Private Views

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Private Views, 1980-1984 Polaroid Type 59 © Courtesy of the Artist and Stephen Wirtz Gallery
Private Views

49 Geary St.
3rd Flr.
San Francisco, CA 94108
September 9th, 2010 - October 16th, 2010
Opening: September 9th, 2010 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Union Square/Civic Center
Hours by appointment only.


Stephen Wirtz Gallery announces an exhibition of Polaroid images by renowned photographer Barbara Crane.

In the early 1980’s, Crane created a series of Polaroid photographs shot during the Chicago summer festivals. She focused on close-ups capturing the details of clothing, hairstyles, and most specifically, gesture. Through her lens, the viewer witnesses a tightly-cropped inventory of private gestures performed in very public spaces and experiences the energy of the crowd.

“I have treasured these pictures for their depiction of universal experiences, yet they are also a record of a specific moment in time as communicated via the unique – and now, sadly obsolete – photographic medium of the Polaroid. These images were shot during the heat of summer days, very close to the subjects, as I struggled to carry a hand-held 4 by 5 Super Graphic 45 camera, boxes of Polaroid sheet film, and a Polaroid film back. These photographs are truly labors of love.” Barbara Crane, October 2008

Crane’s dedication to experimentation has driven her career and furthered her goal as a photographer “to attempt to eradicate previous habits of seeing and thinking…to keep searching for what is visually new, while always hoping that a fusion of form and content will take place.” Private Views presents the opportunity to view the successful fusion of social document combined with close-ups, tight cropping, and mixed lighting for maximum impact.

BARBARA CRANE was born in Chicago in 1928, studied at Mills College in California and completed her BA in Art History at New York University. She later received her MS from the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology studying with Aaron Siskind. She began teaching photography in 1964 and taught for 28 years at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago before retiring as Professor Emeritus in 1995.