The Bonni Benrubi Gallery is pleased to announce Lauren Semivan’s first solo show with the gallery. Observatory is a collection of haunting black and white photographs that explore this prolific young artist’s dream-like narratives utilizing still life, drawing, painting and performance.
Observatory is an ongoing body of work for Semivan that she began in 2009 and has developed into a subtle narrative where each photograph becomes a documentation of an imagined moment. Her images consist of staged sets and scenes designed entirely by the artist and photographed in the traditions of both still life and portraiture. Semivan commits each image to film, using an 8x10 view camera. "Within each image,” writes the artist, “ghosts of previous drawings create a sense of time suspended, evoking gesture, atmosphere and memory. Photographs allow me to access the extraordinary, to keep a record of dreams, and to employ the uses of the unknown."
Semivan’s photographs are the personal expression of a voice seemingly both wise and innocent. Calling to mind classic themes of memory and perception, the images are inviting, lush, and theatrical. Objects as diverse as books, furniture, boats, antique photographs, vegetation, and bones reoccur, as if clues to a larger story. The backdrops of Semivan’s images are abstract and gestural-- more contemporary than the objects they create a stage to and display a more playful voice to the traditional themes. The images express both a knowledge and wonder, past and possibility.
Semivan earned her Master of Fine Arts degree in photography from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, MI and Bachelor of Arts degree from Lawrence University in Appleton, WI. Her work has been exhibited internationally including the Xiang Sha Wan Art Palace, China, The Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, MA, Meltem Birey Gallery, Philadelphia, PA, Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, MI , Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, OH, Kinkead Contemporary, Culver City, CA, David Klein Gallery in Birmingham, MI and Daimler Chrysler Financial Services, Berlin, Germany. Semivan was also selected for Photolucida’s Critical Mass competition in 2009 and 2010. In 2008 she received the Griffin Award through the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, MA.