NEW YORK, NY.-
In the early 1980s, photographer Barbara Crane embarked on a photographic project shot during Chicagos various summer festivals. Armed with a Super Speed Graphic camera and Polaroid film, Crane waded in close to the revelers and focused on capturing the details of clothing and hairstyles, but most importantly, gesture. The images are tightly cropped and terrifically alive, viscerally bringing us into the crush of people eating, drinking, and enjoying the crowd dynamican incredible inventory of private gestures performed in public spaces.
brings together this sensual, sun-drenched, sweat-glistening photographic experience with the publication of Private Views (Aperture, May 2009). The collective effect of the images in Private Views is mesmerizing and intensely compelling, creating a palpable sensuality from image to imagean incredible document, not of a particular event or personalities, but of something less tangible: the public expression of euphoria. Private Views is a celebration of the classic 1980s Polaroid snapshot with an experimental flair; Cranes mixture of natural light and flash combined with her use of Polaroid film highlights the primary colors of the fashion of the 1980s, which still feels hip and contemporary today.
Barbara Crane (born in Chicago, 1928) is a celebrated American photographer known for her extraordinary commitment to experimentation and innovation. The common thread in her work, which ranges from abstract to documentary, is the human form and the urban landscape. Crane studied art history at Mills College, completing her BA at New York University in 1950. She returned to Chicago and enrolled in the Institute of Designs graduate photography program, studying with Aaron Siskind, among others. Her work has been the subject of six retrospective surveys and more than seventy-six one-person exhibitions. Crane is professor emeritus of photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is represented by Stephen Daiter Gallery, Chicago; Higher Pictures, New York; and Galerie Françoise Paviot, Paris.
BARBARA HITCHCOCK (essay) is curator and director of the Polaroid Collection in Concord, Maine.