Portfolio by Sally Mann


Simmons, William J., Sally Mann. “Portfolio by Sally Mann.” BOMB Magazine, 2020.


Excerpt: I recall these art historical obsessions with negation in order to frame Sally Mann’s own absences, which I will present unceremoniously and unpoetically as a list. She is absent from conventional, academic art histories, which resent her for eluding appropriation, for being a photographer and not an artist-using-photography, for intersecting with the popular imagination, and for sidelining academic discourse in her writings in favor of the poetic. Relatedly and always surprisingly, she is largely absent from feminist art histories, save a smattering of essays, such as those by Anne Higonnet (2001), Jennifer Friedlander (2008), and Claire Raymond (2017). Finally, she is absent from queer histories of censorship and the Culture Wars, with Robert Mapplethorpe and all his cold and careless handsomeness dominating that discussion at the expense of others, like Mann, the Guerrilla Girls, and Judy Chicago—each of whom faced censorship in the same period. 

Link to portfolio