Scotiabank Photography Award winner 2012
Since 1994, Toronto-based artist Arnaud Maggs’ interest in archival practice has led him to photograph objects and books of extreme beauty, rarity and historical importance. These pristine, technically brilliant images are at the forefront of a current trend within contemporary art: the archive.
At the age of 47, Maggs left behind a successful career as a commercial illustrator and fashion photographer to dedicate himself to the fine arts. His first major photographic work, 64 Portrait Studies (1976–78) featuring thirty-two anonymous models, photographed frontally and in profile from the shoulders up, arranged in a grid to a total of 64 black and white, gelatine silver photographs laid the groundwork for an artistic vision that Maggs has carried through to the present.
This is the second in a series of annual publications published by Steidl celebrating the winner of the Scotiabank Photography Award, Canada’s largest contemporary photography award for an established Canadian artist. The award was established by photographer Edward Burtynsky and Jane Nokes of Scotiabank. Arnaud Maggs demonstrates the range of this year’s winner’s oeuvre with seventeen series including Joseph Beuys, 100 Profile Views (1980); Kunstakademie (1980); André Kertész, 144 Views (1980); Hotel (1991); Répertoire (1997); Contamination (2007); The Dada Portraits (2010) and his most recent series After Nadar (2012). Together they convey current theories related to the study of the history of photography, which stress the importance of using first generation objects as research tools to re-examine history.
Arnaud Maggs brings viewers face to face with books, ephemera, and portrait studies, skilfully photographed, re-presented and gracefully shared with us as works of fine art.
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