ELLEN STEINBERG COVEN

Education

MFA in Painting and Drawing, Tyler School of Art at Temple University, Philadelphia, PA

BA in Studio Art and Art History, Wellesley College, Wellelsey, MA

Certificate in Photography the International Center of Photography, New York, NY

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Painting and Drawing, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

 

Exhibitions

2016-17 Holiday Show, Ille Arts, Amagansett, NY

2016 International Center for Photography "Spotlights," honoring the contributions of women in visual arts and film, NY, NY

2015-16 International Center for Photography Master Class Exhibition, New York, NY

2015 LOOC Art at Art Market and Design, Bridgehampton, NY

2015 International Center of Photography "Spotlights", honoring the contributions of women in visual arts and film, NY, NY

2015 LOOC Art at SCOPE NY

2014 Advanced Continuing Education Track Program exhibition, International Center of Photography, New York, NY

2014 Holiday Show, Ille Arts, Amagansett, NY

2014 Mana Contemporary, Tales, Processes, and Moments: An Exhibition of Collective Works from the ICP 2012-2014 Master's Seminar, Jersey City, NJ

2013 Summer Exhibition, Ille Arts, Amagansett NY

2012 Continuing Education Track Program Exhibition, Bose Pacia Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

 

Ellen Steinberg Coven’s cyanotypes, including the “Found Feather 2017” series, appear to be outsized photograms; luminous images that appear to float in a deep-blue ground, reminiscent of the boundless space of the sky above and also the great depth of the sea itself.

 

This work is inspired by Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions, Anna Atkins’ seminal 1843 publication, credited as the first book of photographs ever to be published. Atkins is also considered to be the first woman to become a photographer.

 

Ellen Steinberg Coven uses the same photographic chemistry as Atkins used.  However, Coven’s work features "digital specimens”: captures made with the most current digital photography. Like Atkins, Coven finds her specimens along the shoreline. Then she creates “digital specimens”: large, high-resolution digital negatives, that are carefully refined in the computer to enlarge and subtly distort the found specimens, to draw attention to the myth of photography as being a true capture or replica of nature. These "digital specimens" are extraordinary in their scale and mysterious presence. To make each print, Coven mixes the cyanotype chemistry and uses a fine paintbrush to apply the emulsion onto heavy Somerset Velvet paper. Her painterly application of the emulsion is heightened in juxtaposition with the finely detailed photographic representation of each of the feathers, making every single work a unique object.