Art October 22, 2010 By Jennifer Pappas

Caption (Click images to enlarge)

Arch 4 (Summer), Susan Derges Images courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum (Click images to enlarge)

shadowcatchers title Shadow Catchers
Made famous by the likes of Man Ray and Moholy-Nagy, camera-less experiments can be traced back to the genesis of photography. Beginning in the 1830s, artists continually broke new ground toying with light-blocking, shadow-casting and chemical manipulation, accidentally creating photogenic drawings, or photograms. Unlike virtually everything we know of today, camera-less images are truly unique and cannot be reproduced the same way twice. Often crafted to scale, the results are ephemeral, transient, and mysterious, offering a more intimate look at the object or figure being captured. Steeped in metaphor and reliant on the ‘unseen’, each image is an exploration — of life and death, time and timelessness, disappearing and emerging. The paradigm of normal perception is questioned as discoveries are made in the shadows.
     This month, five leading contemporary artists of camera-less fame will be featured in Shadow Catchers, a new exhibit opening at London’s V&A. The exhibition includes an impressive array of enigmatic images that marry the effects of light, movement, science, and art. Eerie silhouettes, spectral forms and magical traces of smoke, air, and water leave the viewer in a perpetual state of suspended disbelief. Five short films and a beautiful hardback book published by Merrell Publishers accompany the exhibit. Together, Pierre Cordier (Belgium), Susan Derges (UK), Adam Fuss (UK/USA), Garry Fabian Miller (UK), and Floris Neusüss (Germany) have done more for the art form than any group of contemporary artists that came before them.

1 2 3 4 5 6