“Liz Deschenes is a photographer who, in the best modernist tradition, pushes against the basic terms by which photography is conventionally defined: instantaneity, veracity, fixity, or reproducibility,” writes curator and critic Matthew Witkovsky. Indeed, Deschenes uses durational photogramatic exposure to create unique, shifting surfaces that frequently function as sculptural or architectural rather than photographic objects. Deschenes stages the technical components of photography, both contemporary and anachronistic, while reflecting, compressing, and assessing the architectural settings that surround them, through her mirrors’ simultaneous repopulation and evacuation of these spaces.

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Liz Deschenes (b. 1966, Boston) lives and works in New York. She received a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1988. Institutional solo exhibitions of her work have been held at ICA Boston (2016); MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA (2015); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2014); and Secession, Vienna (2012). Major group exhibitions include Nineteenth-Century Photography Now, The Getty, Los Angeles (2024); Put It This Way: (Re)visions of the Hirshhorn Collection, Washington, DC (2023); Geneva Biennale: Sculpture Garden, Switzerland (2022); Une seconde d’éternité, Pinault Collection, Bourse de Commerce, Paris (2022); Shifting the Silence, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2022); True Pictures? Contemporary Photography from Canada and the USU, Sprengel Museum, Hanover (2021); The Inconstant World, ICA Los Angeles (2021); Material Meanings: Selection from the Constance R. Caplan Collection, Art Institute of Chicago, (2020); and Luogo e Segni, Pinault Collection – Punta della Dogana, Venice (2019), among others. Previously, her work has been exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York;  Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Extra City Kunsthal, Antwerp, Belgium;  Museum of Modern Art, New York; International Center for Photography, New York; Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland; CCS Bard Hessel Museum, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York; Aspen Art Museum; Tate Liverpool; and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. 


Deschenes’ work is held in the permanent collections of Centre Pompidou, Paris; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York;  Museum of Modern Art, New York;  Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Art Institute of Chicago; Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, DC; Israel Museum, Jerusalem; ICA/Boston; Pinault Collection; Aïshti Foundation, Beirut; CCS Bard Hessel Museum of Art, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York; Milwaukee Art Museum; Princeton University Art Museum, Paris; Corcoran Museum of Art, Washington, DC; Hirschhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC. In 2014, Deschenes was the recipient of the Rappaport Prize. Artist books and monographs include Registration (Paris: Three Star Books, 2022); Liz Deschenes (Boston: The Institute of Contemporary Art, 2016); and Liz Deschenes, Secession (Vienna: Secession, Berlin: Revolver, 2012).


Liz Deschenes
Bettina Spörr and Tina Lipsky eds.
Secession, 2012