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Distributed Art Publishers
Sugimoto: Portraits is the definitive discussion to date of the thought-provoking contemporary photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto. Following a career that has focused on formal studies of museum dioramas, cinema interiors, and exquisite seascapes, Sugimoto accepted a commission from the Guggenheim to create a series of life-size black-and-white portraits of waxwork figures. His latest method of working enables him to take pictures of people who existed long before the invention of the camera: "I wanted to be the first sixteenth-century photographer," he says of his carefully constructed portraits of Henry VIII and his six wives. He notes that during the 18th century, wax figures played the same role of preserving a likeness as a portrait photograph.
Seventy-five of Sugimoto's waxwork portraits are reproduced here in richly textured duotones. Context for this latest direction taken by the artist is provided by examples of his earlier work and famous portraits by Holbein, Rembrandt, and others. An extensive bibliography and chronology complete the academic contribution of this elegant book. The many-layered conceptual questions related to "the archaeology of time" that his works inspire are explored in several essays, but the most successful chapter is a lively interview with Sugimoto himself. He tells how he photographed a tableau based on Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper that he discovered with delight in a small Japanese town; he is fascinated by the ironies of a Japanese man photographing an icon of Western art exhibited in Japan, fabricated in wax by Mexican workers using a European tradition. --John Stevenson --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Hedgecoe and Snowdon depict a man with his hands rather than face, but Sugimoto's portraits are far more radical. Their difference seems immediately obvious. Many of their subjects are dressed in clothing from much earlier periods and resemble famous painted portraits of historical figures. Others are contemporaries--Arafat, Castro, the pope--but look too familiar and perfect, standing in characteristic attitudes but before a black backdrop, not in the milieus in which they would look natural.... read more --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
New Lower Price~Hiroshi Sugimoto here turns to the wax figures he first explored in his Dioramas series. Combining poetic imagination and noble elegance, this body of work presents life-size black-and-white portraits of historical figures--Henry VIII, each of his six wives and Oscar Wilde, among others--photographed in wax museums and dramatically lit so as to create haunting images. Featuring an interview with the artist by Tracey Bashkoff and essays by Carol Armstrong, Norman Bryson, Thomas Kellein and Nancy Spector, this book offers fresh insights into the work of this important contemporary artist. Portraits was created specially for the Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin and was exhibited at the former Guggenheim Soho. Edited by Nancy Spector and Tracey Bashkoff. ~Essays by Norman Bryson, Thomas Kellein and Carol Armstrong. Hardcover, 11 x 12 in./170 pgs / 0 color 0 BW75 duotone 0 ~ Item D20399