Imogen a part of Group f/64 which not only

Imogen Cunningham was a famous Americanphotographer who flourished in the 1920’s and 1930’s where she is most knownfor her close-up plant and flower portraits, her nude studies, and her industriallandscapes.

In 1901, Cunningham bought her first camera at the age 18 but soonlost interest in the art form. However, she soon rekindled her love for it in1906 when she took up photography as a medium after being inspired by the workof Gertrude Käsebier. Her work consists of both a Pictoralist style, withsoft-focus fuzzy portraits, and her later work with a Modernist style, withsharp focused images. Her style changed later in her career, when Cunninghamwas a part of Group f/64 which not only dismissed pictorialism, but promotedphotography and helped to establish it as its own art form.Group f/64, formed in 1932, was aninformal group of 11 California-based American photographers, including AnselAdams, Edward Weston, and Imogen Cunningham. Group f/64 was against thedominant style of Pictorialism, where photographers used soft-focus lenses tomake photos look like drawings. The group believed in what they called ‘pure’photography. “‘Pure photography is defined as possessing no qualities oftechnique, composition or idea, derivative of any other art form.

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‘ —Group f/64Manifesto, August 1932.” (Artsy, n.d.

) Which meant imageswere made with sharp lenses, hence the name f/64, refereeing to the smallestaperture setting on a digital camera, which gives the sharpest depth of field.Group f/64 wanted photography, as an arm form, to embrace its natural strengthsand to focus on clarity and sharp definition of the un-manipulated photographicimage. Because of this, Group f/64 helped establish photography as its own artform by staying true to the photographic medium.

Images by Group f/64 membersimitated a Modernist viewpoint, and  Cunningham’s close-up plant photographs and her nude studies reflectedthe groups ideals and viewpoint on pure photography.Before joining Groupf/64, Imogen Cunningham opened her own portrait studio in Seattle, Washingtonin 1910. Establishing a solid reputation for herself, she became one of thevery first professional female photographers in America.

Her early workconsisted of mainly portraits and nude interpretations in the pictorialismstyle “She was fond of dressing her subjects in costumes and photographing themin soft-focus, dream-like poses as she recreated scenes and characters fromliterature and poetry.” (Encyclopaedia 2016). One of her early photographs, Eve Repentant (Figure 1) recreates thebiblical story about Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, where God created thefirst man and women and put them in the Garden of Eden to care and nurture theland. Adam and Eve was told they could eat any fruit from the trees except theforbidden fruit on the tree of good and evil, they were warned that they woulddie if the forbidden fruit was eaten. One day, Satan, disguised as a snake,spoke to Eve and convinced her to eat the forbidden fruit by telling her shewould become like God if she ate it. Eve then took a bite and gave some toAdam.

Adam and Eve, knowing they sinned, hid from God, but God found out andpunished them and banished them from the Garden of Eden. This photograph featuresa naked woman, portrayed as Eve, placing her hand on a man’s, portrayed asAdam, shoulder as he turns away. Adam and Eve are seen in what is depicted asthe Garden of Eden, and it looks as though Adam and Eve are repenting theirsins, feeling regret and shame. Adam is turned away, looking down, and Eve iscomforting him and holding him, showing a worried expression.

In the photographwe see a vignette tone and a fuzzy, soft, dream-like light around Adam and Eve,drawing the viewer’s eyes to the subject, and makes a narrative for the viewerto interpret. Cunningham creates this contrast between the background and thesubject, however, that it seems that she only wanted to bring the subject toattention to show the viewer the strong connection that Adam and Eve have andto bring focus on the stances of their bodies, the angle and the pattern ofboth the bodies. In Adam and Eve, the lines of their body, the curves, muscles,creases, and bones, like the spine and pubic bone are all visible. Adam and Eveare completely bare and every detail is noticeable to the viewer, not just thenatural form of their bodies, but their ashamed emotions and theirvulnerability as they stand there in that position in the dark and coldsurroundings, it appears this is the mood that Cunningham wanted to convey inthis specific work. Adam and Eve are completely alone and are guilt-ridden.After this photograph was published in 1910, it was part of a great publiccontroversy.

