<< YCBA Home Yale Center for British Art Yale Center for British Art << YCBA Home

YCBA Collections Search

IIIF Actions
John Coplans, 1920–2003

Back Torso from Below

Part Of:

Collective Title: Body of Work

Materials & Techniques:
Gelatin silver print on moderately thick, semigloss photographic paper
Sheet: 16 x 20 inches (40.6 x 50.8 cm), Frame: 18 5/8 × 21 1/8 × 1 3/8 inches (47.3 × 53.7 × 3.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Gift of Ellen Carey
Copyright Status:
© Estate of the Artist
Accession Number:
Prints and Drawings
Subject Terms:
abstract art | bottom | figure study | hair | leg | male | man | nude | torso
Accessible by appointment in the Study Room [Request]
Note: The Study Room is open by appointment. Please visit the Study Room page on our website for more details.
IIIF Manifest:

John Coplans enjoyed a distinguished career as a writer, critic, curator, and museum director before he made his reputation as a photographer in his early sixties. In earlier life, Coplans had served in the Second World War before visiting the United States in pursuit of his artistic training. He settled in California in 1960 and turned to journalism, cofounding Artforum magazine, and to curating major exhibitions of contemporary art at the Pasadena Art Museum. It was during his time as director of the Akron Museum in the late 1970s that he took up photography, and, in retirement from around 1980, he began a series of nude studies of his own body, or “auto-portraits” as he described them. These unidealized studies of his own body, unsparing in their angles and in their presentation of the signs of aging, elicited critical acclaim for their combined sensitivity and startlingly innovative treatment of the male body.

Gallery label for A Decade of Gifts and Acquisitions (Yale Center for British Art, 2017-06-01 - 2017-08-13)

A Decade of Gifts and Acquisitions (Yale Center for British Art, 2017-06-01 - 2017-08-13) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition] [Exhibition Description]

If you have information about this object that may be of assistance please contact us.