What Went On in the Dark: 'Wall Street Journal' Reviews 'Bill Brandt: Shadow and Light'

ARTBOOK | D.A.P.
Mar 28, 2013 8:45PM

In this week's review of MoMA's current Bill Brandt retrospective, William Meyers of the Wall Street Journal writes, "And, finally, his nudes. They make me think of Jonathan Swift's Gulliver surveying the bodies of the Brobdingnagian women; seen close up they are simultaneously humorous, grotesque and erotic. The nude, as Kenneth Clark taught us, is a classic form, but Brandt succeeded in reorienting our understanding of it, first by picturing it in unfamiliar settings such as middle-class living rooms, and then by using a view camera designed for shooting landscapes; bringing the lens close to a body part enormously exaggerated its size relative to the rest of the body. Sarah Hermanson Meister, who curated Shadow and Light, assembled more than 40 of Brandt's nudes so we can appreciate his creative fecundity, and multiple prints of some images to understand his experiments with scale and with contrast; toward the end, grays receded and everything was either black or white." Featured image, "London" (1954), is reproduced from the exhibition catalog, Bill Brandt: Shadow and Light.

ARTBOOK | D.A.P.
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