17
Sep
11

Exhibition: ‘Hiroshi Sugimoto’ at The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh

Presented by the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and the Edinburgh International Festival
Exhibition dates: 4th August – 25th September 2011

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Many thankx to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

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Hiroshi Sugimoto
A Stem of Delicate Leaves of an Umbrellifer, circa 1843 – 1846
2009
Toned gelatin silver print
93.7 x 74.9 cm
© Hiroshi Sugimoto

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Hiroshi Sugimoto
Leaves of Paeony, June 1839
2009
Toned gelatin silver print
93.7 x 74.9 cm
© Hiroshi Sugimoto

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Hiroshi Sugimoto
Louisa Gallwey and Horatia Feilding, at Lacock Abbey, August 29, 1842
2009
Toned gelatin silver print
93.7 x 74.9 cm
© Hiroshi Sugimoto

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Hiroshi Sugimoto
Wild Fennel, circa 1841 – 1842
2009
Toned gelatin silver print
93.7 x 74.9 cm
© Hiroshi Sugimoto

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“The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and the Edinburgh International Festival are delighted to announce a major new exhibition of one of the world’s leading artists, the renowned Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto. Consisting entirely of works which are being shown in Europe for the first time, this exhibition will feature 26 large-scale works from two of Sugimoto’s most recent, and visually poetic series, Lightning Fields and Photogenic Drawings. This revelatory exhibition will allow audiences to experience first hand Sugimoto’s exploration of the very nature of photography. The show has been extended by one week and will now run until 25 September instead of the 18 September as previously published.

Simon Groom, Director of Modern and Contemporary Art, National Galleries of Scotland said: “Sugimoto has developed an international reputation for the sheer beauty of his images, which are as thought-provoking as they are technically stunning. We are thrilled to be premiering work from his newest series in Europe, which demonstrates a master at the very top of his game, and are delighted to be working again in partnership with Edinburgh International Festival to bring the very best of contemporary visual art to Scotland.”

Jonathan Mills, Edinburgh International Festival Director added: “Hiroshi Sugimoto’s extraordinary work presented at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art is an exciting part of Festival 2011’s exploration of contemporary and classical Asian artists and their long influence on artists in the West. These are stunning images created in fascinating ways and I urge people to engage with this exhibition as part of their Festival experience.” 

Hiroshi Sugimoto was born in Tokyo in 1948 and now divides his time between Japan and his studio in New York. He has exhibited extensively in major museums and galleries throughout the world, including the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles; the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin; the Serpentine Gallery, London; and the Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain, Paris. In 2009 he was awarded the Praemium Imperiale, an arts prize awarded by the imperial family of Japan on behalf of the Japan Art Association. His image, Boden Sea, Uttwil (1993) featured on the cover of No Line on the Horizon, the 2009 album by Irish rock band U2.

The Photogenic Drawings series was inspired by the innovative techniques of the 19th century photographer, Henry Fox Talbot. This pioneering artist invented ‘photogenic drawings’ by using light-sensitive paper to produce a negative in the early experimental days of photography. This process was especially influential in Scotland shaping the careers of Robert Adamson and David Octavius Hill, who went on to become one of the most famous collaborations in photographic history. Sugimoto has spent several years locating and acquiring Fox Talbot’s rare and vulnerable negatives from which to make his own photographs. The small scale of Fox Talbot’s work has been greatly enlarged by Sugimoto to reveal images that are haunting, almost painterly in their evocative power.

Lightning Fields is a series of dramatic and spectacular photographs produced through the play of violent electrical discharges on photographic film. Sugimoto moved his studio six times in an attempt to overcome a problem of static electricity which would often ruin his photographs with their tell-tale white flashes on the finished image. He decided to investigate further the phenomenon and to make ‘an ally of my nemesis’. Eventually, rather than try to suppress the random acts of nature, Sugimoto found ways to generate them by using a Van de Graaf Generator to induce electrical charges on the film. His large photographs expose in minute detail the remarkable effects of light particles not visible to the human eye. The results offer a fascinating range of interpretations, from powerful lightning strikes to images of weird and wonderful life forms.

This exhibition will be complemented by Towards the Light, a free display of prints from the National Galleries of Scotland collection that will examine the influence of 19th century Japanese colour woodcuts on artists working in Britain and Japan during the first decades of the 20th century. 19th century Japanese prints will feature as well as prints by artists using traditional colour woodcut techniques in the 1920s and 30s.”

Press release from the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art website

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Hiroshi Sugimoto
Lightning Fields 168
2009
Gelatin silver print
149 x 119.4 cm
© Hiroshi Sugimoto

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Hiroshi Sugimoto
Lightning Fields 190
2009
Gelatin silver print
149 x 119.4 cm
© Hiroshi Sugimoto

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Hiroshi Sugimoto
Lightning Fields 226
2009
Gelatin silver print
149 x 119.4 cm
© Hiroshi Sugimoto

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Hiroshi Sugimoto
Lightning Fields 236
2009
Gelatin silver print
149 x 119.4 cm
© Hiroshi Sugimoto

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Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art
75 Belford Road, Edinburgh, EH4 3DR
T: 0131 6246 6200

Opening hours:
4 -31 August Open Daily 10am – 6pm
1- 25 September Open Daily 10am – 5pm

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art website

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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes the Art Blart blog which reviews exhibitions in Melbourne, Australia and posts exhibitions from around the world. He has a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne and is currently studying a Master of Art Curatorship at The University of Melbourne.

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