Clara Gutsche (1994-11-11)

Clara Gutsche
Practice: Photography
Date of Lecture: 1994-11-11

Gutsche_Clara_w01Les Soeurs Adoratrices du Précieux-Sang, Nicolet, 1995 © Clara Gutsche

Clara Gutsche is a Montreal-based photographer whose artistic practice is founded in the documentary tradition. In this vein, she produced An Industrial Landscape Observed: The Lachine Canal (1985-86) for the Canadian Centre for Architecture, her work resulting in an acclaimed photographic record of the effects of heavy industrialization on the Montreal waterway.

Perhaps best known for her Convent Series, Gutsche’s ongoing, decade-long project is an unprecedented photographic study of the intimate spaces and sequestered lives of Quebec nuns. Gutsche depicts a structured, female world devoted to prayer and contemplation with empathy, subtle humor and familiarity. The institutional, austere environments that form the backdrop for this vanishing way of life also assume a central significance in Gutsche’s meticulous photographs.

As a traveling exhibition organized by curator France Gascon, The Convent Series has been displayed at the Musée d’art de Joliette (1998), the Musée de la Civilization in Quebec City (1998), the Americas Society Art Gallery in New York (1999), the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson (2000) and the Gallerie le Lieu in Lorient, France (2001).

Gutsche graduated from Concordia in 1982 with her MFA and has been an instructor in the Department of Studio Arts Photography Program at Concordia since 1986.

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