Other RoomsPhotographs by Jo Ann Callis
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Other Rooms, the first publication to comprehensively feature Jo Ann Callis’s mid-1970s investigation of the nude body and sexuality, is a revelation; the work is provocative, seductive, and remarkably fresh. The artist’s playful, evocative use of constrictions and overlays on the human form, including twine, belts, tape, and other everyday materials are both humorous and fraught, offering an intensely personal assessment of the variable meanings of pleasure, eros, and the female nude as a staple of fine art photography. Callis has been an active artist since the 1960s, working in painting, sculpture, and photography, among other mediums, and is known for capturing complex and often opposing emotions in a single piece. Other Rooms is an exquisitely produced artist’s book containing Callis’s photographs of the human form from her 1976–77 provisionally titled series Early Color, as well as a selection of black-and-white photographs from the same period. In this intimate volume, Callis photographs her models nude, frequently in close proximity, and in anonymous and mysterious settings, juxtaposing tactile props like honey, sand, and fabric with skin. The photographs in Other Rooms are at once beautiful and discomfiting, delicate and raw, mysterious and thoughtful, and confirm Callis’s important place in the history of 1970s color photography.
Jo Ann Callis (born in Cincinnati, 1940) began teaching at CalArts in 1976. Her work has been widely exhibited in such venues as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Hammer Museum, and Museum of Contemporary Art, all in Los Angeles; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and Gallery Min, Tokyo. In 2009 a retrospective of her work, Woman Twirling, was presented by the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. Callis has received three grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and a Guggenheim Fellowship, among other awards and prizes.