Lydia Panas’ photographs have been widely exhibited in galleries, museums and festivals internationally, including the National Portrait Gallery in London, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh, the Brooklyn Museum, the Phillips Collection and Corcoran Gallery in Washington DC, the Korean Cultural Center in Los Angeles, Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley, Brigham Young University Museum, Artist’s Space in New York City, Atlanta National Airport, Zendai MoMA in Shanghai, Singapore International Photo Festival, Sifest Photo Festival, Lodz Fotofestiwal , Candela Publishing Unbound 7 show among others.
Lydia has garnered many prestigious awards and honors including nominee for the Prix Pictet, nominee for PDN’s top 30, First Place Image Award from CENTER, Santa Fe, the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize Exhibition, Top Fifty in the Photolucida Critical Mass Competition, Winner of the London Calling Competition among others. She has received eight Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts Grants, a John Anson Kittredge Educational Grant and a Puffin Foundation Grant. Lydia was granted a CFEVA Fellowship and a Whitney Museum Independent Study Fellowship.
Her work has been published in many journals and publications including the New Yorker, New York Times Magazine, Photo District News, Popular Photography, San Francisco Chronicle, Rain Taxi Review of Books, Flavorpill, WallStreet Journal Blog, GEO Wissen, Die Volkskrant, Haaretz, Philadelphia Inquirer, French Photo, The Village Voice among many others.
Lydia has lectured on photography at the Museum of Modern Art, and been on the faculty of Muhlenberg, Lafayette, Moravian, Cedar Crest Colleges, Kutztown University, The Baum School of Art / Lehigh Carbon Community College. She is an Artist/Teacher at The Vermont College MFA Program, and taught workshops at Houston Center of Photography, Maine Media Workshops, La Fototeca, and Anderson Ranch in Snowmass, Colorado.
Her first monograph The Mark of Abel, was published in 2012 by Kehrer Verlag, and received a best books nomination from Photo Eye Magazine, named a Photo District News’ PHOTO ANNUAL Book of 2012, as well as a Best Coffee Table book by the Daily Beast. Lydia’s second book Falling From Grace was released in October 2016.
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago
Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego
Sheldon Museum of Art
Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley
Zendai Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai
La Fototeca, Guatemala City
Inter-Art Contemporary Art Museum, Aiud, Romania
Yours Foundation, Poland
Comer Collection, University of Texas, Dallas
Maine Media Workshops
Center for Photography Woodstock
Numerous Private Collections
Video installation "Marina's Run" Lehigh University 2012
Lydia Panas “The Mark of Abel” Landscape Stories 2012
THE NEW YORKER
March 19, 2018
ZEN CAMERA (Watson Guptill/Random House)
"Photographer Lydia Panas, one of my early students, has changed the shape pf portraiture through her honest and
pscychologically astute photographs of people. The respectful exchange that develops between photographer and sitter reveals the
longing for connection inherent in the human condition and brings to the surface our many fears about exposing who we are. She
says, "My portraits attempt to depict what it means to be a complicated human being. They contain our secrets, fears and
wishes, not just those unique to me. I am inspired by people who are honest with themselves.
This takes courage and leads to positive outcomes on every level."
David Ulrich, 2018
THE SLENDER THREAD / David Ulrich
March 18, 2018
PHOTO DISTRICT NEWS
"Lydia Panas' ability to capture and convey the complexity of human
relationships has made her a rising star in contemporary portraiture."
"Lydia Panas lives on a farm in Pennsylvania, but her work has become an international phenomenon.
Just this year, she has exhibitions in Poland, Italy, Germany and China, many in the U.S. and her work
has appeared in just about every major publication, including The New York Times and Photo District News.
Her masterful psychological portraits, captured with a view camera,
have resonated with collectors and curators in a significant way."
"American photographer Lydia Panas makes pictures with a rich conceptual and
visual intensity. Her particular gift is an ability to make portraits that rise above the
usual cliched seen it all before variety. Her color palette is almost gothic, dark
and mysterious. The work perplexes and fascinates drawing you in, there is
an almost urgent need to know more about her subjects".
October 7, 2015
March 26, 2018
"...Panas' young woman in three-quarter pose is arresting. Lips parted, freckled fair
skin, and a tangle of strawberry blonde curls, "Meredith" seems simultaneously
vulnerable and defiant as she leans out from the dark blue backdrop."
July 7, 2015
October 23, 2015
"The mark of a great photographer is when their subject reveals an essence not
intended for the camera, but instead pulls back the curtain on who they are, if only
for a second. I have been a fan of Lydia Panas' portraits over the years - Her exploration
of family, of relationships, of the connectedness to the earth-and have appreciated the
truthfulness and authenticity of her portraiture. Her new project, Longing in Black, is about
an intimate connection between the photographer, who feels like a "soul-catcher",
and the sitter, who wants their soul to be captured."
