|Product Details |
Thames & Hudson
The portrait was a staple of photography from the medium's birth, and so was pornography. It took the late-nineteenth-century tide of scientific, artistic, and social innovation, however, to sweep the shame out of aesthetically scrutinizing the photographed body, and it would take most of the succeeding century for photographers and viewers to see anything artful in old bodies and in body parts. At least, such a course of development seems apparent in photographic museum director Ewing's chronological presentation of 100 images dating from 1900 to 2000. Naked youngsters predominate early on, while toward the end, such images as those of skinny, heavily veined arms; a naked 90-year-old woman; a hairy, soapy man's back; and the computer-assisted rendering of a room made of flesh challenge aesthetic acceptance. Ewing's informative and thought-provoking commentaries on the pictures aid in successfully meeting their challenges. Ray Olson
Copyright ¬ American Library Association. All rights reserved
Minneapolis Star Tribune, L.K. Hanson, 26 November 2000
The collected pictures trace a century's worth of aesthetic shifts and approaches in photographing the human body.
In the twentieth century the human body was explored, repaired, remodeled, and reinvented in ways that would have amazed previous generations. A major role in this process has been played by photography, which allows us to see the body with new eyes, down to the minutest internal structures. Science and technology are one means of photographically imaging the body and its potential. Art is another, and many of the greatest photographers have taken the body as their subject matter. The Century of the Body presents chronologically one hundred photos that represent all the significant genres of body-centered photography, in both art and science. Anthropology, criminology, physiology, anatomy, medicine, dance, sport, photojournalism, fashion, the nude, body art, and other lesser-known but important fields are featured, each represented by the most innovative photographers of their day. The greats of scientific and technological imagemaking, notably Lennart Nilsson, Pietro Motta, and Ralph Hutchings, are included. So, too, are the leading art photographers of the century: Alfred Stieglitz, Man Ray, Brassai, Edward Weston, Imogen Cunningham, Bill Brandt, Lee Friedlander, and Robert Mapplethorpe. The Musee de l'Elysee in Lausanne, one of the world's foremost photography museums, has compiled this extraordinary book to celebrate some of modern photography's finest achievements. Essays by the curators of the museum, including commentaries on every photograph, survey the full range of twentieth-century body-related imagery, focusing on the radical shifts in attitudes to the body that have taken place since 1900. The images, magnificently reproduced in duotone and color, stand as a lasting memorial to the finest photographic artists and scientists of the past one hundred years. 115 photographs in duotone and in color.
With contributions by: