Justine Kurland  (American, 1969) 

Justine Kurland (American, b.1969) is a Contemporary Fine Art photographer who is known for her large c-print tableau pictures of childhood secret places and wastelands. She was born in Warsaw, NY, and graduated from The School of Visual Arts in New York with a BFA in 1996. She received her MFA in 1998 from Yale University in Connecticut. She is heavily influenced by her Yale instructors Gregory Crewdson (American, b.1962) and Philip-Lorca diCorcia (American, b.1951), and is known for her elaborate staging of photographs.

Kurland has become famous for her landscapes dealing with young children, men, and women, often mixing the purity of youth with its unbridled wildness. These works of feral and unsupervised children running amuck in a suburban wasteland formed the basis of her book Spirit West in 2000. She has traveled across the United States to create these staged photos, including to Virginia and California, but spent many months traveling through New Zealand as well. Her photos of utopian-esque communities in Virginia and California earned her solo shows in London and Vienna.

Kurland is very in touch with nature and the primal impulses of humanity. In 2004, the book Old Joy explored men in the wilderness often unclothed as they experienced the true mystery of nature. There are few subjects Kurland is not willing to broach with her photography. She examined medieval and biblical images in her 2004 show Songs of Experience. The photographer has reached the mainstream world as well; she was profiled in The New York Times, Vogue, and Elle. Her photos grace the cover and liner notes of the group M83's album Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts. Some of her more famous pieces include After Darius Kinsey , Snake, and Hemp Bracelets for Spanging.

Kurland’s work has been seen in Monte Clark Gallery in Canada, CEPA Gallery in New York, and Elizabeth Leach Gallery in Oregon. She is one of the leading photographers of primal imagery and nature, and she influences many artists. Kurland currently lives and works in New York.

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Justine Kurland, Astride Mama Burro, Now Dead


Justine Kurland
Astride Mama Burro, Now Dead

Mitchell-Innes & Nash
Justine Kurland, Wild Palms


Justine Kurland
Wild Palms

Mitchell-Innes & Nash
Past auction results (36)  View All
Justine Kurland, Pink Tree


Justine Kurland
Pink Tree, 1999
photographs, chromogenic print (c-print)


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Justine Kurland, Fort of Fronds


Justine Kurland
Fort of Fronds, 2001


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Justine Kurland, The Family


Justine Kurland
The Family, 2002
chromogenic print


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1969   Born in Warsaw, New York
1996   B.F.A., School of Visual Arts, New York, NY
1998   M.F.A., Yale University, New Haven, CT
  Lives and works in New York, NY
2008   Generation, Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta
2007   Art in America, Now, MOCA Shanghai, Shanghai
2006   Schauplatz Natur, Barbara Gross Galerie, Munich
2005   "Acting Out: Invented Melodrama in Contemporary Photography," Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, NY
2005   "Beyond Big: Oversized Prints - Drawings and Photographs," The Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI
2005   "Sad Songs," Illinois State University, Normal, IL
2003   "Strangers: The First ICP Triennial of Photography and Video," International Center of Photography, New York, NY
2003   "Justine Kurland: Golden Dawn - Photographs," Emily Tsingou Gallery, London, England
2003   "Child in Time," Gemeentemuseum Helmond, Boscotondohal, Helmond
2003   "Flesh Tones: 100 Years of the Nude," Robert Mann Gallery, New York, NY
2003   "Justine Kurland," ICA: Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, PA
2002   "Violence the True Way," Galerie Peter Kilchmann, Zurich
2002   "Justine Kurland," Artspace, Auckland
2002   "Regarding Landscape," mocca: Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto, Ontario
2002   "Justine Kurland," MoCP: The Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, IL
2002   "Justine Kurland: Spirit West," Torch Gallery, Amsterdam
2001   "Justine Kurland," Galerie Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels
2001   "Video Jam," The Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art (PBICA), Lake Worth, FL
2001   "Settings and Players: Theatrical Ambiguity in American Photography," White Cube, London, England
2000   "Identities," Galerie Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels
2000   "Nothing in Common: A Group Exhibition," Audiello Fine Art, Inc., New York, NY
1998   "Justine Kurland," Artists Space, New York, NY