André Simoens Gallery is proud to present the exhibition
ARCHITECTURE by the artist HIROSHI SUGIMOTO
Hiroshi Sugimoto was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1948, lives and works in New York and Tokyo. He studied politics and sociology at St. Paul’s University in Tokyo. He retrained himself as an artist, received his BFA in Fine Arts and settled in New York. Sugimoto started his work in 1976, the central idea is that photography is a time machine, a method of preserving and picturing memory and time. He sees with the eye of a sculptor, painter, architect, and philosopher.
An 8x10 inches large-format camera and extremely long exposures made Sugimoto a photographer of the highest technical ability. He uses his camera in a way to create images that seem to convey his subjects’ essence, whether architectural, sculptural, painterly, or of the natural world. He values craftsmanship and prints his photographs with meticulous attention. Sugimoto is known for taking years to work on his series on themes ranging from museum dioramas, movie theaters, seascapes, historical wax figures. In 1997, on a commission from the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Sugimoto started photographing great landmarks of modernist architecture. The goal of architectural photography is to show all the details and the reality of the structure, highlighting the work, but Sugimoto has broken all the rules. The black & white images, shot out of focus and from unusual angles, are not attempts at documentation, but are meant to isolate the buildings from their contexts. This transforms these popular icons and structures into unknown shapes creating mood, mystery and intrigue.
Early-twentieth century Modernism greatly transformed our lives, liberating the human
spirit from untold decoration. No longer needing to draw attention from God, all aristocratic attempts at ostentation have fallen away. At last we avail ourselves of mechanical aids far beyond our human powers, attaining the freedom to shape things at
will. I decided to trace the beginnings of our age via architecture. Pushing my old large-format
camera’s focal length out to twice-infinity – with no stops on the bellows rail, the view through the lens was an utter blur - I discovered that superlative architecture survives,
however dissolved, the onslaught of blurred photography. Thus I began erosion-testing
architecture for durability, completely melting away many of the buildings in the process.