On View at the Getty Center: In Focus Los Angeles 1945-1980
Poised between sleep and death, sensuality and morbidity, the recumbent figures in Jo Ann Callis’s Morphe series evoke both the goddesses of ancient mythology and the heroines of nineteenth- century fairy tales. Submerged in a halffilled bathtub, the nude body is but one element within a play of reflections that hinder our ability to identify the image as a straightforward document or composite print. After interrupting her education to raise children, Callis resumed her studies at UCLA, completing undergraduate and graduate degrees in fine arts. With her professor Robert Heinecken’s encouragement, she used her skills in painting and sculpture to construct scenes specifically for the camera. Callis has encouraged subsequent generations of students in her own role as a professor at the California Institute of the Arts since 1976.