Lilo Raymond

About Artist: Born in 1922, in Frankfurt, Germany, Raymond fled the Nazi regime when she was 16 years old. She settled in Manhattan, where she became part of the bohemian Greenwich Village art scene, taking various jobs as an artist's model, waitress, and tennis pro. She came to find her poetic vision when she studied with the legendary photographer and fine art printer David Vestal at the Photo League. She began exhibiting her work at various galleries in the 1970s, eventually moving to the Hudson Valley later in life. Raymond's work can be found in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan, and the Victorian and Albert Museum, among others. She received a Vision Award from the Center for Photography at Woodstock in 2008. In one of Lilo Raymond's most beautiful photographs, two pillows have been placed, one on top of the other, before a simple mirror and upon a white dresser. A window on the left, framed by filmy curtains, lets in the light. Everything is suffused with whiteness, everything except the black knobs of the dresser's top drawers and the gray ceiling, as it is reflected in the mirror. It is morning; a house is being cleaned, a bed is being made. The moment of the photographs is ordinary, but it possesses an extreme, uncharacteristic purity. The pillows, which are temporarily out of place, look nevertheless as if the belong on the dresser, as if they have a life apart from their utility. This other life is what Lilo Raymond's photographs celebrate. Again and again, in the midst of plain, domestic settings, transformations occur, transformations in which ordinary objects seem suddenly invested with an aesthetic destiny. In another photograph the pillows reappear, this time slightly overlapping on a recently slept-in bed. They convey the look of sleeper or, more probably, lovers. The top sheet, with the sweep of its crumpled folds, is like the sea breaking on an abandoned beach. The photograph is elegiac. The lovers are gone, but they are memorialized by the casual, suggestive disposition of the pillows.

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