Imogen Cunningham

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La fotografa statunitense Imogen Cunningham (Portland, Oregon 1883 – San Francisco 1976) fu, negli anni ’30, una delle esponenti del gruppo f/64, un movimento coordinato da Ansel Adams e Edward Weston, dedicato alla ricerca dell’assoluta nitidezza dell’immagine mediante l’uso della minima apertura di diaframma (da cui il nome f/64), quindi al raggiungimento del massimo di profondità di campo durante lo scatto.

Il movimento mirava a “definire la fotografia come forma d’arte attraverso la semplice e diretta rappresentazione secondo metodi puramente fotografici”, e si collocava in quella corrente artistica definita “fotografia diretta” (“straight photography”)

La cunningham realizzò in questo anni numerose fotografie botaniche, ma divenne celebre anche come ritrattista, in particolare lavorando per la rivista Vanity Fair dal 1932 al 1934, periodo in cui fotografò varie celebrità dell’epoca.

Le sue immagini floreali sono una rappresentazione pura e senza artifici di elementi naturalmente candidi, mentre i suoi ritratti mai banali mirano a raggiungere un alto livello di sensualità tangibile, anche attraverso nudi in pose plastiche ben calibrate.

Dagli anni ’40 iniziò anche a dedicarsi alla street photography.

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One Response to “Imogen Cunningham”
  1. Rabi scrive:

    In my high school phthograpoy class, there was this one photograph that one of my classmates I took that I really enjoyed. It was a close-up shot of a girl who was two grades above me, and clearly it was a very simple photograph because her face was the only thing visible in the frame, and there was no unusual abstraction or unique angle or anything like that incorporated in it. But I still very much liked it, and couldn’t exactly figure out why. I knew that a part of the reason was because it was so simple and the lighting was so perfect that it was hitting all the right places. The light created subtle and elegant shadows on her face that were coming from her eyelashes, hair and nose. But I didn’t entirely figure out why.Although I still can’t say with confidence that I understand it completely now, I think this reading has helped me get closer to the answer. As I was reading it, I copied and pasted some of the phrases that I found interesting. Later when I read the list of these phrases, I realize that they all in one way or the other illuminate on the reason why I was so drawn to that picture four years ago. Two of the phrases that I particularly liked are: the fundamental task of portraits is to capture subjects differently than they present themselves to the world, and I would say that my preference is for portraiture that imparts dignity as opposed to stripping it away. What I realized was that the phrases that I found particularly powerful for me were the ones that could be tied into the theme of glorifying the mundane, which was mentioned by Meg in class once. I like the portraits (and probably just photographs in general) that make me look at the familiar in a different way so that I can discover the powerfulness of the things that I used to think are trivial. I must have liked the photograph from my high school photo class because it was a photograph of a familiar face that I see everyday at school and yet still managed to be new and refreshing and dignified. I had not have noticed how beautiful her eyelashes could look before I saw the photograph. This leads me to wonder if, at least for me, the portraits are going to be more effective when I know the person in the portrait. I think that if I did not know the person in the photo, I wouldn’t know what that person is normally like and thus wouldn’t know what hidden qualities of the person are being brought out by the photograph.

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