From Alexia Wuff’s guest post, “They Give Us Those Nice Bright Colors,” for Elin Spring’s blog What Will You Remember?:
Just about any contemporary photographer who is working with color stands on the shoulders of [William] Eggleston. Frances F. Denny’s recently published monograph, ‘Let Virtue by Your Guide,’ gives a nod to Eggleston’s magnified subtext of a frayed culture in a couple of pictures, but also recalls something of the delicacy of [Jacques Henri] Lartigue’s pictures. Like Eggeston, Denny photographed the familiar surroundings of home and, in her case, a deeply rooted New England family. Several images display a faded elegance in the details of fabrics, wallpaper or clothing, absent the supersaturated hues that lends Eggleston’s photographs their surreal uneasiness. Heirlooms stored in attics and china closets imply a kind of reverence for previous generations, but also shifts in priorities throughout the years. Like Lartigue, the palette is subdued and muted, but Denny’s compositions feel more attentive and careful than his work. Several portraits show different generations of women in Denny’s family, in which she transmits a palpable emotional reserve. Lartigue and Eggleston rarely contextualized their work with writing, in fact, Eggleston is downright hostile toward writing with pictures, but Denny includes the words of advice offered the women in her family over time… these quotes simply state the date of birth of the speaker, and they evoke embedded anxieties about heritage and legacy for generations of a firmly established family and culture.
Browse the series “Let Virtue Be Your Guide” at ClampArt
Browse all of Frances F. Denny’s work at ClampArt