| Alex Webb was born in San Francisco, California in 1952. He became interested in photography during his high school years and attended the Apeiron Workshops in 1972. He majored in history and literature at Harvard University, studying photography at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts. Webb joined the international photographers cooperative Magnum Photos as an associate member in 1976. |
During the mid-1970's, Webb photographed in the US south, documenting small town life in black and white. He also began working in the Caribbean and Mexico, which led him, in 1978, to start photographing in color, which he has continued to do to the present. He has worked for many magazines, including the NY Times Magazine, Life Magazine, Geo Magazine, and National Geographic Magazine. He has published seven books: Hot Light/Half-Made Worlds (1986), Under A Grudging Sun (1989), From the Sunshine State (1996), Amazon: From the Floodplains to the Clouds(1997), Dislocations (1998-99), Crossings (2003) and (most recently) Istanbul: City of a Hundered Names (2007).
Webb received a New York Foundation of the Arts Grant in 1986, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 1990, a Hasselblad Foundation Grant in 1998, and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2007. He won the Leopold Godowsky Color Photography Award in 1988, the Leica Medal of Excellence in 2000,the David Octavius Hill award in 2002, and the Lucca Photo Festival Award in 2008. His photographs have been the subject of articles in Art in America and Modern Photography and he has worked on artist commissions for the High Museum of Art in Atlanta and the Banesto Foundation in Spain. He has exhibited widely both in the United States and Europe. Among museums that have exhibited his work are: the Walker Art Center, the Museum of Photographic Arts, the International Center of Photography, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. His work is in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Metropolitan Museum of Art NY, and the Museum of Fine Art Houston.
Alex Webb (Alexander D. Webb)
Born May 5, 1952, San Francisco, California
BA Harvard University, Major in History and Literature, 1974
Apeiron Photography Workshop with Charles Harbutt, 1972
Lucca Photo Festival Award, 2008
John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, 2007
David Octavius Hill Medaille, 2002
Leica Medal of Excellence, 2000
Hasselblad Foundation, 1998
National Endowment for the Arts Grant, 1990
Leopold Godowsky Jr. Color Photography Award, 1988
New York State Council on the Arts Grant, 1986
Overseas Press Club Award, 1980
Solo Exhibitions (selected)
2008 – Villa Bottini. Lucca, Italy. Alex Webb Fotografie
2008 – Vinzavod Center of Contemporary Art, Moscow. “Color: The Suffering of Light”
2008 – Etherton Gallery, Tucson, Az. The View from Here
2007 – MAC Art Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey. Istanbul
2007 – Sepia International, New York, NY. Istanbul
2007 – Joseph Bellows Gallery, La Jolla, Ca. Istanbul
2007 – Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto, Canada. Istanbul
2006 – Nordic Light, Kristiansund, Norway, Crossings
2006 -- Abertstwyth Arts Centre, Aberstwyth, Wales. Crossings
2006 – Belfast Exposed, Belfast, Ireland. Crossings
2005 -- Southeast Museum of Photography, Daytona Beach, Fl. Crossings
2005 -- Etherton Gallery, Tucson, Az. Crosscurrents of Inquiry. Crossings.
2005 -- Yours Gallery, Warsaw, Poland
2005 -- Open Society Institute, New York. Moving Walls. Esperando
2005 -- Internationale Fototage, Mannheim, Germany. Crossings
2004 -- Sala de Exposiciones de Canal de Isabel II, Madrid, Spain. Crossings
2004 -- Ricco/Maresca Gallery. New York, NY. Esperando
2004 -- Stephen D. Paine Gallery. Massachusetts College of Art. Boston, Ma. Crossings
2003 -- Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, San Diego, Ca. Crossings: Photographs from the U.S.-Mexico Border
2003 -- University of California, Sacramento. Haiti
2002 -- Joseph Bellows Gallery, La Jolla, Ca.
2002 -- German Academy of Photography, Leinfelden, Germany. The Light of the Street.
