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Concealed Identity

Ruth Bernhard » Brassaï » Mario Cravo Neto » Elliott Erwitt » Lauren Greenfield » John Gutmann » André Kertész » Germaine Krull » Man Ray  » Bill Owens » Val Telberg » Alexey Titarenko » Joel Peter Witkin »

Exhibition: 3 Jul – 16 Aug 2003

Robert Koch Gallery

49 Geary Street
CA 94108 San Francisco



Tue-Sat 10:30-17:30

We are all experts at concealment; hiding behind masks, both real and figurative. "Concealed Identity" explores the strategies of masks, shrouds, shadows, make-up and face paint used by both artist and subject alike to obscure and transcend identity. Whether identity is hidden for protection, as in the case of Brassaï and his photographs of French prostitutes, or to express the voyeuristic and often erotic potential inherent in the veiling or outright masking of the eyes in the work of Jan Saudek and Josef Ehm, we are drawn to the seductive power of anonymity. In the work of artists such as Ruth Bernhard and Mario Cravo Neto, concealment is a method of resolving the formal aesthetic challenge of rendering the body sculpturally. Photographers have also sought out subjects whose identities are elusive or deliberately concealed, creating images that are mysterious and psychologically imbued. "Concealed Identity" includes the photography of: Brassaï, Ruth Bernhard, Bill Brandt, Debbie Fleming Caffery, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Mark Cohen, Mario Cravo Neto, Josef Ehm, Elliott Erwitt, Lynn Hershman, Georges Hugnet, Andre Kertesz, Germaine Krull, Clarence John Laughlin, Irving Penn, Man Ray, Duane Michals, Jan Saudek, Val Telberg, Jack Welpott, Count Theodore Zichy, and others.