of object the photograph is inevitably leads to the examination of abstraction,' says Lyle Rexer, whose book tracing the history of abstract photography is scheduled to be published by Aperture in the fall. That question has loomed ever larger in recent decades as the notion of photographic veracity has come under assault. The idea of photographic 'truth' is undermined by the conceptual investigations of subject matter in Cindy Sherman’s film stills and Philip-Lorca diCorcia’s staged street scenes as much as by the mass media’s embrace of Photoshop."
Lyle Rexer: "The Edge of Vision" Interview Series
"Curator Lyle Rexer speaks about how the project came about and his curatorial choices. Rexer also explains how this ground breaking photography exhibition encourages the viewer not to look at the photograph as a window but rather 'to understand the relationship between the image and the surface.'
From the beginning, abstraction has been intrinsic to photography, and its persistent popularity reveals much about the medium. The Edge of Vision, curated by Lyle Rexer, showcases the work of nineteen international contemporary photographers who base their practice in some form of abstraction from highly conceptual to more documentary approaches. The works explore diverse aspects of the photographic experience, including the chemistry of traditional photography, the direct capture of light without a camera, temporal extensions, digital sampling of found images, radical cropping, and various deliberate destabilizations of photographic reference. This abstract use of photography often combines other mediums such as painting, sculpture, drawing or video. All artists join a broad contemporary trend to look critically and freshly at a medium commonly considered transparent.
The exhibition is accompanied by a new book, 'The Edge of Vision: The Rise of Abstraction in Photography' by Lyle Rexer (Aperture, May 2009). Illustrated with more than 150 images, this unprecedented and highly anticipated book documents this phenomenon internationally from the early days of the medium through the present day."
Book- The Edge Of Vision
"Of paramount concern to all the Abstract Expressionists was a fierce attachment to psychic self-expression. This contrasted sharply with the regionalism and social realism of the 1930s but closely paralleled postwar existential philosophy’s championing of individual action as the key to modern salvation..."
"From the beginning, abstraction has been intrinsic to photography, and its persistent popularity reveals much about the medium. Artists Susan Rankaitis and James Welling and UCLA Associate Professor of Art History George Baker debate a host of approaches to the abstract photographic experience in this panel discussion moderated by Lyle Rexer, the author of The Edge of Vision: The Rise of Abstraction in Photography."