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Untitled #46 (hide)

Photo Credit: Rich Sanders, Des Moines

Untitled #46 (hide)

Artist: Anna Gaskell (American, born 1969)
Date: 1998
Medium: C-print
Dimensions:
Panel: 60 × 50 in. (152.4 × 127 cm.)
Credit Line: Des Moines Art Center; Paul and Anastasia Polydoran Collection, 2001.25
Accession number: 2001.25
Classification: photograph
Label TextGaskell creates staged photographs that explore surreal and dark themes of childhood. Because her photographs are often part of a larger series, they resemble film stills or scenes from a larger narrative. Her art is influenced by movies and literature, particularly stories that feature girls as protagonists or villains such as Alice in Wonderland, The Bad Seed, and The Turn of the Screw. This work comes from the series hide, which is loosely based on the Brothers Grimm tale “The Magic Donkey”. It features young girls acting out a strange drama in a dark, Gothic mansion (actually Des Moines’ Salisbury House). Although this photo features only one girl, her awkward predicament implies the presence of someone else. The camera peers up the stairs, as though the viewer has just stumbled upon the scene, or is backing away from it. Because the girl’s face is not visible, the focus falls to her eerily raised hand and the disheveled state of her clothing. Gaskell’s nightmarish and often darkly humorous images can be seen as metaphors for the limitations and expectations placed on young women.
SignedA Gaskell (u,l verso)
Inscription1998 3/3 (u,l verso)
Portfolio/Serieshide
Published References"Dead and Delight: Fairy Tales in an Anxious World," Emily Stamey, University Press of Colorado, Louisville, Colorado, 2018, p.72, fig.2
Edition3/3
entirely unexpected