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Lynn Davis

Galerie Karsten Greve Paris

Desert & Ice
January 9 - April 2, 2016
 
Opening: Saturday, January 9, 2016, 6 - 8 pm
in presence of the artist
 
WORKS
 
Galerie Karsten Greve Paris is pleased to present Desert & Ice, a new one-woman exhibition of the American photographer Lynn Davis. The works presented are from a series initiated in 1986 when the artist decided to abandon her practice of the nude to pursue a working documentation of compositions and shapes in a decidedly minimalist aesthetic. From Greenland to Egypt, via Jordan, Syria, Yemen, Sudan and the United States, the proposed route tends to emphasize the richness of Lynn Davis’ oeuvre and the plurality of themes covered during her career.
 
From the icebergs carved by the waters of Disko Bay to the Nubian pyramids eroded by winds, the artist offers a broad panorama of the territories covered over the last thirty years. The apparent stasis of these glacial monoliths, whose magnitude and extent suggests immobility, clashes with their inherent dynamism as moving and ever-changing structures. Whether natural sculptures shaped over centuries or architectural buildings of antiquity, the works of Lynn Davis put human action into perspective, both directly and collaterally.
 
A certain kinship with some of the big names of American sculpture of the sixties, their concerns and aesthetic bias may be found in this series, especially in the elementary geometric shapes of monuments and the development of a certain architectural serialism that one finds in the alignment of the beams of the Temple of Awam, of the Palmyra Tetrapylon or in that of the religious buildings in the ancient city of Nubia.
 
The use of gold and selenium give the works an evanescent touch, which helps to impose a certain distance, a doubt as to when the photographs were taken. Background and subject combine, in a foggy, misty tumult, from which no predominant element emerges, the work demanding to be understood and considered as a whole. This aspect is particularly well reflected in the shots of the Red Pyramid of Dahshur or the entirely eccentric Sphinx of Memphis, the process ignoring the traditional dichotomy of subject / background.
 
 
Lynn Davis was born in 1944 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1970, she became assistant to the photographer Berenice Abbott. She initially oriented her photography practice to the nude alongside her close friend Robert Mapplethorpe and then abandoned the representation of the human body in the late eighties to devote herself to landscape and architectural photography. Recognized internationally, her works are present in prestigious collections such as the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Los Angeles County Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Harvard University, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston and the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. She has also received several commissions, mainly from the Lannan Foundation, Duke University’s Documentary Studies and the Nature Conservancy. In 2005, she was awarded the prize of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Melcher Media Publishing has recently devoted a book to her work prefaced by Patti Smith entitled Ice and published in 2015. Lynn Davis lives and works in New York.

 
 
 
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