The following appears in the October 1, 2010 issue of the on-line publication “Double Exposure”. http://www.doubleexposure.com/3books.shtml
The Flesh and the Spirit Photographs by Sally Mann. Text by John Ravenal, David Levi Strauss, Anne Wilkes Tucker.
Aperture/Virginia Museum of Fine Art, 2010. 200 pp., 225 color illustrations, 9×11½”.
Sally Mann: The Flesh and The Spirit is the first in-depth exploration of this world-renowned artist’s approach to the body. Throughout her career, Mann has fearlessly pushed her exploration of the human form, tackling often difficult subject matter and making unapologetic sensual images that are simultaneously bold and lyrical.
This beautifully produced publication includes Mann’s earliest platinum prints from the late 1970s, Polaroid still lifes, early color work of her children, haunting landscape images, recent self-portraits and nude studies of her husband. These series document Mann’s interest in the body as principal subject, with the associated issues of vulnerability and mortality lending an elegiac note to her images.
Ravenal supplies a comprehensive introduction as well as individual entries on each series, and essays by David Levi Strauss (‘Eros, Psyche, and the Mendacity of Photography’) and Anne Wilkes Tucker (‘Living Memory’) add different, but equally illuminating perspectives to this work.
By Jim McKinniss