Thames & Hudson, 332 Pages
Art Historical Perspective by Donald Kuspit
For the last twenty- five years Lynn Stern has been photographing skulls, both human and animal, some clearly recognizable and some highly abstract. Skull presents the resulting eight series— several of which have never been seen and some not previously seen in their entirety. “[While] Clement Greenberg famously insisted on literal flatness as the gist of modernist painting…Stern’s skull projects into space, inhabits space, creates space, rather than flattens it….We seem able to reach out, grab, and hold her imagery in our hands – an illusion created by a brilliant pictorial illusion, showing the evocative power and nuanced appeal of her complex art.” — Donald Kuspit
Fundación Cristóbal Gabarrón/Center for Creative Photography,
2009, D.A.P. 2010, 160 Pages; Essays by Donald Kuspit, Britt Salvesen, Lynn Stern & George Stolz
Running counter to prevailing artistic trends, Lynn Stern's work ignores popular culture in favor of her own austere internal world. She works in series, exclusively in black and white and exclusively in natural, indirect light; the results are characterized by a consistent luminosity that is at least as important as her ostensible subject matter. “Rarely in any creative oeuvre,” writes Britt Salvesen, “does each individual element so holistically contain the essential characteristics of the total production.” Exploring, in part, the relationship between photography and painting, Frozen Mystery accompanies a major retrospective of Stern’s work at the Museo Funcación Cristóbal Gabarrón in Valladolid, Spain.
QCC Art Gallery, 2006, 48 Pages
Essay by Nancy E. Green
In Veiled Still Lifes, Stern juxtaposes black vases with a scrim of translucent black fabric, creating images that are infused with a darkly radiant light. The space is ambiguous — the veil seems to be neither in front nor behind, but part of the vases — and the weave of the fabric gives these mysterious photographs a conte crayon-like texture.
Nazraeli Press, 2000, 98 Pages
Essay by Donald Kuspit
The Animus series extends Stern’s long involvement with skull imagery. These images portray the ever-changing shapes of ambiguous animal/human skulls, transforming them into luminous forces — sometimes threatening, sometimes benign, but always dramatic. The use of a split-toning process intensifies the images’ eerie incandescence and heightens their feeling of spatial disorientation. Animus also reproduces work from earlier series.
Aperture, 1995, 64 Pages
Essay by Donald Kuspit
Initially shocking, the skull and death mask images in Dispossession are also mysteriously inviting, due to their vibrant luminosity and the photographer's powerful identification with her subject. This monograph reproduces additional work of Stern’s, described by A.D. Coleman as “deeply sensual yet rigorously formal,...These images are not about what they are of…. They raise this question: What is the relationship in photography between literal and metaphorical content…?” — Highly Commended Book, 1995 Ernst Haas Awards
Hudson Hills Press, 1988
Essay by Diane Wakoski; Forward by Paul Caponigro
“Each photograph in Unveilings seems a portrait carefully built with the beauty of a light unique to the silver print … Inclined to communion through her work, Stern stays ever in touch with that rare realm of emotion in a state of respect and trust. She has yielded to her subjects and has, thereby, been allowed profound access to them.” —Paul Caponigro, from the Introduction