Aline Smithson, August 5, 2015
"Lydia Panas is one of the great portrait photographer bringing layers of psychological nuance to her images.:
Aline Smithson Febraury 26, 2013
'Lydia Panas' 'ghosts that linger and memories that endure at Albright College'
"These photos need to be seen en masse for their full dramatic effect; their unified treatment
of subject matter and skilled photographic technique. As pensive portraits of the past, she speaks to
the sense of the forlorn in each of us that harbors something deep, intense and strangely beautiful."
Ron Schira, June 7, 2015
RAIN TAXI REVIEW OF BOOKS
"These are powerful images, and they conjure palimpsests of insights into our shared
cultural condition. After viewing them, you'll feel the mark of Abel on you too, however
ineffable it might be."
Volume 17 NO. 3, Fall 2012 (#67)
"There is a complicated range of emotions depicted in Panas' photographs, and all
are presented with an honesty and nakedness that is almost heart-breaking to page through.
...without judgement, we are left looking at our own emotional reflections, staring into faces
expressing all too familiar vulnerability, uncertainty, sadness, curiosity, love and tenderness."
PHOTO EYE MAGAZINE
Best Books Nomination
"Exceptional portraiture that is evocative, compelling, timeless.
Each image gradually peels the layers of psyches belonging to family
members and friends in her life. This is a treasure of a book.
THE PHILLIPS COLLECTION BLOG
Breaking Through the Facade: What the Hands Reveal in Lydia Panas' "Figs"
"...There is an underlying intimacy between the subject and photographer in this and all the
other photographs in the series, as if Panas has been able to extract each sitter's vulnerability,
breaking through the unreliability of facial expressions and using their subconscious movements
and poses with the food objects to reveal their true emotions and thoughts.
PORTRAIT SHOW BRINGS PHOTOGRAPHER-SUBJECT ENCOUNTERS INTO FOCUS
"Flipping through the Mark of Abel for the first time is a little bit like a first date.
It will take longer, more effort, a second chance, to dig and scratch at the surface
to discern what the person truly holds. It implies a commitment to decipher-and-
surrender to -their masks, and the task becomes engrossing, as almost each
photograph seems to carry a plethora of secret emotions and subplots begging
to be interpreted. If you look long enough into the eyes of her subjects,
the staring down contest fades away and you start to discern what makes
each person unique, you imagine the cracks in the wall of their severity, and
you end up moved to the core by their frailty.
Marie - Charlotte Peze
"Panas' somber, lushly-colored group portraits in The Mark of Abel, her first published book of photography,
reveal the unspoken relationships an dynamics between family members. Her images, exhibited
this month at Rayko are by turns fascination and haunting, mysterious and deeply revealing."
ELIZABETH AVEDON BLOGSPOT
May 23, 2015
THE DAILY BEAST
BEST COFFEE TABLE BOOK OF 2012
"Lydia Panas' group portraiture...represented in this monograph suggests a
dark awkwardness that while not impermeable is haunting by way of an oblique subtlety."
PDN PHOTO ANNUAL 2012, The Year In Photography
Photo Books/Winner's Gallery
The Fundamental Artist
"Her appreciation of nature's essentials runs deep and is felt on her farm in Kutztown, PA.
After decades of tree growth, the family home now sets amongst a canopy of woodland. It
has served as a splendid backdrop for so many of her photographs. The early experience
she had, reinvigorating the countryside with her father, echoes many of thematic connections
that she explores within the frame of her lens today.
"What I would really like to stress is the visual richness of the work and the connections these
group portraits force upon the viewer. They will pull you in, whether you want it or not, and that
certainly is something that any photographer can only wish for. The work is also intensely beautiful.
The Mark of Abel - Highly Recommended"
LOUPE / Journal of the Photographic Resource Center
"The more one looks at Lydia Panas' photographs, the more one realizes
what a nuanced version of the contemporary portrait they are. Though
this work could have been another series of blankly staring faces, instead it
is a quiet and careful observation of human behavior and feelings. Among
numerous photographers working in the so-called deadpan aesthetic, Panas
stands out for her subjects that are not unemotional of detached. Where other
portraits quickly betray their emptiness, Panas' draw in and sustain the viewer
because of their layered content and striking beauty.
DEAR DAVE / ISSUE 07
"The pictures are a remarkable accomplishment, especially for a parent.
After all, every parent is an archivist, holding up a camera to try to capture posterity.
