Sobieszek, Robert A.

Arnold Newman (The Great photographers) 

Sobieszek, Robert A. (1984) Title. London: Collins.


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Essentially, therefore, Arnold Newman can be considered as a pioneer in the practice of environmental or extended portraiture. At their best, these integrative portraits function for Newman on a somewhat symbolic level, and he is quite convinced that the isolation of these people in their surroundings is almost in itself a symbol. The symbolism is not a factor that is constructed out of the particular details and data of the portrait. Rather, the complex relationships of figure and environment act as a pictorial code to the personality of the subject and as a demarcation of his or her character.

p.7

Arnold Newman is ‘convinced that any photographic attempt to show the complete man is nonsense, to an extent. We can only show, as best we can, what the outer man reveals; the inner man is seldom revealed to anyone, sometimes not even to the man himself. We have to interpret, but our interpretation can be false, of course. We can impose our own feelings upon a man, and these feelings can do him a great injustice-we cannot always be one hundred percent correct.

pp. 8, 58

‘It seems to me that no one picture can ever be a final summation of a personality. There are so many facets in every human being that it is impossible to present them all in one photograph. When I make a portrait, I don’t take a photograph. I build it, seeking all those graphic elements that will express the most typical common denominator of the subject as I see him within the obvious limitations of a single image.’ What is important, therefore, to the formulation of a portrait is the precise distillation of what exactly connotes and denotes the person portrayed. Newman labels this the ‘common denominator of the subject’, and few have phrased it more aptly.

p.59

Index of Photographs

Cover Igor Stravinsky, 1946

2 Pablo Picasso, Vallauris, France, 1954

4 Arnold Newman, self-portrait, 1979

6 West Palm Beach, Florida, 1941

8 Yaacov Agam, collage, New York City, 1966-72

10 Max Ernst, New York City, 1942

11 Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz, New York City, 1944

12 Yasuo Kuniyoshi, New York City, 1941

13 Moses and Raphael Soyer, New York City, 1942

14 Jean Arp, New York City, 1949

15 Igor Stravinsky, New York City, 1946

16 J. Robert Oppenheimer, Berkeley, California, 1948

17 Piet Mondrian, New York City, 1942

18 Marc Chagall, New York City, 1941

19 Jean Dubuffet, Vence, France, 1956

20 Milton Avery, New York City, 1961

21 Edward Hopper, Truro, Massachusetts, 1960

22 Alexander Calder, Roxbury, Connecticut, 1957

23 Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, 1958

24 President John F. Kennedy, Washington, D.C., 1961

25 David Ben-Gurion, Tel Aviv, 1967

26 Kurt Godel, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey, 1956

27 Georges Rouault, Paris, 1957

28 David Hare, Provincetown, Massachusetts, 1952

29 Giorgio de Chirico, Rome, 1957

30 Leonard Bernstein, Avery Fisher Hall, New York City, 1968

31 Grandma Moses, Eagle Bridge, New York, 1949

32 I. M. Pei, New York City, 1967

33 Aaron Copland, Peekskill, New York, 1959

34 Willem de Kooning, Springs, New York, 1978

35 Alfred Krupp, Essen, West Germany, 1963

36 Louis Kahn in front of Yale University Art Gallery,

New Haven, Connecticut, 1964

37 Frank Stella, New York City, 1967

38 David Hockney, London, 1978

39 Joan Miro, Majorca, Spain, 1979

40 Cardinal Enrique Pla Y Daniel, Primate of the Spanish Church, Toledo, Spain, 1964

41 Georgia O’Keeffe, Ghost Ranch, New Mexico, 1968

42 Sir Frederick Ashton, London, 1978

43 Jean Cocteau, Paris, 1960

44 Paul Strand, New York City, 1966

45 Ansel Adams, Carmel, California, 1976

46 Adolph Gottlieb, New York City, 1970

47 Martha Graham, New York City, 1961

48 Henry Geldzahler, New York City, 1972

49 Madame Sergei Koussevitzky, New York City, 1960

50 Carl Sandburg, New York City, 1959

51 Marilyn Monroe, Beverly Hills, California, 1962

52 Sir John Gielgud and Sir Ralph Richardson, London, 1978

53 Sir Cecil Beaton, Broad Chalke, Salisbury, 1978

54 Bill Brandt, London, 1978

55 Henry Moore, collage, Much Hadham, Hertfordshire, 1966-72

56 Larry Rivers, collage, South Hampton, New York, 1975

57 Andy Warhol, collage, New York City, 1973-74


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