Barbara Crane

Still Lifes: Natures Mortes
Silver gelatin photography
21 x 25 in.

Still Lifes: Natures Mortes is a body of work of found natural objects caught in the process of decay and change which is isolated and photographed minimally on a black background. This direct approach prioritizes and dignifies the subject while establishing an unavoidable clarity. The large scale of the objects in the final images emphasizes a “hyper reality.” This forces the viewer to inspect the magnified details of the subject while engaging in the intrinsic dialogue between description and transformation. The fixed gestures of the dead animals have human references and reinforce my desire to come to terms with the vulnerabilities of my life. These iconic images are tangible, if somewhat fatalistic, emblems of an uneasy preoccupation with the inevitability of death.

Barbara Crane has explored photography as a vehicle for creative expression for over fifty years. The result has been a changing, ongoing body of work conceptually consistent, varied in approach and experimental in style. Barbara Crane received her Master of Science Degree from the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology. She began teaching photography in 1964 and retired in 1993 as Professor Emeritus of Photography from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has had six retrospective exhibits of her work, another to open in October 2008 at the Chicago Cultural Center, and over seventy-five one person exhibitions since 1965.

© Barbara Crane