September 26 — October 01, 2020
Auction begins to close at 2:00 pm ET
LYNNE COHEN (1944-2014), R.C.A.
Private Collection, Massachusetts
One of two works by Cohen in this auction, “Corridor” exemplifies the artist’s long fascination with photographing “found environments”--empty showrooms, classrooms, offices and passageways, bereft of human presence, yet purpose-built for human needs. Cohen leaves most all of the interpretation of these spaces to the viewer, asking them to project their own experiences of place. While early in her career Cohen would label images with more specific titles (e.g.“Corridor, Biology Department, State University of New York, Potsdam”) these were soon pared down in favour of terser, more vague titles. Cohen herself explained, “I prefer to allude to things and leave it to the viewer to fill in the details. Like Brecht and Godard, I want the audience to do some work.”
Cohen photographed spaces that are often both novel and familiar, a peculiar mix of banality and strangeness where function often triumphs over aesthetics. Indeed, where is this corridor in which the wallpaper has been applied to both trunk and walls? R.M. Vaughan notes that “the bald fact that many of the spaces Cohen photographs are distinctly unlovely can be read as an unsubtle commentary on how interiors meant to meet the needs of groups of people usually fail to meet any generally understood ideas of good taste – people ("the public") muck things up.”
Another print from this edition of ten is held in the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Australia.