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Ruth Bernhard: At One Hundred

G. Gibson Gallery
Seattle WA thru Nov 26, 2005

Ruth Bernhard - Within
Ruth Bernhard, Within (1969), gelatin silver print [G. Gibson Gallery, Seattle, WA, through Nov 26]

Ruth Bernhard was among the first generation of American modernist photographers, a group that included Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, Dorthea Lange, Minor White and Edward Weston. Many were her friends and colleagues in New York during the 1920s and 30s. Bernhard had an aptitude for distinguishing the ordinary by infusing simple forms with the sensual radiance of light. Ansel Adams described her as being “the greatest photographer of the nude”.

In celebration of her 100th birthday, the G. Gibson Gallery is exhibiting a selection of Ruth Bernhard’s photographs dating from 1930-1975. The show concentrates on Bernhard’s nudes from the 1950s and 60s as well as still lifes. Bernhard’s classic work on the nude has the clarity and precision of the female standpoint coupled with a strong formalist approach to light and form. Iconic images such as her Lifesavers study (1930) capture the early modernist spirit that later defined her work. Other early still life photographs like Straws (1930) are stellar examples of how Bernhard was inspired by light.


Ruth Bernhard, Straws (1930), gelatin silver print [G. Gibson Gallery Seattle, WA, through Nov 26]


Ruth Bernhard - Straws
Ruth Bernhard - Draped Torso

Ruth Bernhard, Draped Torso (1962), gelatin silver print [G. Gibson Gallery Seattle, WA, through Nov 26]


Ruth Bernhard was born in Germany in 1905 and attended Berlin’s Academy of Fine Arts. She moved to New York in 1927 where she began her career as a commercial photographer. After meeting the influential photographer Edward Weston in 1935, Bernhard began to embrace the medium of photography with an artist’s vision. In 1953 she moved to her current home in San Francisco.

Ruth Bernhard - Lifesavers
Ruth Bernhard, Lifesavers (1930), gelatin silver print [G. Gibson Gallery Seattle, WA, through Nov 26]


www.ggibsongallery.com

Allyn Cantor

 Sun, Nov 6, 2005