Taken against the Arcadian backdrop of her woodland home in Virginia, Sally Mann's extraordinary, intimate photographs of her children--Emmett, Jessie, and Virginia--reveal truths that embody the individuality of her immediate family and ultimately take on a universal quality. Mann states that her work is "about everybody's memories, as well as their fears," a theme echoed by Reynolds Price in his eloquent, poignantly reflective essay accompanying the photographs in "Immediate Family."
With sublime dignity, acute wit, and feral grace, Mann's pictures explore the eternal struggle between the child's simultaneous dependence and quest for autonomy--the holding on, and the breaking away. This is the stuff of which Greek dramas are made: impatience, terror, self-discovery, self-doubt, pain, vulnerability, role-playing, and a sense of immortality, all of which converge in Sally Mann's astonishing photographs.
A traveling exhibition of "Immediate Family," organized by Aperture, opened at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia in the fall of 1992.
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