November 1, 2009

Sally Mann Proud Flesh Photos Exhibition


Copyright Sally Mann / Gagosian Gallery

© 2009 - Sally Mann – Courtesy Gagosian Gallery


Children, landscape, lovers—these iconic subjects are as common to the photographic lexicon as light itself. But Mann's take on them, rendered through processes both traditional and esoteric, is anything but common. From the outset of her career she has consistently challenged the viewer, rendering everyday experiences at once sublime and deeply disquieting.

In previous projects, Mann has explored the relationships between parent and child, brother and sister, human and nature, site and history. Her latest photographic study of her husband Larry Mann, taken over six years, has resulted in a series of candid nude studies of a mature male body that neither objectifies nor celebrates the focus of its gaze. Rather it suggests a profoundly trusting relationship between woman and man, artist and model that has produced a full range of impressions – erotic, brutally frank, disarmingly tender, and more.

Mann's technical methods and process further emphasize the emotional and temporal aspects of these fragile life studies. She uses a 19th-century process, the collodion wet-plate process, discovered in 1851. The images are contact prints made from wet-plate collodion negatives, produced by coating a sheet of glass with ether-based collodion and submerging it in silver nitrate before exposure. Sally Mann exploits the surface aberrations that can result from the unpredictability of the process to produce painterly photographs marked by stark contrasts of light and dark, with areas that resemble scar tissue. In works such as Hephaestus and Ponder Heart, the scratches and marks incurred in the production process become inseparable from the physical reality of Larry's body.


The photographer SALLY MANN was born in Lexington, VA in 1951. She has received numerous awards, including three National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Her photographs are in the permanent collections of major museums and private collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, and The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and The Corcoran Museum of Art, Washington, D.C.




September 15 - December 23, 2009

980 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10075
Hours: Tue-Sat 10-6


A fully illustrated CATALOGUE of Proud Flesh photographs' series has been published in collaboration with Aperture including a text by the award-winning poet and author C.D. Wright. Among his many previous works, he has written the text of One Big Self: Prisoners of Louisiana, published in 2003, with photographer Deborah Luster.


Sally Mann, Proud Flesh © 2009, Sally Mann/Aperture Foundation/Gogasian Gallery

SALLY MANN, Proud Flesh
Text by C. D. WRIGHT
Publishers: Aperture Foundation / Gagosian Gallery
October 2009
Clothbound 12" x 14" (30.5 x 36.2 cm) - 61 pages
33 tritone images
ISBN: 978-59711-135-5


Sally Mann’s books include At Twelve (Aperture, 1988), Immediate Family (Aperture, 1992), What Remains (2003), Deep South (2005). A feature film about her work, What Remains, debuted to critical acclaim in 2005.

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