From nude portraits in the 1960s to monolithic landforms in the 1990s, Lynn Davis has always had an eye for form, geometry and simplicity in the architecture of both nature and of manmade structures. Known for her large-scale black-and-white photographs, she was good friends with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, and was an apprentice to the great Berenice Abbott, who trained beneath Man Ray.
"Iceberg #4, Disko Bay, Greenland," 1988, gelatin silver print.
"Iceberg #13, Disko Bay, Greenland," 1988, gelatin silver print.
"Iceberg #23, Disko Bay, Greenland," 2000, gold-toned gelatin silver print.
"Iceberg #28, Disko Bay, Greenland," 2000, Gold toned gelatin silver print.
"Iceberg II, Disko Bay, Greenland," 2004.
"Iceberg VI, Disko Bay, Greenland," 2004.
"Iceberg XIV, Disko Bay, Greenland," 2007.
"Iceberg XXVIII, Disko Bay, Greenland," 2007.
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She is also known as a master of the darkroom, using many complicated techniques and meticulous care to arrive at her rich tones. A student of Buddhism, Davis strives to capture the majesty that she sees in nature, to evoke a sense of solemnity and reverence in the face of grandeur. Photographing this series of icebergs has been an ongoing process since the 1980s, when she made her first voyage to the Arctic.
Since 1986, Davis has documented troubling changes. "What was first a mystical and life-changing experience," she says, "has now turned to an awareness that nature as we have known it, and taken for granted, is ... disappearing faster than we had ever imagined." She continues, "It is my hope and prayer that by witnessing and recording such transcendent phenomena that it is not too late to change what now seems like an irreversible fate." Here is a small selection of her ongoing iceberg series, best viewed large
All images (c) Lynn Davis/ Courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery.