Lynne Cohen at Jacky Strenz, in: Contemporary Art Daily, August 12, 2023 >
Christoph Schütte, in: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, August 16, 2023, p. 12 >
Full documentation >
The Centre Pompidou, Paris is currently dedicating a solo exhibition to Lynne Cohen, on view through August 28.
Lynne Cohen, “Laboratoires / observatoires” (c: und Matthias Pfaller), Centre Pompidou, Paris, through August 28, 2023
With many thanks to Andrew Lugg
© Andrew Lugg and Lynne Cohen Estate
Ihre Arbeiten befinden sich zahlreichen Sammlungen, u.a. Centre Pompidou, Museum Folkwang, Städel Museum, Tate Modern, National Gallery Canada; The National Gallery, Washington; Art Institute Chicago und Metropolitan Museum, NY.
We are pleased to announce second solo show with works by US-Canadian artist Lynne Cohen (1944-2014) featuring 10 early vintage photographs taken between 1977 and 1981. The slightly cropped contact prints (19 x 24 cm; 7.5 x 9.5 in) are all hand printed by the artist.
Trained as a sculpture and printmaker, Lynne Cohen started in the 1970s to focuse on the psychological and sociological artifice of the emerging North-American middle class. Using an 8 x 10-inch camera, she photographed living rooms, small stores, semi-public spaces such as men’s clubs, banquet halls, hotel lobbies, and offices. In the 1980s, Cohen went a step further and became interested in the mechanisms for controlling and manipulating society. She began to focus on more authoritarian institutions such as laboratories, police and military training centers, classrooms, and shooting ranges. In the 1990s Cohen introduced spas, and in 2000, without changing her subject, she began taking color photographs.
Lynne Cohen’s photographs are not just sociological or psychological, however. They are also characterized by a pointed humor. None of her subjects are staged or interfered with scenarios. What she depicted was what she found. Her equally thorough and systematic and precise. Regardless of the spaces the artist photographed, her concern was always the same: the world as finished installations, often referencing conceptual art, pop art, or minimalism.
… She was not a documentary photographer who visited a site and took the best picture possible, but someone who embraced what Walker Evans dubbed “the documentary style.” Initially, she provided information about where her pictures were shot, as was customary, but during the 1980s she stopped giving them dates and titles, only to relent later on and provide titles like “Untitled (such-and-such).” Her hope was that this put distance between her work and straight documentary photography and encouraged viewers to see her “appropriations” as comments on the passing show. Nonethe- less, she was aware, especially as the decades came and went, that she had been document- ing a period in addition to documenting—as she would say—what was in her mind. Walker Evans was again the model. Like him, she endeavored to make photographs that, while deadpan, hint at something deeper…..
Lynne Cohen was born in Racine, Wisconsin, in 1944. She lived and worked in Canada from 1973 until her death in 2014. A student at the University of Wisconsin (BS 1967), the Slade School of Art, University of London, 1964-1965, and Eastern Michigan University (MA 1969), she taught at Eastern Michigan University, 1968-1973; University of Ottawa 1974-2005; School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 1984, 1992; Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, 1996 and Virginia Commonwealth University, 2005-2006. During her lifetime she received numerous awards including the Governor General’s Award in Visual Arts and MediaArts (Canada) in 2005, and a recipient of numerous other awards.
She has been in countless solo and group exhibitions around the world and is represented in over 50 public collections, including the Centre Pompidou, Paris; Tate Modern, London; National Gallery Canada; The National Gallery, Washington; Art Institute Chicago; and Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York among others.
Currently the Centre Pompidou, Paris is dedicating a solo exhibition to her, on view through August 28.
Lynne Cohen, “Laboratoires / observatoires” (c: und Matthias Pfaller), Centre Pompidou, Paris, April 12 – August 28, 2023
© Andrew Lugg and Lynne Cohen Estate