Bruce Cratsley: Master of Light and Shadow, an exhibition of more than twenty black-and-white prints by the celebrated photographer, will be presented at The Brooklyn Museum from November 27, 1996, through January 5, 1997. Organized by Barbara Head Millstein, Associate Curator, Photography, in commemoration of World AIDS Day, the exhibition celebrates the artist's individual vision with images drawn from the Museum’s permanent collection.
Inspired by the technique of Eugene Atget and other early photographers, Cratsley works in a classically Modern style. Shadows and reflections, reminiscent of film noir, suggest human presence in the artist's intimate photographs. Images of masks and mannequins, a motif inspired by the Surrealists, have an eerie sense of life arrested. They include a magical night view of the Brooklyn Bridge illuminated by fireworks, scenes of Venice and Paris, as well as portraiture, including an image of his companion as he was dying of AIDS, a disease that Cratsley himself has battled for almost a decade.
Born in 1944, Cratsley began the study of photography in 1972 with Lisette Model. He worked in New York galleries for ten years, leaving his position as Director of Graphics and Photography at Marlborough Gallery in 1986 to pursue a career as an artist. His work is represented in public collections throughout the world and has been the subject of solo exhibitions in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Venice, and London.
Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1995 - 2003. 07-12/1996, 105.