Lydia Panas. “Invincible,” 2008. Lent by Artist.
The evocative portraits that form the core of the photographic work of award-winning photographer Lydia Panas are subtle personality studies, whether of individuals or groups. They create a precarious intimacy with the viewer and encourage a search for the complex personalities of the subjects that lie beneath the surface image. The connections that these portraits forge with the audience create a visual richness that is a characteristic of Panas’ work. The exhibition draws from “The Mark of Abel,” the impressive new photography series by Panas that explores both the strengths and vulnerabilities of her subjects. The American publication of “The Mark of Abel” coincides with the exhibition dates, and the book will be available from the museum shop during the run of the show.
Panas is the recipient of many awards and honors for her enigmatic but disarming photographs. Her work has appeared in major newspapers and magazines both in the United States and abroad and is included in significant public photography collections such as that of the Brooklyn Museum in New York, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, and the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago. The Allentown Art Museum also numbers her work within its photographic holdings.