Published: August 6, 2002
CLEVELAND, OHIO – “Looking at Children: Photographs from the Permanent Collection,” a new exhibition at the Cleveland Museum of Art, focuses on young people and the diversity of childhood experiences. The show runs through December 4.
“Whether portrayed alone or interacting with family and friends, these children display emotions and virtues to which anyone can relate, regardless of age. Sensitive to body language and facial expression, these photographers produced works that display remarkable insight into a child’s world and response to a particular situation,” noted Patricia M. Burke, curatorial assistant in photography, who organized the exhibition.
Works in the show include Emmet Gowin’s “Nancy, Danville, Virginia,” 1969. Gowin (born 1941) created more than a family snapshot of his wife’s niece in this image, which evokes the cycle of life, intimacy and familiar relationships. The young girl’s entwined, elongated arms and the eggs she holds in her hands suggest curved, sculptural lines. Her closed eyes and placid expression convey her feelings of trust and emotional closeness to the artist.
Beverly Conley (born 1941) has made extended trips to Oklahoma since 1998, chronicling every aspect of the state’s Cherokee community. One of her subjects, 14-year-old Justin, and his grandfather Thomas, performs at powwows throughout Oklahoma and the surrounding states. In “Muskrat Family,” 1998, Justin has his traditional costume and headdress adjusted by his grandmother Sue.
“Skyler on the Phone with his Father, Malibu,” 1993, was taken by Lauren Greenfield (born 1966). Skyler’s exasperated facial expression and body language animate the image. Greenfield enriches the composition’s formal and symbolic qualities by photographing in a room filled with glass windows and mirrors. The layered patterns of light, shade and reflection evoke the complexity of this boy’s interaction with his father.
For information, 888-CMA-0033 or visit www.ClevelandArt.org.
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