|Light is the source of everything. It is what makes things visible to the eye. It is also what holds a rock together. My thinking has been deeply affected by the belief that all things are some form of radiant energy. Light is perhaps the most profound truth in the universe.
— Wynn Bullock
Wynn Bullock’s photographs are studies in the juxtaposition of textures as well as explorations of the nature of space, time, and light. Constantly experimenting with classical techniques, Bullock is often compared to Edward Weston (a lifelong friend), though Bullock concerned himself more with the mysterious and mystical aspects of existence. His photographs challenge the viewer to relate directly to nature, and to explore the significance of light and shadow. Juxtaposing the translucent smoothness of human skin and the rougher, natural grain of the wall in the background, Bullock’s Navigation Without Numbers (1957), delves deeper than the surface textures. The combination of the crouching woman and the sprawled baby suggests the consequences of the passage of time, while the transitions between the dark and light areas and the stark figures in the foreground underscore the contrast between innocence and age.
Initially a concert tenor, Bullock (1902-1975) also attended law school before leaving to study at the Art Center School in Los Angeles. His photographs evidence a continual experimentation with images of the natural world, and are currently held in over 80 major museum collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, Arizona; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Whitney Museum of American Art; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; International Center for Photography, New York; The Royal Photographic Society, London; and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Biography: Courtesy Museum of Contemporary Photography © Museum of Contemporary Photography
Image: Joan Murray, Wynn Bullock (1971) gelatin silver print
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