New York

Sheila Metzner

International Center of Photography Museum (ICP)

In Sheila Metzner’s photographs beauty is truly skin-deep. An early black and white picture, Evyan, Kinderhook Creek, 1977, captures her husband’s young daughter skinny-dipping. The real subject of the work, however, is not leisure, play, or family, but wet hair, hard nipples, and goose-bumps. Metzner has described art as “a call to the recognition of surface and beauty as a transforming power,” and it is precisely this fascination with surfaces that has made her work so popular with fashion moguls like Oscar de la Renta and Elizabeth Arden.

The exhibition begins with works from the late ’70s that demonstrate Metzner’s recurrent interest in period techniques and styles. For instance, Children Asleep, 1977, a small gelatin silver print depicting three young girls nestled together in a bed, pays homage to Julia Margaret Cameron and the early pictorialist work of Alfred Stieglitz. Softly lit

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