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Defining Photographs of Architecture and Design

Despite “a history that reaches back almost as far as photography itself,” photography of architecture has not traditionally been afforded much critical and historical attention, writes Emily Bills, in her foreword to Beyond the Assignment: Defining Photographs of Architecture and Design, the catalogue for the recent exhibition of the same name. Bills, who is director of the Julius Shulman Institute, notes that architectural photography’s most recognizable names, like Shulman and Ezra Stoller, are known “in part due to the diligent work of curators, historians, and publishers,” who recognized the artistry in images that were made by architectural and design photographers on assignment for magazines or trade journals, and were often uncredited at the time of their publication.

Beyond the Assignment, curated by Bilyana Dimitrova, seeks to recognize the work of top contemporary photographers of architecture and design. An architectural photographer herself, Dimitrova says, “My work serves a function for my clients and the architecture and design community at large, while allowing me to express my creativity, a perfect coming together of work and pleasure…. The selected photographers in Beyond the Assignment have all chose architectural photography as a way to satisfy both creative and professional pursuits and therefore they not only expertly document but also artfully interpret our world.”

Beyond the Assignment is showing through tomorrow, November 1, at WUHO Gallery (Woodbury University Hollywood Gallery), 6518 Hollywood Blvd. in Los Angeles.

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