On the Wall: Mother Reload

A photograph from Hannah Putz's series Untitled, 2011–2012.© Hanna Putz

Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, IL, April 18 – July 3 mocp.org

Curated by Susan Bright and previously exhibited at the Photographer’s Gallery in London, this group show defies traditional representations of motherhood. Among the predominantly autobiographical pieces are images by Elinor Carucci revealing intimate interactions with her children, quietly eloquent nude mother-and-child studies by Hannah Putz, as well as Leigh Ledare’s more provocative pictures of his mother that explore boundaries and taboos through the interplay of exhibitionism and voyeurism. Collectively, the eight artists—six women and two men—question cultural ideals and assumptions as they reimagine the identity and role of “mother” through their own nuanced experiences.

A beautifully illustrated hardcover volume, Home Truths: Photography and Motherhood (Art/Books, $35), accompanies the traveling exhibition.