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    SEASCAPES

    This is the question I asked myself: when the first human stood and looked at the sea, what did he see? What do we share with that vision? I discovered that the camera is a time machine capable of representing the sense of time.
    Hiroshi Sugimoto

    Seascapes (1980- ) brings together a series of elemental landscapes of the sea and sky taken in different parts of the world. Some were photographed during the day and others at night; some are misty, with the horizon barely visible, while others have a crisp clarity that reveals the forms of the waves. Despite the Romantic and almost mystical effect of these works, their titles are objective and documentary, reflecting Sugimoto’s roots in conceptual art.

    Through these images Sugimoto set out to capture scenes that a primitive man could have recognized and to reflect on what we share with those visions today. The camera is understood as a device possessed of a particular capacity: that of representing the sense of time. It is a quest for origins which, in temporal terms, locates the viewer in the realm of the eternal.

    Blurring the line that separates human history from eternity and from the representation of abstraction, Seascapes can be located within the tradition of photography of the natural world while achieving the status of the contemporary sublime.

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    Mar Egeo, Pelión, 1990

    Aegean Sea, Pilion, 1990
    Gelatin silver print
    © Hiroshi Sugimoto

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    Golfo de Sagami, Atami, 1997

    Bay of Sagami, Atami, 1997 
    Gelatin silver print 
    © Hiroshi Sugimoto

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    Golfo de Sagami, Atami, 1997

    Bay of Sagami, Atami, 1997
    Gelatin silver print
    © Hiroshi Sugimoto

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    Mar Tirreno, Conca, 1994

    Tyrrhenian Sea, Conca, 1994
    Gelatin silver print
    © Hiroshi Sugimoto

  • SEASCAPES

    Imagen de la exposición Imagen de la exposición

    This is the question I asked myself: when the first human stood and looked at the sea, what did he see? What do we share with that vision? I discovered that the camera is a time machine capable of representing the sense of time.
    Hiroshi Sugimoto

    Seascapes (1980- ) brings together a series of elemental landscapes of the sea and sky taken in different parts of the world. Some were photographed during the day and others at night; some are misty, with the horizon barely visible, while others have a crisp clarity that reveals the forms of the waves. Despite the Romantic and almost mystical effect of these works, their titles are objective and documentary, reflecting Sugimoto’s roots in conceptual art.

    Through these images Sugimoto set out to capture scenes that a primitive man could have recognized and to reflect on what we share with those visions today. The camera is understood as a device possessed of a particular capacity: that of representing the sense of time. It is a quest for origins which, in temporal terms, locates the viewer in the realm of the eternal.

    Blurring the line that separates human history from eternity and from the representation of abstraction, Seascapes can be located within the tradition of photography of the natural world while achieving the status of the contemporary sublime.

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    PORTRAITS

    However fake the subject, once photographed, it’s as good as real.
    Hiroshi Sugimoto

    Portraits (1994-1999) comprises studio photographs of historical figures made in wax. The principal work depicts Henry VIII of England with his six wives, while the series also includes more recent political and religious figures such as Yasser Arafat and Pope John Paul II.

    The subjects depicted are disturbingly lifelike and almost hyper-real due to Sugimoto’s masterly use of the camera’s technical potential. These works are highly meditated constructions: in his studio the artist located the wax models against a black background in order to give them an archetypal, larger-than-life appearance. He also used a large-format, black and white negative to achieve a definition in the details and tones that elevates these photographs to the level of painted historical portraits.

    Despite their exaggerated realism and impeccable clarity, these portraits of figures who, in most cases, died long ago are impossible, and it is the tension between the falsified and the real, the animate and the inanimate and life and death that gives these effigies their peculiar uncanny charge.

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    Enrique VIII, 1999

    Henry VIII, 1999
    Gelatin silver print
    © Hiroshi Sugimoto

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    Catalina de Aragón, 1999

    Catherine of Aragon, 1999
    Gelatin silver print
    © Hiroshi Sugimoto

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    Vladímir Ilich Lenin, 1999

    Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, 1999
    Gelatin silver print
    © Hiroshi Sugimoto

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    Fidel Castro, 1999

    Fidel Castro, 1999
    Gelatin silver print 
    © Hiroshi Sugimoto

  • PORTRAITS

    Imagen de la exposición Imagen de la exposición

    However fake the subject, once photographed, it’s as good as real.
    Hiroshi Sugimoto

    Portraits (1994-1999) comprises studio photographs of historical figures made in wax. The principal work depicts Henry VIII of England with his six wives, while the series also includes more recent political and religious figures such as Yasser Arafat and Pope John Paul II.

