Hood Museum of Art

Dartmouth College

Hanover, NH



Surface and Depth: Trends in Contemporary Portrait Photography

October 7 through December 31, 2000


Whether formal studio portraits, snapshots of friends and family, mass media images of celebrities, or artistic renderings, photographs of individuals are constantly beckoning us to look at them. This exhibition examines the use of portraiture in the work of several contemporary photographers, including Dawoud Bey, John Coplans, Nan Goldin, Sally Mann, Nicholas Nixon, Gary Schneider, Cindy Sherman, and Carrie Mae Weems. With very distinctive styles, these artists explore new photographic practices, the boundaries of traditional portraiture, and the formation of social identities as seen through the camera's lens.

Since the development of photography in the 1830s, continued technological advancements in the medium have altered the ways in which artists conceive of portraiture. The ability of Nan Goldin to capture the intimacies of her friends and Nicholas Nixon to create a touching twenty-five year visual chronicle of his wife and her sisters distinguish contemporary photographic portraits from the more figurative depictions of Renaissance and Reformation prints and medals. In addition, these works express the artists' insight into social movements, race, gender, and sexuality using a variety of photographic techniques. From Carrie Mae Weems' documentation of the poignant photographic legacy of African-Americans to Gary Schneider's unconventional look at the body's interior landscape, these works wrestle with the many complexities of a multicultural society.

This exhibition is organized by the Hood Museum of Art and has been made possible through the generous support of The Leon C. 1927, Charles L. 1955, and Andrew J. 1984 Greenbaum Fund.

Read more about the Hood Museum of Art in Resource Library Magazine.

This page was originally published in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information. rev. 4/6/11

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