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Susan Lipper

Higher Pictures is pleased to present Susan Lipper’s Domesticated Land, her third show with the gallery. Preceded by Grapevine (1988−92) and trip (1993−99) and following a thirteen-year hiatus, Domesticated Land – begun in 2012 and continuing into the present day – brings Lipper’s familiar feminist, utopian-seeker persona further West into the California desert.

Her meticulously composed black-and-white images draw on a long history of photography of the American West to challenge the viewer’s reading of these pictures. She asks us to train our attentions on the narratives created by the selective framing of the images rather than on the real world ostensibly contained within them.

Lipper further subverts tradition with her self-imposed mission to photograph future events in the present and by using a series of still images to suggest a filmic narrative. This construction points to the work’s nature as documentary fiction, or what the artist has described as a present-tense, dystopian fantasy.

In her project’s monograph of the same name, Lipper has included texts written by various contemporary and historic women-voices that function like a Greek chorus. The story obliquely unfolds as the photographer’s projected community struggles to maintain its freedom in a distant society. Their fate is left open-ended, but the images suggest a call for revolution on the part of the artist, who intuits that an alchemical change must happen.

Susan Lipper (b. 1953, New York City) earned her MFA in photography from Yale University in 1983.Domesticated Land, her most recent monograph, was published by MACK in 2018. Recent group exhibitions include You Can’t Win: Jack Black’s America, Fortnight Institute, New York, NY (2019), Out Of Line, September Gallery, Hudson, NY (2018) and Slouching Towards Bethlehem, IDA SCHMID, Brooklyn, NY (2016). Her work is held in collections of numerous institutions, including the Center for Creative Photography, Tucson; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship (2015). Lipper lives and works in New York City.


Exhibition Event: Artist Discussion and Book Signing

Date: Saturday, September 21, 2019 from 4 – 6 pm

Please join us for a discussion with Susan Lipper and Marina Chao a Curator at the International Center of Photography. After the discussion Susan will sign copies of her recent monograph Domesticated Land published by MACK, 2018.


For more information please contact Michael McFadden at 212-249-6100.