23 October – 6 December 2008
Reception for the artist Thursday, 23 October 6 – 8pm
Edwynn Houk Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of Lynn Davis’ recent work, featuring large-scale photographs from her most recent trips to India and Iguazu Falls. The exhibition is on view from 23 October through 6 December 2008, with an opening reception on Thursday, October 23 from 6-8pm.
In 1986, Lynn Davis began her travels as an expeditionary photographer, visiting the coast of Greenland where she began shooting her renowned series of Icebergs. With meticulous attention to detail and a painstaking printing process that involves subtly toning each print, Davis has captured the far corners of the world, in an ongoing exploration of architecture and natural wonders.
Davis’ latest compositions of India reveal her ability to overcome the boundaries of time and space. She photographs the 7th century Virupaksha Temple from a distance, allowing our eye to take in the full structure, and offers us a close-up glimpse of the Bahá’í Temple, constructed less than 25 years ago. We do not immediately take note of the centuries that separate the two structures. By carefully editing her compositions and stabilizing them in a balanced, square format, she unites modern and ancient temples through the simplicity of the geometric line, transcending the years and the distance that separates them. The viewer is left to consider something larger than the walls of these man-made constructions: a feeling of spiritual grandeur.
This sense of the majestic is implicit in Davis’ images of Iguazu Falls, a collection of waterfalls on the border between Brazil and Argentina. Davis’ photographs capture a force far more powerful than anything built by the human hand. And yet, just as she captures a sense of the sublime in man-made structures, she finds something human in the midst of a vast, natural wonder. In photographing the overwhelming movement of rushing water, vein-like in its powerful descent, she presents the viewer with a sense of vague familiarity, and invites us into an abstract space of contemplation.
Lynn Davis (American, born 1944) received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1970, and then trained with Berenice Abbott in New York. In 1979, she had her first exhibition at the International Center of Photography (New York) alongside her close friend Robert Mapplethorpe. In 2005, the American Academy of Arts and Letters awarded Davis an Academy Award in Art, making her the first photographer ever to earn such an honor. She is currently a nominee for the Prix Pictet, the world’s premier photographic award in sustainability. Her photographs have been exhibited internationally and collected widely. Her work appears in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, and the J. Paul Getty Museum, which held an exhibition of Davis’ photographs in 1999. This exhibition marks the artist’s 9th one-person show at Edwynn Houk Gallery. Davis lives and works in New York.