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Le paysage de la photographie américaine de paysage, 1960-1990

Abstract : The 1960 – 1990 period was an extremely eventful one in the USA. In spite of the psychological and economical fall-outs of the various wars (Cold War, Korea and Vietnam) undermining L.B. Johnson’s hopes and plans for a Great Society and for his War on Poverty, the American government used its world supremacy and the derived wealth acquired in the wake of W.W. II (the USA was the only western country whose industrial production was impacted positively) to finance popular housing, adult education (G.I. Bill), and the arts (N.E.A.). During those thirty years photography crashed the doors of academia, museum and art institutions, and entered the art market. Landscape has always been a major genre in the American visual arts, from the paintings of the nineteenth century (the Hudson River School, the Luminists) to photography. An interesting synchronicity can be observed between the birth, growth and coming of age of both the medium and the country. Landscape photography participated in the creation of an American identity through the discovery and documentation of its New Territories as early as the 1860s. Landscape photography was at the core of the advertising of its national parks (Sierra Club), another element of the creation of a national identity. A century later, through educated eyes, photographers turned their lenses back toward the east and looked at the damage done and the state of the landscape left behind. All these factors fueled what we can now call the Golden Age of American landscape photography from New Topographics in the 1970s to the advent of color photography and the return to the use of large format view-cameras in the 1980s. This has led to the current production of wall-size prints competing for attention with paintings on the walls of museums and galleries that welcome them. Since the Culture Wars of the late 1980s and the 1990s, and the defunding of the arts that ensued, the rest of the world has caught up, deeply influenced by the traveling exhibitions and publications of that generation of American photographers.
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  • HAL Id : tel-02429710, version 1

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Bruno Chalifour. Le paysage de la photographie américaine de paysage, 1960-1990. Art et histoire de l'art. Université Lyon 2 Lumière, 2019. Français. ⟨tel-02429710v1⟩

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