Lynne Cohen

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Lynne Cohen
Lynne Cohen.jpg
Born(1944-07-03)July 3, 1944
DiedMay 12, 2014(2014-05-12) (aged 69)
EducationUniversity of Wisconsin
Known forPhotographer
AwardsGovernor General's Award
Scotiabank Photography Award

Lynne Cohen (July 3, 1944 – May 12, 2014) was an American-Canadian photographer.[1]


Born in Racine, Wisconsin, Cohen was educated in printmaking and sculpture at the University of Wisconsin,[2] Madison, Wisconsin, and in Ann Arbor and Eastern Michigan University,[1] Ypsilanti, Michigan. She studied for a year at the Slade School of Fine Art in London, England.[1]

Cohen lived and worked in Canada beginning in 1973, initially in Ottawa, and in Montreal from 2005 until 2014.

She taught at several institutions, primarily Eastern Michigan University (1968-1973), Algonquin College (1973-1975), and the University of Ottawa (1974-2005).

Cohen died of lung cancer at the age of 69 on May 12, 2014,[3] in the palliative care unit at McGill University Health Centre[4] in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. In accordance with her personal wishes, no funeral service was held.[5]


Cohen was known for her photographs of empty institutional interiors: living rooms, public halls, retirement homes, laboratories, offices, showrooms, shooting ranges, factories, spas, and military installations. Despite this interest in living and working spaces, Cohen's photographs are usually devoid of human presence.[6] She photographed using an 8 x 10" view camera, allowing her to capture great detail, and create very large prints beginning in the mid-eighties. Her work has been published in catalogues such as Occupied Territory (1987) and No Man's Land (2001).[7] In one of her last monographs, Cohen described a major goal in her work, a "long-standing preoccupation with formal, intellectual and ideological camouflage."[8]


Cohen's work has been featured in well over 100 solo exhibitions, as well as numerous two- and three-person exhibitions.

Solo exhibitions of her work have been held in Canada at the National Gallery of Canada; McCord Museum, Montreal; Design Exchange, Toronto; Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal; and Presentation House Gallery, Vancouver; as well as internationally at the Museum für Gestaltung, Zurich; Chinati Foundation, Marfa, Texas; FRAC, Limousin, Limoges; Museum voor Fotografie, Antwerp; Centro de Fotografía, Salamanca; Musée de l'Elysée, Lausanne; Image/Imatge, Orthez, France; Museum für Photographie, Braunschweig; Fototeca, Havana; Le Point du Jour, Cherbourg-Octeville; Fundació Mapfre, Madrid, Córdoba and Bilbao, Museum of Contemporary Art, UMass, Amherst. Since her death, other substantial shows of her work have been mounted at Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, Ontario, Winnipeg Art Gallery[9], Ottawa Art Gallery, Museo Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona, and the Burnaby Art Gallery[10].


Cohen was the recipient of numerous awards and prizes for her work. In 2005, Cohen was the recipient of the Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts.[2] In 2011, she was the recipient of the inaugural Scotiabank Photography Award.[11]

Public Collections[edit]

Cohen's work is represented in the collections of over 50 public institutions. In Canada these include the National Gallery of Canada; the Art Museum at the University of Toronto; Art Gallery of Ontario; Canada Council Art Bank; Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal; Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec; Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal; and the Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff. Internationally, her work is held in the collections of the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris; Kunsthaus Zurich; Center for Creative Photography, Tucson; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Museo Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona; George Eastman Museum, Rochester, New York; Museum Folkwang, Essen; the Princeton University Art Museum; and the Tate Modern, amongst others.


  1. ^ a b c "Lynne Cohen". National Gallery of Canada. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
  2. ^ a b The Canada Council for the Arts - Lynne Cohen Accessed March 10, 2012. archived at Archived June 14, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Canadian Photographer Lynne Cohen Dies at 69". Canadian Art. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  4. ^ Ottawa Citizen More Ottawa Citizen. "Lynne Cohen 1944-2014: Artist's eyes were wide-open to the world - Ottawa Citizen". Ottawa Citizen.
  5. ^ "Canadian Photographer Lynne Cohen Dies at 69". Canadian Art.
  6. ^ Bogardi, Georges (September 2002). "No Man's Land". Canadian Art. 19 (3): 84. Her photographs of interiors—domestic spaces in her early career, mostly institutional spaces in the last two decades or so—are famous for never depicting the people who inhabit them.
  7. ^ Lynne Cohen on artnet Accessed March 10, 2012.
  8. ^ Cohen, Lynne (2005). Camouflage. Cherbourg: Point du jour. ISBN 2912132444. OCLC 65405255.
  9. ^ "Upcoming | Winnipeg Art Gallery". Retrieved 2019-03-24.
  10. ^ "Lynne Cohen: These Walls". Retrieved 2019-03-24.
  11. ^ "Lynne Cohen Wins $50, 000 Scotiabank Phoo Prize". Globe and Mail.


External links[edit]

  1. ^ De Duve, Thierry (1990). Lynne Cohen. Bruxelles: Ed. Galerie Gokelaere & Janssen. OCLC 416882711.