As the artist put it, “Words and pictures by nature don’t agree. There is no good fit. I can’t say what I do or have done, but I know what I want, what I try to do. I can tell how I aim. I can’t say how I land.
When I began, I hated what I couldn’t control—all the annoying things I couldn’t see in the moment of taking a photograph, the crazy stuff that jumps into the edges of pictures. Now I like that part the best.
When someone first looks at a photograph they automatically wonder, ‘What is it?’ I want a photograph that easily answers that question. I want to be extremely obvious; obfuscation is bad grammar. Hopefully, the two-dimensional arrangements of shapes on the paper will be as lively and interesting as the three-dimensional world trapped inside the photograph. There should also be something there you haven’t seen before. Something should happen in the act of looking.
I want a photograph that makes me aware of what is physically in front of me, a photograph that gives me the pleasure of getting lost. It is like asking yourself a joke: not really knowing what the answer is, giving up, and then seeing the punch line and really laughing.”
Photographer Judy Linn was born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1947, and received her BFA from Pratt Institute, New York, in 1969. She has had solo shows at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center (2008), Presentation House Gallery, Vancouver (2007), White Columns, New York (2005), and the Fotomuseum, Antwerp (2004), and her work has been included in numerous group exhibitions including “Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 to the Present” at the Brooklyn Museum (2009), “Strange Messenger” at the Musuem Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2004), the 1995 Whitney Biennial, and “From the Collection of Sam Wagstaff” at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC (1978). Linn’s photographs are in the collections of the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Getty Collection, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the International Center of Photography. She is the recipient of an Arts and Letters Award in Art from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award in Photography, a Peter S. Reed Foundation grant, and an Anonymous Was a Woman grant. Patti Smith 1969-1976, photographs by Judy Linn was published by Abrams in 2011. Judy Linn lives and works in the Hudson Valley. She began exhibiting with Feature Inc. in 1989 and this is her seventh one-person exhibition with the gallery.