Morphe #11 (Cloud)

Object Details


Morphe #11 (Cloud)


Jo Ann Callis (American, born 1940)






Gelatin silver print


15.3 x 22.5 cm (6 x 8 7/8 in.)


© Jo Ann Callis

Credit Line:

Gift of Gay Block

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This image came about because I was interested in the ambiguity of meaning and of space. It was a way of calling attention to the fact that a reclining body with eyes closed can appear dead, or appears to be sleeping and dreaming peacefully. There is an element of fear in these photographs, juxtaposed with beauty.

--Jo Ann Callis

Comparing the artist's earliest work with the subject of the nude, the "Morphe" series consists of black-and-white studies staged with a model partially submerged in water. In this image, the composition incorporates a floating, floral-patterned cloth and plant reflections on the water. Depending on the attitude of the viewer, the human model in these dark images might express death or dreaming.

Jo Ann Callis: Woman Twirling (March 31 to August 9, 2009)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 31 to August 9, 2009
In Focus: Los Angeles, 1945 - 1980 (December 20, 2011 to May 6, 2012)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 20, 2011 to May 6, 2012