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  • ICAA Record ID
    845387
    TITLE
    John S. Candelario / Van Deren Coke
    IN
    Three generations of hispanic photographers working in New Mexico : John Candelario, Cavalliere Ketchum, Miguel Gandert. -- Taos, New Mexico : The Harwood Foundation of The University of New Mexico, 1993.
    DESCRIPTION
    p. 3-7 : ill.
    LANGUAGES
    English
    TYPE AND GENRE
    Book/pamphlet article – Essays
    BIBLIOGRAPHIC CITATION
    Coke, Van Deren. "John S. Candelario." In Three generations of hispanic photographers working in New Mexico : John Candelario, Cavalliere Ketchum, Miguel Gandert, 3-7. Exh. cat. Taos, New Mexico : The Harwood Foundation of The University of New Mexico, 1993.
    TOPIC DESCRIPTORS
    NAME DESCRIPTORS
    Candelario, John, 1916-
    GEOGRAPHIC DESCRIPTORS
Editorial Categories [?]
Synopsis

Van Daren Coke provides a biographical sketch of New Mexico photographer John Candelario’s (1916–93) career, from his work as a correspondent for Life to the exhibition of his work at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1944. While Candelario documented Hispanics in New Mexico, Coke argues that the photographer, inspired by Ansel Adams and Edward Weston, remained more interested in creating artistically and technically accomplished images, rather than investigating the experiences of the Hispanos (New Mexican’s of Spanish and Mexican descent) and Indigenous peoples of northern New Mexico. He states that this is manifested in the texture and clarity of Candelario’s œuvre, as well as his deliberate compositions. Coke nonetheless argues, through reference to specific photographs, that the artist’s work never sacrifices sensitivity to his subjects for the sake of aesthetic criteria.

Annotations

Van Daren Coke (1921–2004) was a photographer, historian of photography, curator, and the founding director of the University of New Mexico Art Museum in Albuquerque. He wrote this brief yet detailed essay for a catalogue of an exhibition he curated in 1993 at the University of New Mexico in Taos titled Three Generations of Hispanic Photographers Working in New Mexico. The exhibition focused on three Hispanic photographers of which John Candelario represents the “first generation” (active in the 1930s–40s). Both the exhibit and the catalogue offered important long overdue recognition of neglected Hispanic photographers in New Mexico.

Though written in a very biographical format, Coke does provide an aesthetic framework with artistic reviews of specific photographs that underline his overall curatorial thesis: Candelario and his fellow photographers Cavalliere Ketchum and Miguel Gandert are quite brilliant photographers who approached their work with artistic, as well as documentary, intent. While it would have been helpful to posit Candelario’s work within the spectrum of other non-Hispanic photographers of that period, this essay is one of the few to focus on the art of New Mexico—in this case photographers—and to do so over a 50-year span (1940s–90s). 

For the essay on Miguel Gandert, see doc. no. 845409.

Researcher
Tere Romo.
Team
Chicano Studies Research Center, UCLA, Los Angeles, USA
Credit
Courtesy of the Estate of F. Van Deren Coke (Trustee of the estate of F.Van Deren Coke that is the owner of the copyright of the Work described). The Estate of F. Van Deren Coke donates a copy of the work, Santa Fe, NM