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