Private Views – Public Spaces: Photographs by Barbara Crane

Private Views – Public Spaces:

Photographs by Barbara Crane

Stephen Daiter Gallery invites you to join us in celebrating the art of the inimitable Barbara Crane with a showing of  rarely seen, deliciously colored and daringly intimate Polaroid photographs, taken in the streets of Chicago in the early 1980s.  To obtain these, the diminutive artist prowled the lakefront and outdoor festivals seeking to capture and redefine the language of human connection. Faces play their crucial roles but Barbara often gives equal or greater weight to the dialogues of other parts of the body – the dance of arms, legs and especially hands with their probing fingers – all conversing with mute eloquence in the public square. Displays of relationship and emotion are revealed exuberantly, often at point blank range in her arresting vignettes.  These spontaneous moments have been captured beautifully by the equally spontaneous reflexes of a well-trained artist who knew she had to shoot first and then ask permission. She almost always got it.

Barbara Crane, throughout her career has been one of Chicago’s most experimental and prolific photographers.  Born in Chicago in 1928, Crane studied at Mills College, CA, and New York University before returning to Chicago to complete the graduate degree at the Institute of Design in 1966.  From 1967 to 1995 Crane taught photography and The School of the Art Institute where she remains a professor emeritus.   Barbara Crane has received two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships (1974, 1988), a Guggenheim Fellowship (1979) and the first Ruth Horwich Award to a Famous Chicago Artist (2009). She has exhibited internationally and her photographs are found in many major museums ranging from Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington D.C.  to Paris and Kyoto. She has published numerous books, the most recent of which are Private Views (Aperture 2009) and Barbara Crane: Challenging Vision (Chicago Cultural Center 2009).