Join ICP online for the book release of Mona Kuhn: Works. Known for her contemporary depictions, Kuhn is considered a prominent artist in the world of figurative discourse. This retrospective monograph looks at Kuhn’s twenty-year study of the human form and playful exploration of light. Speaking from her studio in Los Angeles, Kuhn will be in conversation with ICP Managing Director of Programs David Campany on her approach to working with her subjects, experience making a book during a pandemic, and more.
This program is free with a suggested donation of $5. Purchase your copy of Mona Kuhn: Works (Thames & Hudson) through ICP’s shop.
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About Mona Kuhn: Works
Mona Kuhn: Works, the artist’s first retrospective, features images from throughout her career, accompanied by insightful texts by Rebecca Morse, Simon Baker, Chris Littlewood, and Darius Himes. An interview with Elizabeth Avedon provides insights into Kuhn’s creative process and the ways in which she works with her subjects and locations, and achieves the visual signature of her imagery. Published to coincide with a traveling international exhibition, opening at Fotografska in New York, this book introduces Kuhn’s distinct aesthetic to a wide popular audience., It is an essential volume for anyone with an interest in the human form in contemporary art.
Mona Kuhn is one of the most respected contemporary photographers of her time, best known for her large-scale photographs of the human form. Throughout a career spanning more than twenty years, the underlying theme of her work is her refection on humanity’s longing for spiritual connection and solidarity. As she solidifed her photographic style, Kuhn created a notable approach to the nude by developing friendships with her subjects, and employing a range of playful visual strategies that use natural light and bucolic settings to evoke a sublime sense of comfort between the human figure and its environment. Her work is natural, restful, and a reinterpretation of the nude in the canon of contemporary art. Kuhn’s distinct aesthetic has propelled her as one of the most collectible contemporary art photographers—her work is in private and public collections worldwide and she is represented by galleries across the United States.
About the Program Format
This program will take place on Zoom. Those who register to attend will receive a confirmation email with a link located at the bottom of the email under ‘Important Information’ to join the lecture through a computer or mobile device.
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Mona Kuhn is best known for her large-scale photographs of the human form. Acclaimed for her contemporary depictions, Kuhn is considered a leading artist in the world of figurative discourse. An underlaying current among Kuhn's works is her reflection on humanity’s longing for spiritual connection and solidarity. As a result, her approach is unusual in that she develops close relationships with her subjects, resulting in images of remarkable intimacy, and creating the effect of people naked but comfortable in their own skin. In addition, Kuhn's playful combination of visual strategies, such as translucency explores our connectedness with the environment. A sublime sense of comfort and intelligence permeates her works, showing the human body in its most natural state as the artist continues to question the role of representation in photography.
For the past two decades, the Los-Angeles based artist's works have been shown steadily, revealing an astonishing consistency in technique, of subject and of purpose. In 2001, Kuhn’s photographs were first seen by an influential audience during the exhibition at Charles Cowles Gallery in Chelsea, New York. Since then, her photographs have been exhibited internationally, including major cities such as New York, Los Angeles, London, and other major capitals across Europe, the US, and Asia.
Kuhn was born in São Paulo, Brazil, in 1969, of German descent. In 1989, Kuhn moved to the US and earned her BA from The Ohio State University, before furthering her studies at the San Francisco Art Institute. She is currently an independent scholar at The Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles. Occasionally, Mona teaches at UCLA and the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.
Mona Kuhn’s first monograph, Photographs, was debuted by Steidl in 2004; followed by Evidence (2007), Native (2010), Bordeaux Series (2011), Private (2014), and She Disappeared into Complete Silence (2018/19). In addition, Kuhn's monograph titled Bushes and Succulents has been published by Stanley/Barker Editions, with a debut at Jeu de Paume in Paris, in 2019. Kuhn's forthcoming publication 835 Kings Road, will be published and released by Steidl in the Fall/Winter 2020/21.
Mona Kuhn’s work is in private and public collections worldwide, including The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Hammer Museum, Perez Art Museum Miami, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Kiyosato Museum in Japan. Kuhn's work has been exhibited at The Louvre Museum and Le Bal in Paris; The Whitechapel Gallery and Royal Academy of Arts in London; Musée de l’Elysée in Switzerland; Leopold Museum in Vienna Austria, The Polygon Gallery in Vancouver Canada, Taipei Fine Arts Museum in Taiwan and Australian Centre for Photography. Mona Kuhn lives and works in Los Angeles.
David Campany is a curator, writer, and managing director of programs at the International Center of Photography, New York. His books include On Photographs (2020), A Handful of Dust (2015), Art and Photography (2003), Jeff Wall: Picture for Women (2011), Walker Evans: the Magazine Work (2014), and The Open Road: Photography and the American Road Trip (2014).