Body Parts: A Self-Portrait
by John Coplans

Body Parts: A Self-Portrait by John Coplans features twenty-six large black-and-white photographs from 2001-2002, Coplans’s final series before his death in August 2003. A founding editor of Artforum magazine, Coplans changed careers in 1980, leaving the world of criticism and curating to become a widely exhibited photographer. In 1984, at the age of 64, Coplans began an extended photographic documentation of his own aging body. Coplans’s final series is intimate and direct; each photograph captures isolated body parts, cropped and fragmented; Coplans then reassembled the images into diptychs.
By the end, Coplans’s deteriorating eyesight forced him to establish a new working process. As the artist explained, “The solution was to recognize the fact that we don’t actually see an image with our eyes; instead we perceive it with our minds….when I realized that it was more a matter of perception than of sight, I could easily previsualize an image and make a drawing that my assistance could match on film.”
Exhibition Name
Body Parts: A Self-Portrait
by John Coplans
Exhibition Type
Solo Exhibitions
Wachenheim Gallery
Body Parts is curated by Charles Stainback, Director of SITE Santa Fe, and Jane Farver, Director, the List Visual Arts Center, MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts, in collaboration with the artist, John Coplans.
John Coplans
Past related events
Mar 25, 2004, 7PM
Pattern by Nathan Bloom ’21
Inspired by the performance Honey Baby in the exhibition Janine Antoni & Stephen Petronio: Entangle
The Tang Pattern Project celebrates the Museum’s 20th anniversary. Organized by Head of Design Jean Tschanz-Egger, past and current Tang Design Interns created patterns inspired by the Museum’s exhibition and event history.