Eve Sonneman, a luminary in American contemporary visual art, has left a profound mark through her adept command of both photography and painting. At the heart of her creative enterprise lies a dedication to nature, a philosophy that finds expression in her meticulous exploration of the decisive moment–the essence of her photographic compositions. Her lens captures the everyday: ordinary people, still lifes, and landscapes encountered in her urban perambulations presenting a quasi-documentary perspective that invites the viewers to traverse the city alongside her.
Distinctive in her approach, Sonneman transforms her photographs into a complex commentary on the intricate dance of time and place within a captured moment. Utilizing a diptych format, she purposefully pairs two images from a single roll of film, a deliberate act that imbues her work with a layered narrative quality. Sonneman's later expansion to a meticulous selection of four images–two black and white, two color–orchestrates a visual dialogue that echoes the temporal investigations of pioneers like Muybridge and Henri-Cartier Bresson. An engagement with diverse artistic mediums and an exploration of the intersection between photography, sculpture, and installation has marked her career trajectory.
Born in 1946 in the dynamic cultural milieu of New York City, Sonneman embarked on her photographic odyssey in the 1960s, challenging traditional conventions within the landscape of contemporary photography. Collaborating with her husband Neil during the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, she probed the expansive potential of contemporary art practices in reshaping notions of photographic representation. This era also witnessed her integration of sculpture and installation, amplifying the visual impact of her exploration and spatial dynamics. The subsequent decades saw Sonneman continually pushing boundaries, evolving her practice by incorporating new mediums and engaging with avant-garde conceptual ideas. In the present, Eve Sonneman stands as a testament to her ability to seamlessly navigate diverse artist realms, propelled by an unwavering spirit that has firmly established her as a luminous figure in the contemporary art sphere.
Throughout her illustrious career, Eve Sonneman has garnered recognition through participation in renowned exhibitions including Documenta (1977), The Biennale of Venice, Paris, Strasbourg, and Australia, The Foto: Modernity in Central Europe, 1918-1945 (2007), Conceptual Photography (MoMa, 2009), among others. Her contributions are further documented in publications such as Neil and Eve Sonneman: Photographic Works (1975), An Artist and Her World: Eve Sonneman and Her Circle (2010), and numerous esteemed journals, solidifying her enduring impact on the artist landscape.
Eve SonnemanCatherine Slip, Chinatown, NYC, 1971Gelatin silver print, printed c. 19714 1/2 x 13 1/4 in (11.4 x 33.7 cm)
Eve SonnemanPushing, Houston, 1971Gelatin silver print, printed c. 19714 5/8 x 13 3/8 in (11.8 x 34 cm)
Eve SonnemanShadows, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 1978Two cibachrome photographs21 x 31 in (53.34 x 78.74 cm)
Eve SonnemanThe Land/The Moon, Rio Pecos, New Mexico, 1978Two cibachrome color photographs21 x 30 3/4 in (53.34 x 78.11 cm)
Each 7 1/4 x 9 1/2 in
Eve SonnemanBowery Fire, 1980Cibachrome print8 x 9 7/8 in (20.3 x 25.1 cm)