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Issue No. 17 - Enigma

Vera Lutter at Gagosian Gallery

Image above: Gagosian Gallery on Thursday 29th of January, 2015

Gagosian New York presented last 29th of January recent photographs by Vera Lutter. Inspired by New York’s light, architecture, and perpetual state of flux, Lutter turned to photography in the early 1990s as a means to record the continuously changing cityscape. To capture an immediate and direct imprint of her surroundings, she transformed her apartment into a large pinhole camera, employing the space that contained her personal experience as the apparatus that would document it. Through a simple pinhole, instead of an optically carved lens, the city outside flooded the interior of the room and projected inverted images onto wall-size sheets of photo-sensitive paper.

IMG_2600Vera Lutter at Gagosian Gallery. Artwork ©Vera Lutter

 

Modifying shipping containers and empty rooms to create site-specific camera obscuras, Lutter has since applied her technique to subjects across the world: the Empire State and Chrysler buildings, the Egyptian pyramids, a coal mining site near Hambach, Germany, the acqua alta of Venice. Her exposures can take days, weeks or months to produce an image; she retains the negative form as the final, unique work—a literal reflection of space and time as determined by the immediate visual environment, with the most stable and permanent features (buildings, streets) as spectral foci. In New York, which remains a central inspiration for her photographic work, these elements are in a state of constant renewal and becoming.

vera collage(left image) Vera Lutter: Empire State Building, II: November 28, 2014, 2014. Unique gelatin silver print 91 x 56 inches (231.1 x 142.2 cm); (right image) Vera Lutter: Chrysler Building, V: July 12,2014, 2014. Unique gelatin silver print 95 1/4 x 56 inches (241.9 x 142.2 cm). Courtesy of Gagosian Gallery, New York. 

In The Appropriation of Manhattan, Fulton Ferry Landing, Brooklyn, IV: June 16, 1996, Lutter captured the vast cluster of skyscrapers that make up the New York skyline from across the East River. Times Square, New York, V: July 31, 2007 depicts a familiar destination with a constantly evolving appearance, a rare vista within the urban labyrinth. From her studio on 39th Street, she has recorded the construction of a high-rise apartment building across the street and the subsequent loss of light and space. Formed by light, time, and motion, her exposures encompass and embody the speed and expansion of the contemporary metropolis.

IMG_2588Jennifer Wright and Clare Mckeon at Gagosian Gallery on Thursday 29th of January, 2015.  Artwork ©Vera Lutter

IMG_2596At Gagosian Gallery on Thursday 29th of January, 2015.  Artwork ©Vera Lutter

"Sometimes, we have a moment—when we’re in the middle of, say, Times Square, or Grand Central Station, or on the subway during rush hour—when the city feels like infernal chaos. But on another day, you will have a moment where you wake up and see the absolutely beautiful, fluid, and harmonic ballet of different creatures and forces moving around. That’s the energy I like to capture..."

—Vera Lutter

All Opening Images by Sana Maqsood

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