the promise “Open” while surrounded by closed, solid surfaces mirroring enigmatic objects. Day is seldom to be seen in these pictures; where it is, it is hazy, a day perhaps not all that congruous with the palm trees and beach blowing indistinct and blurry behind the surface. There are no people in these works, just their environment – of necessity an urban environment, as these pictures could not be made without the lights of the metropolis.

The titles of the pictures often betray their setting, from New York to Berlin-Mitte. But in the end, it is not the place itself that is important. Nighttime lights as the codification of glamour and the coldness of neon as a stand-in for public spaces of transit – both of which sprang from the pictorial world of the prototypical American city – entered our visual vocabulary already long ago.

Places devoid of people were also to be seen in the earlier series created by Lehmann-Brauns, born in Berlin in 1967 – places still waiting for their inhabitants, or perhaps just left by those inhabitants. Lehmann-Brauns studied with Joachim Brohm and, while she has lost nothing of his precision, she quickly left behind the limitations of the documentational. When Lehmann-Brauns photographs pubs, clubs, lounges and hotel bars, theaters and cinemas, she depicts the actual places but also lends them a surreal quality – always empty, the event over, the smoke dissipated, the music silenced. Only the fullest of colors – typically dark and reddish – are left behind, along with the telling details connecting the place with its time. Her perspective is always focused on the form of the interior, distilling the most important lines and angles to create an aesthetic composition of the given room. In one of her past series, Lehmann-Brauns began to rebuild spaces, settings somewhere between dollhouses and stages, their titles betraying the fact that they were actually conceived as portraits. Take, for example, “Oma Kessler,” a lonely potted plant positioned before patterned wallpaper; a space of remembrance needs nothing more to become a picture.

In her new series, Lehmann-Brauns has abandoned these models to return to reality while simultaneously taking a step back from it through the glass surfaces, mirroring