People disagreed with Cunningham’s nude interpretation of the Adamand Eve story because in the Biblical story there is no stated record of Adamand Ever repenting. The last that is mentioned about Adam and Eve is how theyhid their sin and were punished and banished from the Garden, only one canspeculate the immediate response or emotions they felt, which is whatCunningham decided to show in this photograph. In the 1920’s and 1930’sCunningham’s work moved to a “starkly geometrical style of straightphotography.” (WarnerMarien 2014 p. 269).

A notable example of this is her photograph TrianglesPlus One (Figure 2) which is the full version of the photograph Triangles which only shows one woman andnot both one, hence the ‘plus one’ in the title. This photograph wasphotographed in 1928 but was officially printed in 1993 by Rondal Partidge,Cunningham’s son. In this image two women are pictured bare, one sitting up,and one more in a relaxed position, laying down. By comparing the body togeometry, Cunningham creates a more artistic way to view the body. With thisphotograph, triangles are seenin every small dip, roll, curve, and line in the natural form of the body. Inthe foreground the woman is more relaxed is pictured and a triangle is shown in her pubic area, drawntogether by her thigh, which is propped over to create a crease to show theedge of the shape. The women sitting up also creates a crease with her legwhich displays a triangle shape with the shadow.

Triangles are also shown bythe shape of both women’s breasts, through the form, shape, and shadowspresented in the image. Triangles are also formed in the negative space of theimage, with the lines and shadows present. Through the sharp clarity, theshadows, the texture, and the contrast in colour between the skin and the bodiesof both women, Cunningham highlights the comparison between natural life andart and how still natural forms of life can be aesthetically pleasing.ImogenCunningham was one of the first professional female photographers in Americaand is renowned the most influential and enduring photographers in the 20thcentury. Early in her career she focused on dream-like Pictoralist styleportraits and narratives using nude subjects but later started to experimentwith sharper images and moved to more of a straight photography, which helpedher find other photographers interested in this style, and thus created Groupf/64; which was made to preserve photography as its own art form having sharpfocused, unaltered photos. In Cunningham’s successful photographic career, herwork which is comprised of bold line and textures, sensitive and soft forms,was exhibited numerous time and continues to be collected and inspires artisteverywhere.

Imogen Cunningham was a famous Americanphotographer who flourished in the 1920’s and 1930’s where she is most knownfor her close-up plant and flower portraits, her nude studies, and her industriallandscapes. In 1901, Cunningham bought her first camera at the age 18 but soonlost interest in the art form. However, she soon rekindled her love for it in1906 when she took up photography as a medium after being inspired by the workof Gertrude Käsebier.

Her work consists of both a Pictoralist style, withsoft-focus fuzzy portraits, and her later work with a Modernist style, withsharp focused images. Her style changed later in her career, when Cunninghamwas a part of Group f/64 which not only dismissed pictorialism, but promotedphotography and helped to establish it as its own art form.Group f/64, formed in 1932, was aninformal group of 11 California-based American photographers, including AnselAdams, Edward Weston, and Imogen Cunningham. Group f/64 was against thedominant style of Pictorialism, where photographers used soft-focus lenses tomake photos look like drawings. The group believed in what they called ‘pure’photography. “‘Pure photography is defined as possessing no qualities oftechnique, composition or idea, derivative of any other art form.’ —Group f/64Manifesto, August 1932.” (Artsy, n.

d.) Which meant imageswere made with sharp lenses, hence the name f/64, refereeing to the smallestaperture setting on a digital camera, which gives the sharpest depth of field.Group f/64 wanted photography, as an arm form, to embrace its natural strengthsand to focus on clarity and sharp definition of the un-manipulated photographicimage. Because of this, Group f/64 helped establish photography as its own artform by staying true to the photographic medium.

Images by Group f/64 membersimitated a Modernist viewpoint, and  Cunningham’s close-up plant photographs and her nude studies reflectedthe groups ideals and viewpoint on pure photography.Before joining Groupf/64, Imogen Cunningham opened her own portrait studio in Seattle, Washingtonin 1910. Establishing a solid reputation for herself, she became one of thevery first professional female photographers in America. Her early workconsisted of mainly portraits and nude interpretations in the pictorialismstyle “She was fond of dressing her subjects in costumes and photographing themin soft-focus, dream-like poses as she recreated scenes and characters fromliterature and poetry.” (Encyclopaedia 2016).

