Adolphe Braun (1812-77) was one of the most influential French photographers of the 19th century, best known for his floral still lifes, Parisian street scenes, and grand Alpine landscapes. He used contemporary innovations in photographic reproduction to market his photographs worldwide as well as to reproduce famous works of art to mass audience, which helped advance the field of art history.
Trained as a textile designer, Adolphe Braun began his photography career in 1853. He created a catalog of photographs of flowers for designers and art students providing them with a source of natural models. This herbarium earned him a medal at the 1855 Paris Exposition Universelle.
In 1866, he started photographing paintings, drawings, lithographs, engravings, sculpture and other works of part in the Louvre and other places in France as well as treasures in foremost museums and private collections in the Vatican, the Netherlands, Austria and Italy. Photography historian Naomi Rosenblum suggests that Braun’s detailed reproductions of works of art in European museums brought these works to art students in North America, providing a major catalyst for the field of art history in the United States.
Mårten Lange’s ‘Chicxulub’ – a story of a journey to a lost world as a part of the cycle of creation, evolution and destruction.
Mårten Lange – Chicxulub
Located at the Yucatán coast in Mexico, near a small fishing village called Chicxulub, the Earth was hit by an asteroid about 66 million years ago. The impact led to the extinction of the dinosaurs along with more than 75% of all species on the planet. The crater is half a mile underground now, so there are no obvious visual traces left of this dramatic event.
“I’ve been fascinated by dinosaurs and prehistory since I was a child. The Chicxulub impact event has become something mythic in my mind… But how can I make a story about something that is so far in the past, something invisible, beyond the reach of photographic observation? By creating photographs of flora, fauna and ruins that had something violent, apocalyptic, ancient or cataclysmic to unfold the themes of evolution, extinction and exploration.”
Cássio Campos Vasconcellos’s ‘A Picturesque Voyage Through Brazil’ – a series “inspired by paintings of European artists (Johann Moritz Rugendas, Jean-Baptiste Debret, Hercules Florence, Conde de Clarac, Aimé-Adrien Taunay, Carl von Martius and others) who came to Brazil in the early 19th century to paint and show the beauty and exuberance of Brazilian forests.”
Cássio Campos Vasconcellos – A Picturesque Voyage Through Brazil
Denis Brihat – capturing the simplicity of the eternity in vivid and luminous photography.
Denis Brihat – Nature
“While some photographers are related to the race of hunters, Denis Brihat belongs to the peaceful tribe of gatherers. A practical philosopher, at an early age he decided to cultivate his garden. A poet of the image, he celebrated the beauty of the world by creating a number of blazons in honor of the delectable manna it showers on us: flowers and fruit, vegetables, trees and a few less domesticated specimens of the plant kingdom, which seemed to him to epitomize all the riches whereby Nature liberally contributes to human happiness. This is because he looked upon the world from his garden or, when roaming the world, was guided by the reverie of a serene gardener.” Georges Monti
Denis Brihat – Nature
“When Brihat enlarges a slice of lemon to the size of a cathedral rose window, when he puts a single acacia seed or spike of lavender on a neutral background – a background of nothingness – he raises these tiny harbingers to the power of the cosmos, and infinity is certainly what he intends to possess, infinity withdrawn from the wear of time, an eternal infinity.” Michel Tournier
Lauren Semivan’s series ‘Observatory’ – “ghosts of previous drawings create a sense of time suspended, evoking gesture, atmosphere and memory… an access to the extraordinary, to keep a record of dreams, and to employ the unknown.”
Lauren Semivan – Observatory
“In scientific disciplines, a line is classified as an event. Something as primitive as a scrawl on a surface reveals an aggregate of events, intersecting and changing course. Drawings made on the seamless backdrop describe an emotional space.
Science is inherently experiential, as is art making. Knowing and feeling are not separate, and the whole of the environment can be used as a pedagogic instrument. My ongoing body of work elegantly draws upon a tension that exists between irrational and physical worlds.”
Marcia Lippmann’s ‘Travels East’ – inviting to a meditative journey of hidden details in search of beauty, serenity, absence, rejection, secret, holiness, ritual, ceremony, memory, spirituality, imagination, decay and chaos.
“It is the image in the mind that links us to our lost treasures; but it is loss that shapes the image, gathers the flowers, weaves the garland. Lost time is never found again” Collette
“This work is like encountering a strange film which, after a while seems not to be a film at all but an experience you are having, a kind of a journey that you don’t remember setting out on… In the end, as with all good journeys, you are someplace else and you are a little different, though in ways you can’t describe.”
Louis Blanc’s black and white series ’cORpuS’ – ‘sculpturing’ a fascinating world of body language and its emotions from different positions and angles. Everything is a question of point of view.
“To realize an image, I leave a preliminary idea and then the image builds itself little by little, in the course of the numerous shots, until arrive at an image which speaks, which seems inhabited (it does not work each time!). And the final result is often very distant from the initial idea, but it is very well like that, a mixture of intention and unforeseen! I always use the natural light coming from a window more sometimes a low power deported flash.”
Nadežda Nikolova-Kratzer‘s ‘Solvitur Ambulando’ – “wet plate collodion photograms of flora I collected during walks and meanderings to explore ecological themes by drawing on the herbarium tradition and connecting to the dawn of photography.”
Nadežda Nikolova-Kratzer – Solvitur Ambulando
“This series also explores a deeply personal inward journey, which speaks to the second perspective. I collected the flora during a period of upheaval, anticipation and loss. Each piece is a self-contained visual poem within the larger whole, where the medium itself plays a part in the storytelling. By manipulating chemistry, timing and light I create artifacts that suggest mystery and drama, evoking a spectrum of psychological interiors. Forms combine with textures to create moods and associations. Plant materials and arrangements hint at symbols. The herbarium becomes a catalog of “psychological specimens,” tethered to a time and place yet also existing outside of time and place; the biological specimens returning to the viewer as personal memories. In this manner, the natural form becomes inseparable from the artifact; the image inseparable from the hand; the objective inseparable from the subjective.”
*Solvitur Ambulando – a Latin phrase which means “it is solved by walking” and is used to refer to a problem which is solved by a practical experiment.
Noell Oszvald’s black and white powerful surreal self-portraits with highly conceptual aesthetic and the purity of a simple composition.
“I don’t want to tell people what to see in my images. This is the reason why I never really write any descriptions other than titles. It shows what I wish to express but everyone is free to figure out what the picture says to them. It’s very interesting to read so many different thoughts about the same piece of work.”
Hiroshi Watanabe’s ‘Findings’ – “These are honest and direct pictures; they bear a heavy silence, and are uncomplicated, singular ideas. These words invite a closer look uncompromised by time. They suggest a meditation that can bring to the surface what could otherwise have remained hidden – that opening in the sky beyond the child and his maze, and what it can mean.” Anthoy Bannon, George Eastman House Director
Hiroshi Watanabe – Findings
“My photographs reflect both genuine interest in my subject as well as a respect for the element of serendipity, while other times I seek pure beauty. The pure enjoyment of this process drives and inspires me. I believe there’s a thread that connects all of my work — my personal vision of the world as a whole. I make every effort to be a faithful visual recorder of the world around me, a world in flux that, at very least in my mind, deserves preservation.”