Kate Cordsen

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Kate Cordsen
Photographer Kate Cordsen
Born Kathleen Plante
Great Falls, Virginia
Nationality American
Known for Photography

Kate Cordsen (born 1964, Great Falls, Virginia) is an American photographer and contemporary artist. Cordsen lives in New York City and maintains a studio in Essex, Connecticut. She received a BA in the history of art and East Asian Studies from Washington and Lee University (founded 1749) where she was the first woman in the university’s history to receive an undergraduate degree.[1] Cordsen has an MPP from Georgetown University and studied the history of art at Harvard University and photography at the International Center of Photography.

Her landscapes are, at first glance, simply meditative, but reveal impassioned and dramatic depths upon second and third looks.[2]

Cordsen is known for her large minimalist landscapes… they have a transcendent almost mystical quality. The overall effect is quiet and elegant.[3]

The natural world… is transformed by Cordsen’s astonishing eye.[4]

There is a tension between the specific and the abstract in her photos that draws one in.[5]

Cordsen produces ethereal and ambiguous[6] images that evoke ideas of fragmented memories and temporality. Her compositions are often a calculated reduction to the most elemental forms. To achieve her muted, painterly images Cordsen experiments widely within the photographic medium. She often combines 19th century chemical methods with traditional film and digital technologies. [7] Her landscapes are a hybrid study of both photography and painting. The final result is that her pieces possess a certain aesthetic that seems attainable only through the act of painting. [8]

Cordsen's success has much to do with her instincts in emotional expression.[2]

Cordsen's spare aesthetic evolved from years living in Asia. Kate Cordsen says she is influenced most by Japanese wood block prints, Giorgio Morandi, James Abbott McNeil Whistler, Agnes Martin, and Edward Steichen.


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Ravine IX (2013) - Chromogenic print
Indigo IV (2014) - Gum bichromate print