Friday, May 2, 2014

Lydia Panas

Lydia Panas

Gallery Representation:

Reviews of "The Mark of Abel":



"Tony and Maddie"


"A Suspended Moment"

"Asha and Oksana W"

"Vickie and Antonio, Veronica and Sabine"

"It's a Matter of Perspective, Mr. President"

"Aimee Lubczanski and Her Sister"




"The Eisenhauer Brothers"

Special thanks to Lydia Panas for allowing me to reproduce her photographs, here, on my blog.  Without her kind cooperation and generosity this blog entry would not have been possible.  No further use of these photographs is allowed without her permission.  She can be contacted at:


"The Mark of Abel" Artist's Statement:

Our earliest relationships factor considerably, in determining whom we turn out to be.

For three years in hot weather and cold, I invited families to stand before my lens. I asked them not because I knew what to expect, but because I was curious to see what would happen.

These groups and occasional individuals, stood graciously before me as I watched the series unfold. Nothing in the series was deliberate or planned. The images do not represent individuals so much as they explore the questions of how we see ourselves and what we feel.

In these pictures of family relationships, it is the details that matter most. Although they portray engaging people, verdant landscapes and beautiful light, it is the small things in the images that provide us with clues to understand the subtle nature of the work.

The photographs ask that we look deeper than the surface for what lies underneath; that complex part of our own personalities we often don't see.

Artist's Statement:

Since 2005 I have been investigating relationships through portraiture. In my most well know series titled "The Mark of Abel" (2005 – 2008), I explored family relationships. I watched how families arranged themselves and then began to shoot with my view camera. The pictures ask that we look deeper than the surface for what lies underneath; that complex part of our own personalities that we often do not see.

As I continue to make portraits, my focus has turned toward understanding my own relationship to the model through the photographic process.  Making a portrait allows me to stare, to describe and to represent an interaction.  My photographs are about uncertainty in relationships.  Many of my images speak to issues of connections and trust.  Often the faces are vague and uncommitted, proposing a precarious intimacy.

When I make a portrait, I watch to see something I recognize.  Often it is a feeling left over from my past. It may be something I long for, or something that helps me connect.  Making a portrait helps satisfy my curiosity and re-create what I did not understand in my early years, a reality hidden from me that I was desperate to understand, a record of my own fragile history. In the words of Richard Avedon, “For a moment, it becomes possible to understand each other perfectly.”

I want to describe some kind of truth – both beautiful and sad – of who we are, how we feel, and how we project these emotional states.  I want to describe the hope that resides within this exposure.


Lydia Panas Biography:

Lydia Panas’ photographs have been exhibited internationally and are held in major public collections including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Brooklyn Museum; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego; MoMA Shanghai, and the Allentown Art Museum among others.

She has won numerous awards and honors including First Prize for the Singular Image Award at CENTER, Santa Fe in 2009. She was one of nine artists selected by Houston Fotofest curators for the International Discoveries Exhibit in 2007, and twice selected for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize Exhibition.  Most recently her work was honored by the Print Center in Philadelphia for their 100th Anniversary Celebration. She was a nominee for Prix Pictet 2013. Lydia was twice included in the top fifty for the Critical Mass Book Awards. She has received a Puffin Foundation Grant, a John Anson Kittredge Educational Grant and six grants from the PA Council on the Arts, among others.

Lydia’s work has been exhibited in museums, galleries and festivals around the world. Recent venues include the National Portrait Gallery in London, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh, the Phillips Collection and the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, and the Allentown Art Museum.

Lydia’s photographs have been featured in The New York Times Magazine, Photo District News, Popular Photography, San Francisco Chronicle, Philadelphia Inquirer, Rain Taxi Review of Books, Wall Street Journal Blog, GEO Science, and many others.

She has been invited to lecture at the International Center of Photography, Houston Center for Photography, The Print Center in Philadelphia, and the Athens House of Photography in Athens, Greece. Lydia has taught at numerous institutions including the Museum of Modern Art, Maine Media Workshops, Vermont College MFA Program, Muhlenberg, Moravian and Lafayette College, and Kutztown University among others.

Lydia has degrees from Boston College, School of Visual Arts, New York University / International Center of Photography and a Whitney Museum Independent Study Fellowship.

Her first monograph The Mark of Abel was released by Kehrer Verlag and named one of Photo District News’ Books of 2012 as well as a best coffee table book by the Daily Beast.




(Main Line Art Center, February 20 through March 20, 2014
Featuring the work of Donald E. Camp, Lydia Panas and Lori Waselchuk
Curated by Amie Potsic

Curator's Statement:

Humankind presents works that uniquely address the human condition through qualities and genres inherent to the photographic tradition: social responsibility, portraiture, and the photo essay. This exhibition celebrates in depth projects that creatively engage the world of contemporary photography while deepening connections to the history of the photographic medium.

Each artist approaches their subject matter – the human face, family, and hospice -- with respect and curiosity as they harness photography’s innate talent for storytelling, confrontation, and communication.

With his forceful, yet intimate images of the human face, Donald E. Camp’s work encourages audiences to explore the dignity and nobility that can be found in each of us. Camp’s inventive photographic prints seek to contrast broadly held stereotypes and acknowledge the struggle against ignorance and intolerance as a universal one. Lydia Panas invites the viewer to look beyond the family relationships depicted in her photographs and to explore the deeper, universal questions of how we feel. Her photographs portray families of all forms in verdant landscapes while also giving subtle clues to that which lies beneath the surface in all of us. Lori Waselchuk’s photographs powerfully illuminate the ways in which our humanity percolates through the dark and light moments of our lives. Exemplified by the prison hospice program she documented, her work is emotional, interactive, and storytelling, and strives to nurture empathy in the viewer, despite our diversity.

By engaging in long-term, in-depth photographic series that give voice to the personal and universal, these artists powerfully remind us of what it means to be human, compassionate, and connected.