Natasha Akhmerova Gallery
PROMENADENGASSE 19   CH-8001 ZURICH   +41 (44) 280 45 45


Beyond This Thing Between Us
Things I Never Told You
Untitled Advertisements

2009 VERMONT STUDIO CENTER Residency, Johnson, Vermont


1989-1991 CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF THE ARTS Fine Art, Art History, Semiotics, Feminism, Popular Culture, Conceptual and Critical Theory, Valencia, California

1988-1989 SCHOOL OF VISUAL ARTS Photography, Painting, Sculpture, Media Communication, New York, New York

1982-1986 ARTS MAGNET HIGH SCHOOL Painting, Drawing, Art History, Printmaking Dallas, Texas

In Denise Prince’s photographic series Beyond This Thing Between Us elements of a narrative are assembled and the intimate space created for the photography to take place becomes the subjective content. It is not important that the scenes are constructed but that the construction results in creating intimacy.

For her photographic series Things I Never Told You, Prince constructs narratives that utilize the language of advertisement and fashion photography then carefully disrupts the subtext. Her dislocated and buoyant portraits, reflect lives informed by American culture and nuanced by individuality.

Prince’s short films and videos center around the artist’s willingness to speak from her subjectivity despite the fact that doing so exposes information that is culturally shameful. Prince uses dance and other devices in her work to provide a framework for the normative and non-normative behavior she embodies.

Her work has shown in art galleries and festivals in the United States, Mexico, Spain, Italy and Turkey. Jerry Saltz (New York magazine) said "Your video is excellent; very raw, mysterious, revealing, complex, and vulnerable, radically vulnerable. 
You are telling your secrets while keeping them secret..."

Wonder Women, Mary Anne Connolly, bRILLIANT, August 2004

Encountering the photographs of Denise Prince is like launching into a novel on a random page. You can only fill in so much. There’s no certainty of what’s happened up to this point in the story. Her haunting portraits, a disparate family of anonymous, real women of every age and body type, clothed in chiffon to charmeuse, face us with honestly and eloquence despite their silent gaze. Staged with props as common as purses and bouquets or as bizarre as half-open gourdes and a stuffed Tweety bird, the subjects compliment their settings, even though they look like they’ve never been there before. One woman stands in an open desert, another a grocery store aisle. Here, a forest, there, a dumpsite. Stories started mid-stream leave you to fill in the blanks.

Things I Never Told You: The Photographs of Denise Prince, Risa Puleo, Women and Their Work catalogue, May 2007

...Applying rhetoric from literary theory and Roland Barthe’s essay “Rhetoric of the Image” to define how narrative functions in contemporary photography, Lucy Soutter writes, “Photography is always and yet never a narrative form: always in that it contains the permanent record of the act of photographing and of any actions that were in progress at the moment of exposure, never in that it remains forever static... Caught in a state of permanent suspense vis a vis events that have just happened or are about to take place, photographs contain essential seeds of narratives that can never come to fruition except in the imagination.” Soutter’s discussion provides useful terms for deciphering the codes in Prince’s images. By separating the act of photographing from the actions being performed in the photograph - narration from narrative - we can begin to understand the rhetoric of Prince’s images and the strategic way in which she “frames” her tales.

...Though Prince references imagery from a history of representations of woman in art sine the Renaissance, Cindy Sherman is the artist to whom Prince is most indebted to conceptually. Where thirty years ago, Cindy Sherman used the visual codes of cinema to imply narrative in photography and explore the way in which women are framed in film in her Untitled (Film Stills), Prince employs the visual syntax of editorial fashion and style photography. Seducing through slickness, saturated color, professional styling and art direction, Prince’s photographs appeal to commercial sensibilities. But she then disrupts with details, the very ones that fashion photographers airbrush out to create their images of desire, and individual elements fail to coalesce. Rather than creating and marketing desire, images in the series complicate, even usurp, desire by amplifying the contrivance of fashion photography to the level of the absurd.

