Susan Paulsen: Tomatoes on the Back Porch
Amid the cacophony of today's young American photographers, it is increasingly rare to hear a voice that stands out for its silence. Such is the case ... Show synopsis Amid the cacophony of today's young American photographers, it is increasingly rare to hear a voice that stands out for its silence. Such is the case with Susan Paulsen, whose work invests banal quotidian situations with a quiet poetic intensity: tomatoes ripening on a porch, a cat sitting by a screen door staring out at nothing, laundry drying on a line and moving like agitated ghosts in the wind. Like tiny gems, Paulsen's small, lyrical photographs glimmer with a silvery luminosity, drawing us inward to a private, dreamlike world. Her work perpetuates a certain tradition in American photography, from Robert Frank's melancholic views to Harry Callahan's highly personal snapshots of his wife and daughter. Like Callahan, Paulsen employs restricted, personal means to translate her emotions using evocative visual situations. In the artist's own words, "More like my heart than my eyes, the camera has enabled me to express what I feel rather than what I see."