PRINT November 1963


Phiz Mozesson at San Francisco Museum of Art

IN 31 PORTRAITS, PHIZ MOZESSON shows us perceptive, completely unpretentious photographs she has made of friends and strangers. These are not formal portraits; they show people so absorbed in what they are doing that they are behaving naturally, generally unaware of the photographer. Thus, a small naked child curiously explores with her fingers the cracks in a dried mud shore, and the viewer feels that the photograph is right, that this is the way the small child would behave.

Mrs. Mozesson sees well, and it is an intimate feminine kind of seeing. An old woman warmly greets a friend. Children draw on the sidewalk. A sailor and his girl playfully wrestle in the park. A family has a picnic; the children are as interested in the new landscape as they are their supper. And, in a fine series of photographs, a young girl struggles with a difficult passage in a piano lesson; the teacher scolds her; she plays it well and almost explodes with delight.

Some of the photographs should have been omitted. The photograph of a building seen through a broken window, for example, seems to have been part of another series.

But most of the photographs are of people, and these you see and enjoy. Mrs. Mozesson has succeeded well in making her people interesting to us although they are strangers.

Margary Mann