Friday, December 18, 2009

Larry Sultan, Photographer and Teacher ... Rest in Peace

(c) 1990 Ross Andecman

Sometime in the mid to late 1980's, I took a class at UC Berkeley Extension. It was all about how to become a better Black & White darkroom printer. It was taught by the photographer Larry Sultan. He was a wonderful teacher -- smart, patient, good at explaining things, playful ... and so generous with his time. I learned a lot from him and became a much better photographer and printer.

I just found out today that he died this past Sunday. It's been years since I took that class, but I feel the loss.

Condolences to his family and friends.

Here are two obituaries if you want to read more about him:
New York Times obituary
San Francisco Chronicle obituary

Go here for a rememberance of Larry Sultan on Terry Gross’ radio program, Fresh Air. It includes a great interview with him. In that interview, he talks about photographing his parents and how it affected him.

And, if you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, you can see some of his work very soon. Here's an excerpt from his obituary in the SFChronicle:
Mr. Sultan was an artist trustee of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, which holds some 40 of his works in its collection. More than a dozen of them will go on display starting Saturday, when SFMOMA begins its 75th anniversary celebration. The shows have been in planning for a year or more, and the display of Mr. Sultan's work will be his 15th solo or group show at the museum.

"He's tremendously important, certainly to us," said Sandra S. Phillips, senior curator of photography at SFMOMA. "His work has always been about examining the special kind of life that is lived here in California, and the contemporary condition of the family. That is what motivated this really amazing body of work."

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