© Lynn Davis

Fuel Line, Abandoned Launch Site Location, Baikonur, Kazakhstan, 2003
Piezo print, Edition of 10, 40 x 40 inches.
© Lynn Davis

Lynn Davis

New Work from Kazakhstan, Russia, Germany, French Guiana and the United States

Edwynn Houk Gallery is pleased to present photographer Lynn Davis' recent images from Kazakhstan, Russia, Germany, French Guiana and the United States. These new large-scale photographs represent a departure for the artist in terms of technique and subject matter. In this most current project, Lynn Davis, who is known for her extensive surveys of natural and man made wonders, has wandered into the world of space exploration.

While exploring the world in search of the greatest universal sites, both man-made and natural, Lynn Davis most recently began photographing the architectural icons, cornerstones, and abandoned sites of the space industry. This new series reflects the many facets of a historically complex industry: the beginnings of space exploration and the Space Race; the uncertainty of the Cold War; the changing nature of technology; the current trend of historicizing modernity and our fascination with its ruins.

The majority of works in the series were taken in and around the grounds of Baikonur in Kazakhstan. With special permission to visit the compound granted to her, Davis had the rare opportunity to photograph the site. Baikonur has been a leading launch site since the earliest attempts at space exploration in the 1950's. Simultaneously, the site was host to missile and other top-secret military testing. Shrouded in secrecy for most of that time and throughout the Cold War, Davis' new photographs offers us one of the first inside glimpses of Baikonur's launches, transmission towers, fuel lines and satellites. With her impeccable eye for composition, Davis' photographs render the complexity of the sites' architecture legible in a new, artistic context. Lynn Davis' penchant for monumental geometry is perfectly complimented by the modernist style of the structures at Baikonur.

A sense of abstraction, which is a hallmark of the artist's style, informs her vision of the sites at Baikonur and others around the globe, emphasizing the bold modernism of their lines while evoking the presence of a past technology. Having shot these sites with color film, Davis printed the works using the most advanced processes in color printing. The technical achievement of the prints balances the technological marvels and monuments reproduced in the photographs.

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. Her work underwent a dramatic shift after her first trip to Greenland in 1986 when she gave up the representation of the human form for landscape. Setting herself in the grand tradition of nineteenth century landscape photography, and driven by an encyclopedic desire to record the natural and architectural monuments of the world, Davis has since documented the pyramids of Egypt, the ancient architectural ruins of Burma, Cambodia, Thailand, India, Italy, and of the Middle East (Israel, Syria, Jordan, Turkey and Yemen), as well as mythical natural wonders, including the Grand Geyser in Yellowstone and Wave Rock in Australia.

Davis' exploration of the African continent (including Mali, Ethiopia, Sudan, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Ghana, Tanzania, and a second look at Egypt) resulted in the solo show Africa held at the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson in 1999. Selections of the African images appeared the same year in "Wonders of the African World" by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. 1999 also saw the publication of Davis' second monograph, "the classic Monument", released by Arena Editions. Davis' latest monograph, "American Monument", published by Monacelli Press, October 2004, will be released during the exhibition.

Davis' 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. She has received several commissions from public and private institutions such as the Lannan Foundation - to work on an American project -, the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, and the Nature Conservancy - to produce a photographic survey of the High Plateau of Utah. This exhibition marks the artist's 7th one-person show at Edwynn Houk Gallery. Davis lives and works in New York.

Exhibition: September 21 - October 30, 2004
Gallery hours: Tue-Sat 11am - 6pm

Edwynn Houk Gallery
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USA- New York, NY 10151
Telephone +1 212 750.7070
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