Hiroshi Sugimoto

Black and white photograph of an empty theater displaying a glowing white screen

San Francisco, 18 March 1992 — Photographs from three series by Hiroshi Sugimoto will be on view at Fraenkel Gallery, 49 Geary Street, San Francisco from April 2 through May 9, 1992.

Tokyo-born Hiroshi Sugimoto has lived and worked in New York since 1974. Over these years he has devoted himself to three intensive studies each of which will be represented in the upcoming exhibition.

U.A. Walker, New York, 1978
gelatin silver print, 20 x 24 inches

Sugimoto’s “Dioramas”, made in natural history museums around the world, question the nature of photography “as witness,” as well as the way in which the medium represents the world in two dimensions. His “Theaters” concentrate on another type of “set stage,” the enormous movie palaces built during the nineteen-twenties and thirties. In this series Sugimoto places his 8×10” view camera at the most distant central spot of each theater, opening his lens as each film is screened. The reflected light of the screen therefore defines in meticulous detail the grandeur (and decline) of each theater’s interior. In his “Seascapes” (exhibited recently at the Carnegie International in Pittsburgh as well as Sonnabend Gallery in New York) Sugimoto explores the nature of similarities and differences. With the horizon dividing each picture in half, and photographed both day and night from perches atop oceans all over the world (the North Atlantic, the Pacific, the Arctic and Mediterranean Seas, for example) his pictures are simultaneously abstract and entirely specific.

Concurrent with this exhibition Fraenkel Gallery will also be exhibiting Jay DeFeo: Photocollages.

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