Linda Kuehne: Suburban Landscapes: The Architecture of Nowhere
Linda Kuehne has long had an interest in landscape and recently has been turning her lens towards suburbs in transition. Her project, Suburban Landscapes: The Architecture of Nowhere, reflects structures left to time and the environment making us consider the past and the future while faced with the declining present.
Linda received her BA from Sarah Lawrence College and studied photography at SUNY Purchase. She has exhibited her work in museums and galleries including a solo show at Kean University’s Nancy Dryfoos Gallery, the Samuel Dorsky Museum at SUNY New Paltz, the Neuberger Museum of Art, the Hammond Museum, and the Katonah Museum of Art. Linda’s work has been shown in several NYC galleries including A.I.R. Gallery, Gallery 128 on Rivington, and the Westbeth Art Gallery. Linda lives in Pound Ridge, New York with her husband Chris and their wonderful dog August.
Suburban Landscapes: The Architecture of Nowhere
Suburbia fails us…it’s an idea of a place rather than a place. The way you can tell is because so many places in this country seem like no place in particular.–James Howard Kunstler
Suburbia –this is where most of us grew up. Much of it occupies what was until recently rural land, destroying the distinction between city life and country life. We could be living anywhere; our sense of place has been destroyed. What are the implications of this? Suburban developments give rise to the idea that neither the city nor the country is really a suitable place to live. They become suffocatingly unbearable to live with or in.
There has always been a sense of romanticism about the American landscape with its vast, wide-open spaces, meandering dreamy rivers and ever-expanding cities and suburbs. Suburban Landscapes: Architecture of Nowhere depicts the American Dream gone wrong and asks: does our concept of progress still apply or have we as a nation fallen behind, our infrastructures crumbling, our institutions bankrupt? We are at a pivotal moment when thousands of neighborhoods across the country will need to adapt in order to accommodate current realities. Will we leave these buildings to rot, thus affecting everyone else who lives around them? Or will we evolve, rethinking use, to create a new, vital environment?
I’m interested in re-interpreting these ideas and the landscape through a contemporary lens. More generally, my work deals with the idea of the sublime as it does or doesn’t exist today. I photograph vernacular, mundane objects juxtaposed against the landscape. The suggestive, abstract qualities of an image, combined with the literal, are what interest me. My work frequently contains geometric shapes, stark forms, swaths of color, usually a blue sky — along with a flat picture plane — that divorce the images from the illusory depth perspective one usually associates with photography and allows me to convey my ideas and concerns in an almost painterly, metaphoric way.
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