“Abstract photography, sometimes called non-objective, experimental, conceptual or concrete photography, is a means of depicting a visual image that does not have an immediate association with the object world and that has been created through the use of photographic equipment, processes or materials.”
One of my all time favorite photographers was the late Jan Groover who’s most celebrated works included still life object presented in surreal, abstract worlds.
Jan Groover’s work was the subject of a mid-career retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in 1987, for which an accompanying catalogue was printed. Her work has also been the subject of one-person exhibitions at the Baltimore Museum of Art; Cleveland Museum of Art; the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; and the International Museum of Photography, George Eastman House, Rochester, New York.
On my bookshelf is a first edition copy of the book from the MoMA show and I prize it dearly as it inspired some of my early experimentation with my vintage press camera and 4×5 Polaroid images transfers of abstract still lifes.
I still have that big bulky camera but I’ve since moved on digital cameras that don’t require me to mix up batches of smelly chemicals and hide out in a closet developing film.
Abstract photography certainly is not limited to the studio. Abstractions can be found anywhere in the wider world, its just a matter of discovering interesting patterns, textures and designs and removing them from their surroundings. Removing the visual clues that tell the viewer what they are looking at focuses the viewer to concentrate on the pure lines, patterns and design of the image.
Examples of Abstract Photography
“Abstract photography is based on the photographers eye. We’re looking to capture something in a way that it would not usually be seen. Looking for the details, the patterns, the lines, the form, shape and colors that complete a subject and utilizing those key features to make an engaging image.”