Nude and Naked a photography exhibition at the Brill Gallery, Eclipse Mill, North Adams

One of the most absorbing and challenging exhibitions in the Northern Berkshires this year has been Nude & Naked at the Brill Gallery in the Eclipse Mill in North Adams. Densely hung in a dynamic arrangement, the prints, of many different sizes, ranging from Roy Volkmann’s enormous “Seraph” (41 x 45 in.) to Lucien Clergue’s intimate abstractions, which at 8 x 10 in. seem like miniatures, do more than present a series of beautiful or provocative examples of this classic genre, it poses an extended visual argument about how the ten photographers in the exhibition see the nude and about how we see it, that is, anyone who makes the decision to enter the Brill Gallery and spend an hour or so with these images. (Looking at oneself in the mirror in another thing altogether). Some are beautiful; some are ugly. I have my own ideas about which are which, but I doubt many people would agree with me. Every visitor will have his or her own opinion, and this is most definitely a show to arouse discussion—which is the best kind, in my opinion.

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