Review Structures.

Throughout this post I will explore elements of exhibition reviews from Source magazines in order to influence my own final review for this unit.


Source, The Photographic Review, Autumn 2013, Issue 76, p54-55. 

Ever Young, James Barnor, Impressions Gallery.

The Time of Optimism.

Review by Mick Gidley. 

James Barnor, Eva, 1960

James BarnorEva, 1960



Mick Gidley’s review of the Ever Young exhibition by James Barnor consists of descriptive paragraphs about the exhibition and it’s content. Throughout the introduction Gidley gives us an insight to exactly who he is talking about, a short biography of the photographer and what they’re all about. For the duration of the review we read heavy descriptions about the work being shown and the exhibition, what it consists of, what it represents and what it’s intentions are. The review seems to be mainly descriptive about what to expect in the exhibition, a descriptive insight which tells you about the contextual side of the show. Unfortunately the review for me doesn’t do the show or images justice, after researching more about Barnor and finding more images online I was excited by what I saw, for me the description even though elaborate for a short review does not come across as anything other than unfortunately quite dull.

More information at: http://autograph-abp.co.uk/exhibitions/james-barnor-ever-young


Source, The Photographic Review, Spring 2013, Issue 74, p50-51.

Woo!, Juergen Teller, ICA.

Serious Photography.

Review by Eugenie Shinkle.

Juergen Teller

 Juergen Teller, Vivienne Westwood, No.1, London, 2009. 



Personally I find this review to be much more experimental and imaginative with the use of words compared to Gidley’s review of Ever Young. The review starts with a controversial statement about how ‘serious photographers don’t do fashion’ and by listing other photographs works who we are familiar with helps to give a better understanding of what to expect within the exhibition. After this, much like Gidley there is a short biographical paragraph about Juergen Teller and his past work which gives you an understanding of his background and why this show is not what you’ll expect. Onwards the review again is very descriptive about the exhibition, more specifically this time with an explanation of what is exactly in each room without giving away too much, just enough to make you want to go and see for yourself. Towards the end of the review Shinkle talks about the main controversial element of the exhibition being the nude photographs of Vivienne Westwood, including this keeps the reader interested as it’s a popular part of the show. The end summary explains critical concerns but in a tasteful and respectful way. The controversy creates debate around the review and exhibition. I find this review to be much more to my taste as the vocabulary is rich and vibrant, every adjective seems to be invigorating and makes for a much more interesting read.

More information at: http://www.ica.org.uk/whats-on/juergen-teller-woo


Source, The Photographic Review, Autumn 2013, Issue 76, p60-61. 

Man Ray Portraits, National Portrait Gallery.

With Mystery.

Review by Isabel Stevens. 


Man Ray, Catherine Deneuve, 1968. 

Reviewing a show by a well known famous pioneer has a different output compared to contemporary, it is unnecessary to be descriptive of the photographs because generally people who read the review will already be aware of what they will look like. The intro still consists of a slight biographical piece of information but the structure is different, it does not list facts but alternatively elaborates on well known information in an attempt to try and write something which has never been said before. Throughout the duration of the review there is clear evidence of historical research and facts which you may or may not be aware of, these facts are extended with interpretations and opinions of what the photographs may have meant at the time and how they are perceived today. What I found to be interesting in the review was the explanation of Man Ray’s photographic practice which is included in the show, that fact alone made me want to visit the show for myself, as it sparks intrigue of the reality, secrets and mystery’s of working process of the surrealist photographer.


Van Gogh’s Sunflowers.

Van Gogh’s, Sunflowers. 

The National Gallery, London. 

25/01/14 – 27/04/14 

The Sunflowers.

Hustle and bustle, pushing and shoving, is this absolutely necessary for something we’ve all seen a million times before? For these famously known and immensely reproduced images.

As an avid fan of Van Gogh too see his Sunflower paintings in their almighty glory and for free? I do believe it was worth the tourists filled queues to feast my eyes upon the beauty which surrounds the viewers presence.

For the first time in 65 years two of Van Gogh’s Sunflower paintings are being shown side by side in the National Gallery for spectators to compare and contrast before their very eyes. Alongside these are accompany scientific research x-ray scans which enables us to see exactly how Van Gogh painted them. Giving much more understanding to his practice and the ability to understand in more depth the meaning behind the works.

The exhibition displays the images painted from 1888 – 1889 during the rare time Van Gogh’s experienced excitement and optimistic feelings before famously cutting part of his ear off and being admitted to an asylum after a nervous breakdown.

The paintings were intended to decorate a friends bedroom and so they symbolise friendship, welcome and happiness.

Many people have their own reasons for admiration of the paintings but the most well known appreciation is  of the their overwhelming sense of a life cycle from the buds of new flowers, the very much alive and blossoming sunflowers to the slowly decaying and dying flowers. The show is a once in a lifetime opportunity to whitens 2 of the paintings side by side which create a much more overwhelming sense of awe than I ever imagined.


Two of Van Gogh Sunflowers shown together at The National Gallery, London  for first time in 65 years. 


My photographic response to visiting Van Gogh’s Sunflowers:Flower's.  Flower's. Daffodils.

My intention when photographing these flowers was to somehow represent my emotive state and express feelings within the flowers.

The colours specifically respond to the likes of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers but also our semiotic colour association. The bright yellow’s represent positive current feelings of joy, confidence, strength, creativity and happiness. The depth of field as well as the composition is for aesthetic purpose but also represents direction and motivation within a specific point of the image, with a particular individual flower as the focus. Blurring the rest and focusing on mainly one flower is a conscious decision of my focus at the moment towards particular persons who help to guide and motivate me throughout life.

The daffodils specifically represent my long to go home, a sense of missing Wales as our traditional Welsh symbol looks longingly down and sombre towards the bottom of the frame which is why I chose to photograph them later in the day as the sun was slowly sinking before a new chapter in my life arises in my current home. I am grateful for such opportunity and do not take for granted those who have helped me along the way, specifically those back home.