Hiroshi Sugimoto - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Tuesday, October 11, 2011 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Sonnabend Gallery, New York

  • Catalogue Essay

    “Naming things has something to do with human awareness, with the separation of the entire world from you. So with the Seascapes, I was thinking about the most ancient of human impressions. The time when man first named the world around him…Mystery of mysteries, water and air are right there before us in the sea. Every time I view the sea, I feel a calming sense of security, as if visiting my ancestral home; I embark on a voyage of seeing.”
    Hiroshi Sugimoto

    Ligurian Sea, Frumura is from 1993 and is part of Hiroshi Sugimoto’s renowned Seascapes series. Since the 1980s, Sugimoto produces intriguing photographs of day and night seascapes which deal with the subjects of nature and time but they are also an expression of Sugimoto’s unique craftsmanship of producing the most refined photographs and of bringing the silver-printing process to perfection. The results are seascapes from all over the world in a seemingly indefinite range of greys, blacks and whites. The sea lies in front of the viewer in its entire vastness and deepness, with only the line of the horizon visible, powerfully imposing the feeling that one is face to face with some transcendental/supernatural power.

    This series is very much influenced by the idea of photography as a means of capturing a moment in time and preserving it for eternity. Sugimoto goes further by suggesting that seascapes also allow the viewer to travel back in time which ultimately leads to the divine aspect of the beginning, when there was only water and air. As much as his works are about photography, time and their relationship, this series, however, is also about the pure celebration of nature.

  • 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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Ligurian Sea, Frumura

Gelatin silver print in artist’s frame.
Image: 119.4 × 149.2 cm (47 × 58 3/4 in); overall: 152.5 × 182.2 cm (60 × 71 3/4 in).
Signed ‘H Sugimoto’ on a label affixed to the reverse. This work is from an edition of 5.

£200,000 - 300,000 

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

12 October 2011