Hiroshi Sugimoto: B.C.

The exhibition brings together work from several series to explore the pre-photographic past.

Fraenkel Gallery is pleased to present Hiroshi Sugimoto B.C., an exhibition of photographs from the dawn of time. Through more than twenty works spanning the artist’s career, Hiroshi Sugimoto B.C. uses scientific, mythological and conceptual frameworks to explore the pre-photographic past. The exhibition also includes fossils from Sugimoto’s personal collection, about which Sugimoto writes, “If a photograph is able to stop time, then a fossil can do the same thing. Both photographs and fossils are records of history.”

Mediterranean Sea, Cassis, 1989
gelatin-silver print, 60 x 71-5/8 inches (framed)

On view from March 8 – April 25, 2018, Hiroshi Sugimoto B.C. includes work from the artist’s earliest series Dioramas, depicting scenes of ancient sea life and primitive humanoids, and from Seascapes, with calm horizons “little changed visually from the sea of millions of years ago, when humans first gained self­‐awareness.”

Galapagos, 1980
gelatin-silver print, 60 x 96 inches (framed)

A long-­exposure photograph of a single burning candle from the series In Praise of Shadows alludes to the role of fire in “humankind’s ascendancy over other species,” while images from the series Lightning Fields record marks emitted by primordial electrical charges on photographic paper. Also included are works from Sea of Buddha, in which sculptures in a 13th century shrine stare back at the viewer as they did more than 800 years ago, and views of ancient landscapes such as Japan’s prehistoric Kegon Waterfall shrouded in mist, and Newspaper Rock in the American southwest, covered in petroglyphs made by Native Americans more than 2,000 years ago.

Lightning Fields 6, 2006
gelatin-silver print, 71-3/4 x 60 inches (framed)

Hiroshi Sugimoto discusses his collection of “pre-photography time-recording devices”
Duration: 00:02:08 | Release Date: Mar 2021

Works on View

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