Three Photographers: The Body
December 12 1986 – February 15 1987
From December 12 through February 15, 1987 in the New Work Gallery, as part of the On View program, the New Museum presented works by photographers Dorit Cypis, Monique Safford and Lorna Simpson.
While varied in their approaches, these three photographers shared an interest in exploring aspects of the feminine by focusing on the female body. Their images were not portraits of female nudes in the Western tradition, but rather are a more complex, implicitly feminist investigation of sexuality, representation and pleasure.
Dorit Cypis’s large color prints superimposed images upon one another to create ambiguous and poetic statements. By employing elaborate framing devices, her works pushed away from the wall to assume a seductive presence.
Monique Safford’s semierotic black and white images suggested collage or still-life groupings of unrelated but associative objects, while the accompanying text implied a means of entering the images.
Lorna Simpson also employed a photo / text juxtaposition in her work. Parts of the human body shared space with phrases and bits of text mounted on roughly hewn standing screens. The result was an amorphous and ambiguous statement in which the screen functioned as a framing element for the photographic impressions.