Diana Michener @ Maison Européenne de la Photographie


In her exhibition entitled “Figure Studies,” Diana Michener explores the darker side of love. Her large-scale black-and-white prints, while figurative, border on the abstract, with a violent passion evident in the manipulation of bodies and atmospheres. One is never sure if these figures are engaged in sex or on the verge of death, submerged underwater or floating through space. The “Fire Series” is an extension of “Figure Studies” and represents the decomposition of the body and the noble attitude humans face as they look at death. As a complement to the photographs, the exhibition will feature a set of three sculptures entitled “Saviour and Two Women,” which juxtaposes the dynamism of the photographs with stillness, and continues the exploration of the web of emotions expressed in human gestures.

Michener uses symbolist references and sequences to create timeless narratives in order to explore themes such as mortality, identity and conflict. Serving as contemplative markers, her work blurs the line between the eternal and the ephemeral and encourages one’s own process of introspection.

Diana Michener was born in Boston in 1940. She received a BA in Art history from New York’s Barnard College in 1963 and also studied at Smith College, the Sorbonne in Paris and studied with Lisette Model at the New School in New York and at a workshop with Ansel Adams in Yosemite. Her photography has been widely exhibited in the United States and abroad. She has had solo shows at Yale University School of Architecture, New Haven in 1996, the Maier Museum of Art at Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in Lynchburg in 2000, and at the Gallery of Photography in Dublin in 2001. In 2001 the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, exhibited a large retrospective of her work entitled “Silence Me “ and in 2005 Steidl published her awarded book “Dogs, Fires, Me”.

23 janvier – 7 avril 2013







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