Henry Wessel

American, b. 1942

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Henry Wessel

American, b. 1942

911
Followers
Biography

Henry Wessel, Jr. first gained recognition in the 1970s as part of the New Topographics, a group of photographers who challenged the conventions of documentary and landscape photography, capturing instead the poetry of seemingly mundane scenes and subjects—traffic lights, advertisements, empty landscapes, and suburbia. During the 1970s Wessel moved to San Francisco from New York after falling in love with the brilliant quality of light in California. There, in both black-and-white and color film, he photographed the vernacular architecture and social landscape of his new surroundings, in prints marked by long shadows and rich tonal variations. Speaking about judging a successful photo, Wessel once said, “You’re suddenly seeing the coherence and the interconnectedness of everything, left to right, bottom to top, front to back. It’s all connected, and somehow, it’s all in balance. And that’s, of course, when you go ‘Yes!’”

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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Established
Established representation
Represented by industry leading galleries.
User
Solo show at a major institution
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
Group
Group show at a major institution
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), and 2 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum
Biography

Henry Wessel, Jr. first gained recognition in the 1970s as part of the New Topographics, a group of photographers who challenged the conventions of documentary and landscape photography, capturing instead the poetry of seemingly mundane scenes and subjects—traffic lights, advertisements, empty landscapes, and suburbia. During the 1970s Wessel moved to San Francisco from New York after falling in love with the brilliant quality of light in California. There, in both black-and-white and color film, he photographed the vernacular architecture and social landscape of his new surroundings, in prints marked by long shadows and rich tonal variations. Speaking about judging a successful photo, Wessel once said, “You’re suddenly seeing the coherence and the interconnectedness of everything, left to right, bottom to top, front to back. It’s all connected, and somehow, it’s all in balance. And that’s, of course, when you go ‘Yes!’”

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Established
Established representation
Represented by industry leading galleries.
User
Solo show at a major institution
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
Group
Group show at a major institution
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), and 2 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum
Articles Featuring Henry Wessel
10 Photographers Who Captured the Changing Face of San Francisco
Jun 21st, 2016
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