La obra de Bárbara Crane es fruto de un extraordinario trabajo que se enmarca plenamente en la filosofía alemana de la Gestalt, centrada en el estudio de la percepción y sus relaciones con el arte y que , simplificada al máximo, podríamos definir por el axima “el todo es mayor que la suma de las partes”. Esta escuela está liderada en los Estados Unidos por el Instituto Tecnológico de Chicago a cuya institución pertenece el Instituto de Diseño de Illinois en el que Crane presentó su Máster en Fotografía.
La obra de Barbara Crane nos muestra como el cuerpo puede ser sugerido con muy pocos trazos. La autora comenta:
“I titled the white background series as the Fine Line of Form. It was if my brush were a fine one coated with black pigment. The theory was that the fine black line of the shadow would rhythmically delineate the body in the white space as if it were a drawing. In these images delicacy of line was important and was to be found in the creases of the body or under it. From this group of pictures a new purpose evolved in the synthesis of reality and abstraction and they were a turning point in my vision and in my entire future body of work. With this awakening, along with a continuous search and steady growth in image making, came a desire to explore new ways of expression”
“I had discovered that defining the figure by means of light and/or a light void as if one quick gesturing stroke of a fine or broad brush coated with dark or light became enough to communicate a message. Employing either a black or a white background determined whether the shadow or the highlight would dominate the form. I had come to understand that light and its counterpart, darkness, were the prime keys to my success in pictures of all kinds.”