2000 -- Leica Gallery, NY. Panama
2000 -- Open Society, NYC, NY. Haiti
1999 -- Internationale Fototage Herten. Under a Grudging Sun and Beyond
1999 -- Sky Harbor Gallery, Phoenix, Az. Waterways of the Amazon and Beyond
1999 -- Etherton Gallery, Tucson, Az
1998 -- Leica Gallery, NY. Amazon
1998 -- Cite du Livre, Aix en Provence, Fr. Caraibes.
1998 -- Zentrum fur Photografie, Berlin, Ger.
1997 -- FotoMassan, Gothenburg, Sweden. US-Mexico Border
1997 -- Neurologisches Therapiecentrum, Cologne, Germany. Haiti Libere
1997 -- Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Cambridge, Ma. Dislocations
1996 -- High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Ga. Picturing the South: Artist Project
1996 -- Southeast Museum of Photography, Daytona Beach, Fla. Here and There: Photographs from Florida and the Amazon
1996 -- Leica Gallery, NY. From the Sunshine State
1996 -- Photographic Festival, Aubenas, France. Hot Light/Half-Made Worlds
1996 -- Leica Gallery, Solms, Ger. Haiti
1995 -- Galerie Lichtblick, Cologne, Germany. Mexico
1995 -- Drew University Photography Gallery, Madison, N.J. From Mexico
1992 -- L'Espace National, Bayonne, France
1992 -- Studio Marangoni, Florence, Italy
1991 -- Focale Gallery, Nyons, Switzerland
1989 -- Sala de Exposiciones del Canal de Isabel II, Madrid, Spain
1987 -- Torino Fotografia, Museo dell'Automobile, Torino, Italy
1986 -- Canon Photo Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
1983 -- Gallerie Magnum, Paris, France
Group Exhibitions (Selected)
2008 – Southbank Center, London, UK. Disposable People (Traveled in UK)
2008 – Decordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Lincoln, Ma. Presumed Innocence
2007 – Powerhouse Gallery, Brooklyn, NY. Song of Myself
2007 – Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC, NY. Hidden in Plain Sight: Contemporary Photographs from the Collection
2007 – Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, Istanbul, Turkey. Turkey by Magnum
2006 -- Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown, Ma. Webbworks
2005 -- Viajeros, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pa.
2004 -- Ricco/Maresca Gallery, New York. Water
2004 -- Benaki Museum, Athens, Gr. Periplus (Museum of Photography, Thessalonika, Gr., Onassis Foundation, NY)
2003 -- Ricco/Maresca Gallery, New York, NY. Home
2003 -- Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago, Ill. Killer Shots
2003 -- McMullen Museum, Chesnut Hill, Ma. Common Ground: Photographers on the Street
2003 -- Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto, Can. Magnum group.
2002 -- Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago, Ill. Anniversary
2001 -- NY Historical Society, NYC, NY. New York Sept 11, 2001, Magnum group
2001 -- Here is New York, Prince St, NYC, NY
2000 -- Southeast Museum of Photography, Daytona Beach, Fla. World Views
1998 -- Sag Harbor Picture Gallery, Sag Harbor, NY. Water.
1998 -- Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto, Can. Blue.
1997 -- Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago, Ill. Gallery Artists
1997 -- Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pa. India: A Celebration of Independence (travelled)
1997 -- Bohen Foundation, NYC,. ABACA exhibition
1997 -- Taranto Gallery, NYC. Dislocations (2 person)
1995 -- Art Institute of Boston, Boston, Ma. Civilians in War
1995 -- Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego. Points of Entry (Travelled: Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, Az., Friends of Photography, San Francisco, Jewish Museum, NY...)
1995 -- Whitney Museum at Champion, Stamford, Conn. Fact and Fiction
1995 -- Leica Gallery, New York, NY. From Haiti (two person w/Maggie Steber)
1994 -- Palazzo Bagatti Valsecchi, Milan, Italy. A Due Minuti dal Mundo. Travelled:Scuderie di Palazzo Ruspoli, Rome, Italy
1994 -- Eye Gallery, San Francisco. Under A Grudging Sun(solo)
1994 -- Anacostia Museum, Washington, D.C. Black Mosaic
1994 -- Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Sevilla, Spain. Sevilla Vista Por: Miradas Fin de Siglo
1994 -- El Paso Museum of Art, El Paso, Texas. Shot in El Paso. Contemporary Photographers on the Border
1993 -- Circulo de Bellas Artes, Madrid, Spain. Madrid Vista Por: Miradas Fin de Siglo
1992 -- Tamayo Museum, Mexico City, Mexico. Mexico Through Foreign Eyes (travelled, 1993 -- International Center of Photography, New York)
1991 -- Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Biennial Exhibition
1991 -- Atrium Gallery, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Conn. Haiti: Flesh of Politics/Spirit of Vodun (travelled: Fitchburg Art Museum, Fitchburg, Mass; Driggs Gallery, Winston-Salem, N.C.)
