Sally Mann’s rich and varied career as a photographer has seen her focus on architecture, landscape and still life, but she is known above all for her intimate portraits of her family, and in particular her young children. Her work has attracted controversy at times, but it has always been influential, and since her the time of her first solo exhibition, at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., in 1977, she has attracted a wide audience.
Sally Mann explored various genres as she was maturing in the 1970s: she produced landscapes and architectural photography, and she blended still life with elements of portraiture. But she truly found her metier with her second publication, a study of girlhood entitled At Twelve: Portraits of Young Women (1988). And, between 1984 and 1991, she worked on what is undoubtedly her most famous series, Immediate Family (1992), which focuses on her three children, who were then all aged under ten. Whilst the series touches on ordinary moments in their daily lives – playing, sleeping, eating – it also speaks to larger themes such as sexuality and death.
Mann has always remained close to her roots, and she has photographed the American South for many years, producing two major series, Deep South (Bullfinch Press, 2005) and Mother Land. In What Remains (Bullfinch Press, 2003), she assembled a five-part study of mortality, one which ranges from pictures of the decomposing body of her beloved pet greyhound, to the site where an armed fugitive committed suicide on her property in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia.
She has often experimented with color photography, but she has remained most interested in photography’s antique technology. She has long used an 8x10 bellows camera, and has explored platinum and bromoil printing processes. In the mid 1990s she began using the wet collodion process to produce pictures which almost seem like hybrids of photography, painting, and sculpture.
Sally Mann lives and works in Lexington, Virginia. A Guggenheim fellow, and a three-time recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, Mann was named “America’s Best Photographer” by Time magazine in 2001. She has been the subject of two documentaries: Blood Ties (1994), which was nominated for an Academy Award, and What Remains (2007). She has been the subject of major exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.. Her photographs can be found in many public and private collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Museum of Modern Art; and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Bringing together more than 80 pictures taken by photographers from the 19th century to today, (un)expected families at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), explores the definition of the American family—from the families we’re born into to the ones we’ve chosen. The photographs in the exhibition, on view from December 9, 2017 through June 17, 2018, depict a wide range of relationships—multiple generations, romantic unions and alternative family structures—whether connected by DNA, shared life experiences, common interests or even a social media network. Drawn primarily from the MFA’s holdings, the exhibition includes photographs by celebrated artists such as Nan Goldin, Gordon Parks, Nicholas Nixon, Sally Mann, Diane Arbus, Tina Barney, Emmet Gowin and Bruce Davidson. Photograph: Andrea Shea/WBUR.
Debe anotarse que la calidad de ArtBasel sigue intacta y si bien en esta edición hubo menos deslumbres que en otros años, se apreció el alto nivel acostumbrado. Galerías ya clásicas como, entre otras, Thomas Schulte con Allan McCollum, Landau con sus Magrittes o Mary-Anne Martin con sus Gerszos y Tamayos aportaron la cuota de obras maestras que dieron lustre al evento, así como importantes Milton Avery, Hans Hoffmann, Helen Frankenthaler, Robert Rauschenberg, Sol Lewitt y Ellsworth Kelly. La escuálida participación de galerías locales contrastó con la robusta oferta de galerías brasileñas, entre ellas Anita Schwartz con la instalación de Nuno Ramos sobre los desastres de guerra de Goya, seguido por la argentina Jorge Mara La Ruche con fotografías de Grete Stern. Imperturbable con su aire giocondesco, la bella obra de Sally Mann en Houk Gallery neoyorkina, signó la elegante mirada de toda la feria.
For more than forty years, Sally Mann (b. 1951, Lexington, Virginia) has made experimental, elegiac, and hauntingly beautiful photographs that span a broad body of work including portraits, still lifes, and landscapes. Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings explores how her relationship with the South has shaped her work.
Exhibition schedule: National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, 4 March – 28 May 2018; Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, 30 June – 23 September 2018; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 20 November 2018 – 10 February 2019; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 3 March – 27 May 2019; Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris, 16 June – 15 September 2019; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, 13 October 2019 – 5 January 2020
Not many would voluntarily spend time around decaying corpses, alone, in a forest. Sally Mann, however, is not most
people. Her body of work, Body Farm, captures the silence surrounding her, the heavy feel of death saturating the air,
the stillness and calmness of a lifeless forest speckled with corpses.
Mann made a name for herself through the photographs of her children, taken between 1984 and 1992, which she stopped around the time her eldest daughter turned 12. “This is somewhat of an extension of that series, which was done when the children were coming of age, in their twenties, not living at home anymore,” said gallery director Julie Castellano. “They’re done so close up they’re almost an homage to death portraits.” One of an edition of five, the $55,000 large work was created in the wet collodion process, one of the earliest processes of photography. “Sally loves the way that it abstracts; she loves the imperfections. She can make a perfect print but she loves to play with the emulsion and add abstraction.”
Internationally renowned photoggrapher Sally Mann stays close to home. Since the early 1980s, Mann has used her farm near Lexington, Virginia, as a home base for taking photographs and painstakingly developing negatives by hand. When the intimate photographs of her children in 1992's Immediate Family brought her a notoriety she didn't expect, Mann didn't give in. Nearly twenty-five years later, she continues to confront themes as knotty as they are universal: the bodies of children and of the dead, the South and its legacy of violence and racial discrimination. In her memoir, Hold Still, which she brings to the Triangle this week, Mann uses her family history to excavate her personality, work ethic, and obsession with photography's ability to stop time and reveal the timeless.
Sally Mann receives the 2016 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction for her book "Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs," published by Little, Brown, and Company, Hachette Book Group.