Practice: Author and Critic
Date of Practice: 1989-10-27
A.D. Coleman is a prolific writer of photographic history and criticism who has published widely since the 1960s. With a background in English literature, he was the first working art critic to turn his attention entirely to photography. During the 1960s and 1970s, Coleman was a regular columnist for the Village Voice, Popular Photography, The New York Times and Camera 35. Recently, he has made frequent contributions to the New York Observer, Photo Metro and Photography in New York. His books include The Grotesque in Photography (1977), Light Readings: A Photography Critic’s Writings (1979), Critical Focus: Photography in the International Community (1995) and The Digital Evolution: Photography in the Electronic Age, Essays, Lectures and Interviews, 1967-1997 (1998).
His 1976 essay entitled The Directorial Mode, served as a significant re-examination how photographic history tends to be presented since Beaumont Newhall’s 1937 MoMA exhibition and catalog. This piece of criticism stands as a highly influential reflection on the discipline. The resource, A. D. Coleman: A Bibliography of His Writings on Photography from 1968 to 1995, (1995) was created by the Center for Creative Photography and is the first published bibliography devoted to a photography critic. Coleman’s most recent publication is Available Light: Selected Essays from Darkroom Photography/Camera & Darkroom (2000).
In 1976, Coleman received a NEA Art Critics Fellowship, and in 1996 he was the CCP’s Ansel and Virginia Adams Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence.
Coleman also spoke on January 8, 9 and 10, 1982, November 17, 1977 and November 11, 1976.
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