PHOTOGRAPHY CATALOGUE OF THE YEAR
Who Is Michael Jang?
Pascale Georgiev, ed.
Los Angeles, 2019
Juror Joanna Milter describes the contents of this monographic survey of photographer Michael Jang as “one of those amazing, previously untapped contemporary archives.” After completing his MFA at the San Francisco Art Institute, Jang spent nearly forty years working as a portrait photographer. Alongside his commercial work, he continued making personal work unbeknownst to and mostly disconnected from the larger world of “fine art” photography. It wasn’t until Jang submitted his work to SFMOMA in 2001 that curators and critics began to recognize the unique humor and richness of his personal vision. Jang’s biography is expertly narrated by Sandra Phillips, while art director and curator Erik Kessels discusses the wit and storytelling vim of his approach to photography. This retrospective spans four decades of work and is densely packed with images, varying in subject matter from portraits of prospective TV weathermen candidates to more intimate photos of family and friends. Heavily influenced by street photographers Lee Friedlander and Garry Winogrand, the photographs are dynamic and thrilling. “It is truly an impressive body of work,” says Milter.