Jerry Saltz, New York magazine

 April 2009

“Your video is excellent; very raw, mysterious, revealing, complex, and vulnerable, radically vulnerable. You are telling your secrets while keeping them secret. I did think of the early Pipilotti Rist tape, “I’m Not a Girl Who Misses Much” and maybe Gillian Wearing’s “Dancing in Peckem.” But the work is still very strong. Keep me posted.

Way to go.”


Artist Alison O’Daniel (Intimate Address/Adulterer)
July 2009

I think this video is perfect. As art and as life. It describes what I want out of feminism and art. It's so wholly unwilling to accept anything but honesty and truth without concealing it behind power plays, desire, and flirtation-as so much feminist work has done in the last 30 years. Mine included-indeed this is the very thing I've wrestled with.

And having been there with you during that summer, watching, it started out as slightly awkward knowing what you were talking about-as if I had a perspective that isn't addressed in the piece. But then it unfolds and isn't awkward that I know what I know or saw what I saw...instead it's a relief because it speaks what we never speak. And ultimately, I think this is what we are all aiming for. At least this is my philosophy- to aim for a disclosure and an honesty that is not in contradiction with empowerment...and most importantly simultaneously owns itself within vulnerability. Usually, work about vulnerability- much of mine has done this, and much of your other work does this - still relies on harnessing sexual desire I think, in a dishonest way, that often cancels the aim out and becomes an imploding wannabe feminist mess. This mess is what so many people respond to and want and are titillated by...and yet I can't shake the feeling that it hands the power right back to the audience because they can name it and understand it. And sometimes, often if we really take the time to think about it, this is interesting because it points to the failure of us. But I think, in this piece, it works in an opposite display the point of vulnerability not as a sexual prowess, but from a space of defeat and in saying what hasn't been and usually isn't said, you find power.

Matt Seitz, former film critic for New York Press, for the House Next Door

May 2009

“Prince makes unsettling, haunting, very personal short films that deliberately confound viewer reactions; they're confessional, sometimes squirm-inducingly so, but with a teasing, opaque edge that's playful and accessible. I guess you could call them ‘experimental,’ but I prefer not to, since the word seems too cold to describe such warm work.”

Artist Andrea Bowers (Letter to Wes Anderson)

May 2009

“Denise. I like this video. It's so strange with all that pink and the visor! The visor is amazing and somehow throws the thing all out of whack in a brilliant way. I like the more minimal dialog. I think it is interesting directing. It is video that has a totally female sensibility to quote a lynda benglis video. This video will make guys squirm. That’s why I love it. It's great!”

Edward Rubin, Art Critic, New York, NY
(Celebrity Topiary by Denise Prince for Art City Austin fair) on Downtown television program, Art City Austin on KLRU, November 13, 2008

“I am a writer. I travel a lot internationally to write about big shows and biennales. The thing I enjoyed most, as afar as the work of art, is the topiary. I think it’s the most original thing in the show.”

Artist Jenny Levonian (Intimate Distance – Adulterer)
November 2009

“I watched your new videos--very intriguing and brave work. So raw. I couldn't turn my eyes away which is the opposite reaction I have to most video. The background scenery was beautiful--all that beige grass reminded me of a Wyeth painting.”

Joel- Peter Witkin, 2013: "I think Denise's work is exciting and courageous. I have great respect for her work."

Charles Merward, 2013: "Her work has transcendental value because it is beyond good and evil, right and wrong, outside of the law. It is literally insane."

