Liz Deschenes, the 15th Rappaport Prize winner, is one of the foremost artists working in photography today. Described by the New York Times as “one of the quiet giants of post-conceptual photography,” Deschenes uses the direct and camera-less exposure of a photogram to challenge the notion of the photograph as a singular “decisive moment.”

Beginning with the 2009 series Tilt/Swing and continuing through 2014 with Stereographs #1 – 4 (Rise/Fall), Deschenes has created photograms by exposing photographic paper to ambient light from the outdoors and toning the prints with silver. The result is shimmering surfaces with shifting hues that continue to develop and darken over time. Mounted on panels, the photographs lay claim physically to the spaces in which they are installed. As such, these prints become objects and push the medium into sculptural territory. In this way, Deschenes questions the photograph as a reproducible, instantaneous, and fixed image.

 

What does the prize mean to you?

“I'm so grateful to the Rappaports for their generosity, and for what the grant from their foundation can do for my upcoming projects. It is so important to invest in an artist's beginnings, like this grant admirably does for artists in the region. Being from New England, I am dedicated to maintaining an active relationship with this community.”

 

Where is she now?

Born in Boston in 1966, Liz Deschenes lives and works in New York. Her work is in the collections of the Centre Pompidou, Paris; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and the Art Institute of Chicago. Deschenes’ work was featured in the 2012 Whitney Biennial. She has received awards from Anonymous Was A Woman and the Aaron Siskind Foundation. Deschenes has recently mounted exhibitions at Miguel Abreu Gallery, New York; Campoli Presti, London and Paris; and the Secession, Vienna, Austria. She has an upcoming exhibition at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, opening in November 2014. Deschenes received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island. Since 2006, she has been a member of the faculty of Bennington College in Bennington, Vermont.