Hiroshi Sugimoto - Photographs New York Wednesday, April 6, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Hiroshi Sugimoto’s engagement with the work of William Henry Fox Talbot began as a collector of Talbot’s earliest works. Talbot was an inventor of the photographic medium who initially made prints by laying objects, in this case flora, on photosensitive paper which were developed in sunlight. Termed photogenic drawings, the resulting images were, in effect, negatives. It is from these negatives that Sugimoto created a series of the same name, including Asplenium Halleri, Grande Chartreuse, 1821 - Cardamine Pratensis, the present lot. Enlarged and printed in a format typical of Sugimoto’s work but wholly different from Talbot’s, the contemporary prints are mirror images and inverted in tone to their 19th century counterparts. By creating a positive to Talbot’s negative, Sugimoto expands upon the earliest explorations of the photographic medium, demonstrating the breadth his intellectual and artistic process.


    William Henry Fox Talbot, Asplenium Halleri, Grande Chartreuse 1821 – Cardamine Pratensis, April 1839.
    • Provenance

      Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco

    • 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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Asplenium Halleri, Grande Chartreuse, 1821 - Cardamine Pratensis, April 1839

Toned gelatin silver print, flush-mounted.
36 3/4 x 29 1/2 in. (93.3 x 74.9 cm)
Overall 49 x 41 1/4 in. (124.5 x 104.8 cm)

Signed in ink, printed title, date and number 1/10 on an artist's label affixed to the frame backing.

Full Cataloguing

$25,000 - 35,000 

Contact Specialist

Sarah Krueger
Head of Department, Photographs

Vanessa Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs and Chairwoman, Americas


New York Auction 6 April 2022