DOWNTOWN Municipal Shadow, Performance, Marfa, Texas

EFFEARTE GALLERY Photography, Video and Performance for Beyond This Thing Between Us, Milan, Italy

BRIDGE WYNWOOD Intimate Distance, Soldier/Adulterer, Performance, Miami, Florida

ABANDONED LOT Intimate Distance, Adulterer, Performance, Marfa, Texas

WOMEN AND THEIR WORK Photographs from Things I Never Told You and Girl in a Bubble, Performance, Austin, Texas

PLAN B Photographs from Women, Austin, Texas

ART BAR Photographs from Women, Dallas, Texas

ANTHOLOGY FILM ARCHIVE The Deep End, Feature Film Screening; Co-wrote, co-produced and played the lead role, produced by Cary Woods, New York, New York

RALIEGH STUDIOS The Deep End, Feature Film Screening, Los Angeles, California

1991 PIK ME UP Good for Amusement Only, Public Art Installation, Produced and programmed short films for a coin-operated film booth and installed it in espresso cafe, Los Angeles, California

PURPLE PANTHER Good for Amusement Only, Public Art Installation, Film booth installation in tattoo parlor, Los Angeles, California

PARKER ZANIC GALLERY Speaker Death, Performance, Los Angeles, California

THE OTHER 45 MINUTES Gold In Unison, Performance, Los Angeles, California

RAJI’S Speaker Death, Performance, Los Angeles, California

MAIN GALLERY Free Beer, Female Beet Wrestling, Performance, CalArts, Valencia, California

MAIN GALLERY The Running (of the sheep), Performance, CalArts, Valencia, California

FESTIVAL DE CINE INTERNACIONAL DE BARCELONA Beck Video and Soldier video screening, Barcelona, Spain

ROOFTOP FILMS Home Movies Short Films program, Beck Video screening, Brooklyn, New York

Performance For C.Q. and Others for Low Lives, projected in real time at FIVEMYLES, Brooklyn, New York; DIASPORA VIBE GALLERY, Miami, Florida; LABOTANICA, Houston, Texas

SAN FRANCISCO SHORT FILM FESTIVAL, Soldier video screening, San Francisco, California

INTERNATIONAL ARTEXPO - ESSENCE / BORDERS . Soldier and Beck Video Screening, Istanbul, Turkey

2009 BIG RED SUN Beck Video Screening, Austin, Texas

APAMA MACKEY GALLERY Photographs for Treat, Houston, Texas

WOMEN AND THEIR WORK Performance for Interact Out, Austin, Texas; Thirtieth Anniversary Gala

ART ALLIANCE AUSTIN Celebrity Topiary public art commission for Art City Austin, Austin, Texas, jurors Laurence Miller Fluent Collaborative, Eva Buttacavoli Austin Museum of Art, Annette Carlozzi Blanton Museum of Art , Ursula Davila Blanton Museum of Art

COLOR OF ENERGY GALLERY Photographs for You Are Here, Dayton, Ohio; curated by Eva Buttacavoli, Director of Exhibitions and Education, Austin Museum of Art

UNITED STATES ART AUTHORITY Photograph for Rewind Seventies, Austin, Texas

LAWNDALE ART CENTER Retablo for Dia de los Muertos, Houston, Texas

ALBUQUERQUE MUSEUM OF ART & HISTORY Photograph for Biennial Southwest, Albuquerque, NM; juror Neal Benezra, Director, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

PHOTOGRAPHY NOW: ONE HUNDRED PORTFOLIOS Photographs from Things I Never Told You on DVD-ROM organized by Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio

WICHITA FALLS MUSEUM OF ART New American Talent: The Twentieth Exhibition, Wichita Falls, Texas, Traveling exhibition

GALLERI URBANE Photographs for Me, Myself and Everybody Else, Marfa, Texas

ARTHOUSE AT THE JONES CENTER - NEW AMERICAN TALENT 20 New American Talent: The Twentieth Exhibition, traveling exhibition originating in Austin, Texas; juror Dan Cameron, Senior Curator at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York

