LIZ DESCHENES

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— I had known about my maternal grandparents trip to Europe post WW2, but had never seen the corresponding images. My mother had described one of the images- of her mother on a hotel balcony in Bern, Switzerland. She was not disappointed by her memory of the image when the case of slides was finally found last year. Here is an excerpt from my grandfather’s diary of their hotel in Bern.

My grandfather took all of the photographs with a camera that he describes as a pony–according to his diary–their kids had given it to them for their trip. It was a type of camera that Kodak manufactured from 1949-1959. This portrait of my grandmother, as they head out of New York’s harbor, contains all the promise and expectations of their journey.


Liz Deschenes was born 1966, in Boston. She graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1988. She teaches at Bennington College and is a visiting artist at Columbia University’s School of Visual Arts and Yale University. She was the recipient of the 2014 Rappaport Prize. Deschenes has recently presented her work in a series of two-person exhibitions with Sol LeWitt at Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco (2017), Miguel Abreu Gallery and Paula Cooper Gallery, New York (both 2016). Her work was the subject of a 2016 survey exhibition at the ICA/Boston. In 2015, Deschenes presented solo exhibitions at MASS MoCA and the Walker Art Center, and was included in group exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Musée d’Art Moderne, the Centre Pompidou, and Extra City Kunsthal in Antwerp. Her work was featured in Sites of Reason: A Selection of Recent Acquisitions at the Museum of Modern Art in 2014, and in What Is a Photograph? (International Center for Photography, New York). In 2013, she exhibited new work in tandem solo exhibitions at Campoli Presti (Paris and London), and group exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art and the Fotomuseum Winterthur, among others. She was included in the 2012 Whitney Biennial and had a one-person exhibition at the Secession in Vienna and a two-person exhibition at The Art Institute of Chicago that she co-curated with Florian Pumhösl and Matthew Witkovsky. Previously, her work has also been exhibited at the CCS Bard Hessel Museum, the Aspen Art Museum, Klosterfelde (Berlin), the Walker Art Center, the Langen Foundation (Düsseldorf), the Tate Liverpool, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her work is held in the permanent collections of the Centre Pompidou, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Walker Art Center, and The Art Institute of Chicago, among others. Recent monographs dedicated to Deschenes’s work include Liz Deschenes, Boston: The Institute of Contemporary Art, 2016, and Liz Deschenes, Secession, Vienna: Secession, Berlin: Revolver, 2012.

www.miguelabreugallery.com