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Clifford Coffin: Photographs from Vogue, 1945 to 1955 
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Product Details 
139 pages 
Stewart, Tabori & Chang 
Published 1997 
From Library Journal
Photography is a medium alive with masters who pushed the envelope beyond the raw elements of light, paper, and chemicals to make images first conceived and then assembled within the camera. Fashion photography, in particular, has long been served by artists who stretch the idea of costume, form, situation, and emotion. Both Bassman and Coffin used those elements with striking results, achieving enormous fame in their overlapping eras, Bassman in the 1940s through the 1960s and Coffin in the 1940s and 1950s. Both were capable of bringing a nearly kinetic choreography to their still photographs, both made fabric a stage and the human form within it a blending of gymnastics and drama, yet both offer a very different legacy. As seen here, Bassman worked exclusively in black and white, producing images highly dependent on light and shadow in which something is missing but is remembered by the viewer. Coffin built sculptural forms from models, clothes, and places united in enduring photographs. He often worked in color, making the products he photographed slow down long enough to be seen and critiqued. These books are ideal for our time. By offering the excitement of discovery in an avant-garde almost half a century old, they offer stirring evidence of the merger of the commercial and the aesthetic while gathering, as if by accident, beautiful clothes for our eclectic tastes. In so doing, they convert the old to the timeless. Recommended for general collections.
David Bryant, New Canaan P.L., Ct.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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