The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of September 30, 2016

Constructivist Portrait, 1983

gelatin silver print, toned and painted, Overall: 45.70 x 51.50 cm (17 15/16 x 20 1/4 inches); Mounted: 50.80 x 61.00 cm (20 x 24 inches). Gift of Dorothy Handelman 2003.309

During the past two decades, Carey has consistently expanded the expressive and formal expectations
of photography beyond its ability to mimic reality, relying on color and abstraction to carry her symbolism. In this early self-portrait, she added a collaged eye to the negative, which was then rephotographed, printed in high contrast, and painted on in vivid hues. She relied on optical distortion to obscure and flatten the representational image, which has a psychedelic, geometrical quality that seems inspired by Piet Mondrian’s colors and forms and Man Ray’s surrealist juxtapositions.

MOCA Cleveland (6/9/2006 - 8/20/2006): "The Persistence of Geometry: Form, Content and Culture in the Collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art", no. 123, p. 123, color repr. cover and p. 115.

Library materials about Ellen Carey (2)

Detail Views