Sally Mann at Jackson Fine Art in Atlanta

Sally Mann, “Self-Portrait Number 5.” Gelatin silver print. 2008. Courtesy Jackson Fine Art.

Atlanta’s Jackson Fine Art is currently showing a selection from Sally Mann‘s (Season 1) latest body of work, What Remains. Using her three children as subject matter, the up-close images depict them in animation and peaceful expressiveness, far from death but evoking a sense of inevitability, drift and suspension, as well as comfort. Mann prints from wet-plate collodion negatives, an arduous process first used by photographers prior to the Civil War. The “imperfect process” produces a haunting, tonal beauty.

Also on exhibit are recent self-portraits of the artist. Unlike the strange serenity of her children’s portraits, Mann’s photographs of herself are unsettling. They provoke comparisons to the wretched patients of early 20th century insane asylums that often suffered from ‘treatments’ far worse than any disease. Mann even appears trapped behind the glass of the same primitive photographic process that seems to liberate her children. Despite the dreadful imagery these photographs conjure, there is no hint of victimization, no need for sympathy. “Her engrossing self-portraits show us the fine line between lunacy and lucidity” (from the press release).

Sally Mann is on view at Jackson Fine Art until April 26th. For further information, please visit the gallery website.

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