Lynn Stern (b. 1945, New York) is a New York-based photographer who works with black-and-white film and indirect, natural light. Since 1985 she has been doing studio work, using a scrim of translucent white or black fabric, either alone to create abstractions, or combined with symbolic objects. She thinks of the backlit scrim as her ‘medium’; it creates a glow of diffuse light that is a constant in all of her work, although the subject matter may vary from series to series.
Stern’s work has been exhibited in numerous exhibitions in the United States and Europe, and is in public collections such as the Brooklyn Museum of Art; the Herbert F. Johnson Museum, Cornell University; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Museum of fine Arts, Houston; the Portland Art Museum (OR); the Victoria and Albert Museum; the Whitney Museum of American Art; and the Yale University Art Gallery, among others.
Stern was co-editor of Photographic INsight from 1990-1993. She was the organizer and moderator of a two-evening symposium held at New York University in 1991 titled "Examining Postmodernism: Images/Premises" and in 2016 moderated a discussion titled “Perceptual/Conceptual: How Does Art Nourish Us?” in her apartment in New York.
Stern has published six monographs of her work: Unveilings (New York: Hudson Hills Press, 1988); essay by Paul Caponigro; Dispossession (New York: Aperture, 1995); essay by Donald Kuspit and a "Highly Commended Book," 1995 Ernst Haas Awards; Animus (Tucson: Nazraeli Press, 2000), essay by Donald Kuspit; Veiled Still Lifes, exhibition catalogue, 2006, essay by Nancy E. Green, Senior Curator of Prints, Drawings and Photographs, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University; Frozen Mystery: Lynn Stern Photographs 1978-2008, exhibition catalogue (Fundación Cristóbal Gabarrón / Center for Creative Photography, 2009), essays by Donald Kuspit, Britt Salvesen, Lynn Stern, George Stolz; and Skull (Thames and Hudson, 2017), featuring her eight series of skulls in their entirety, with an essay by Donald Kuspit contextualizing them within art history.
The Lynn Stern Archive is located at the Center for Creative Photography, Tucson.