Collier Schorr, Lovely to Feel and to Touch, 1994. Chromogenic color print, 16 3/4 × 14 1/8 inches (42.5 × 35.9 cm). Gift of Sandra and Gerald Fineberg. © Collier Schorr
Interested in problems of identity—particularly sexuality and gender—Collier Schorr explores the construction of masculinity in photographs of wrestlers, young soldiers, and solitary adolescent figures. Her subjects are often ambiguous in gender, an early instance of the blurring of boundaries that has become topical today. Her formal approach shows the influence of German photographers Andreas Gursky and Thomas Ruff.
Schorr’s portraits often relay teenagers’ coming-of-age stories, across genders and nationalities, in images that bear traces of desire and longing, fantasy and fiction. Lovely to Feel and to Touch depicts a shirtless boy leaning against a tree, posing with confidence and ease. Schorr has said of her work: “I wanted to examine bodies as forms outside of popular cultural motifs, almost nude, constantly moving in both structured and unconscious ways.”
Joining a number of portraits by Schorr in the ICA/Boston collection, this acquisition further strengthens the representation of this important contemporary photographer. It joins a strong collection of works by seminal contemporary photographers such as Rineke Dijkstra, Nan Goldin, and Catherine Opie.