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Yet the sunlight falls on the palpable flesh of a person and on the worn cloth of her shift.

Artist Spotlight: Dorothea Lange—Behind the Lens of an American Icon

The picture exemplifies Lange's exceptional talent for making the leap from concrete fact to arching symbol without leaving reality behind. She made it for the Farm Security Administration, a government agency whose photographic unit was charged with documenting the plight of the rural poor in the s. Her work created a lasting image of the Great Depression. It also deepened the link between the descriptive style of documentary photography and the ideal of social engagement, becoming a touchstone for photographers who felt that their work should not only record social conditions but try to persuade people to improve them.

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Dorothea Lange: Politics of Seeing - Frist Art Museum

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Whose Migrant Mother was this?

Muybridge died when Lange was nine-years-old and was not part of her contemporary circle. The Lawrence and R. Waters panoramas document the aftermath of the San Francisco earthquake, which struck twelve years before Lange moved to San Francisco and likely had little direct impact on her artistic development. With this prime real estate robbed from Lange and her circle, some of the other works are relegated to awkward corners and are nearly inaccessible due to the cabinets and unrelated propped-up photographs that deter one from viewing the exhibited work.

The shortcomings of this exhibition are amplified by the larger exhibition concurrently on display at Scott Nichols Gallery.

Dorothea Lange: Politics of Seeing review – a visionary whose camera never lied

The images are predominantly female nudes, though there are also geishas, clothed women, and some photographs by female artists that do not focus on the female form. An exhibition of female nudes is not necessarily problematic.

As one of art's oldest subject matters, there is much to consider aesthetically, historically, and politically. The exhibition feels like little more than a fetishization of the young and naked female body. For more information visit scottnicholsgallery.

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