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Hiroshi Sugimoto (Japanese, b.1948)
LOT ID: 65783
Empire State Building, Shreve, Lamb & Harmon, 1997

Offset Lithograph, Tri-tone lithograph
30 х 18 in. (76.2 x 45.72 cm.)
Print/Casting Year 2004
Edition of 200
Foundry/Publisher Art Center College of Design, 2004.
Lot description
Hiroshi Sugimoto, Empire State Building, Shreve, Lamb & Harmon, 1997. Tri-tone (offset) lithograph, 30 x 18 inches, 76.2 x 45.7 centimeters. Frame: 39 x 27 inches, 99 x 68.6 cm. Unsigned edition of 200, published 2004.

Professionally framed with gloss black lacquer frame, white mat, UV plexiglas.

Hiroshi Sugimoto's images freeze time and space, revealing the workings of our own vision, slowing down the act of perception long enough that it becomes a palpable component of his work. Inspired by early 19th century photography and Renaissance paintings, the artist achieves an exquisite range of tones in a body of work that reflects a great love of detail, an exceptional technical ability, and a fascination with the paradox of time. His earliest photographs were images of decadent movie palaces built in the 20s and 30s. By timing the exposure of his photos to the exact length of the film being screened, he produced images that depict theater interiors bathed in the magical glare of an all-white screen: pure light. Next Sugimoto began a body of work that he continues to this day, photographing views of the sea from land, traveling around the world to make pictures that, despite their vastly different geographic origins, seem at first to be the same, with only slight variations. Their captions, however, confirm that each is of a different body of water: Caspian, Ligurian, Black. Hiroshi Sugimoto investigates the notion of timelessness by recording the seascape, a surface that remains the least changed thus revealing a time that exists beyond our own.

Hiroshi Sugimoto was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1948, and lives and works in New York and Tokyo. His interest in art began early. His reading of André Breton’s writings led to his discovery of Surrealism and Dada and a lifelong connection to the work and philosophy of Marcel Duchamp. Central to Sugimoto’s work is the idea that photography is a time machine, a method of preserving and picturing memory and time. This theme provides the defining principle of his ongoing series including, among others, “Dioramas” (1976-); “Theaters” (1978-); and “Seascapes” (1980-). Sugimoto sees with the eye of the sculptor, painter, architect, and philosopher. He uses his camera in a myriad of ways to create images that seem to convey his subjects’ essence, whether architectural, sculptural, painterly, or of the natural world. He places extraordinary value on craftsmanship, printing his photographs with meticulous attention and a keen understanding of the nuances of silver-print making and its potential for tonal richness in his seemingly infinite palette of blacks, whites, and grays. Recent projects include an architectural commission at Naoshima Contemporary Art Center in Japan, for which Sugimoto designed and built a Shinto shrine, and the photographic series, “Conceptual Forms,” inspired by Marcel Duchamp’s “Large Glass: The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors, Even.” Sugimoto has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts; the 2001 Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography; and has had one-person exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; LAMoCA; Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; MCA Chicago; and Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, among others. The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC, and the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, are joint organizers of a 2005 Sugimoto retrospective. [pbs.org]
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