On September 17, 2011 Sonnabend Gallery will open “Et nous avons des nuits plus belles que vos jours” – an exhibition of new works by Elger Esser.
These photographs and heliogravures were made in Giverny, France at the gardens of the Fondation Claude Monet, the site of his famous water lilies. Esser took the images at night – creating prints in color as well as in shades of gray that make use of the diffuse light to suggest a disordered and abandoned world that is devoid of human presence.
A longtime student of landscape photography, Esser’s work builds on the realist landscapes 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?”
“I am interested in capturing and preserving subjective memories, time and tranquility.”
The exhibition will continue through October 29.