(1927 - 2005)
Naomi Savage was a highly innovative photographer, who regarded the darkroom as a laboratory where she could invent new and exciting techniques that began with photography but which expanded the capability of the medium to new and previously unexplored limits. She was the niece of Man Ray and studied with him for a brief period in Hollywood, California. It was he who taught her that photography had no boundaries. “The darkroom,” he told her, “was a place to make fearless tries at whatever images came to mind.” She followed this advice throughout her career, being the first to display metal-plate photoengravings (customarily used as a means by which to make prints) as finished works of art, thereby causing the very medium of photography to be redefined. She first showed her work in the 1950s and 1960s in group exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York and was represented in the 1970s to mid-1980s by the prestigious gallery of Lee Witkin in New York City. Her work can be found in some of the most distinguished museums in the United States, including The Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Princeton University Art Museum, and The Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, Arizona. When digital photography emerged in the 1990’s, Savage embraced it completely, considering it as a new and revolutionary means by which to engage in an even greater diversity of experimentation. The influence of Man ray appears throughout her work, both formally, thematically, and conceptually, as she fully adopted his position that art follows no rules and is without limitation, thereby, in the case of Naomi Savage, resulting in a range of works that stretched the limits of photography.