Three Masters of Erotic Photography, currently on view at Steven Kasher gallery in New York, is a survey of black and white nudes from the 1960s, by celebrated photographers Sam Haskins, Francis Giacobetti, and Kishin Shinoyama. The show reunites three artists featured in the controversial exhibition and book Vier Meister der Erotischen Fotografie (Four Masters of Erotic Photography), which debuted at Cologne’s Photokina in 1970. It includes over 50 vintage photographic prints collected and published by the late Walther H. Schünemann and rediscovered by his son after five decades in storage. The prints in this exhibition include the most revolutionary and most iconic work of each of the three photographers: the Cowboy Kate series of Haskins, the Birth, Death Valley and Twin series of Shinoyama, and the Jane Birkin portraits of Giacobetti.
Haskins, Giacobetti and Shinoyama produced the most influential 1960s erotic photography in their respective countries. They created a revolution in artistic nude photography by rejecting the Playboy clichés, by eschewing the statuesque models and stereotypical poses to be found in the publications of the era. To quote Sam Haskins, “These were real live girls and they were having fun.” By rejecting the distinctions between art and what was then considered pornography, these artists helped usher in a new erotic world order. In addition to reawakening interest in the flowering of the 60s sexual revolutions and its visual correlatives, this exhibition sheds light on contemporary anxieties surrounding feminists and feminism.
Three Masters of Erotic Photography
February 23 – April 15, 2017
Steven Kasher Gallery
515 W 26th St
New York, NY 10001