Charles Jones et Karl Blossfeldt : Histoires Naturelles
3 septembre - 26 octobre 2019
Presenting turn of the century vintage works by these two master photographers, Galerie Miranda and Michael Hoppen Gallery pay tribute to the timeless theme of the wonder and beauty of the natural world, perhaps more relevant today than ever.
Charles Jones (1866-1959, England) was a gardener who worked on a private estate in Lincolnshire, England, cultivating rich flower beds and fruit and vegetable gardens. Jones was also a skilled photographer and printer, documenting throughout his life the fruit of his labour. The works were never exhibited during his lifetime, and only discovered in 1981 when art historian and photography collector Sean Sexton bought at a London antique market a trunk containing hundreds of unique Jones' prints. Photographing the fruit, flowers and vegetables from the estate gardens, presented against a neutral background that elevated them to the status of a portrait, anticipating later works by modernist masters (Edward Weston, August Kotzsch and Joseph Sudek to name a few), and the industrial typologies of Bernd and Hilla Becher. With a natural command for composition, Jones produced gold toned gelatin silver prints from glass plate negatives; the vegetables, fruit and flowers seem to shimmer with the warmth of the sun, in a deep tribute to the beauty of the natural world. Galerie Miranda will present these unique vintage prints (made during the latter part of the 19th century) featuring the vegetable portraits: peas, celery, marrows, cabbages, beets, cucumbers...
Karl Blossfeldt (1865-1932, Germany) was a photographer who initially trained as a sculptor and then worked in a foundry, where he often used leaves to decorate his ironworks. Continuing art school in Berlin, he undertook from 1890 and 1896 a photographic study of local common plants intended as a guide to ornamentation but which most of all revealed his talent and passion for photography. Strikingly modern, Karl Blossfeldt's photographs are as appealing today as they were when they were first introduced to the public in his two landmark booksUrformen der Kunst, ('Archetypal Forms of Art') 1929 andWundergarten der Natur ('The Wondergarden of Nature'), 1932. What made Blossfeldt's work unique was his extreme technical mastery of photography: he notably specialized in macrophotography to enlarge his plant specimens and even designed a camera for this purpose. As a result, everyday garden flowers are presented in such a way that their rhythmic forms are emphasized to the extreme and the plants take on new and exotic characteristics. Blossfeldt wanted his work to serve as a teaching aid and inspiration for architects, sculptors and artists. It was his firm belief that only through the close study of the intrinsic beauty present in natural forms, that contemporary art would find its true direction. Galerie Miranda will present first edition photogravures of selected plants and flowers.