Justine Kurland

BFA, School of Visual Arts (New York). MFA, Yale University. New York-based photographer/artist with solo exhibitions at numerous galleries and museums worldwide, including: Frank Elbaz Gallery, Elizabeth Leah Gallery, Monte Faria Gallery, Mitchell-Innes & Nash, Monte Clark Gallery. Works represented in numerous permanent collections, including: The International Center of Photography (New York), Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago), Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum of Art (New York), and Whitney Museum of American Art. Guest lecturer at Columbia University, Columbia College of Art, University of California-Los Angeles, and numerous others. Her photos have been published widely and featured most notably in Art in Review, The New York Times, Vogue, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, and Harper’s Bazaar. Her photography is featured in numerous books and catalogues, including: Art Photography Now, Bright, Susan (Aperture Foundation, 2005), Old Joy, Jonathan Raymond (Artspace Books, 2004), and Justine Kurland: Spirit West, John Kelsey (Coromandel, 2002). SLC, 2011–

Undergraduate Courses 2020-2021

Visual and Studio Arts

Practices, Techniques, and Strategies in Photography

Open , Seminar—Year

$200–$400 materials expense per semester

The course offers a trio of necessary skills to build a photographic practice, including critical theory, art histories, and technique. Students will learn analog and digital, from photographic capture to scanning and printing. Through a series of assignments and lectures, students will consider the overarching concepts that inform their work. Dynamic themes include working within and against a field of influence, the roll of documentary and conceptual approaches to photography, subjectivity versus structural systems of production, and photography as event and narrative. Our time will be divided between group critiques and lectures. In the spirit of experimentation and play, drawing from research and the everyday, students will test their theories in practice. Students will develop a cohesive and original body of photographs and develop a generative practice based on a process of making, thinking, and remaking. Final work will be compiled into an artist-made, print-on-demand book.


Previous Courses

The New Narrative Photography

Open , Seminar—Spring

This class seeks to create a community that brings photography and writing into a shared arena of discussion—including, but not limited to, book-making and inter-disciplinary work. All photographs are ambiguous and irrefutable as evidence but weak in meaning. Words by themselves remain generalizations. Together, photographs and words become powerful assertions that generate narrative possibilities. They march together in literary formation. Photographs begin to function as a sentence, a paragraph, or an even larger discourse. Artists, such as Sarah Lawrence’s own Joel Sternfeld, have pioneered the field of image text. We will consider his work next to other artists, such as Lorna Simpson, Adrian Piper, Susan Meiselas, Moyra Davey, and Mary Kelly. Together, they have transformed the reach of photography through written language. Without formal agreement to do so, they have created a new medium, which might be titled: The New Narrative Photography. Integrating theoretical and conceptual studies with intensive creative practice, students will create new bodies of work in an open, experimental, and playful environment. We will explore the limits of photography as a documentary pursuit and as an interface to sociopolitical and personal narratives. If you have a story to tell or a statement to make, this course is open to you. No previous photographic experience is necessary nor is any special equipment.


Intermediate Photography

Open , Seminar—Year

This course is designed to introduce new working methods, with an emphasis on experimentation. Students are encouraged to broaden and deepen their skills and knowledge of photographic techniques and to explore ideas and the overarching concepts that inform them. Through a series of readings and assignments, students will develop their own program of study as they consider influences, observations, and invention. These dynamic themes include: working within a field of influence; subjective freedom versus objective authenticity; the roll of documentary and conceptual approaches to photography; perception, observation, and emotion; and photography as event and narrative. We will be guided by historical precedents and will incorporate research into our studio practice. Students will be introduced to ideas of installation, book layout, editing, and sequencing through bibliomaniac explorations and gallery/museum visits. Students will be expected to work independently outside of class. During class time, we will be sharing critiques and class discussions and view slide presentations of artists’ work. Students will develop a cohesive and original body of photographs and develop a generative practice based on making, thinking, and remaking.


Black-and-White Analog Photography

Open , Seminar—Fall

This course explores the camera as a device that frames and translates three-dimensional space onto a two-dimensional surface. Through assignments and individual investigation, students acquire a deeper understanding of visual perception and photography as a medium for personal expression. The course introduces students to film-based photographic processes and assumes no prior knowledge of photography. The class will also cover some history of photography, basic critical theory, and critique. Students are expected to spend approximately $300 dollars for supplies.