Nuns on a Beach, Lucinda Bunnen, 1970. This photo was captured on the very first roll of film that Bunnen took - it's now included in the permanent collections of several museums.
When we approached Lucinda Bunnen about having an exhibition within Switch Modern's showroom, we invited her to select the photographs that she wanted to include - indeed, a "photographer's selection." Lucinda ultimately chose 48 pieces that were hung amidst the various pieces of contemporary furniture and lighting within Switch Modern's showroom - the resulting synergy was just amazing. Not only did it provide the context of how someone would likely live with the work in their home but also included an opportunity to sit, lounge, and relax while taking the time to really explore the photographs in the exhibition. Lucinda's aforementioned photo, Nuns on a Beach, was the catalyst for the exhibition's title that included this photograph along with work that spanned nearly five decades to the present.
With the exception of the first image, Nuns on a Beach, the exhibition of 48 photos was not presented chronologically. The exhibition was hung by Switch Modern's Co-Owner, Doug Henderson, who used this opportunity to not only create thoughtful juxtapositions of photographs, but to provide a spatial context with the contemporary furniture and lighting that were around the photographs. Here, one of Bunnen's fabulously enigmatic "weathered chrome series" photos has been paired with Claudio Bellini's Venice console from Riva 1920 - composed of "weathered" posts from the Venice Lagoon.
From Nuns to Now included 48 photos that spanned five decades of Bunnen's work. Henderson chose to create engaging juxtapositions of photos within groups - then, stepping back, within the context of the furniture and lighting in the Switch Modern showroom. The synergy of Bunnen's work with the furniture was remarkable. And, much of the seating provided an opportunity to relax while viewing the work.
One usually expects to see Bunnen's work in a gallery context. Not only did the exhibition at Switch Modern provide a different context for viewing the work, it is ultimately how a collector would likely "live" with the work in their home.
To learn more about the exhibition at Switch Modern, click here to read Catherine Fox's wonderful exhibition review at ArtsAtl.
In conjunction with the exhibition, Bunnen gave two remarkable talks about her work. Each of these was conducted as an informal interview where Doug Henderson showed a slide of a particular piece in the exhibition and allowed Lucinda to simply talk about it - what ensued were some extraordinary anecdotes that provided the context of how the image was captured.
We all loved hearing some of Lucinda's wonderful anecdotes during the talks that she gave during the opening and closing receptions for the From Nuns to Now exhibition.
Switch Modern's Doug Henderson engaged Lucinda in a conversation about her work by discussing several pieces during the opening of the exhibition on November 14, 2019. The photo that they are discussing is entitled Miss Lillian and Billy Carter - this particular photo from 1978 is included in the permanent collection of New York's Museum of Modern Art.
Bunnen's talk was so popular that she and Doug recreated another version of it during a closing reception for the exhibition on January 29, 2020.
In addition to the opening and closing receptions and their associated talks, Switch Modern was delighted to host the artist's 90th surprise birthday party during the exhibition. This was done under the ruse of her gallerist, Marica Wood, telling her that a collector was in town and eager to meet her and discuss some of the pieces within the exhibition. It worked! The guest list included Lucinda's family and friends along with an extraordinary list of artists, curators, philanthropists, and museum professionals.
We think that this was the precise moment when Lucinda realized that she was actually not meeting a collector at her exhibition but had just walked into her 90th birthday surprise party.
Over 250 guests attended Bunnen's 90th birthday surprise party while the From Nuns to Now exhibition was on view at Switch Modern's showroom.
Lucinda pulled up one of her favorite pieces in the showroom (a Josef Hoffmann Alleegasse lounge chair in orange velvet) and got to visit with a number of amazing guests throughout the evening.
Everyone at Switch Modern adores Lucinda Bunnen and are looking forward to the next exhibition of her work within the showroom. We could not be more proud of her recent accomplishment of publishing a stunning book of images from her new weathered chrome series - an undertaking that she had begun in early 2020. Signed copies of Bunnen's limited edition book, Constant Impermanence, are available by clicking here.