George Platt Lynes - The Intimate Circle

29 April - 9 September 2023
Installation Views
Celebrating the legacy of American photographer George Platt Lynes, the male nudes, portraits, and ballet scenes featured in this exhibition highlight his memorable vision. Platt Lynes illuminated the faces of a community of queer intellectuals and artists in Paris and New York who defined culture in the first half of the 20th century.
A self-taught photographer, Platt Lynes developed experimental techniques nurtured by his Surrealist friends and associates. Using his affiliation with the Parisian avant-garde in the 1930s as a point of departure, he produced inventive stylistic portraits of nearly every writer, painter, and musician of importance, including Gertrude Stein, Jean Cocteau, and Christopher Isherwood. 
The artist’s long-time friendship with publisher Monroe Wheeler and his companion, writer Glenway Westcott, also proved instrumental for his work. On Fire Island, Wheeler, Westcott, and his sister-in-law, Barbara Harrison, were the hub of an important movement that forged connections between U.S. artists and writers: notables such as Kirk Douglas, Marsden Hartley, and Janet Flanner became part of this circle, where intimate relationships blurred the boundaries between life and the arts.
Lynes’ lifelong interest in the nude resulted in the production of a vast number of photographs, many of which were not publicly exhibited during his lifetime. The body of work later served as inspiration for such photographers as Robert Mapplethorpe, Bruce Weber, and Herb Ritts. The artist explored unusual poses, montage effects, and lighting techniques, using everyday objects as props in surprising ways, creating a unique and imaginative style. Until his death in 1955, he continued experimenting, maintaining his commitment to the photographic visualization of a psychosexual landscape.

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