Gallery  March 20, 2018  Megan D Robinson

Hiroshi Sugimoto's Time-Stopping Photography

© Hiroshi Sugimoto, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco

Hiroshi Sugimoto, Earliest Human Relatives, 1994

“I chose to use photography, with my camera as a time machine to travel back into the past.”
— Hiroshi Sugimoto

© Hiroshi Sugimoto, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco

Hiroshi Sugimoto, Galapagos, 1980

Hiroshi Sugimoto’s striking gelatin-silver prints explore the nature of time, sensory experience and metaphysics. Born in 1948, the Japanese multidisciplinary artist is influenced by Surrealism, Dadaism and Marcel Duchamp. His career-spanning latest exhibition, Hiroshi Sugimoto B.C., features over twenty works, including images of fossils from Sugimoto’s personal collection. “If a photograph is able to stop time, then a fossil can do the same thing. Both photographs and fossils are records of history,” Sugimoto writes.

© Hiroshi Sugimoto, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco

Hiroshi Sugimoto, Kegon Waterfall, 1977

© Hiroshi Sugimoto, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco

Hiroshi Sugimoto, Sea of Buddha, 1997

Fascinated with the ability of art to blur the line between reality and imagination, Sugimoto’s earliest series, Dioramas, created life-imbued scenes of prehistory, using museum dioramas. Seascapes are meditative abstractions of sea and sky from across the globe, evoking timelessness through the endless horizon. In Praise of Shadows, based on Gerhard Richter’s paintings of burning candles, alludes to the role of fire in “humankind’s ascendancy over other species.” Images from Lightning Fields record the vibrant energy of electrical charges. Sea of Buddha captures the awe inspired by ancient Buddhist sculpture and places of geologically stunning beauty such as Japan’s ancient, mist-shrouded Kegon Waterfall, and the American Southwest’s petroglyph-covered Newspaper Rock.

© Hiroshi Sugimoto, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco

Hiroshi Sugimoto, Lightning Fields 6, 2006

Hiroshi Sugimoto B.C. is on view through April 25 at Fraenkel Gallery, 49 Geary Street, 4th Floor, San Francisco.

For more information, visit https://fraenkelgallery.com/exhibitions/hiroshi-sugimoto-b-c

About the Author

Megan D Robinson

Megan D Robinson writes for Art & Object and the Iowa Source.