by Cory Hutchinson, November 2019
Toward the Invisible, a spanning survey of prints and publications by and of Stern, catches the root light. Clustered by series, the exhibition includes prints from Animus, Landscapes, Nudes, Hands, Flowers, Interior Light, and Stern’s most obsessive subject, Skulls. Produced from gelatin silver film, each piece emanates an intentional glow from within and for itself. In the case of Spectator 14-70, a metallic frame pursues this effect beyond the boundaries of the print. The edge of Stern’s photographs is that they aspire not to reproduce what is seen by the eye or camera lens, but by the artist’s fantasy of frame.
In the supplementary essay “WHAT’S NOT THERE” published in 2009, Stern echoes and amends photographer Edward Weston’s intention to “photograph a rock, have it look exactly like a rock, yet be more than a rock” to also “have it feel like a rock.” With this gesture, she moves to animate the subjects in her work through the ringlet OOO of object-oriented ontology.
"...As with the Cottingley Fairy Hoax of the early 20th century, photography in this work is not 'taken' literally. And, like the fairy-seeing cousins in that great incident, Lynn Stern aspires to capture what is witnessed in the mind, which is ultimately some combination of the experienced, remembered, and dreamed. The photos in this exhibition on the whole are at once darkly divine and delightfully nightmarish and felt, if not fully seen, intuitively in the core." Download Full Review >