In 1993, Sarah Charlesworth completed “Natural Magic,” her first series of photographs made entirely in the studio. By that time, she had spent almost two decades collaging found images to expose and manipulate the ideological structures that underpinned photography, crafting series such as “Modern History,” 1977–79, for which she excised the text from the front pages of newspapers so that the size and position of the remaining imagesof statesmen or a solar eclipse or a masked Sandinista guerrillalaid bare a visual grammar of power. Likewise, in “Objects of Desire,” 1983–88, Charlesworth placed mass-media photos of religious icons, animals, and the female body against supersaturated backdrops of solid color, decontextualizing commodity and sexual fetishes without fully divesting them of seductive force. Yet if the eschewal of photographic appropriation in “Natural
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