PHOTOCULTURE Conversations #17: Judy Dater

Living most of her life in California, Judy Dater (b. 1941) grew up in Hollywood with the influence of cinema amplified by the hours she spent in her father’s movie theater. This early exposure to the realm of the visual led her to study art at the University of California, Los Angeles and later San Francisco State University (SFSU), where she earned her degrees (BA 1963, MA 1966). At SFSU, Dater committed more seriously to photography and her early talent was encouraged by several prominent members from the West Coast’s Group f.64 and its followers, including Imogen Cunningham and Ansel Adams.

Though the theme of feminism remains present in Dater’s work through the decades, her compositions increase in narrative depth and implication over time. Her self-portraits incorporating the landscape of the Southwest use geographic features as subtle allusions that reveal the weight of social constructs.

Spanning five decades of the artist’s work, Judy Dater: Only Human provides a survey of Dater’s work, celebrating her achievement as a pioneering figure in 1970s feminist art and her subsequent creative evolution. The exhibition is on display at the Laband Art Gallery at Loyola Marymount University through December 8. For more information click here.