One of her early photographs, Eve Repentant (Figure 1) recreates thebiblical story about Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, where God created thefirst man and women and put them in the Garden of Eden to care and nurture theland. Adam and Eve was told they could eat any fruit from the trees except theforbidden fruit on the tree of good and evil, they were warned that they woulddie if the forbidden fruit was eaten. One day, Satan, disguised as a snake,spoke to Eve and convinced her to eat the forbidden fruit by telling her shewould become like God if she ate it. Eve then took a bite and gave some toAdam. Adam and Eve, knowing they sinned, hid from God, but God found out andpunished them and banished them from the Garden of Eden. This photograph featuresa naked woman, portrayed as Eve, placing her hand on a man’s, portrayed asAdam, shoulder as he turns away. Adam and Eve are seen in what is depicted asthe Garden of Eden, and it looks as though Adam and Eve are repenting theirsins, feeling regret and shame.

Adam is turned away, looking down, and Eve iscomforting him and holding him, showing a worried expression. In the photographwe see a vignette tone and a fuzzy, soft, dream-like light around Adam and Eve,drawing the viewer’s eyes to the subject, and makes a narrative for the viewerto interpret. Cunningham creates this contrast between the background and thesubject, however, that it seems that she only wanted to bring the subject toattention to show the viewer the strong connection that Adam and Eve have andto bring focus on the stances of their bodies, the angle and the pattern ofboth the bodies.

In Adam and Eve, the lines of their body, the curves, muscles,creases, and bones, like the spine and pubic bone are all visible. Adam and Eveare completely bare and every detail is noticeable to the viewer, not just thenatural form of their bodies, but their ashamed emotions and theirvulnerability as they stand there in that position in the dark and coldsurroundings, it appears this is the mood that Cunningham wanted to convey inthis specific work. Adam and Eve are completely alone and are guilt-ridden.After this photograph was published in 1910, it was part of a great publiccontroversy. People disagreed with Cunningham’s nude interpretation of the Adamand Eve story because in the Biblical story there is no stated record of Adamand Ever repenting.

The last that is mentioned about Adam and Eve is how theyhid their sin and were punished and banished from the Garden, only one canspeculate the immediate response or emotions they felt, which is whatCunningham decided to show in this photograph. In the 1920’s and 1930’sCunningham’s work moved to a “starkly geometrical style of straightphotography.” (WarnerMarien 2014 p. 269).A notable example of this is her photograph TrianglesPlus One (Figure 2) which is the full version of the photograph Triangles which only shows one woman andnot both one, hence the ‘plus one’ in the title. This photograph wasphotographed in 1928 but was officially printed in 1993 by Rondal Partidge,Cunningham’s son.

In this image two women are pictured bare, one sitting up,and one more in a relaxed position, laying down. By comparing the body togeometry, Cunningham creates a more artistic way to view the body. With thisphotograph, triangles are seenin every small dip, roll, curve, and line in the natural form of the body. Inthe foreground the woman is more relaxed is pictured and a triangle is shown in her pubic area, drawntogether by her thigh, which is propped over to create a crease to show theedge of the shape. The women sitting up also creates a crease with her legwhich displays a triangle shape with the shadow. Triangles are also shown bythe shape of both women’s breasts, through the form, shape, and shadowspresented in the image.

Triangles are also formed in the negative space of theimage, with the lines and shadows present. Through the sharp clarity, theshadows, the texture, and the contrast in colour between the skin and the bodiesof both women, Cunningham highlights the comparison between natural life andart and how still natural forms of life can be aesthetically pleasing.ImogenCunningham was one of the first professional female photographers in Americaand is renowned the most influential and enduring photographers in the 20thcentury. Early in her career she focused on dream-like Pictoralist styleportraits and narratives using nude subjects but later started to experimentwith sharper images and moved to more of a straight photography, which helpedher find other photographers interested in this style, and thus created Groupf/64; which was made to preserve photography as its own art form having sharpfocused, unaltered photos.

In Cunningham’s successful photographic career, herwork which is comprised of bold line and textures, sensitive and soft forms,was exhibited numerous time and continues to be collected and inspires artisteverywhere.