James Hyman Photography is delighted to present a solo exhibition of celebrated Canadian photographer Lynne Cohen. Featuring vintage and contemporary works, this miniature retrospective follows the artist's presentation at the Venice Biennale and Rencontres d'Arles this summer.
Cohen has consistently explored the mystery of unoccupied space and place. She does not locate or contextualize her photographs, but instead uses the power of ambiguity and absence to question what can and can not be represented in the absence of the human form. The void within these interiors rebounds to allow the space to make itself a palpable subject in the photograph. Each space has a particular 'something' that gives it an extra-human energy.
The various periods of Cohen's oeuvre have explored different types of interiors, first with a playful curiosity and later with a more analytical execution. As the artist herself attested in an interview published in No Man's Land (2001):
The shifts in my work are partly due to my exploring different subjects. The men's clubs, halls, beauty salons, living rooms and lobbies I photographed early on are much more commonplace and accessible than the target ranges, classrooms, spas, military installations and training environments I now photograph. In the new pictures, there is a more critical edge because I have become more concerned with manipulation and control. Still, my photographs from the beginning have been about various sorts of artifice and deception. I started out probing the boundaries between the found and the constructed, the absurd and the deadly serious, the animate and the inert, and I've been probing them ever since.
In Cohen's most recent series, she documents the interiors of Venice, a disappearing city whose inner world struggles to remain afloat. As part of a commission by the Venice in Peril project, these works are currently exhibited at the Venice Biennale and will feature as part of an internationally touring exhibition to bring awareness to the city's condition.
For over thirty-five years, Lynne Cohen has built an extensive exhibition history, has produced five monographs on her work, and has photographs in upwards of fifty public and private collections internationally, including the International Museum of Photography, George Eastman House, the National Gallery of Canada, the International Center of Photography, New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris. Her monographs are Occupied Territory (Aperture, 1987), Lost and Found (FRAC, 1992), No Man's Land (Thames & Hudson, 2001), Camouflage (Le Point du Jour, 2005) and Cover (Le Point du Jour, 2009). She has recently been awarded the inaugural Scotiabank Photo Prize, which includes funding for a sixth monograph on her oeuvre.
Lynne Cohen is represented in the United Kingdom by James Hyman Photography, London and will be included in the gallery's programme at Paris Photo, Paris 10-13 November, 2011.