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Helaine Posner

(b Denver, CO, April 2, 1958; d New York, Jan 19, 1981).

American photographer . From the age of 11, Woodman spent summers at her parent’s farmhouse in Tuscany and later studied art in Rome through the European honours programme at the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, from which she graduated. Her highly personal and intimate photographs have attracted a strong following, particularly among younger women artists, critics and curators. From 1972 to 1981 she created nearly 500 elegant black-and-white photographs in which an astonishingly prescient and mature aesthetic viewpoint emerges, one that centres on her self-portrait as a means of elaborating the ongoing fetishishization of the female body in Western culture. Filled with irony and grace, Woodman’s photographs of her youthful body, either nude or adorned with feminine accessories such as jewellery, garter-belts and high-heeled shoes, reveal an intense preoccupation with cultural construction of femininity, especially as it has been shaped by the erotic fantasies of men. Unlike the critical representations of Cindy Sherman, which expose the objectification of the female body, Woodman readily presents herself as an elusive, fragile being, entrapped by male expectation and by the realization that sexual identity is both socially and psychologically inscribed. Her photographs, however, are not simply performances staged for a male viewer, their consistent emotional intensity suggests something even more compelling. Woodman’s compulsion to scrutinize her nude form also expresses her remarkably courageous yet vulnerable quest for self-knowledge....

Article

Patricia Masse

(b Chicago, Sept 6, 1925; d Mexico City, May 2, 2002).

Mexican photographer, printmaker, and writer of American birth. After studying humanities in Chicago, in 1944 she emigrated to Mexico. From 1945 to 1958 she worked as an engraver in the Taller de Gráfica Popular with Leopoldo Méndez. She was a founder-member in 1951 of the Salón de la Plástica Mexicana. As a photographer Yampolsky studied under Lola Álvarez Bravo at the Academia de San Carlos Mexico City. Álvarez Bravo’s influence can be seen in Yampolsky’s photographs of rural Mexico, in particular vernacular architecture and harmonious depictions of sites used for either daily or ceremonial functions. She also photographed Indian or mestizo peasants engaged in domestic activities and celebrations, and she published educational and art books.

La casa que canta: Arquitectura popular mexicana. Mexico City, 1982.Estancias del olvido. Mexico City, 1987.La raíz y el camino. Mexico City, 1988.Mazahua. Toluca, 1993.Haciendo Poblanas, text by R. Rendón Garcini...