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Penumbra Artist Series: Photographic Lectures and Artist Talks


  • The Penumbra Foundation 36 East 30th Street New York, NY, 10016 United States (map)
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Penumbra Foundation is proud to host the 2019 Penumbra Artist Series. The series, organized by Leandro Villaro, brings to life the work of featured photographers and other notable guest artists and scholars, offering a unique opportunity to engage with them in an intimate setting as they discuss their work and process.

Artists Lectures: All lectures and other events are held at Penumbra Foundation at 7PM.
Tickets $12. Students Free.
Click here to buy your tickets!

  • Tuesday February 19th In Conversation: Lois Conner & Victoria Sambunaris

  • Tuesday March 5: Erica Baum

  • Tuesday March 12: Whitney Hubbs

  • Tuesday March 26: Kristine Potter

  • Friday April 5: Mona Kuhn

  • Tuesday April 16: Mary Ellen Bartley


Image © Untitled, ( Train crossing Great Salt Lake, UT ), 2016. (Click to see full image). Courtesy of Victoria Samburanis

Image © Untitled, (Train crossing Great Salt Lake, UT), 2016. (Click to see full image). Courtesy of Victoria Samburanis

Tuesday February 19th In Conversation: Lois Conner & Victoria Sambunaris | 7:00PM

About Victoria Sambunaris:
Each year, Victoria Sambunaris structures her life around a photographic journey in which she investigates specific aspects of the contemporary American landscape. Equipped with a 5x7 inch field camera, she crosses the country by car for several months per year. Her large-scale photographs document the continuing transformation of the American landscape with specific attention given to expanding political and industrial interventions, where nature and culture meet in unexpected, nuanced relationships.

Her ongoing series, “Taxonomy of a Landscape” pays special attention to the contradictory currents that she has thoroughly researched and which is clearly evidenced in her images of the landscape. There we often find the intrusion of industrial manufacturing onto the land as both a symbol and as the continuing use and need of natural materials being transformed and transferred nation-wide as central to future technological and consumer transactions. The central contradictions are imbedded in most of the images – the needs and habits of a society that, at the same time, is destroying the landscape and the resources it needs to subsist.

Sambunaris received her MFA from Yale University in 1999.  She is the recipient of the Aaron Siskind Foundation Individual Photographer’s Fellowship and the Anonymous Was a Woman Award.  “Taxonomy of a Landscape” debuted at the Albright Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, NY in 2011 and traveled throughout the country. Her first monograph “Taxonomy of a Landscape” was published by Radius Books in 2014. Sambunaris is represented by Yancey Richardson Gallery.


Image © Erica Baum. Methylene Blue, 2018. Courtesy of the artist.

Image © Erica Baum. Methylene Blue, 2018. Courtesy of the artist.

Tuesday March 5: Erica Baum | 7:00PM

About Erica Baum:
Erica Baum
(b. 1961, New York) has become internationally known for
her photographic work delving into and mining found sources of text and image. Recent museum and public exhibitions include Anna Atkins Refracted: Contemporary Works, The New York Public Library, The Arcades: Contemporary Art and Walter Benjamin, The Jewish Museum, New York, 2017; Photo-Poetics:
An Anthology, Kunsthalle Berlin and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; Reconstructions: Recent Photographs and Video from the Met Collection, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Reloaded - Concrete Trends, Weserburg Museum of Modern Art, Bremen, Germany; After Dark, Mamco, Geneva, all 2015. Recent solo and two-person exhibitions include A Long Dress, Bureau, New York (Jan. 2019) Erica Baum Naked Eye Nature Morte, Galerie Crèvecouer, Paris, France Until It Makes Sense, Erica Baum & Ajit Chauhan, SVIT, Prague, Czech Republic, 2017; AAa:Quien,
Erica Baum & Libby Rothfeld, Bureau, New York, 2017; The Following Information, Bureau, New York, 2016; Stanzas, Galerie Crevecoeur, Paris, 2015; The Paper Nautilus, Bureau, New York, 2014; Erica Baum, Kunstverein Langenhagen, Langenhagen, Germany, 2013; Erica Baum: Blanks/Naked Eye Anthology, Melas Papadapoulos, Athens, 2013; and Naked Eye Anthology, Bureau, New York, 2012. Selected biennials include; AGORA 4th Athens Biennale, Athens, 2013 and the 30th Bienal de São Paulo: The Imminence
of Poetics, São Paulo, Brazil, 2012. Her work is held in the public collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Centre National des Arts Plastiques, Paris; FRAC Ile de France, Paris; and the Yale Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut.


Image © Whitney Hubbs. Courtesy of the artist.

Image © Whitney Hubbs. Courtesy of the artist.

Tuesday March 12: Whitney Hubbs | 7:00PM

About Whitney Hubbs:
Born and raised in Southern California with a brief stint in Portland, Oregon, Whitney Hubbs was involved in the punk rock riot grrrl community from a young age, where she made fanzines, organized art shows, participated in performances and worked as an activist. She later received her BFA from the California College of Arts in 2005 and an MFA at UCLA in 2009. She is an Assistant Professor of Photography at Alfred University. Hubbs is currently represented by M+B Gallery in Los Angeles and Situations Gallery in New York City. She currently lives in New York state.

