Ruth Bernhard, Female Nude, 1962

Ruth Bernhard, Nude in a Box (Horizontal), 1962

Exhibition dates: September 5 – December 28, 2014

Ruth Bernhard, known for her imagery of the female nude, primarily focused on the contrast of light and significance of line. Bernhard, who was most active in the 1950s and 60s, worked among contemporaries such as Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, and Immogen Cunningham. Bernhard’s presentation of the female nude came before the popularity of feminist photographers in the 1970s and portrays sincere and harmonic views of female form. Through her lens, an egg slicer became Kitchen Music, a symphony of light and shadow, while Lifesavers showed themselves to be so much more than a simple sweet treat.

 “My aim is to transform the complexities of the figure into harmonies of simplified forms revealing the innate reality, the life force, the spirit, the inherent symbolism and the underlying remarkable structure – to isolate and give emphasis to form with the greatest clarity.” Ruth Bernhard