Recognized as a pioneer in the realm of color photography, Alex Webb possesses the ability to blend contrasting gesture, color, and cultural dynamics into a singularly captivating frame. The result is a collection of evocative images that imbue fractured and multi-layered meanings. His work, “Dislocations,” initially published in 1998 as a limited-edition accordion book featuring cutting-edge Canon laser prints, amalgamates photographs from various disparate locations into Webb’s body of work. This contemplative piece explores photography as an act of dislocation in and of itself.
Driven by the impacts of the pandemic, with closed borders and disrupted travel defining the global landscape, Webb found reason to reevaluate the feasibility of creating this series of images. The result is a revised edition of “Dislocations,” incorporating new photographs captured in the twenty-five years since the original publication. This exquisitely crafted book, in keeping with Webb’s characteristic style, offers a new perspective on his vast oeuvre and addresses the tangible sense of dislocation prevalent in our contemporary age.
About the Author
Alex Webb, born in 1952 in San Francisco, California, discovered his passion for photography during his high school years. While at Harvard University, where he pursued a major in history and literature, he also delved into the world of photography at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts. Webb’s journey into professional photojournalism commenced in 1974, with his images finding a place in prominent publications such as the New York Times Magazine, Life, Geo, Stern, and National Geographic. Joining Magnum Photos as an associate member in 1976, he attained full membership status in 1979.
In the mid-1970s, Webb embarked on documentary projects in the southern United States, extensively capturing black and white portrayals of small-town life. Simultaneously, he extended his lens to the Caribbean and Mexico. The year 1979 marked the initiation of Webb’s ongoing exploration of color photography.
Since then, Webb has traversed the Caribbean, Latin America, and Africa, leaving a visual legacy documented in four published books: “Hot Light/Half-Made Worlds” (1986) and “Under A Grudging Sun” (1989), both released by Thames and Hudson; and “From the Sunshine State” and “Amazon: From the Floodplains to the Clouds,” published by the Monacelli Press. Additionally, he collaborated on the creation of a technology-mediated artist’s book titled “Dislocations” with the Film Study Center at Harvard University (1998-99). In 2001, a book focusing on the US/Mexico border was published, again by the Monacelli Press.
Webb’s contributions to photography have been recognized through grants and awards, including the New York Foundation for the Arts Grant (1986), a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship (1990), a Hasselblad Foundation Grant (1998), the Leopold Godowsky Color Photography Award (1988), and the Leica Medal of Excellence (2000). His work has been featured in articles in Art in America and Modern Photography. Exhibiting widely in the United States and Europe, Webb’s photographs have been showcased in esteemed institutions such as the Walker Art Center, the Museum of Photographic Arts, the International Center of Photography, the High Museum of Art, the Southeast Museum of Photography, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.