Hubbs is an Assistant Professor at Alfred University and she received her BFA from CCA and her MFA from UCLA.


Image © Kristine Potter. Courtesy of the artist.

Image © Kristine Potter. Courtesy of the artist.

Tuesday March 26: Kristine Potter | 7:00PM

About Kristine Potter:
Kristine Potter is a photographer currently based in Nashville, Tennessee and a 2018 Guggenheim Fellow. She has earned a BA in Art History and BFA in Photography from the University of Georgia and received a MFA in Photography from Yale University in 2005.  Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at such spaces as: The Georgia Museum of Art, The Neuberger Museum of Art, Daniel Cooney Fine Art, Equinom Gallery in San Francisco, 601 Art Space, and The Girls Club Foundation. Potter’s work is in numerous public and private collections including at the Georgia Museum of Art, and has been published in Contact Sheet, Paper Journal, California Sunday Magazine, The Photobook Review, the catalog “Re-Framing the Feminine,” and in a single signature book by Roman Nvmerials Press. Her first monograph “Manifest”was published by TBW Books in 2018.


Image © Mona Kuhn. From the book:  She Disappeared into Complete Silence.  Courtesy of the artist.

Image © Mona Kuhn. From the book: She Disappeared into Complete Silence. Courtesy of the artist.

Friday April 5: Mona Kuhn | 7:00PM

About Mona Kuhn:
Mona Kuhn is best known for her large-scale photographs of the human form.  Her approach is unusual in that she develops close relationships with her subjects, resulting in images of remarkable intimacy, and creating the effect of people naked but comfortable in their own skin.  In addition, Kuhn's playful combination of visual strategies, such as translucency explores our connectedness with the environment.  A sublime sense of comfort and intelligence permeates her works, showing the human body in its most natural state while simultaneously re-envisioning the nude as a contemporary canon of art. Kuhn was born in São Paulo, Brazil, in 1969, of German descent.  In 1989, Kuhn moved to the US and earned her BA from The Ohio State University, before furthering her studies at the San Francisco Art Institute.  She is currently and independent scholar at The Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles.  Mona Kuhn’s first monograph, Photographs, was debuted by Steidl in 2004; followed by Evidence (2007), Native (2010), Bordeaux Series (2011), and Private (2014).  Mona's upcoming books titled Bushes and Succulents (Stanley Barker Books) and She Disappeared into Complete Silence (Steidl) are being released this Fall 2018, during Paris Photo at the Grand Palais, Paris.  Occasionally, Mona teaches at UCLA and the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.Mona Kuhn’s work is in private and public collections worldwide, including The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Hammer Museum, Perez Art Museum Miami, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Kiyosato Museum in Japan.  Kuhn's work has been exhibited at The Louvre Museum and Le Bal in Paris; The Whitechapel Gallery and Royal Academy of Arts in London; Musée de l’Elysée in Switzerland; Leopold Museum in Vienna, and Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney. Mona Kuhn lives and works in Los Angeles.


Mary Ellen Bartley is known for her photographs exploring the tactile and formal qualities of the printed book and its potential for abstraction.  She has exhibited in numerous institutions including The Queens Museum, The Walker Art Center, Houston Center for Photography, Parrish Art Museum, and The Watermill Center.  One aspect of her practice is working in unique libraries and archives where she responds to collections and their habitats developing projects over time spent with them. Bartley was a Watermill Center 2015 Artist in Residence and worked with the library there creating the installation and book Reading Robert Wilson. In 2017 she created an installation Library Copies at The Queens Museum working with Andrew Beccone’s Reanimation Library. Her series Reading Grey Gardens made at the legendary East Hampton estate was exhibited at The Drawing Room Gallery last fall. Bartley’s current project is from her work with the library and music archives at The Pollock Krasner House.

Tuesday April 16: Mary Ellen Bartley | 7:00PM

About Mary Ellen Bartley:
Mary Ellen Bartley is known for her photographs exploring the tactile and formal qualities of the printed book and its potential for abstraction.

She has exhibited in numerous institutions including The Queens Museum, The Walker Art Center, Houston Center for Photography, Parrish Art Museum, and The Watermill Center.

One aspect of her practice is working in unique libraries and archives where she responds to collections and their habitats developing projects over time spent with them. Bartley was a Watermill Center 2015 Artist in Residence and worked with the library there creating the installation and book Reading Robert Wilson. In 2017 she created an installation Library Copies at The Queens Museum working with Andrew Beccone’s Reanimation Library. Her series Reading Grey Gardens made at the legendary East Hampton estate was exhibited at The Drawing Room Gallery last fall. Bartley’s current project is from her work with the library and music archives at The Pollock Krasner House.


About The Penumbra Foundation:
The Penumbra Foundation is a non-profit photographic arts and education organization devoted to offering a complete curriculum from the inception of photography in 1839 to the present digital age. If photography is something that interests you, a visit to the Penumbra Foundation will teach you mote in a short time than anywhere else. The foundation offers free tours, where you can find out more about their efforts, their workshops, and even schedule a time to have a Tintype portrait created in their in house TinType Studio!