Lynne Cohen: Between Something and Nothing Co-organized by the National Gallery of Canada NGC@WAG and the Winnipeg Art Gallery
Related Programs Public Opening Friday, May 9, 7-10pm
12 | SPRING2014
Continuing exhibition: April 12–August 18 • Gallery 6 • Curated by Paul Butler
This exhibition traces the subtle evolution of Lynne Cohen’s 40-year investigation of interior ‘readymade’ spaces. From her black and white portraits of domestic and public spaces of the 70s, to the training centres and social engineering laboratories of the 80s, to her eventual use of colour with the Spa series from the late 90s, Cohen’s found environments explore psychological, sociological, intellectual, and political artifice. This exhibition is the first comprehensive show of Lynne Cohen’s work presented in Western Canada. The 21 works borrowed from the NGC will be augmented with works from the WAG’s collection and recent work from the artist’s collection. Capturing the world “much more than less” as she finds it, Cohen describes her work as probing “the boundaries between the found and the constructed, the absurd and the deadly serious, and the animate and the inert.” Present are suggestions of the human body—dummies, diagrams, and silhouettes—but never actual people. With her larger, more recent work, Cohen allows the viewer the sense of entering the environments themselves. Throughout the work, there are references to Pop, minimal and conceptual artists like Jasper Johns, Joseph Beuys, and Richard Hamilton. Underneath Cohen’s seemingly banal subject matter are themes of irony, surveillance, and humour as well as social and political criticism. This is the space where her photography hovers between something and nothing.