    The subjects depicted are disturbingly lifelike and almost hyper-real due to Sugimoto’s masterly use of the camera’s technical potential. These works are highly meditated constructions: in his studio the artist located the wax models against a black background in order to give them an archetypal, larger-than-life appearance. He also used a large-format, black and white negative to achieve a definition in the details and tones that elevates these photographs to the level of painted historical portraits.

    Despite their exaggerated realism and impeccable clarity, these portraits of figures who, in most cases, died long ago are impossible, and it is the tension between the falsified and the real, the animate and the inanimate and life and death that gives these effigies their peculiar uncanny charge.

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    THEATERS

    One difference between the camera and the human eye is that the human eye has no shutter. So it is like a time exposure, it is continuous. When you’re born, the exposure opens. And when you die it closes. That's the one exposure. Life is one long exposure.
    Hiroshi Sugimoto

    Theaters (1976- ) comprises photographs taken in classic and drive-in cinemas. The light reflected on the screens provides the only source of light within the dark interiors, their various decorative elements reflecting Sugimoto’s interest in architecture and aesthetic stylings of time past.

    In order to create these works the artist left open the shutter of a large-format camera during the entire showing of full-length films, a simple but radical procedure in which the length of the film determines the exposure time.

    This deliberate overexposure of the negative allows for capturing the light that has accumulated on the screen during the entire projection of the film, which takes shape as an empty, white, glowing rectangle, flooded with a luminosity that can be read as a representation of death.

    In its entirety, Theaters brilliantly captures the immensity of various concepts relating to time: the long durée of the film is compressed into an instant while the accumulated repertoire of fleeting, animated images becomes abstract and at the same time intensely concrete.

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    U.A. Playhouse, Nueva York, 1978

    U.A. Playhouse, New York, 1978
    Gelatin silver print 
    © Hiroshi Sugimoto

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    El Capitan, Hollywood, 1993

    El Capitan, Hollywood, 1993
    Gelatin silver print 
    © Hiroshi Sugimoto

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    Autocine de Union City, Union City, 1993

    Union City Drive-in, Union City, 1993
    Gelatin silver print
    © Hiroshi Sugimoto

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    Autocine Tri City, San Bernardino, 1993

    Tri City Drive-In, San Bernardino, 1993
    Gelatin silver print 
    © Hiroshi Sugimoto

  • THEATERS

    Imagen de la exposición Imagen de la exposición

    One difference between the camera and the human eye is that the human eye has no shutter. So it is like a time exposure, it is continuous. When you’re born, the exposure opens. And when you die it closes. That's the one exposure. Life is one long exposure.
    Hiroshi Sugimoto

    Theaters (1976- ) comprises photographs taken in classic and drive-in cinemas. The light reflected on the screens provides the only source of light within the dark interiors, their various decorative elements reflecting Sugimoto’s interest in architecture and aesthetic stylings of time past.

    In order to create these works the artist left open the shutter of a large-format camera during the entire showing of full-length films, a simple but radical procedure in which the length of the film determines the exposure time.

    This deliberate overexposure of the negative allows for capturing the light that has accumulated on the screen during the entire projection of the film, which takes shape as an empty, white, glowing rectangle, flooded with a luminosity that can be read as a representation of death.

    In its entirety, Theaters brilliantly captures the immensity of various concepts relating to time: the long durée of the film is compressed into an instant while the accumulated repertoire of fleeting, animated images becomes abstract and at the same time intensely concrete.

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    DIORAMAS

    I just want to give people the questions. If what you're looking at is actually what you’re looking at. If what you're believing is what you're believing.
    Hiroshi Sugimoto

    Dioramas (1976-2012) comprises photographs of tableaux of pre-historic landscapes, the majority taken in the Museum of Natural History in New York.

    This was Sugimoto’s first photographic series but it already contains many of the characteristics and methods that subsequently recur throughout his oeuvre: the creative use of the camera’s technical possibilities; a penchant for working from found objects and given situations; a combination of conceptual rigour and exquisite technical skill; and the potential of black and white for emphasising and at the same time undermining the illusion of reality.

