New York

Sally Mann

Edwynn Houk Gallery | New York

Like certain photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe and Andres Serrano, Sally Mann’s images of her children growing up in Virginia became widely known for reasons that had nothing to do with the quality of the work. The appearance of her pictures of innocence and experience happened to coincide with a full-blown national sex panic, driven by right—wing moralizing and societal confusions about children and sexuality. In the ensuing clamor, the honesty and intensity of Mann’s images—not to mention their lyric subtleties—were mostly drowned out. But notoriety can he as good as fame these days (and often more bankable), so she and her work have flourished despite vitriolic allegations that her “Immediate Family” series evidenced bad mothering.

Now comes “Mother Land,” a show of landscape photographs of the American South. This may sound like a departure from Mann’s earlier work, but it looks

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the February 1998 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.