Frames of Reference offers the first opportunity to view all of Lucinda Devlin’s photographic series in a single volume. The nine thematic series reveal a remarkably consistent approach from the 1970s to the present; from her early work as an exponent of New Color photography to her focus on a wide variety of interiors, before expanding her scope in the 2000s to include exterior environments and landscapes. No people appear in these images, yet their influence is everywhere.
Following the example of Walker Evans, Devlin is guided by specific phenomena of American culture and its developments, which she observes with a critical eye—from the early series “Pleasure Ground,” offering glimpses into spaces of entertainment and diversion (discos, strip bars, fantasy hotels), to later images of treatment rooms, operating theaters, autopsy rooms, and execution chambers in American prisons in “The Omega Suites.” In more recent works that are more subtle yet no less nuanced, Devlin examines the cultivation and management of landscapes in Indiana, the Midwest, the Carolinas and Arizona, as well as the changes in Utah’s salt flats and Great Salt Lake. An enduring source of contemplation is the vast expanses of Lake Huron, to which she dedicated “Lake Pictures” between 2010 and 2019.
“Devlin’s approach to photography involves a sharp eye for perspective and lines that lead the eye where she wants it to go, bringing her viewer’s attention to humorous or baffling subtleties.” – Rebecca Rafferty
Co-published with Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur, Cologne