2040 GALLERY Photograph for Endless Summer, Austin, Texas

JORDAN GALLERY Photographs for Smithville, Texas!, Smithville, Texas

ARCAUTE ARTE CONTEMPORANEO Photographs for Los Americanos, Monterrey, Mexico

ARTHOUSE AT THE JONES CENTER - NEW AMERICAN TALENT 19 New American Talent, traveling exhibition, Austin, Texas; juror Jerry Saltz, Senior Art Critic, The Village Voice, New York

AMVETS Photographs for Post 65, Marfa, Texas

2040 GALLERY Photograph for Cicada, Austin, Texas

GUADALUPE ARTS CENTER Photographs for Eclectic Gatherin,g Austin, Texas

BLISS The Significance of Bricolage, Installation at Bliss Gallery, Pasadena, California

THEATER GALLERY Mud Wrestling, Performance, Dallas, Texas

2009 VERMONT STUDIO CENTER Full fellowship

2008 ART ALLIANCE AUSTIN Commission of temporary public art installation



2004 AUSTIN CHRONICLE Named one of the Top 7 Individual Artists of the year by Arts writer Rachel Koper

1999 TEXAS FILM INSTITUTE Semifinalist in feature screenplay competition for Finesp


“Exposed”, Tribeza, November 2009

“An exhibit in the form of art criticism”, Austin, July 15, 2009

Cover image and two spreads, Irreversible Magazine an International Art Project, Spring 2009

“Echoes and Reverberations: Karen Finley and the Delicate Art of Disgust”, Dallas Observer, Feb 13, 2009

“A Tale of Two Bridges,” ARTINFO, December 5, 2008

Featured on Downtown television program, “Art City Austin” KLRU, November 13, 2008

The Big Bend Sentinel, October 16, 2008

Picnic Magazine, Issue #3, September 2008

“Interact Out with Women & Their Work,” The Austin American Statesman April 17, 2008

“Weekend Austin Art Fair Modernizes, Moves,” The Austin American Statesman April 11, 2008

“Art Alliance Austin poised to makeover the city,” News 8 Austin interview with Paul Brown, April 11, 2008

“The city becomes an outdoor art gallery of sorts,” News 8 Austin interview with Kendra Mendez, April 7, 2008

“The Ultimate Gig,” Austin Monthly, December 2007

“Things I Never Told You: The Photographs of Denise Prince,” catalogue accompanying show at Women and Their Work, May 2007

“Things I Never Told You,” 180 Magazine, June 2007

“Inner Worlds We Inhabit,” Austin Chronicle, May 25, 2007

Biennial Southwest catalogue, Albuquerque Museum of Art, 2006

“`Biennial Southwest' takes folks into the world of cutting-edge contemporary art,” The Albuquerque Tribune, October 5, 2006

“Albuquerque Museum 'Biennial Southwest' Picks Up Pieces of Other Shows,” The Albuquerque Journal, September 10, 2006

“Photographs, book signing featured at Galleri Urbane’s show Friday,” Big Bend Sentinel August 2006

“Oh, Give Me a Home,” The Austin Chronicle, July 1, 2005 p. 34

“The 20th 'New American Talent' exhibition reveals a country struggling with isolation and power,” The Austin Chronicle, July 1, 2005

“Don't judge work of 'New American Talent' artists by the curator's essay,” The Austin American Statesman, June 30, 2005

“Top 7 Individual Artists of 2004,” Austin Chronicle, January 2005 p. 28

“Wonder Women,” bRILLIANT Magazine, August 2004 p. 23

“They Like Me, They Really Like Me,” GlassTire, August 2004

“Calendar,” Photo District News, July 2004 p. 126

“Curator Weaves New Craftiness Into Expanded ‘New American Talent’ Show,” The Austin American Statesman, July 1, 2004

“Recommended,” Xlent June 3, 2004

“Out and About,” The Good Life June 2004

“A Piece of Work,” Austin Chronicle August 2003

“Working Women in the Arts,” Interviewed for cable programming, 2001

Filmmaker Magazine, 1992