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Ruth Bernhard:Eternal Body 2011 hc [Hardcover]

Chronicle Books
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: £22.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Sep 2011
In print for 25 years and now available as an elegant hardcover, "Ruth Bernhard: The Eternal Body" is the first collection of Bernhard's finest nudes to be presented in a single monograph. In her private quest to 'simplify, isolate, and give emphasis to form with greatest clarity,' Bernhard passionately created a collection of images that rank among the most profound photographs of the female nude. Her intense, studied camera work produced images of the human form that clearly transcend the boundaries between the spirit and the flesh.

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Ruth Bernhard:Eternal Body 2011 hc + Edward Weston's Book of Nudes + Brandt Nudes: A New Perspective
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (1 Sep 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811877590
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811877596
  • Product Dimensions: 25.3 x 2.2 x 25.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 218,186 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Outstanding...the greatest photographer of the nude. Ansel Adams --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

RUTH BERNHARD (1905-2006) has been widely noted as one of the most significant artists of our time. Throughout a career that spanned over 70 years, Bernhard studied and worked with some of the century's most influential photographers, including Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Imogen Cunningham, and Minor White. Honoured by numerous exhibitions internationally, her photographs have been acquired extensively by Museums, Universities, and private collectors across the globe and have been reproduced in countless publications.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Transcendental Connections 10 May 2004
By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
For those who are interested in inspiring portrayal of the human body, this book is a must! It is one of the finest collections of female nudes ever done. The images, reproduction, and paper are all superb. The book clearly deserves more than five stars!
The images in this book would garner an R rating if the book were a motion picture.
Ms. Bernhard takes a different approach to nude photography, partly in reaction to the exploitive work that some men do. She says, "I photograph a woman as part of the universe." She feels that "a minute insect, a mountain range, a human body -- all share equal significance." As a result she notes that "much of my work shares a similar intention [to a Japanese Haiku]." She wants to "illuminate the innate life force and spirit as well as the underlying remarkable bone structure." She looks on these photographs as being similar to the problem of composing a still life. She wants to create a "heightened emotional response" and is "deeply aware of my spiritual connection with it." She is responding to a "great yearning for balance and harmony beyond the realm of human experience, reaching for the essence of oneness with the Universe."
Margaretta Mitchell (no relation) points out that the work stands primarily for going "beyond cultural stereotypes of women." In doing so, Ms. Bernhard has created "focused meditations." She "directs her forms with studio lighting where the model is transfigured by light into sculpture." As a result, you see an "ideal radiant form." She is one of the "masters of the subtleties of lighting." The work evokes much of the majesty of Michaelangelo, Rodin, and Henry Moore.
Finally, from Ms. Bernhard, "The female body is the bearer of new life, it is so very innocent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An eternal collection? 29 Oct 2013
By Angus Jenkinson TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
"My enjoyment of life began with my eyes. Even as a small child, curiosity possessed me. The visible and invisible were my world, my fairy tale." Thus begins the preface by Ruth Bernhard to her book, which is reprinted from the original 1986 edition with additional texts. She remarks that in her 80th year, the magic continues to linger, the commonplaces revealed to be utterly incredible. Over her very long life from the 1930s, when she was almost 30, into the 1970s she took meditative studied images of studio nudes, with carefully contemplated lighting that at their best produce wonderfully balanced and nuanced sculptural living forms. She talks about approaching her work "with patience and reverence". She seeks to indicate "ideal proportion, to reveal sculptural mass and the dominating spirit".

The approach to the nude has been difficult and controversial for more than a century, perhaps for many centuries. In the 20th century, women and men revolted rightly against an approach to the female nude that was often possessive, objectifying, demeaning or exploitative. But these are photographs of women by a woman - and indeed a number of them featured in the 1964 publication The History of the Nude in Photography, in which she was the only female artist represented. For a number of decades in the 20th century, the nude became off limit for many painters, only remaining a common feature in photography. The challenge however was to create artistic images with meaning rather than merely pretty or sexy captures of a body.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Photography at its best. 24 Aug 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A beautifully presented book with stunning photographs by a remarkably talented photographer. This book should be on every photographer's bookshelf.
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