Hiroshi Sugimoto - Photographs New York Thursday, April 8, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Pace Gallery, New York, 2014

  • Catalogue Essay

    Hiroshi Sugimoto explores the intersection between the shared negative/positive polarity of photography and electricity in his series entitled Lightning Fields. Inspired by the achievements of scientists such as Benjamin Franklin, Michael Faraday, and William Henry Fox Talbot, Sugimoto recreated and adapted their experiments by applying electricity directly to unexposed film – with striking results. The photographs are distinctly elemental in both process and visual impact, resembling trees, rivers, and other natural forms. Through his deep exploration of historical science and careful examination of the photographic process, Sugimoto continues to expand the concept of photography through this powerful series.

  • Artist Biography

    Hiroshi Sugimoto

    Japanese • 1948

    Hiroshi Sugimoto's work examines the concepts of time, space and the metaphysics of human existence through breathtakingly perfect images of theaters, mathematical forms, wax figures and seascapes. His 8 x 10 inch, large-format camera and long exposures give an almost eerie serenity to his images, treating the photograph as an ethereal time capsule and challenging its associations of the 'instant.' 

    In his famed Seascapes, Sugimoto sublimely captures the nature of water and air, sharpening and blurring the elements together into a seamless, formless entity.  This reflection of the human condition and its relationship with time follows through his exploration of historical topics and timeless beauty as he uniquely replicates the world around us.

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Lightning Fields 236

Gelatin silver print, flush-mounted.
58 5/8 x 47 in. (148.9 x 119.4 cm)
Overall 67 1/2 x 55 3/8 in. (171.5 x 140.7 cm)

Signed in pencil, printed title, date and number 2/5 on an artist's label affixed to the reverse of the original frame.

$40,000 - 60,000 

Sold for $113,400

Contact Specialist

Sarah Krueger
Head of Department, Photographs

Vanessa Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs and Deputy Chairman, Americas



New York Auction 8 April 2021