El Penitente

El Penitente

Barbara Morgan is rightly renowned for her documentation of the birth of modern dance in America. In 1980, Martha Graham wrote, ?It is rare that even an inspired photographer possesses the demonic eye which can capture the instant of dance and transform it into timeless gesture. In Barbara Morgan I found that person.?? The admiration was mutual. Of the dancers and choreographers who radically redefined their art, Morgan wrote, ?Often nearly starving, they never gave up, but forged life affirming dance statements of American society in stress and strain. In this role, their dance reminded me of Indian ceremonial dances which invigorate the tribe in drought and difficulty.?

This is Erick Hawkins in Martha Graham?s El Flagellante, the photograph taken in 1940 and this print made by Barbara Morgan circa 1980 (it is signed and titled). He appears to be at the suspension of the jump, neither rising nor falling, a moment of breathless vitality. There is a print of this image in the photography collection of the MOMA in New York.

In gilt frame, dimensions of which are 20 7/8″ high x 15 3/8″ wide.

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