In contrast, Panas lets her children reveal themselves gradually for her photographs
and in so doing, reveals that the camera cannot stop the clock and hold back time.
Her children, standing on her lawn for the minute, will soon leave the nest and enter a
more sophisticated, more urban world. Or at least that's what it feels like from these
pictures. But the world of their futures will not be more complex or more troublesome.
They have already experienced the full range of human challenges - the challenge of
getting along with siblings and the challenge of bonding with their peers -sometimes
failing at these basic primal experiences. All of this can be seen in these photographs,
so different and so much more poignant than your average photo album."
VASA JOURNAL ON IMAGES AND CULTURE
"...these photographs drew my attention at first sight - something elusive and mysterious
resonated from the faces... They look timeless and full of existential meaning. It was
hard to look away."
"The Mark of Abel", Kehrer Verlag, 2013
BLINK Issue 2
Twelve Page Feature Story / Interview with ARam Kim
March 2011, South Korea
Ten Page Cover Story
Interview with Algai Wang/ March 2010 / China
Gilbert Coutelet / December 2012
France / November 2012
ZWIERCADEO, Warsaw, Poland
Kzrysztof Wyszomirski, Five Page Feature Story
Celebrity, Fine Art PhotoPlus Expo 2012
On Making Compelling Portraits
LANDSCAPE STORIES / PORTRAITS
BC ARTS INSIDER
PHOTO DISTRICT NEWS / EXPOSURES
Hans Michael Koetzle / Germany
THE MORNING CALL
Photographic Series Goes Beneath the Skin
"The evocative, often disarming photographs of Kutztown photographer
Lydia Panas reveal that behind most smiles lie uncertainty and self-consciousness.
Her subjects speak to us not with words, but with distracted gazes and enigmatic body language,
unconsciously revealing the flaws and fears that make us so wonderfully,
gloriously human. More than portraits, they are precarious character studies.
State of Nature: Encountering Lydia Panas Deeper in the Woods
"The mesmerizing gazes, frank self-presentation, and utter absorption in the
photographic exchange propels Panas' standers (can't call them sitters, can we?)
from within their contained frame and through the fourth wall of spectatorship
into a discomfiting engagement within our space of viewing."
SILVER EYE CENTER FOR PHOTOGRAPHY
"Curator Ellen Fleurov invited more than forty art and photography professionals
from the state - curators, writers, gallery owners, publishers, teachers and bloggers -
to nominate artists they felt were producing innovative and exceptional work.
From rising photographers whose vision will shape the future of the creative landscape to
internationally - known figures such as William Larson and Lydia Panas, this exhibition
attests to the extraordinary talent living and working across our state."
7 X 7 SF
San Francisco, CA
...Four Captivating Solo Art Shows
GENTI DI FOTOGRAFIA
Anino XIX N. 56 / Fall 2013
SAN FRANCISCO WEEKLY Calendar
BEST OF... Michael Singman-Aste / September 13, 2012
LANDSCAPE STORIES Adolescence Issue / September 2012
ELIZABETH AVEDON BLOG
WALL STREET JOURNAL BLOG
NEW YORK TIMES BLOG
NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE
A Drug for Down Syndrome
1000 WORDS BLOG
Her fascination with the transition period between childhood and adulthood
and related problems with self-definition is what distinguishes Panas
from other artists...if one takes a closer look at the images, the seemingly normal
group portraits of family and friends turn out to be engaging psychological portraits.
After Classical Portraiture
Michael Weinstein, Chicago
PHILADELPHIA CITY PAPER
"...her subjects have a haunting power over viewers, making us painfully aware that
we are seeing into lives that we may not have full permission to see.
Nina Willbach, 2012
Highly charged psychological portraits
Deceber 7, 2011
INFORM, ENLIGHTEN, ENTERTAIN
Life: The Year's Best
Anne Moore, Chicago
"Haunting me are the lush, eery photographs of American children,
teens, couples and families in Lydia Panas' first monograph,
The Mark of Abel.
THE MORNING CALL
"Somewhere between conceptual art and portraiture lie the evocative
and often disarming photographs of photographer Lydia Panas. Her subjects
seem at once familiar yet somehow disconnected, their eyes watching us as
we watch them. They are enigmas that beg for interpretation, with gazes
revealing as much- or as little- about themselves as those who view them.
fotoMAGAZIN / EDITION
SHOOTING STARS 2011
"First portfolio only, XXL sized fotoMAGAZINR EDITION
at German newsstands including exciting work by Lisa M. Robinson,
Lydia Panas, SImen Johan and many more!
MONTHLY PHOTOGRAPHY Magazine
Essay by Sujong Song, South Korea
FRACTION MAG/ The Dress Show / Melanie McWhorter