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:


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:


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.


Burroughs, Warhol & Lynch.

Andy Warhol, David Lynch & William S. Burroughs. 

The Photographers’ Gallery, London. 

17/01/14 – 20/03/14

A brave exhibition by The Photographer’s Gallery in London, exploring the photographic work of three, counter culture, avant-garde, American figures: Andy Warhol, William S Burroughs and David Lynch. I say brave because over time these individuals have become well known for their various talents but not specifically known for their photography. Cult followers of their work may object to comparing the three together.

However if you’re interested in one, two or all three of the icons this exhibition is an interesting insight into their photographic practices which makes a difference from seeing popular work by them such as Campbell’s Soup Cans, Naked Lunch or The Elephant Man.

William Burroughs/Ian Sommerville, Infinity, (Beat Hotel), Paris, 1962.

William Burroughs/Ian Sommerville, Infinity, (Beat Hotel), Paris, 1962.

The Photographer’s Gallery explores the visual dairies and an insight to the life and work around these three practitioners. I found the examples of Burroughs cut up techniques to be especially interesting although I was a little shocked at just how small they were but I guess that’s the reality you overlook.

Andy Warhol, People in the Street, 1976-1987.

Andy Warhol, People in the Street, 1976-1987.

The exhibition gives you an insight to the reality behind the lives of these famous figures. Warhol’s photographs are an example of an obsessive recorder, I imagine there to have been such a huge job in selecting the best of his images as he compulsively shot over 36 frames a day of his immediate surroundings.

David Lynch, Untitled (Lodz), 2000.

David Lynch, Untitled (Lodz), 2000.

Lynch’s work in my opinion had the most photographic merit of the three. The series of prints were truly stunning with their clarity and contrast. The images themselves of abandoned factories were eerily dark and ambiguous. They create an atmosphere and narrative, which closely reflects his filmmaking.

The show offers an exciting insight into the life of the pioneers and bold step up of the game from The Photographer’s Gallery showcasing work in a way you may not have seen before. Perhaps this show was intended to be of interest to those visiting the Bailey show, the traffic of people coming to see work by a well known name are those who are excited by fame, even if this is unintentional I found it to be a smart move by the photographers gallery bringing three well known icons together at this particular time.

More information about the exhibition at: