Lynn Geesaman, "Untitled (5-81-1-5)", 1981, silver gelatin print, 10x8”. Courtesy of Thomas Barry Gallery, Minneapolis, MN.

Lynn Geesaman, “Untitled (5-81-1-5)”, 1981, silver gelatin print, 10×8”. Courtesy of Thomas Barry Gallery, Minneapolis, MN.

Lynn Geesaman

As an identical twin from the Twin Cities, Lynn Geesaman enjoyed a special kinship and understanding with other identical twins, being existentially distinct and regarded as a phenomenon of wonder. The condition of being an identical twin creates a resonance and synchrony between parties, from which a unique relationship and shared existence derive. This relationship is inaccessible and unknowable to non-identical persons and as such Geesaman’s photographic study is poignantly suggestive of this special shared identity.

Many of Geesman’s subjects, like the two women shown here, were participants in a psychological study performed in the 1980s at the University of Minnesota known as the Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart and now known as the Minnesota Center for Twin and Family Research. The Minnesota study researcher Dr. Thomas Bouchard researched identical twins who had been reared apart in order to measure genetic traits and environmental effects on the development of twins. The study revealed genetic effects on virtually every trait. A study, such as Bouchard’s, of identical twins separated at birth and reunited years later, went a long way towards defining the limits of effect to be derived from conventional social science. Having participated in this study herself, Geesman requested and was granted access to some of the twins participating in the research. Necessary conditions for a photographer are access to the subject, and sympathy with the subject. There you have the motivation and the context of Geesaman’s work.

– Donald Geesaman

Lynn Geesaman (Minneapolis, MN) graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1984. She has had solo exhibitions at the Yancy Richardson Gallery (New York City, NY), Thompson Barry Fine Arts (Minneapolis, MN), Cleveland Museum of Art (Cleveland, OH), Catherine Edelman Gallery (Chicago, IL), and others. She has been featured in group exhibitions at the James Cohan Gallery (Shanghai, China), the Tuscon Museum of Art (Tuscon, AZ), The Rochester Art Center (Rochester, NY) and others. Lynn’s work has been featured in various highly established publications including Wellesly Magazine, The Lost Angeles Times, The Chicago Sun Times, and various others. She has also published artist books including, Hazy Lights and Shadows, Gardenscapes, and Poetics of Place. Her work is also in the collections of Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago, IL), the Cleveland Museum of Art (Cleveland, OH), The Whitney Museum of American Art (NYC) and private collections including that of Elton John. Lynn has received various awards for her photographic achievements, her most recent ones being Arts Midwest/NEA Regional Visual Arts Fellowship Award in 1994, Bernheim Artist Fellowship, Clermont, Kentucky in 1992, and The Bush Foundation Artist Fellowship in 1991.