Karine Laval

France 1971

Photography, Video Art


Karine Laval
Karine Laval
May 12, 2016
Alias of Jasmina Sevic, a researcher and author for Widewalls. She graduated from the Faculty of Political Science (Department for Journalism) in Belgrade in 2013.

Water, the element that builds up the life, has been a source of great inspiration for numerous creatives over centuries. Oceans, lakes, rivers, waterfalls, water parks and wet rainy roads have always been interesting subjects for painters, photographers, and even sculptors. Fascinated by sunlight dancing on the undulating surface of swimming pool water, Brooklyn-based French artist Karine Laval has spent a large part of her career creating amazing shimmering pool scapes. Sophisticated and seductive, her work creates a bridge between real and imaginary, between ordinary reality and a more surreal and dreamlike universe.

Academic Background

Born in 1971 in Meudon-La-Foret, the southwestern suburbs of Paris, Karine Laval obtained her degree in communication and Information from the CELSA (University of La Sorbonne Paris IV) in 1992 , and in journalism from the University of ASSAS, one year later. In 1997, she relocated to New York City where she completed her education with photography and design courses at the Cooper Union, SVA and the New School of New York. Today, Laval is widely known for combining environmental and architectural photography with portraiture, often inspired by her travels to Cuba, Argentina, Norway and France where she spent a plenty of time between 2002 and 2006.

Karine Laval - Untitled #09, Cascais, Portugal, 2002 (Left) / Untitled #16, Annecy, France, 2002 (Right)
Karine Laval – Untitled #09, Cascais, Portugal, 2002 (Left) / Untitled #16, Annecy, France, 2002 (Right)

The Art of Karine Laval

Often compared with such names as William Eggleston and Henri Cartier-Bresson for her use of color to express mood and her pursuit of spontaneity, she explores how far she can push her chosen medium. Working in photography and video, Laval creates bright, positive, and sometimes nostalgic works that remind viewers that beauty can be found in the most mundane. She explores notions of space, memory, the human figure, and our relationship with the environment, with a particular focus on water and swimming pools, which are representative of our culture and lifestyle. She has been attracted to the architectural aspect of the pools, which combine the natural with the artificial in a manmade environment.

Karine Laval - Heterotopia 07, 2014 (Left) / Heterotopia 15, 2014 (Right)
Karine Laval – Heterotopia 07, 2014 (Left) / Heterotopia 15, 2014 (Right)

Moving towards Abstraction

Laval’s recent work stays true to her chosen subject matter, but move further toward distortion, with a strong and vibrant sense of movement and dramatic lighting and coloring. The results are ethereal and painterly, and often nearly abstract. Her photographs were featured in many magazines, including Elle, The New Yorker, and the New York Times Magazine. Her work has been widely exhibited in individual and collective shows throughout the US, and internationally at such venues as the Palm Springs Art Museum, Bonni Benrubi Gallery, New York, Sorlandet Art Museum, Kristiansand, Norway, and the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, among others.

