Explore this Selection of artworks where we highlight some of the exceptional examples of photography in all its guises represented and exhibited by galleries on Ocula.Read More
One of the most well liked mediums in contemporary art, photography's rise in the art world began more or less in the late 1830s with the pioneering research of Louis Daguerre. Digital photography emerged 160 years later in the early 1990s with the availability of formats such as JPEG or TIFF. At this time, sophisticated use of digital collaging was explored on a large scale by artists like Andreas Gursky.
Photography's subject matter initially paralleled the history of painting, mostly addressing landscape or portraiture. However, after overcoming some resistance, its entry into the field of fine art saw its scope vastly expand in the 1960s and 1970s. It gained traction as an important medium with its use as a mode of documentation within the 1970s Conceptual art movement (artists like Bernd and Hilla Becher were particularly influential in this regard). It also found a niche in Performance art (Ana Mendieta's work for example), as well as in the rise of Feminist practices (like Cindy Sherman, Sherrie Levine and Barbara Kruger), spurred by women artists seeing painting as phallocentric and exclusionary of women.
Today, the scope of photography is endless as artists continue to push the medium in new and exciting directions.