New York

Judith Joy Ross

James Danziger Gallery

There’s an antique air to Judith Joy Ross’ portraits, a quality produced partly by the photographer’s technique—she uses a large-format camera with an old-fashioned shallow-focus lens, shoots with black and white film, prints the images on printing-out paper, and then gold-tones them to bring out subtle shades of lavender and red in the shadows. The poses of her sitters also seem to come from another era—or at least from a contemporary version of one. In the best pictures here, the people Ross photographs seem to have lost all shyness before the camera; indeed, they seem to gaze into the lens—and through it at the viewer—with an unabashed directness.

This sense of openness is most apparent in Ross’s portraits of children. Usually shot outdoors—as in the “Eurana Park” series, 1982, or in a recent group of portraits made for the YMCA in Easton, Pennsylvania—the children seem remarkably

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