The Pioneering Works of a Leading Figure in Contemporary Art Photography is now on Display at Galerie XII’s New Santa Monica Gallery
Galerie XII Los Angeles (www.galeriexii.com) recently debuted a solo exhibition of Mona Kuhn: Works, a stunning career retrospective of one of the most respected and widely exhibited contemporary art photographers at work in the world today. The exhibition, which runs through May 29, 2021, coincides with the launch of Mona Kuhn’s first monograph, “Works” (Thames&Hudson), an essential volume for anyone with an interest in the human form in contemporary art, which was just released in the US. The reader is provided with invaluable insights into Kuhn’s creative process and the ways in which she works with her subjects and settings, and achieves the visual signature of her imagery.
The solo exhibition, showcasing her distinct aesthetic is at their new gallery location at Bergamot Station Arts Center (2525 Michigan Ave. Suite B2, Santa Monica, CA 90404), which features four exhibition spaces and is open during COVID for limited-capacity viewings and private appointments.
Founded by Valerie-Anne Giscard d’Estaing, the daughter of former French President Valery Giscard d’Estaing, Galerie XII LA’s curatorial goal is to showcase the pioneering works of photographic artists from Europe and Asia – many of whom have not shown their work on the West Coast before – to the Los Angeles community. Valerie-Anne says,
“We have been talking about an exhibition for Mona in LA for some time and now seems like the perfect moment. In conjunction with the publication of the magnificent book produced by Thames & Hudson, we are showing images spanning her career. In this very strange year when most of us have been going through difficult times, Kuhn’s works bring us a moment of balance, a sense of freedom and joy in contemplating beauty for which I cannot thank her enough.”
Mona Kuhn (b.1969, Brazil) lives and works in Los Angeles and is currently an independent scholar at the Getty Research Institute. Her work is included in major institutions around the world. Her previous series-based monographs include Mona Kuhn: Photographs, Bordeaux Series, Native, Private, Evidence, She Disappeared into Complete Silence (all by Steidl), Bushes and Succulents (by Stanley/Barker) and Study (by TBW books).
Chronicling a quarter century of work, the exhibition is Kuhn’s first retrospective with an underlying theme of humanity’s longing for spiritual connection and solidarity. “Works” features images from throughout Kuhn’s career, including some of the best works from each of her series along with previously unseen work, all of which triumphantly explore her unique expression of the strength and beauty of the female spirit.
Kuhn discovered the power of photography as a young girl in Brazil after she received a Kodak Pocket Instamatic camera for her 12th birthday. She was drawn to figurative work, particularly painters using figurative photography to explore compelling topics and it wasn’t long before she embarked on her first study of the body. Mona Kuhn has since become best known for her large-scale photographs of the human form. She is renowned for developing close relationships with her subjects, resulting in images of remarkable intimacy. Her use of playful visual strategies reveals glimpses into the psyche as it is expressed through the human form, ultimately reinterpreting the nude in the canon of contemporary art.