Karine Laval lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

Featured image: Karine Laval – portrait
All images courtesy of the artist

YearExhibitions TitleMuseum/GallerySolo/Group
2016Artificial by NatureBonni Benrubi Gallery, New York, USASolo
2016Artist’s Windows at Hermes: Heterotopia by Karine LavalHermes, New York, USASolo
2015Anatomy of Desire, multimedia installationTheaterlab, New York, USASolo
2015Paris Photo at the Grand PalaisBenrubi Gallery, Paris, FranceGroup
2015The AIPAD Photography Show at Park Avenue ArmoryBenrubi Gallery, New York, USAGroup
2015ObsessionsMaison Particuliere, Brussels, BelgiumGroup
2015Radical ColorNewspace Center for Photography, Portland, USA Group
2014Select 2014Washington Projects for the Arts, Artisphere, Arlington, VAGroup
2014State of Flux, Jury’s Prize, ASVOFF International Film FestivalTiempo di Adriano, Rome, ItalyGroup
2014State of Flux II, Official Selection International Film Festival ASVOFF7Centre Pompidou, Paris, FranceGroup
2014The Pool and Poolscapes, Lunar Photo FestivalNational Palace Museum, Seoul, KoreaGroup
2013Altered StatesBonni Benrubi Gallery, New York, USASolo
2013PopRally: Abstract CurrentsMuseum of Modern Art, MoMA, New York, USAGroup
2012Reverse - John Cage’s Silence RemixNew York Center for Art and Media Studies, NYCAMS, New York, USASolo
201231 Women in Art PhotographyHumble Art Foundation at Hasted Kraeutler Gallery, New York, USAGroup
2012The Photography Show, AIPADThe Armory, New York, USAGroup
2011Karine LavalPeter Marino Architect, New York, USASolo
2011Inferno, video installationNP Contemporary Art Center, New York, USASolo
2011Mise en AbymeBonni Benrubi Gallery, New York, USASolo
2011Inferno, ASVOFF International Film FestivalCentre Pompidou, Paris, FranceGroup
2011Analog to Digital – Looking Forward: Ten Artists to WatchLos Angeles Center for Digital Art, LACDAGroup
2011B-B-B-BADAnna Kustera Gallery, New York, USAGroup
2011Inferno, public art/video projectionThe Big Screen Project, New York, USAGroup
2011SummertimeRobin Rice Gallery, New York, USAGroup
2011PoolscapesPalm Springs Art Museum, Palm Spring Photo FestivalGroup
2010Voyeurvideo installation, Art Basel Miami, USAGroup
2010Paris Photo 2010Carrousel du Louvre, Paris, FranceGroup
2010Summer PlaceBonni Benrubi Gallery, New York, USAGroup
2010Summertime Salon 2010Robin Rice Gallery, New York, USAGroup
2010UpstairsKathryn Markel Fine Arts, Bridgehampton, USAGroup
2009Au Feminin – Women Photographing Women 1849-2009Centre Culturel Calouste Gulbenkian, Paris, FranceGroup
2009Bova Images Festival – International Festival of New ImagesBova, ItalyGroup
2008LeisureTomas Maier Gallery, Miami, USASolo
2008New Work by Karine LavalCrane Kalman Gallery, Brighton, UKSolo
2008Don de Vie, The Month of PhotographyChapelle Salpetriere, Paris, FanceGroup
2008The Good LifeYancey Richardson Gallery, New York, USAGroup
2008Gen Art and Nokia’s Art in MotionRiver East Arts Center, Chicago, USAGroup
2008Eclectica IIICrane Kalman Gallery, Brighton, UKGroup
2007LeisureBonni Benrubi gallery, New York, USASolo
2007Paris Photo 2007Carroussel du Louvre, Paris, FranceGroup
2007Water – A Journey To Quiet ContemplationSahlman Helwaser Art Gallery, New York, USAGroup
2007My Favorite Moleskine ExhibitionPageone, SingaporeGroup
2007UnknownBonni Benrubi gallery, New York, USAGroup
2007Eclectica IICrane Kalman gallery, Brighton, UKGroup
2006The PoolCrane Kalman Gallery, Brighton, UKSolo
2006Paris PhotoParis, FranceGroup
2006Magenta’s Emerging Photographers 2006 Flash ForwardLennox Contemporary, Toronto, CanadaGroup
2006My Favorite Moleskine ExhibitionLog On and Citysuper, Hong Kong, ChinaGroup
2006The BeachZabriskie gallery, New York, USAGroup
2005The PoolNext Door galleria, Rome, ItalySolo
2005Histoires d’EauM+B Gallery, Los Angeles, USASolo
2005The PoolLodz Foto Festiwal, Lodz, PolandSolo
2005Histoires d’EauBonni Benrubi gallery, New York, USASolo
2005Paris Photo 2005Carroussel du Louvre, Paris, FranceGroup
2005Portraits / A Group ShowL Street Fine Art, San Diego, USAGroup
2005Paris PhotoParis, FranceGroup
2005VacancesEstivales Photographiques du Tregor, Lannion, FranceGroup
2004The Pool, Rencontres Internationales de la PhotographieMas de la Chapelle, Arles, FranceSolo
2004Parcours Saint GermainLe Bon Marche, Paris, FranceSolo
2004NattgallerietSorlandet Art Museum, Kristiansand, NorwaySolo
2004The PoolFrench Cultural Center, Oslo, NorwaySolo
200457th on 57thBonni Benrubi gallery, New York, USAGroup
2004HypegalleryPalais de Tokyo, Paris, FranceGroup
2004Paris PhotoParis, FranceGroup
2004L’Oeil en Seyne: WaterVilla Tamarys-Pacha, Seyne-sur-Mer, FranceGroup
2004Festival Images: EcstasyPossession and Other Transports, Vevey, SwitzerlandGroup
2004The FlowRhubarb-Rhubarb Festival, Birmingham, UKGroup
2004WaterTulla Booth Gallery, Sag Harbor, New York, USAGroup
2004Es Ist Sommer. Es ist heisF5,6 Gallery, Munich, GermanyGroup
2004Pool PartyYossi Milo gallery, New York, USAGroup
2004Water Water EverywhereAndrea Meislin Gallery, New York, USAGroup
2004Photo LondonLondon, UKGroup
2004The Photography Show, AIPADHilton, New York, USAGroup
2004The 13th International Photographic Art ExpositionPhoto-LAGroup
2003The PoolCappellini, Paris, FranceSolo
2003The PoolDet 11. Bud, Oslo, NorwaySolo
2003Paris PhotoParis, FranceGroup
2003CMYK Part 2: Contemporary Color PhotographyBonni Benrubi Gallery, New York, USAGroup
2001Here Is New York – A Democracy of PhotographsPrince Street Gallery, New York, USAGroup
2001ReactionsExit Art, New York, USAGroup
2001Photo SoHoExit Art, New York, USAGroup
1998UnknownCBGB Gallery, New York, USAGroup