The Flesh and the Spirit.
Photographs by Sally Mann. Text by John Ravenal, David Levi Strauss, Anne Wilkes Tucker.
Aperture/Virginia Museum of Fine Ar, 2010. 200 pp., 225 color illustrations, 9x11½".
Sally Mann: The Flesh and The Spirit is the first in-depth exploration of this world-renowned artist's approach to the body. Throughout her career, Mann has fearlessly pushed her exploration of the human form, tackling often difficult subject matter and making unapologetically sensual images that are simultaneously bold and lyrical. This beautifully produced publication includes Mann's earliest platinum prints from the late 1970s, Polaroid still lifes, early color work of her children, haunting landscape images, recent self-portraits and nude studies of her husband. These series document Mann's interest in the body as principal subject, with the associated issues of vulnerability and mortality lending an elegiac note to her images. In bringing them together, author and curator John Ravenal examines the varied ways in which Mann's experimental approach, including ambrotypes and gelatin-silver prints made from collodian wet-plate negatives, moves her subjects from the corporeal to the ethereal. Ravenal also supplies a comprehensive introduction as well as individual entries on each series, and essays by David Levi Strauss ('Eros, Psyche, and the Mendacity of Photography') and Anne Wilkes Tucker ('Living Memory') add different, but equally illuminating perspectives to this work. Sally Mann: The Flesh and The Spirit is a must for any serious library of photographic literature, students, scholars, collectors and others interested in her work.
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