Since the early 1970s, Montreal based artist Lynne Cohen has focused her attention on the strangeness and contradictions in the everyday world, photographing domestic and institutional interior spaces such as men’s clubs, classrooms, spas, military installations, laboratories and other uninhabited public and private interiors. While Cohen’s work has a social and political edge, and is sometimes critical, it also has a wry humour. The sites she photographs exist, but often look like constructions or installations lifted from a contemporary art museum. Cohen has been in countless solo and group exhibitions around the world, and is represented in over 50 public collections, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Australian National Gallery, the Bibliothèque nationale de France, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Canada Council Art Bank. She has published five monographs: Occupied Territory, L’endroit du décor / Lost and Found, No Man’s Land, Camouflage and Cover, in addition to many individual and group catalogues.
Cohen studied at the University of Wisconsin (BS 1967); the Slade School of Art, University of London (1964-1965); and Eastern Michigan University (MA 1969). She has held teaching positions at Eastern Michigan University (1968-1973); University of Ottawa (1974-2005); School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1984, 1992); Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (1996) and Virginia Commonwealth University (2005-2006). Born in Racine, Wisconsin, in 1944, Cohen has lived and worked in Canada since 1973 and currently resides in Montreal. She is a recipient of numerous awards of merit, including the Governor General’s Award in Visual Arts and Media Arts (Canada) in 2005.
Lynne Cohen, Spa, 1994, chromogenic print, 121.9 cm x 147.3 cm, Courtesy of Olga Korper Gallery © 2009 Lynne Cohen