Extensions of the Eye, curated by Laura Mintz ’12, presents photography by Barbara Morgan, Naomi Savage, and Kunié Sugiura from the Tang Collection. Using the body as a point of departure, these three artists explore issues of identity, process, and space.
About the Artists:
Kunié Sugiura (b. 1942) is a photographer who primarily makes photograms. Through her representations of shadows she captures the essence of flora, fauna, and even human beings. By employing the aesthetic of the silhouette, she grounds her artistic practice in Japanese visual history but also interlaces her works with a sense of illusionism and fantasy. In her recent series Artists and Scientists, Sugiura erases the minute characteristics that viewers expect in portraits, such as facial expressions and features, replacing them with perfectly structured compositions to grant each bodily contour its maximum visual potential. Sugiura’s works emphasize both negative and positive shapes, and her technique allows forms to appear solidly grounded but also phantasmagorical and ephemeral, as if expressing both body and soul. Sugiura currently lives and works in New York City.
Naomi Savage (1927-2005) grew up around art; her uncle was Man Ray. She studied with Berenice Abbott, and then became Man Ray’s assistant and protégée. Through his mentorship, she explored the creative possibilities of photography, including many manipulative processes. Of these techniques, Savage became best known for photographic engravings, often incorporating both the photographic print and the engraving block into one work of art. She also experimented with negative images, multiple exposures, collage, and photo etching. She used not only the camera but also post-visualization processes to transform her photographs into art objects.