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About A. D. Coleman

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Biographical Note

A. D. Coleman, 2010. Photo © copyright 2010 by Willie Chu.

A. D. Coleman, 2010. Photo © copyright 2010 by Willie Chu.

A. D. Coleman has published 8 books and more than 2000 essays on photography and related subjects. Formerly a columnist for the Village Voice, the New York Times, and the New York Observer, Coleman has contributed to such periodicals as ARTnews, Art On Paper, and Technology Review. His syndicated essays on mass media, new communication technologies, art, and photography have been featured in such periodicals as Juliet Art Magazine (Italy), European Photography (Germany), and Art Today (China). His work has been translated into 21 languages and published in 30 countries.

Since 1995, Coleman has served as Publisher and Executive Director of The Nearby Café (nearbycafe.com), a multi-subject electronic magazine where his widely read blog on photography, “Photocritic International,” appears. He also founded and directs the Photography Criticism CyberArchive (photocriticism.com), the most extensive online database ever created of writing about photography by authors past and present. With John Alley, he co-directs The New Eyes Project, an online resource for everyone teaching photography to young people.

Coleman — who lectures, teaches and publishes widely both here and abroad — has appeared on NPR, PBS, CBS and the BBC. A Getty Museum Guest Scholar and a Fulbright Senior Scholar, and a recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Hasselblad Foundation, he was honored in 1996 as the Ansel and Virginia Adams Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence at the Center for Creative Photography.

American Photo named Coleman one of “the 100 most important people in photography in 1998.” In 2002 he received the Culture Prize of the German Photographic Society — the first critic of photography ever so honored. In 2010 he received the J Dudley Johnston Award for “lifetime achievement in writing about photography,” from the Royal Photographic Society (UK). And in 2014 he received the Insight Award from the Society for Photographic Education.

Coleman’s first major curatorial effort, Saga: the Journey of Arno Rafael Minkkinen, made its debut in both book and exhibition form in September 2005 and now tours internationally. A second museum-scale curatorial project, China: Insights, premiered in spring 2008 and continues to tour the U.S. He also curates smaller exhibitions for such venues as See+ Art Space/Gallery in Beijing and the Dali International Photography Exhibition in Dali, China. Since 2005, exhibitions that Coleman has curated have opened at museums and galleries in Canada, China, Finland, Italy, Rumania, Slovakia, and the U.S.

Coleman’s books include The Grotesque in Photography; Light Readings: A Photography Critic’s Writings, 1968-1978; Critical Focus: Photography in the International Image Community; Tarnished Silver: After the Photo Boom; Looking at Photographs: Animals, a work for children; Depth Of Field: Essays on Photography, Mass Media and Lens Culture; and The Digital Evolution: Visual Communication in the Electronic Age, Essays, Lectures And Interviews 1967-1998.

Critical Focus received the International Center of Photography’s Infinity Award for Writing on Photography in 1995. Wired magazine called The Digital Evolution “required reading for today’s media-savvy or information-obsessed artist.” A new collection of Coleman’s essays, Available Light: Photography in the 1990s, will appear in 2012.

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