Peter Campus (American, born 1937)




Gelatin silver print


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Purchase with funds from Lucinda W. Bunnen for the Bunnen Collection

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A stark, severed log occupies center stage in this simple black-and-white composition. The elegant figure bears a resemblance to a female body, including rounded breasts that appear more like flesh than wood. Despite objectively recognizing it as a log, the viewer can visually interpret the subject as a human form, standing or kneeling with erect posture. Peter Campus looked to nature photography as relief from the intense self-examination of his video tapes, such as Three Transitions, also in the High Museum of Art’s collection. After studying experimental psychology at Ohio State University, Campus further explored this field in his video works, which question ideas of reality, identity, and perception. He used unconventional media, including closed-circuit television, in which the camera, display, and recording devices are directly connected. In the 1980s, Campus turned to nature and landscape photography, shifting his subject matter “from interior to exterior.” Stick demonstrates the artist’s interest in emotional resonance and the human form across media.

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