Projects 37: Suzanne Lafont

Oct 2–Nov 15, 1992


Installation view of Projects 37: Suzanne Lafont at The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo: Katherine Keller

The first exhibition in the United States of the work of French artist Suzanne Lafont, Projects 37: Suzanne Lafont includes work from two recent photographic series, both in color and black and white.

Although Lafont’s large and dynamic works concentrate on the face, they are not traditional portraits—explorations of specific identities—but investigations into the nature of appearance itself. In her gestural and cinematic series, Lafont attempts to find a purely visual mode of communication. One series included in the exhibition is the black-and-white work L’Argent (Money) of 1991, a tableau consisting of six photographs. As the camera records the furtive exchange of money, image and narrative develop simultaneously.

The exhibition also includes works from Lafont’s color series Choeur de Grimaces (Chorus of Grimaces) of 1992. These close-up images—either eerily blank or intensely emotional—seem to illustrate, rather than depict, the experience of particular feelings.

The artist’s most recent work draws from a spectrum of sources from art history, philosophy, and contemporary culture. In her essay for the brochure accompanying the exhibition, Lynn Zelevansky writes, “[Lafont’s] is an art that embraces dichotomies: modernism and archaism; nature and culture; formalism and expressionism are not seen as mutually exclusive terms. She employs oppositional concepts not as ends in themselves, but rather because they allow her to present an alternative vision unconcerned with the ’truth’ of a given approach…Paradox is meant to generate in the viewer a sense of changing circumstances and evolving definitions that corresponds to, and makes immediate, day-to-day experience.”

Organized by Lynn Zelevansky, curatorial assistant, Department of Painting and Sculpture.

The Museum’s Projects series, coordinated by Robert Storr, curator, Department of Painting and Sculpture, is an interdepartmental effort involving staff from all six curatorial departments.

  • This exhibition is part of The Elaine Dannheisser Projects Series.
  • The Projects series is made possible by generous grants from the Lannan Foundation, The Bohen Foundation, and The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art. Additional support for this exhibition has been provided by the Association Franchise d’Action Artistique, Ministere des Affaires Etrangeres, Paris.


    • Projects 37 : Suzanne Lafont : the Museum of Modern Art, New York, October 2-November 15, 1992 Out of print, 6 pages
    • Press release 2 pages

    Installation images

    How we identified these works

    In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

    If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].


    If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

    MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit

    If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


    This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].