    Once again we encounter Sugimoto’s interest in locating the viewer on the borderline between the animate and the inanimate as he imbues subjects and landscapes that are slightly remote from the contemporary imagination with a disconcerting verisimilitude. These are images of stuffed animals and models of primitive human beings which seem deceptively real and are used by the artist to call into question our perception of reality and the reliability of photography as proof.

    Dioramas brilliantly expresses Sugimoto’s conviction that the camera is a “time machine” capable of transporting us to distant moments in geological time and human history.

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    Wapití, 1980

    Wapiti, 1980 
    Gelatin silver print 
    © Hiroshi Sugimoto

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    Lobos de Alaska, 1994

    Alaskan Wolves, 1994
    Gelatin silver print 
    © Hiroshi Sugimoto

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    Cóndor de California, 1994

    California Condor, 1994 
    Gelatin silver print 
    © Hiroshi Sugimoto

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    Aves de South Georgia, 2012

    Birds of South Georgia, 2012
    Gelatin silver print 
    © Hiroshi Sugimoto

  • DIORAMAS

    Imagen de la exposición Imagen de la exposición

    I just want to give people the questions. If what you're looking at is actually what you’re looking at. If what you're believing is what you're believing.
    Hiroshi Sugimoto

    Dioramas (1976-2012) comprises photographs of tableaux of pre-historic landscapes, the majority taken in the Museum of Natural History in New York.

    This was Sugimoto’s first photographic series but it already contains many of the characteristics and methods that subsequently recur throughout his oeuvre: the creative use of the camera’s technical possibilities; a penchant for working from found objects and given situations; a combination of conceptual rigour and exquisite technical skill; and the potential of black and white for emphasising and at the same time undermining the illusion of reality.

    Once again we encounter Sugimoto’s interest in locating the viewer on the borderline between the animate and the inanimate as he imbues subjects and landscapes that are slightly remote from the contemporary imagination with a disconcerting verisimilitude. These are images of stuffed animals and models of primitive human beings which seem deceptively real and are used by the artist to call into question our perception of reality and the reliability of photography as proof.

    Dioramas brilliantly expresses Sugimoto’s conviction that the camera is a “time machine” capable of transporting us to distant moments in geological time and human history.

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    LIGHTNING FIELDS

    Talbot was a scientist and a photographer. When I first went to visit his home, Lacock Abbey, I expected to see photographic tools, but instead I discovered many scientific tools.
    Hiroshi Sugimoto

    Created without a camera, the photographs in Lightning Fields (2006- ) record the effects that electrical shocks produce on photographic negatives. In other words, they represent electricity directly applied to photographic film. 

    The formal beauty of the figures suggests the course of a river or the night sky but is also associated with the history of abstract photography. Lightning Fields reveals Sugimoto’s fascination with science and natural phenomena, highlighting the connection that exists between the experimentation characteristic of scientific methodology and the procedures used in early photography of the 19th century. To achieve this, Sugimoto recreates those experiments in his dark room, in particular paying tribute to the scientist and photographer William Fox Talbot, a pioneer in negative-positive photographic representation. 

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    Campos de relámpagos 119, 2009

    Lightning Fields 119, 2009
    Gelatin silver print
    © Hiroshi Sugimoto

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    Campos de relámpagos 248, 2014

    Lightning Fields 248, 2014
    Gelatin silver print 
    © Hiroshi Sugimoto

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    Campos de relámpagos 258, 2014

    Lightning Fields 258, 2014 
    Gelatin silver print 
    © Hiroshi Sugimoto

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    Campos de relámpagos 327, 2014

    Lightning Fields 327, 2014
    Gelatin silver print 
    © Hiroshi Sugimoto

  • LIGHTNING FIELDS

    Imagen de la exposición Imagen de la exposición

    Talbot was a scientist and a photographer. When I first went to visit his home, Lacock Abbey, I expected to see photographic tools, but instead I discovered many scientific tools.
    Hiroshi Sugimoto

    Created without a camera, the photographs in Lightning Fields (2006- ) record the effects that electrical shocks produce on photographic negatives. In other words, they represent electricity directly applied to photographic film. 

    The formal beauty of the figures suggests the course of a river or the night sky but is also associated with the history of abstract photography. Lightning Fields reveals Sugimoto’s fascination with science and natural phenomena, highlighting the connection that exists between the experimentation characteristic of scientific methodology and the procedures used in early photography of the 19th century. To achieve this, Sugimoto recreates those experiments in his dark room, in particular paying tribute to the scientist and photographer William Fox Talbot, a pioneer in negative-positive photographic representation.