Mona Kuhn

Brazil 1965


Mona Kuhn
Mona Kuhn
February 20, 2015
Music, Gestalt, .

Mona Kuhn is an artist known for large-scale photographs of nudes. Kuhn chose the nude as the focus of her work because it represents a timeless canon and she was interested in the idea of the body as residence. She describes her visual vocabulary as figurative, however recent works have begun explorations with abstraction.

Mona Kuhn was born in 1969 in São Paulo, Brazil and is of German descent. She received her BA from The Ohio State University and went on to study fine art at the San Francisco Art Institute.

Mona Kuhn’s photographs of nudes aim to show the human body in its most natural state. Stripping away the distraction of material adornment, her subjects become timeless and free from cultural and/or generational stereotypes.

Working intimately with a group of friends, she considers each photograph a collaboration. The subjects’ postures mirror their environments and each series flows like a lyrical ballad, opening up a dialogue about the human body’s interaction with the setting. Classically trained, Kuhn’s compositions are painterly studies, each photograph thoughtfully arranged. Each image is multi-dimensional with a careful selective focus, giving the viewer the opportunity to only enter specific areas of the frame and leaving the remainder up to the imagination.

Kuhn’s first monograph titled „Photographs” was published by Steidl in 2004. “Photographs” was followed by Evidence in 2007, which was accompanied with a short story by Frederic Tuten. Her next project, released in 2010, was a return to her homeland of Brazil, with a series titled Native and an accompanying monograph of the same name published by Steidl. In 2011, Kuhn released Bordeaux Series, also with a monograph published by Steidl, which is a collection of traditional portraits and landscapes. Her work has been described as “intimate and sensuous,” “dreamlike” and “classical” in composition.

In a 2013 interview with ARTnews, Kuhn compared her process with childbirth, saying of the completion of a project that “When you feel that you are ready, you want to separate from it. You can’t take it anymore, and you have to push it out. And once it’s out, it takes on a life of its own

Her work is in private and public collections worldwide, including The J. Paul Getty Museum, California; George Eastman House Museum, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas; Musée de l’Elysée, Switzerland; Musée de la Photographie de Charleroi, Belgium and many more. Steidl has published four monographs of Kuhn’s work to date, Photographs (2004), Evidence (2007), Native (2009), and Bordeaux (2011). Her newest monograph, Private, also published by Steidl, will be released in the Fall 2014.

