Miranda Lichtenstein at The Gallery at Hermès

Cory Jacobs
Apr 11, 2014 3:07PM
Opening today in New York City, Miranda Lichtenstein: Polaroids spans over a decade of work from 2002 to 2013, highlighting multiple series and offering a glimpse into her creative process. From washed out family snapshots to work by artists such as Andy Warhol, Robert Mapplethorpe and even Walker Evans, Polaroids occupy specific places in our collective consciousness. Miranda Lichtenstein works primarily in photography and video, and Polaroids comprise one part of her artistic practice.

Just before leaving for a summer residency at Monet’s garden in Giverny, France, a friend gave Lichtenstein a 4x5 Linhof camera with a Polaroid back. Photographing the flowers the gardeners cut the moment they began to wilt, Lichtenstein created complex compositions by arranging the cuttings against misaligned shadows that she painted by hand. Shadow play continued during her multiple visits to Japan, where she started using Japanese paper known as Washi as both background and screen. During a fellowship in Italy, Lichtenstein looked to classic still life subject matter (fruit, vases, flowers), but here she tried to confuse our expectations of space and proportion with distorting reflective surfaces. Lastly—in images made specifically for this exhibition—Lichtenstein worked in her Brooklyn studio pushing the distillation of form to the edge.

Photographer Jason Schmidt paid Lichtenstein a visit in her studio in Gowanus last week. You can see her at work, surrounded by everyday objects that she is constantly defamiliarizing for us. As an artist exploring the still life genre, Lichtenstein has turned objects into images, but given their singularity, these works are also objects unto themselves. They are small, tactile and imperfect. They urge you to look more closely while providing a view into the evolving eye of an artist over 11 years of making art, never staying still.  

Through June 4th, 2014
The Gallery at Hermès 691 Madison Avenue New York, NY 
10am - 6pm Monday through Saturday  
10am - 7pm Thursday   

From top: Jason Schmidt (3); Miranda Lichtenstein, New York #4, 2013, Polaroid print, 4" x 5 3/16"
Cory Jacobs