©"BARK" Nohra Corredor

"MATTER/LIGHT" in Ansel Adams' art

by Nohra Corredor

If the argument that progress in art is made by leaps into new categories or systems which add to the accumulation of knowledge within existing categories is accepted, then the impact of the 19th and 20th centuries technological revolution seems to have created a new paradigm to the development of Art. Simultaneously, a new kind of interaction with nature started to emerge.

Photography and cinema at the beginning of the 20th century developed what was called a 'new realism' and photography, in particular, impacted the most the 'representational' vision of nature. During this period, in the United States, the names of Edward Steichen, Paul Strand, Imogen Cunningham and Edward Weston were the best known in this field.

Ansel Adams was born in 1902 in San Francisco. Around 1930 he left his career as a musician, and decided to devote himself completely to photography, stimulated by the work of his teacher and friend, Edward Weston. His photographs and writings show his permanent inquiry into the complexity of the structure of 'image formation' and his contribution to this field has been extensively documented. For him, photography may capture aesthetic experiences through "visualization".

In his own words:
For me, a photograph begins as the visualization of the image which represents the excitement and the perception of that moment and situation. The print represents excitement, perception, and expression - performance. Meaning is found in the final print and only in terms of the print itelf. For me, this meaning may vary a little over time and circumstance. For the viewer, the meaning of the print is his meaning. ANTICIPATION is another prime element of creative art and essential for visualization. It is one of the most perplexing capabilities of the mind: projection into future time the mind, working at incredible speeds, is able to probe into the future as well as recall the past. Our explorations of the past support the present, and our awareness of the present will clarify the future." Ansel Adams
Writing about one of his aesthetic paths:
I can recall the excitement of the scene, though at that time I had no precise idea of the image I was to make. It seemed that everything fell into place in the most agreeable way: rock, cloud, mountain, and exposure. I am sure things were going on in my mind: associations, memories, relative structuring of experiences and ideas, and the flowering of intuition.

People are surprised when I say that I never intentionally made a creative photograph that related directly to an environmental issue, though I am greatly pleased when a picture I have made becomes useful to an important cause. I cannot command the creative impulse on demand. I never know in advance precisely what I will photograph.

My private glimpses of some ideal reality create a lasting mood that has often been recalled in some of my photographs. The subtle changes of light across a waterfall moved me as did a singular vista of a far-off mountain under a leaden sky. Others might well have not responded at all. Deep resonances of spirit exist, giving us glimpses of a reality far beyond our general appreciation and knowledge/Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams explorations of LIGHT on MATTER, capturing the properties of MASS and DENSITY through his use of 'distance' and 'contrast', enable us to visualize verticality in nature, to move towards abstraction through an impressionistic vision. Ansel Adams unforgettable images documented not only his personal aesthetic paths but invite us to see and share the beauty that his spirit and soul found in nature/Nohra Corredor


ECOART  CALENDAR"Silent Materiality" 2022/ECOARTPARK Fall 2022Tributes  1913-2013
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