I have been emphasizing that abstraction plays a big role in my work, and here it is unmistakable. It does not make much sense to regard this as a document. It tells you next to nothing about spas or swimming pools or fitness. What primarily counts is the colour and the pattern on the back wall. It reminds me of a Gerhard Richter painting, and sometimes I refer to it as "Untitled (Richter)". But there is also the curvature of the tiles at the bottom of the pool, and the way the wall and the five overhead lights are reflected in the water. These make the images still more abstract. Of course, you could say the photograph documents all this. I would, however, prefer to describe it as a "ready-made" abstraction. It is so formal. It works equally well upside down. In fact, it was composed in a view camera, which inverts the images as in a camera obscura.
My interest in abstraction is not new. It is there in the scuffed floors of my contact prints, and the linoleum, plastic, plywood and Formica, so ubiquitous in my work, look incredibly abstract when photographed with the precision of a view camera. Indeed, some of what I did thirty, almost forty, years ago could hardly be more abstract.
I am not a postmodernist with an aversion to the formal, more of an artist with a foot in modernism, something that seems to be resurfacing in the art world (perhaps it never left). The formal figures in my recent work, albeit in a new guise. It is especially prominent in the large-scale colour pictures I have been making since 2009. "Laboratory" (p.55) is one, this another. Not everything works big. I am not interested in bigness for the sake of bigness. The bigness of this photograph brings out the abstract aspect of the image (and the place). Maybe it works big because it is so abstract.
Catalogue "Lynne Cohen - Faux Indices" - Exhibition at Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal - from February 7 to April 28, 2013 / Lynne Cohen & François LeTourneux (Page 58)