Burk Uzzle, American
Gelatin silver print
Image: 14 5/8 x 14 7/16 inches (37.1 x 36.7 cm) Sheet: 19 15/16 × 15 7/8 inches (50.7 × 40.3 cm)
Purchased with the Lola Downin Peck Fund and with funds contributed by Mr. and Mrs. John Medveckis, Douglas Mellor, Ross Watson, and other donors, 1984
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The human figure has long been a favorite subject of the camera. In this exhibition of more than fifty photographs from the Museum's collection, artists purposely defy our expectations and the conventions of portraiture by taking pictures of people whose faces we can’t see. The result is a body of pictures ranging from the unsettling to the hilarious.
Photographers Edward Weston and Barbara Morgan concentrate on the beauty and eloquence of the human torso, while Lee Friedlander finds humor in figures whose faces are obscured by a camera or a placard. In some images, the anonymity of the figure is used to suggest Everyman, while others teach us that it is not just our faces that make us individuals. Techniques used by the photographers include back views, silhouetting, and cropping. Other figures are cloaked, masked, or in motion. The exhibition includes inventive images by a wide range of photographers, including Henri Cartier-Bresson, Connie Imboden, William Larson, Ralph Eugene Meatyard, and Jerry Uelsmann.
CuratorKatherine Ware Curator of Photographs, Alfred Stieglitz Center