Lynn Geesaman: Into the Garden

September 24 - November 12, 2022

“I am fascinated with the swirling of time, as it links the present to the past, connecting the adult world to the dreams of a child.  I am fascinated with qualities of photographic deception that can reveal vestiges of classical archetypes…”

We are pleased to have the opportunity to exhibit the work of Lynn Geesaman who revived the historical approach of Pictorialism to a contemporary vision and pushed that approach even further than her predecessors to create beautiful and dynamic imagery.  

“My subjects are found in European gardens, parks, and arboreal landscapes, where nature is shaped and controlled by aesthetic intent. I look for order, variously imposed, in marginally natural settings, for perspectives concealed within the obvious design. The composition of my photographs favors a representation that is both abstract and depictive, wherein strong geometries overlay detail. My interest lies in a transformative process, which uses photography to idealize rather than to document. These photographs are about culturally known landscapes, looked at in a particular way.”

Lynn Geesaman
Preface, Poetics of Place; Umbrage/Aperture 1998

At the turn of the 20th Century, photography was still in the midst of defending itself as an art form.  A major advance in this discussion was the formation of a group of like-minded photographers led by Alfred Stieglitz.  Stieglitz was disappointed with the status of photography in the United States compared with its elevation throughout Europe.  This group, which Stieglitz amassed, who were bound together in the belief that photography is a distinct art form, became known as the Photo-Secession.  In their initial manifesto, drafted by Alfred Stieglitz, he wrote,

“Its aim is loosely to hold together those Americans devoted to Pictorial photography in their endeavor to compel its recognition, not as the handmaiden of Art, but as a distinctive medium of individual expression.”

Stieglitz’s mention of Pictorial photography was the group’s approach to image making.  The pictorial effect, which is the softening of sharp lines, and particularly the suppression of details to obtain an impression, was patterned after the styles of painting, drawing and printmaking of the artists who adhered to the tenets of the Barbizon School. The Pictorial Movement felt to fully experience nature, one must look rather than copy and feel rather than analyze. This philosophy was adopted by many of the Photo-Secessionists.

Lynn Geesaman, a contemporary photographer, has re-introduced the style and techniques of the pioneering 19th and 20th-century Pictorial photographers.  Focusing on gardens and arboretums throughout Europe and America, Geesaman’s photographs are impeccably composed compositions, which interpret and feel the landscape rather than copy or document it.  They open our eyes and mind to a new way of understanding the landscape and change the way we will view it forever more.

Lynn Geesaman’s Artistic Intent is transformative in ways that her predecessors in the Photo-Secession would have applauded. Surely she would have been invited to join them!

On February 29th, 2020 the photography community lost a friend. The artist Lynn Geesaman passed away after living at home with dementia for the past 15 years.  She was 81. We were honored to be among the galleries that represented her but more importantly, Lynn and her husband Don were long-time friends. Our visits with them were always filled with lively discussions about art and technique. We treasured these visits.

Scheinbaum & Russek is pleased to present this exhibition of Lynn’s beautiful photographs.  For us, it is a tribute to her and a celebration of her life and our years of friendship.  Her estate holds a limited number of her signed prints and we are grateful to her family for collaborating with us on this exhibition.

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