Throckmorton Fine Art is pleased to offer an exhibition of Jonathan Singer’s photographs of rare flowers and plants, Botanica Magnifica. Singer’s color photographs are immediate and striking. Through the inventive use of lighting, flowers and plants are isolated from their setting, made suddenly present, and captured in both exquisite detail and a rich luminosity. The images are fresh; the flowers become art objects, with their sculptural qualities highlighted.
Also being exhibited for the first time are images from another double elephant folio. Tulipae Hortorum. Gifted by Jonathan to the country of Sweden, in a formal ceremony on Feb 11, 2009 at the Royal Swedish academy of Sciences, in Stockholm. The first American photographer to have work accepted into that esteemed institution.
Much of Singer’s work in photography has been at the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of Natural History. A set of his photographs was published in five lavish hand-bound volumes in the enormous “double-elephant” format. The publication, titled Botanica Magnifica, is modeled on Audubon’s magnum opus, The Birds of America. The Smithsonian’s Chairman of Botany has said in praise of Botanica Magnifica: “Everyone who has seen the photographs… has been tremendously impressed with the power, scale, and depth of the work.” In the fall of 2009, Abbeville Press will publish a more accessible version of the work, retaining the title.
Singer, an American, was trained as a medical doctor, a profession he successfully practiced for many years. He is largely a self-taught photographer, but has quickly won acclaim. He has been featured in ARTnews, Silvershotz, and Fine Books and Collections. In 2008, he received the Hasselblad Laureate Award. Fittingly, at the presentation of the award, Singer was commended both for his contribution to the fine arts and for enhancing “our perception and appreciation of the botanical world.”
Throckmorton Fine Art is showing 22 of Singer’s photographs, all but 2 of which are in color. In addition to a diversity of rare plants and flowers, there is a small group of photographs of a flower that also was a favored subject for Mapplethorpe—the white tulip. The exhibition is complimented by a few of Singer’s recent photographs of bonsai.
Throckmorton Fine Art is honored to be the first gallery to exhibit Jonathan Singer’s photographs, showing them, individually and collectively, as masterful works of art.