1990 -- Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago, Ill. (Magnum group)
1989 -- Southeastern Massachusetts University Art Gallery,
South Dartmouth, Mass.
1989 -- International Center of Photography, NYC, NY. In Our Time: The World as Seen by Magnum Photographers. (Also at Centre Nationale de la Photographie, Palais de Tokyo, Paris.
1989 -- Alternative Museum, NYC, NY. Mon Reve/ My Dream: Haiti
1989 -- Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, Ca. Haiti: Revolution in Progress (Also at Sterling Art Center, Texas Southern University, Houston, Texas)
1988 -- Blatant Image/Silver Eye, Pittsburgh, Pa.
1988 -- Photographic Resource Center, Boston Mass. (Godowsky Awards)
1987 -- Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago Ill.
1987 -- Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, Ca. Masters of the Street
1986 -- California Museum of Photography, Riverside Ca.
1986 -- Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minn. On the Line: The New Color Photojournalism. (Travelled: Portland Museum of Art, Portland Me. Spencer Museum of Art, Lawrence, Kan. Laguna Gloria Art Museum, Austin, Texas; Carnegie Mellon University Art Gallery, Pittsburgh, Pa. Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, Ohio)
1984 -- Amsterdam Photo, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
1984 -- The Photographer's Gallery, London, England (with Harry Gruyeart)
1983 -- California Museum of Photography, Riverside, Ca. Color in the Street
1983 -- Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Cambridge, Mass. Grave Relics
1980 -- Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, Mass. Color Photography
1975 -- Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, Mass. Contemporary Photographers V
Books/catalogues by Alex Webb:
Istanbul: City of A Hundred Names, Aperture, NY, 2007
I Grandi Fotografi/Magnum Photos: Alex Webb, Hachette, Italy, 2005
Yours Gallery Portfolio, Yours Gallery, Warsaw, Poland, 2005
Alex Webb habla con Max Kozloff, (La Fabrica, Barcelona, Spain, 2003
Crossings: Photographs from the U.S.-Mexico Border (New York: The Monacelli Press, 2003)
Dislocations (Cambridge, Ma.: The Film Study Center, Harvard Univ. Limited edition, 1998-99)
Amazon: From the Floodplains to the Clouds (New York: The Monacelli Press, 1997)
From the Sunshine State: Photographs of Florida (New York: The Monacelli Press, 1996
Alex Webb: Fotografias: From the Tropics, Sala de Exposiciones del Canal de Isabel II, Communidad de Madrid, 1989
Under a Grudging Sun: Photographs from Haiti Libere (New York: Thames & Hudson, 1989)
Hot Light/Half-Made Worlds: Photographs from the Tropics (New York: Thames & Hudson, 1986, 92 pp.)
