Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: Feminist Art Base: Katy Grannan

Katy Grannan

Katy Grannan was born 1969 in Arlington, MA and currently lives and works in San Francisco, CA. She received a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.F.A. from Yale University. Her work has been featured in The New York Times Magazine, Artforum, and Art in America, among others. 

Grannan is a recipient of the 2005 Aperture Award to an Emerging Artist; the 2004 The Baum: Award for Emerging American Photographers; and a 1999 Rema Hort Mann Foundation Grant. Exhibitions include Greenberg Van Doren Gallery, NY; Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco; Salon 94, NY; and Fifty One Fine Art, Antwerp, Belgium.  Her work is in the collections of, among others, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Guggenheim, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Carnegie Museum of Art, the International Center of Photography, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
"M. asked me to hang up if his wife answered the phone. He said she wouldn't understand. We met twice. Once trespassing on someone's property in New Paltz and later at the Hearthstone Motel in Red Hook. M. was tall and lean with a graceful, almost feminine body. He stretched out on the blue towel he brought to protect himself from the ground."

Katy Grannan, Sugar Camp Road 2002-2003

“Anonymity is a pervasive, if not permanent, state in the sociology of Grannan's art. Typically, she puts brief ads in small-town newspapers, giving little information other than that she's a female photographer, who would like to photograph you in your home or surroundings, and her telephone number... By identifying herself as female, Grannan enables her potential subject to make a series of assumptions: a female photographer might be more sympathetic than a male; inviting a female, rather than a male, stranger into your home involves less risk of harm. Grannan is one of a number of young female photographers who began working in the mid-nineties and who use gender to inaugurate new genres and thematic directions in contemporary photography that would in all likelihood be off-limits to their male counterparts. The result is a cache of images of children, adolescents, teens, young adults, and trusting strangers... Who perform for the camera in ways that are at once scripted and quite candid.”

Jan Avgikos, from Model American, Aperture, 2005

"Of course, at their most basic level (the photographs) represent the desire to be seen and to be paid attention to. But ultimately, their desire to be seen and my desire to photograph them are the ingredients of something larger. The portrait that remains represents neither accurately. Our intentions, whatever they were, are recorded and warped and reinvented into something entirely unique. Every scar is beautiful, every smile disturbing and in that moment the portrait becomes its own truth."

Katy Grannan, from Art Photography Now, text by Susan Bright, Aperture, 2005

View Katy Grannan's CV (PDF)

Ghent, NYVan, Red Hook, NYMike, Hearthstone Motel, Upper Red Hook, New YorkKamika, near Route 9, Poughkeepsie, NYFrank, b. 1956Tim, b. 1982Dale, Pacifica, 2006

San Francisco, CA


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