Liz Deschenes

Undergraduate Discipline

Visual and Studio Arts

BFA, Rhode Island School of Design. Deschenes has exhibited her work regularly since her graduation from RISD. The first comprehensive survey exhibition of her photographs, organized by Eva Respini, was on view at the ICA Boston in 2016; for the occasion of this exhibition, a monograph was published by Prestel. She has most recently mounted solo exhibitions at Miguel Abreu Gallery, New York, and at Campoli Presti, London and Paris. Her work is represented in the collections of the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Art Institute of Chicago; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. SLC, 2022–

Undergraduate Courses 2022-2023

Visual and Studio Arts

Conceptual Art and the Photograph

Intermediate/Advanced, Seminar—Spring

Prerequisite: successful completion of at least one photography course and one art history course

Students will study how some of the “pioneers” of conceptualism utilized photography and impacted the next generation of image makers, often referred to as the pictures generation. Students will study works and writing from two key exhibitions that were organized, in part, to reevaluate the careers of many artists, their works and contributions—“Light Years: Conceptual Art and the Photograph 1964-1977” and “The Pictures Generation 1974-84”—and how, through the artists explorations, they (the conceptualists and then the pictures generation) changed the conversations around the discipline of photography. Students will be given assignments to implement some of the strategies into their own work and will do research of their own choosing to further unveil how the photograph has been a mainstay for art and one that has questioned virtually every aspect of contemporary culture.

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Social Media as Used by Visual Artists

Open, Concept—Spring

Visual artists have used social media since its inception, creating time-based works specifically for the format while blurring the boundaries between art and popular culture. We will explore ways in which these platforms allow for a unique collaborative experience between image makers and their followers—with participants lifting and borrowing from each other, commenting in real time, all while extending past the confines of the commercial art gallery and/or art museums. The course will be taught in conjunction with contemporary artists who use some of these platforms to circumvent and amplify both their work and their discourse.

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Women and Photography (1839–2022)

Intermediate/Advanced, Seminar—Fall

Prerequisite: successful completion of at least one photography course and one art history course

This course will have two components: a historic and a contemporary examination of how women have shaped the discipline of photography. We will initially look at and study how women have played an integral role in the practice of photography from its inception and will research how women’s achievements within the medium have been historicized. We will read firsthand accounts from artists and historians from the book of collected essays, Illuminations: Women Writing on Photography From the 1850s to the Present. The second part of the course will focus on the myriad of radical contributions by female artists who utilize the medium for artistic, political, and practical purposes. Students will evolve a project of their own choosing, based on responses to the readings, lectures, and discussions.

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