Photography

Cunningham, Imogen (1883 - 1976)

Imogen Cunningham became a professional photographer in her twenties, becoming a rare woman to open a successful studio in 1910. Her early pictorial works diffused poetic and soft atmospheres before her passion for flowers would make her adopt a sharper modernist manner as she shot everything that ‘could be exposed to light’ from conceptual still lives to artists such as Frida Kahlo or Martha Graham. Capturing the intimacy of her floral subjects, the American photographer created exalted, sensuous almost erotic photographies that would evoke her audacious sophisticated and organic nudes. Imogen Cunningham also revolutionized the art of portraiture. She who was leading a bohemian existence with her husband Roi Patridge, soon became the rich and famous’s favorite when she was remarked by Vanity Fair for her sleek portraits and was commissioned to depict Hollywood stars without any make-up on, ‘transforming them into human beings, not gods.’ Thus, full of humour, when Vanity Fair asked whom she would prefer to photograph, Imogen Cunningham answered ‘Ugly men’. Well, among the ugly men she thus represented were such figures as Cary Grant, Gary Cooper or Spencer Tracy.

Imogen Cunningham, Agave Design 2, 1926
Imogen Cunningham, Agave Design 2, 1926
Imogen Cunningham, Agave Design I, 1920
Imogen Cunningham, Agave Design I, 1920
Imogen Cunningham, Banana Tree, date unknown
Imogen Cunningham, Banana Tree, date unknown
Imogen Cunningham, Calla C, 1925
Imogen Cunningham, Calla C, 1925
Imogen Cunningham, Dance 3, 1926
Imogen Cunningham, Dance 3, 1926
Imogen Cunningham, Fageol Ventilators, 1934
Imogen Cunningham, Fageol Ventilators, 1934
Imogen Cunningham, Galets, c. 1929
Imogen Cunningham, Galets, c. 1929
Imogen Cunningham, Three Dancers, Mills College, 1929
Imogen Cunningham, Three Dancers, Mills College, 1929
Imogen Cunningham, Aiko’s Hands, 1971
Imogen Cunningham, Aiko’s Hands, 1971
Imogen Cunningham, Self-portrait on Tree Stump, Grass Valley, 1946
Imogen Cunningham, Self-portrait on Tree Stump, Grass Valley, 1946
Imogen Cunningham, In Moonlight, 1911
Imogen Cunningham, In Moonlight, 1911
Imogen Cunningham, Junk, 1931
Imogen Cunningham, Junk, 1931
Imogen Cunningham, Log on Beach, 1948
Imogen Cunningham, Log on Beach, 1948
Imogen Cunningham, Magnolia, date unknown
Imogen Cunningham, Magnolia, date unknown
Imogen Cunningham, Two Callas, 1920-1929
Imogen Cunningham, Two Callas, 1920-1929
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