Selected Group books:
Presumed Innocence, Decordova Mseum and Sculpture Garden, 2008
Turkey by Magnum, Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, 2007
Conversations with Contemporary Photographers, Umbrage Editions, 2005
Magnum Stories (London: Phaidon Press 2004)
Periplus: 12 Magnum Photographers in Contemporary Greece (Athens: Hellenic Cultural Organization -- Cultural Olympiad)
Endure (NY: The Rockefeller Foundation, 2001)
New York September 11, 2001 (New York: Powerhouse, 2001)
Magnum "Degree" (London: Phaidon Press Ltd 2000)
India: A Celebration of Independence (New York: Aperture, 1997)
Mexico Through Foreign Eyes (New York: Norton, 1993)
Madrid Vista Por: Miradas Fin de Siglo (Madrid: Fundacion
Cultural Banesto, 1993)
Barcelona Vista Por: Miradas Fin de Siglo (Madrid: Fundacion Cultural Banesto, 1994)
Sevilla Vista Por: Miradas Fin de Siglo (Madrid: Fundacion Cultural Banesto, 1994)
In Our Time: The World as Seen by Magnum Photographers (New York: Norton, 1989)
1991 Biennial Catalogue, Whitney Museum of American Art
On the Line: The New Color Photojournalism, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minn. 1986
Portfolios Published/Articles About (selected)
Aperture: 181 (winter, 2005) Istanbul
Parnassus, vol 26 #2 Terror and Photography, Max Kozloff, 2002
Aperture: 40th Anniversary Issue, 1992
Aperture: Haiti, 1992
Art in America, June, 1991, "Picturing the Killing Fields" by Max Kozloff (reprinted in Lone Visions/Crowded Frames by
M. Kozloff, University of New Mexico Press, 1994)
Foto, July, 1989 (Spain)
Photo Magazine, April, 1988 (France)
Aperture, Winter, 1986, "India: Ritual and the River"
Photo Magazine, September, 1982 (France)
Modern Photography, June, 1980 "Photojournalism: It's Back with a New Face" by Andy Grundberg
Modern Photography, March, 1979 "Between Expression and the Document"
Creative Camera, December, 1975 (England)
Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY
Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, Az.
Davison Art Center, Wesleyan College, Middleton, Conn,
Fogg Museum of Art, (Carpenter Center) Cambridge, Mass
Fondazione Italiana per la Fotografia, Torino, Italy
Fuji Museum, Japan
George Eastman House, Rochester, NY
Getty Center for the Arts and Humanities, Santa Monica, Ca.
Hasselblad Foundation, Goteborg, Sweden
High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Ga.
International Center of Photography, New York, NY
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, Ca.
Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, Ill.
Museum of Fine Art, Houston, Texas
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Ma.
Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, Ca.
Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City, Mo.
Norton Museum of Art, W Palm Beach, Fla.
Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Me.
Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, Ca
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.
Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, NY, NY
Southeast Museum of Photography, Daytona Beach, Fl.
University Gallery, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Ma
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
"I only know how to approach a place by walking. For what does a street photographer do but walk and watch and wait and talk, and then watch and wait some more, trying to remain confident that the unexpected, the unknown, or the secret heart of the known awaits just around the corner."
—Alex Webb from Under A Grudging Sun
"Webb saturates his work with mood. His scenes are visualized through jagged shadows that camouflage and often obscure the smoldering humanity within them."
-Max Kozloff, Art in America
"Webb seems to find an off-key decisive moment: an opaque, cinematic instant full of odd juxtapositions and jostling patterns. He doesn’t simplify disorder, but crystallizes it through abrupt framing and by orchestrating light, color, movement, and texture."
-Gary Walther. Camera Arts
"...in these pictures we see a world that is impermanent, a certain assemblage of objects and people that will disappear with the slightest motion of nature -- washed away by a sea wave or buried in sand. Supposedly everything is known by us -- the same mass-produced clothes, the same similarly packed products. But when lit by the cheerless sun of the tropics and immersed in the world of Webb’s difficult to name colors, it creates a world that is less known than a science fiction flick. All this reveals the transcience, the flash of our life which will disappear when we will close our eyes for an instant."
-Andrzej Wajda, director, Yours Gallery Portfolio No. 5
"Alex Webb is master of the shadow. He uses it as an antidote to the intensity of the reds, blues, and yellows in the Mexican urban landscape. It is as if too much of the sun-drenched hues would blind us; the shadows are the squinting of the sun; they enable the viewer to better see the subject even though there is less of the subject to see."
-Adam Weinberg, On The Line: The New Color Photojournalism
"...his multilayered photos, with their silhouetted figures, deep shadows, and brilliant light, capture the mood perfectly. Nearly every image is fragmented – broken by mirrors, doors, poles, wires, bodies, reflections – but cleverly resolved. Webb draws us into the theatre of the street the way Helen Leavitt and Saul Leiter do, animating every inch of the frame and our imaginations, too."
-Vince Aletti, The New Yorker
"Webb is almost alone in using colour for ideological effect."
Ian Jeffrey, The Photo Book