Sikkema Jenkins & Co. is pleased to present a group exhibition of work by three photo-based artists: Deana Lawson, Judy Linn, and Paul Mpagi Sepuya.
The exhibition explores photographic documentation of relationships – between the artist and subject or between the subjects themselves – and suggests familial connection, specifically the families we choose to construct.
Breaking from her characteristic carefully composed photographs of black men and women from everyday walks of life – examples of which are also on view – Deana Lawson’s Mohawk Correctional Facility: Jasmine & Family (2013) is a series of photos depicting the artist’s cousin, Jasmine, with her partner Eric and their children taken inside the Mohawk Correctional Facility in upstate New York over a period of three years. Covering the period during which Eric was incarcerated, the images were taken by prison officials and document multiple trips Jasmine and her family made together. Lawson appropriates her cousin’s personal archive and displays them serially, compressing the time of Eric’s incarceration. The images portray a family engaged in acts of love and displays of domesticity within the confines of imprisonment.
With an instinctive style, Judy Linn’s photographs relate everyday casual encounters that take on a sense of significance through their intimacy. This is particularly evident in her photographs of people, such as in a shot of writer and theater critic, Hilton Als, who’s partially obscured face is seen look back through the barrier of a taxi cab. The exhibition includes a wide selection of Linn’s work from the 1970s through the 2000s, including photographs of rural environments, domestic architecture, and acquaintances.
Paul Mpagi Sepuya’s early photography drew strongly from the language of traditional portraiture, populating domestic or studio settings with his friends and acquaintances who make repeated appearances throughout his body of work. Sepuya’s more recent works are fragmented, with close-up views of male bodies and photo collages incorporating new and existing images. These collages reflect a process of accumulation that is reinforced in Sepuya’s sculptural installation of photographic material and mixed media, on view along with a book project entitled SOME RECENT PICTURES / a journal. These books are unique edits of work from 2009 through 2015 with additional volumes of new material to be bound on an ongoing basis.
Born in Rochester, New York in 1979, Deana Lawson received a BFA from Penn State in 2001 and a MFA in Photography from RISD in 2004. She currently teaches photography at Princeton University and lives in Brooklyn. A solo exhibition of Lawson’s work will be on view at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis from January 27 through April 16. Her work will also be included in the 2017 Whitney Biennial opening March 17.
Judy Linn was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1947. She received a BFA from Pratt Institute in 1969, and has been actively exhibiting ever since. In 2011 a monograph of her portraits of Patti Smith, Patti Smith 1969 – 1976: Photographs by Judy Linn, was published by Abrams Image. Her work is in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Detroit Art Institute, and the Dallas Museum of Art, among others. She teaches at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie and lives in New York City.
Paul Mpagi Sepuya was born in San Bernardino, California in 1982. He received a BFA in Photography & Imaging from New York University Tisch School of the Arts in 2004 and a MFA in Photography from the University of California Los Angeles in 2016. Figures, Grounds and Studies, a solo exhibition of his work will open at Yancey Richardson Gallery in New York on February 2. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles.