Filtering by Tag: Elger Esser

Elger Esser at Sonnabend

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On February 16, 2013 Sonnabend Gallery will open an exhibition of new photographs by Elger Esser. In 2011, Elger Esser followed the path of the Nile from Luxor to Aswan and, inspired by old postcards, photographed the landscapes along the river using the light of dawn or twilight, creating images that evoke an atmosphere of timelessness.

A longtime student of landscape photography, Esser’s work builds on the realist images of great 19th century landscape photographers such as Henri le Secq and Gustave le Gray.

He writes: “I work quite deliberately with blurred images using long exposure times. The mobile elements in the picture - the water, the trees, the clouds - do things with the film which I can only influence in part. For me, this use of technology is only a background aspect. I concentrate more strongly on the contents of the images. What does it mean to stand at the water’s edge? What happens if the elements in the picture - trees, sky or water - interact with symmetries and surfaces, with harmony and disharmony?”

Text courtesy of Sonnabend Gallery.

Eleger Esser in the Los Angeles Times

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Photo file: Enchanted evenings in Monet's gardens

German artist Elger Esser sought to create the antithesis of Monet's shimmering, colorful work. The result is 'Nocturnes a Giverny,' in expressive black and white.

By Liesl Bradner

September 29, 2012, 7:00 a.m.

“Combray (Giverny III)”: In this and other photos, Elger Esser sought to create an antithesis of Claude Monet’s colorful work. (© Elger Esser, Schirmer/Mosel / September 21, 2012)

Since Claude Monet's death in 1926, Giverny Gardens in Normandy, France, where the French Impressionist painted his famous water lilies, has become a pilgrimage for artists, historians and tourists hoping to absorb the aura of the countryside and be inspired by the enchanted oasis.

German photographer Elger Esser journeyed to Giverny in 2010 to experiment with an altogether different aesthetic, an antithesis of Monet's shimmering, colorful work. The result can be seen in his collection of photos, "Nocturnes à Giverny" (Schirmer/Mosel).

"I wanted to get as far away from Monet and the touristy postcard version as possible," Esser said from Belle-Île-en-Mer, off Brittany. He accomplished this by photographing the flora, foliage and familiar Japanese bridge in black and white at twilight and by moonlight.

"I saw all these colors you can only see by night," Esser said of the time-consuming process, which took four months. During the night shoots, he was restricted to only one image per evening due to the six-hour exposure time. In describing the feeling of the photos, Esser said, "There are so many photos of Monet's garden. I feel like I have removed him from the garden."

Esser's interpretation has its own vintage, timeless style, devoid of Monet's familiar blue and mauve hues, yet the essence and romance of the garden are still discernible.

Featured in the book are 15 photographs, divided into two series: "Giverny," taken in the evening and at dusk, and "Combray," a reference to Marcel Proust's fictional place in his novel "In Search of Lost Time." These five images were processed using the 19th century technique of heliogravure, which gives the images a nuanced, antique-like, high-quality feel.

What interested Esser was that Monet had constructed the garden for his work. He purchased the nearly 4-acre property 10 years after moving there with his family in 1883, dug the lake, built the bridges and selected all the flowers and plants. "He wanted to have a studio as a landscape, the landscape as a studio," Esser noted. "It's an entirely constructed landscape."

Esser was born in Stuttgart, raised in Rome and studied at the Düsseldorf Academy of Fine Arts, but he considers France a part of his soul. "I can find everything in France. It's the best connection between the high culture of the 19th century and the history of photography, because everything started in France," he said. "I'm following the path of photographic discovery."

Elger's work has been shown around the world, including at the Rose Gallery in Santa Monica.

Text courtesy of the Los Angeles Times

TASJ

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ROSEGALLERY and Elger Esser

Featured in Art Periodical tasj

Nil I, Egypt, 2011 Courtesy ROSEGALLERY and Elger Esser

The piece can be found on p.20 of the latest tasj (The Art Street Journal).

Click here for more information about tasj.

Elger Esser and Munich RE

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Cap d’Antifer (folder of 10 photographs), 2002

Iris print on hand-made paper

66 x 84 cm each

Elger Esser is one of the last graduates of the class of Bernd Becher at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. His large-scale landscape photographs are discreet snapshots, detached from time and space. The lyrical, evocative imagery and the layout, which adhere to classical rules of composition, lend an air of timeless beauty and harmony. Deliberately echoing Marcel Proust's novel, "À la recherche du temps perdu", Esser, in his poetically melancholy photographs, goes in search of the past. He consistently works with traditional analogue techniques of photography, seeking his motifs in France, Holland and Scotland. His clear compositions and remote perspective are reminiscent of landscape photography of the 19th century, his handling of light and colour of paintings of Old Masters.

Image and text courtesy of Munich RE, Corporate Art

Elger Esser — Galeria Kewenig, palma de Mallorca

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The Galería Kewenig is pleased to show for the first time works by the German artist Elger Esser. Esser was born in Stuttgart in 1967 and grew up in Rome. For his exhibition at the Galería Kewenig, he has chosen photographic works with a water motif. In peaceful views of river landscapes, sea coasts as well as urban views, water recurs as a motif throughout Elger Esser's oeuvre. His interest in historical landscapes bundles the tonality of colours and the sfumato of humid air, lending him the reputation of the romantic among photographers of the Düsseldorf School. He transfigures the views into the medium of photography, while at the same time preserving reminiscences from the history of art such as painted Italian vedute, German romantic painters and pioneers of French landscape photography from the period around 1900.

In the cycle Undine from 2012, Esser fixes the unique moment of a wave breaking, releasing the charge in each wave (Latin: unda) in its own way. The ones-of-a-kind came about during a sea voyage Esser took on the research ship Meteor in the Atlantic Ocean. The Undine (mermaid) photographs have been executed as ultra-chrome prints and, in dedication to the uniqueness of each wave, are unique and numbered by Roman numerals. The works that arose during Esser's voyage will be shown for the first time also in a museum context at the Landesmuseum Oldenburg, from July 2012 on.

A collection of about twenty-five thousand postcards and anonymous photographs put together by Esser since his student days shows mainly the motif of a view from the French Atlantic coast onto the ocean. In the exhibited work 13 Île Sainte Marguerite (2005, Cprint, Diasec®Face, Forex), Esser transforms the motif of stormy waves by enlarging and manipulating a certain detail of a postcard. The work 6 Dieppe is also an enlarged postcard motif that was subsequently coloured by hand (2007, black-and-white print, hand-coloured). In the appropriations of historical views that have come about in this way, the aura of old mastery is maintained. Esser employs modern photographic techniques to hold onto the memory of irretrievable landscape phenomena and past photographic techniques, and also to fill his views with sublimity, something seldom achieved in today's photography.

In Joudy (2003, C-print), which likewise is on show, with a view of the sea taken from a great distance, Esser succeeds in translating the view into abstraction by means of an especially light printing procedure in the laboratory. The sea spreads out in the chosen detail with great calm behind a still coast of surrounding alluvial plain. The transition from land to water takes place virtually as the image’s dissolution. The yellow tone gives the view of the beach a slightly antiquated effect and raises it above any definable time. The faded colours have the effect of a vanishing memory that is slowly dissolving in the poetic vastness of the motif in favour of a generally calm feeling.

Elger Esser lives in Düsseldorf. From 1991 to 1997 he studied at the Düsseldorf Art Academy with Bernd Becher; in 1996 he was accepted in the master class and attained his diploma in 1997. From 2006 to 2009 he was a professor at the Karlsruhe University of Art and Design in the Department of Media Art. This was followed in 2008 by a guest professorship for photography at the Folkwang School in Essen. In 2010 Elger Esser won the Rhineland Art Prize and in 2012 he was awarded a working scholarship for the Hanse- Wissenschaftskolleg (HWK) at the Institute for Advanced Study in Delmenhorst. Since the mid-1990s his works have been shown in many exhibitions in both national and international museums, and also have found their way into international collections and museums, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York), the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), the Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), the Stiftung Museum Kunstpalast (Düsseldorf), the Kunsthaus Zürich, the Fonds national d’art contemporain (Paris), the Centre Pompidou (Paris), the Städtische Galerie in Lenbachhaus (Munich), the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart as well as the Museum of Modern Art Salzburg.

Opening on 21 June at 8 p.m. which the artist will attend

Galería Kewenig Oratorio de Sant Feliu C/ Sant Gaietà, 4a - Palma de Mallorca Opening hours: Mon–Fri 10 am–2 pm, 4 pm–8 pm, Sat 10 am–2 pm Free admission

Image and text courtesy of  Undo.

Art Scene: Elger Esser

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Elger Esser, Gebel el-Silsila, Egypt, 2011

Stand before “Nil I, Egypt 2001” (54.5” x 78”), the largest of a dozen serene depictions by German photographer Elger Esser of landscapes captured during his recent voyage from Luxor to Aswan, and the softly rippling surface of the Nile River draws you in with all of the allure of a James Turrell light and space construction. Minute details of a boat’s emerald green and ruby red trim stand out against a vast, muted synchronicity of light on dulled expanses of sky and water. The wind fills the sails of the old vessel, a dahabiya on which Esser anchored the 8 X 10 land camera he employed to capture Egypt’s lifeline, carefully framed as it threads its way through each UltraChrome print in this romantic series. The pictures are hauntingly monochromatic and infused with glowing gold and yellow hues. While the river occupies the bottom portion of most images and the sky the top, what happens in the center changes as Esser moves from place to place. The beauty and the vastness of the landscape comes across in these almost people-less compositions. Smaller works, such as “Salwa Bahry lll,” have a painterly, abstract quality that is quite compelling. Rather than seducing audiences with iconic architectural elements, or the drama of recent political uprisings, this former student of Bernd and Hilla Becher systematically animates sublime expanses with that diffused light and color and intriguing areas of precisely detailed landscape elements (Rose Gallery, Santa Monica). —DC/JZ

Text courtesy of ArtScene



Artweek.LA: Elger Esser

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Elger Esser: Voyage en Egypte

December 24, 2011

Taken from a great distance with the artist’s signature precision and formal grace, the photographs of Voyage en Egypte are calm, grandiose landscapes in addition to being provocative meditations on light, space and color.  Large expanses of water and sky in dissipating pastel hues form the cornerstone of these compositions, while the land and civilization itself provide sharp but remote horizon lines which are dwarfed by the natural elements.  Like 19th century landscape paintings, which are strongly echoed in these works, Esser’s latest photographs capture an element of the sublime in nature.  The mystery and beauty of the river, which has been the lifeline of Egypt since the Stone Age, is elevated in these images, and like his previous work, they strategically blur the line between pure documentary photography and painterly concerns.  RoseGallery’s exhibition marks the debut of Voyage en Egypte in the United States and is the first in-depth presentation of Esser’s work in Los Angeles.

Elger Esser was born in Stuttgart in 1967 and was raised in Rome.  In 1986, he moved to Dusseldorf, where he worked as a commercial photographer until 1991.  He then attended the Dusseldorf Kunstakademie, Studying with Bernd and Hilla Becher until 1997.  His work has been published in several monographs published by Schirmer/Mosel Verlag including Vedutas and Landscapes, 2000; Elger Esser, Cap d’Antifer-Etretat, 2002; Anischten/Views/Vues, 2008; and Elger Esser, Eigenzeit,, 2009.  He has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Kunstpreis der Stadt Dusselfdorf, Forderkoje Art Cologne, Friebe Gallery, and the Deutsches Studienzentrum Venedig.  Esser’s pictures are included in numerous public and private collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Guggenheim Foundation; Kunsthaus, Zurich; Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Netherlands; and the Centre Pompidou, Paris.

Text Courtesy of Artweek.LA

Huffington Post: Elger Esser

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The Place Is The Thing: This Artweek.LA (January 2, 2012)

BILL BUSH

Elger Esser: Voyage en Egypte | For his latest body of work, Esser traveled along the Nile from Luxor to Aswan with an 8 x 10 land camera, photographing the banks of the river, traditional feluccas, dahabiyas, and fisherman. Taken from a great distance with the artist's signature precision and formal grace, the photographs of Voyage en Egypte are calm, grandiose landscapes in addition to being provocative meditations on light, space and color. Large expanses of water and sky in dissipating pastel hues form the cornerstone of these compositions, while the land and civilization itself provide sharp but remote horizon lines which are dwarfed by the natural elements.

Like 19th century landscape paintings, which are strongly echoed in these works, Esser's latest photographs capture an element of the sublime in nature. The mystery and beauty of the river, which has been the lifeline of Egypt since the Stone Age, is elevated in these images, and like his previous work, they strategically blur the line between pure documentary photography and painterly concerns. This exhibition marks the debut of Voyage en Egypte in the United States and is the first in-depth presentation of Esser's work in Los Angeles.

Text courtesy of The Huffington Post

Elger Esser: Voyage en Egypte

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Dec 3rd through Feb 18, 2012

ROSEGALLERY

For his latest body of work, Elger Esser traveled along the Nile from Luxor to Aswan with an 8 x 10 land camera, photographing the banks of the river, traditional feluccas, dahabiyas, and fisherman. Taken from a great distance with the artist’s signature precision and formal grace, the photographs of Voyage en Egypte are calm, grandiose landscapes in addition to being provocative meditations on light, space and color.  Large expanses of water and sky in dissipating pastel hues form the cornerstone of these compositions, while the land and civilization itself provide sharp but remote horizon lines which are dwarfed by the natural elements.  Like 19th century landscape paintings, which are strongly echoed in these works, Esser’s latest photographs capture an element of the sublime in nature.  The mystery and beauty of the river, which has been the lifeline of Egypt since the Stone Age, is elevated in these images, and like his previous work, they strategically blur the line between pure documentary photography and painterly concerns.  RoseGallery’s exhibition marks the debut of Voyage en Egypte in the United States and is the first in-depth presentation of Esser’s work in Los Angeles.

Elger Esser was born in Stuttgart in 1967 and was raised in Rome.  In 1986, he moved to Dusseldorf, where he worked as a commercial photographer until 1991.  He then attended the Dusseldorf Kunstakademie, Studying with Bernd and Hilla Becher until 1997.  His work has been published in several monographs published by Schirmer/Mosel Verlag including Vedutas and Landscapes, 2000; Elger Esser, Cap d’Antifer-Etretat, 2002; Anischten/Views/Vues, 2008; and Elger Esser, Eigenzeit,, 2009.  He has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Kunstpreis der Stadt Dusselfdorf, Forderkoje Art Cologne, Friebe Gallery, and the Deutsches Studienzentrum Venedig.  Esser’s pictures are included in numerous public and private collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Guggenheim Foundation; Kunsthaus, Zurich; Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Netherlands; and the Centre Pompidou, Paris.

Image: Elger Esser, Nil I, Ägypte, 2011. Courtesy of the artist and ROSEGALLERY, Los Angeles.

Elger Esser: Veduten und Landschaften

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Courtesy of johndownesphotography.

“Esser is a photographer whose compositions thrive in particular on an admixture of macro and microstructure. The vast distance from which he takes the motifs initially provides the viewer with an ordering survey, and it is this that then frees the gaze for the carefully presented details, such as the filigree blades of grass or the reflection in the water which always forms a calm pictorial zone in the foreground. What is required to achieve this is not primarily just high technical quality and true mastery of the medium of photography. but first and foremost a trained eye and a sensitive feel for the particularities of the setting.”

—Rupert Pfab, Galerie Rupert Pfab Düsseldorf

“The large scale of Essers prints, Coupled with the expansive distances and often indistinct horizons he photographs, work to envelop the viewer – overwhelming vision and offering captivating tension between the landscape originally encountered by the artist and the photographic image experienced by the viewer. Though the stark, poetic composition begs for quiet contemplation, ameland pier x is neverless filled with uneasy tension between place and placelessness, reality and abstraction, leaving an image that seems on the verge of disapeerance.”

—Susan Stuart