John Coplans

English, 1920–2003

Self Portrait: Hand, 1990

silver print on paper, 4/6

91.7 x 106.5 cm

Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Acquired with funds from the Estate of Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Naylor

G-92-208 abc


Photograph, Photography

British-born, South-African raised John Coplans immigrated to the United States in 1960. In addition to being a celebrated photographer, he was also a writer, a curator, and director of several art museums across America. He was part of the editorial staff of the contemporary art magazine Artforum, becoming editor-in-chief in 1972. At the age of 60 Coplans refocused his efforts on his photographic practice. This close-up vertical triptych of the artist’s hand, moving from the inside of his wrist to his palm, and then down to his fingers, is part of his critically received series of self-portraits, which are a frank and poignant study of his naked and aging body.

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