Kuhn currently lives and works in Los Angeles and is an independent scholar at The Getty Research Institute.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2014Acido Dorado Edwynn Houk Gallery, New YorkSolo
2014 Acido Dorado Flowers Gallery, LondonSolo
2013Living Rooms: Robert Wilson CollectionLe Louvre, Paris, FranceGroup
2013Image Search Pérez Art Museum Miami, FloridaGroup
2013Staking Claim, Museum of Photographic Arts, San DiegoGroup
2013Under My Skin: Contemporary NudesFlowers Gallery, New YorkGroup
2013The Salt in My Skin: Mona Kuhn and Esther Teichmann Flowers Gallery, LondonGroup
2013Mona Kuhn and Carla van de Puttelaar Kahmann Gallery, AmsterdamGroup
2013Spring Photography Selection Flowers Gallery, LondonGroup
2012Bordeaux Series Galerie Particuliere, Paris, FranceSolo
2012Native Galeria Pilar Serra, Madrid, SpainSolo
2012Bordeaux SeriesJackson Fine Art, AtlantaSolo
2012 Bordeaux Flowers Gallery, New York, New YorkSolo
2012 Native Brancolini Grimaldi, Florence, ItalySolo
2012Nudes Flowers Gallery, New YorkGroup
2011Bordeaux Flowers Gallery, London, EnglandSolo
2011 Magie des Objekts Leopold Museum, Vienna, AustriaGroup
2011Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition, London, EnglandGroup
2011Traummänner Deichtorhallen Hamburg, GermanyGroup
2011100 Portraits Australian Center for Photography, SydneyGroup
2010Native Flowers Gallery, London, EnglandSolo
2010Native Flowers Gallery, New York, New YorkSolo
2010State of Mind Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, CaliforniaGroup
2009Native M+B Gallery, Los Angeles, CaliforniaSolo
2009Native Jackson Fine Art, Atlanta, GeorgiaSolo
2009On the way to Robert Frank Musée de l'Elysée, Lausanne, SwitzerlandGroup
2009Au Feminin Centre Culturel Calouste Gulbenkian, Paris, FranceGroup
2009Anonymity Sol Mednick Gallery, University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaGroup
2008Evidence Jarach Gallery, Venice, ItalySolo
2008Modern Photographs The Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, New YorkGroup
2008People and Places Southwest Center for Contemporary Art, North CarolinaGroup
2007Evidence Scott Nichols Gallery, San Francisco, CaliforniaSolo
2007Evidence Charles Cowles Gallery, New York, New YorkSolo
2007Mona Kuhn Estiarte Gallery, Madrid, SpainSolo
2007Evidence Jackson Fine Art, Atlanta, GeorgiaSolo
2007Less Than Innocent M+B Gallery, Los Angeles, CaliforniaSolo
2007Featured Works of Contemporary Art North Carolina Museum of Art, North CarolinaGroup
2007The Machine, the Body and the City Miami Museum of Art, FloridaGroup
2006The Body Familiar, Current Perspectives of the Nude Griffin Museum, Boston, MassachusettsGroup
2005 Mona Kuhn – Recent Color Work Charles Cowles Gallery, New York, New YorkSolo
2005Mona Kuhn-Close Jackson Fine Art, Atlanta, GeorgiaSolo
2005Unbounded Yout, Fahey-Klein Gallery, Los Angeles, CaliforniaSolo
2005Portrait & Figure Study in Contemporary Photography Westport Arts Center, ConnecticutGroup
2005Face Cachée Galerie Esther Woerdehoff, Paris, FranceGroup
2005The Children’s Hour Museum of New Art, MichiganGroup
2004Mona Kuhn-Color Camerawork, Berlin, GermanySolo
2004New Work, G Gibson Gallery, Seattle, WashingtonSolo
2004Corporeal Space Galerie F5.6, Munique, GermanySolo
2004Mona Kuhn - Color Photographs Scott Nichols Gallery, San Francisco, CaliforniaSolo
2004Still Memory PhotoEye Gallery Santa Fe, New MexicoSolo
2004Body Language Camerawork AG, Hamburg, GermanySolo
2004Il nudo nell’arte Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Bologna, ItalyGroup
2003Somata Schumann Galerie, Munique, GermanySolo
2003Traditions on Figure G. Gibson Gallery, Seattle, WashingtonGroup
2002Mona Kuhn-recent work Momus Gallery, Atlanta, GeorgiaSolo
2002March Group Exhibition G.Gibson Gallery, Seattle, WashingtonGroup
2002Collective Vickie Bassetti Fine Art, New Orleans, LouisianaGroup
2001Mona Kuhn-recent work Scott Nichols Gallery, San Francisco, CaliforniaSolo
2001Bare Yossi Milo Gallery, New York, New YorkSolo
2001Mona Kuhn Bassetti Fine Art Photo Gallery, New Orleans, LouisianaSolo
2001Love and Trust Momus Gallery, Atlanta, GeorgiaGroup
2001Best of 2001 curated by Jack Spencer Cumberland Gallery, TennesseeGroup
2001PhotoMetro SFAC Gallery, San Francisco, CaliforniaGroup
2000Bei Nahe Bodo Niemann Galerie, Berlin, GermanySolo
2000Mona Kuhn G.Gibson Gallery, Seattle, WashingtonSolo
2000German ArtistsScott Nichols Gallery, San Francisco, CaliforniaGroup
2000Among Us Paba Gallery, New Haven, ConnecticutGroup
2000Collective G. Gibson Gallery, Seattle, WashingtonGroup
2000The Body in Art Francoise Gallery, Maryland, VirginiaGroup
2000Nudes from Past to Present Etherton Gallery, Tucson, ArizonaGroup
2000Love Vorpal Gallery, San Francisco, CaliforniaGroup
1999Mona Kuhn-recent work Scott Nichols Gallery, San Francisco, CaliforniaSolo
1999Collective Figurative Artists Mauritz Gallery, Columbus, OhioGroup
1999Female Figures WomanMade Gallery, Chicago, IllinoisGroup
1998Mona Kuhn Nus Elkis Gallery, São Paulo, BrazilSolo
1998Bare Skin Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OhioGroup
1998Minimal Skin Museum of Arts Downtown, Los Angeles, CaliforniaGroup
1998Collective FigurativeMuseum Of Arts Downtown Los Angeles, CaliforniaGroup
1997Mona Kuhn Tappert Galerie, Berlin, GermanySolo
1997Contemporary Women Photographers Scott Nichols Gallery, SF, CaliforniaGroup
1997Brazilian Contemporary Art Mission Cultural Center, San Francisco, CaliforniaGroup