Mary Ellen Mark: 25 Years
October 1991
Photography Editor: Suzanne Donaldson

Street Child, Trabzon, Turkey, 1965, from Mary Ellen Mark: 25 Years.

Mary Ellen Mark and Annie Leibovitz, two of our strongest contemporary women photographers, have new books out: Mary Ellen Mark: 25 Years (Bulfinch), by Marianne Fulton, and Photographs Annie Leibovitz 1970‑1990 (HarperCollins). Both are gratifying in that they present a selection of each photographer's visual accomplishments to date; taken together, they are fascinating for how they provide a portrait of the contemporary world. Leibovitz's book (coinciding with her retrospective, which opened in Washington at the National Portrait Gallery and is now at the International Center of Photography, Uptown, until December 1) mostly records highly visible people, many of whom have appeared in Rolling Stone or Vanity Fair. But it also includes other work‑ photographs of her travels to a kibbutz in Israel, shots of her family, some of her advertising work for American Express and the Gap‑ making it a publication that is both personal and a collection of her assignment work. Who else could give us Whoopi in milk or Roseanne in the mud? Mark, on the other hand, deals with what she calls the “unfamous." Chapter titles such as "Confinement" and "On the Edge" echo the black‑and‑white photojournalistic pictures within: of Mother Teresa's patients in India, of runaway kids in Seattle, and of blind children in the Ukraine. Mark, who has a show at ICP, Midtown, until November 17, is a photographer whose distinctive images are not easily forgotten.