The Shadows and Silhouettes folder at the SVA Pictures Collection, like other such idiosyncratic categories, provides a unique glimpse into an overlooked aspect of the everyday. The play of shadow and light at turns preoccupies the cultural imagination and is neglected by it. In mythology, shadows are haunting doubles or unruly tricksters; in art, chiaroscuro works to hierarchize elements, to obscure and highlight, to focus the eye; in life, shadows are an opportunity for play often forgotten in adulthood. The folder in question offers over a hundred snapshots of such interactions between light and shadow including cranes silhouetted against a sunset, latticework shadows on a Moroccan street, a dancer in silhouette, and more. The folder also contains the exhibition catalogue for a show by the artist Len Lye entitled Shadowgraphs: Photographic Portraits. Come by the Pictures Collection for a better look into the shadows. [For even more images, see this previous post.]

W Magazine, September 2005
The Illustrated London News February 5, 1966

Ventana Mesa, Arizona