ArtExhibitionsLaura Aguilar: Nudes in Nature
Exhibition

Laura Aguilar: Nudes in Nature

12/16/2023 to 01/05/2025 Located in Norton Photography Gallery

Laura Aguilar: Nudes in Nature showcases photographic works by a groundbreaking yet underrecognized artist who challenged perceptions of beauty by examining the female body in dialogue with the natural world.

Installation view of Laura Aguilar: Nudes in Nature, 2023. Phoenix Art Museum.

ABOUT THE EXHIBITION

Born and raised in California’s San Gabriel Valley, Laura Aguilar created photographic representations of historically excluded and marginalized groups of women from various communities across Los Angeles. She eventually turned the camera on herself to consider the multitude of factors that defined her own identity as a Chicana and a lesbian who lived in poverty and with depression and learning disabilities.

Later in her career, Aguilar began to capture intimate portraits of nude, large-bodied women in natural settings. She created various series within this framework to highlight the inherent connections between nature and the female form.

Laura Aguilar, Motion #59, 1999. Gelatin silver print. © Laura Aguilar Trust of 2016.

Image credit: Laura Aguilar, Motion #59, 1999. Gelatin silver print. © Laura Aguilar Trust of 2016.

Laura Aguilar: Nudes in Nature brings together nearly 60 photographic works from the most-recognized of those series, including Nature Self-Portrait (1996) Stillness (1999) Motion (1999) Center (2000–2001) and Grounded (2006–2007). Featured works either directly explore the relationship between physical features of the body and the landscape or adopt an abstract approach. Exhibited in conversation, they encourage reflection on the ways female bodies are perceived within the natural world in comparison to how they are viewed in social and cultural spaces.

All of the images in Nudes in Nature were made in the Southwestern region of the United States. With this particular backdrop, the exhibition provides a unique opportunity to consider Aguilar’s trailblazing work within the context of our desert region.

Laura Aguilar, Untitled, from the series Grounded, 2006-2007 (printed 2018). Inkjet print. © Laura Aguilar Trust of 2016.

Image credit: Laura Aguilar, Untitled, from the series Grounded, 2006-2007 (printed 2018). Inkjet print. © Laura Aguilar Trust of 2016.
Content guide: This exhibition contains nudity.

EXHIBITION SPONSORS

Laura Aguilar: Nudes in Nature is organized by Phoenix Art Museum and the Center for Creative Photography. It is co-curated by Sybil Venegas and Christopher Velasco, trustees of the Laura Aguilar Estate. The exhibition’s presentation at Phoenix Art Museum is coordinated by Emilia Mickevicius, the Norton Family Assistant Curator of Photography at Phoenix Art Museum and the Center for Creative Photography.

All exhibitions at Phoenix Art Museum are underwritten by the Phoenix Art Museum Exhibition Excellence Fund, founded by The Opatrny Family Foundation, with additional significant support provided by Joan Cremin.

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