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Alvin Booth

"In House Nudes"

Exhibition from

September 17th  until December 20th, 2023

Opening on Sunday 17 September

from 12am to 6pm in the presence of the artist.


Opening hours:

from September 19th to October 8th, 2023

Wed. - Fri. 4pm - 7pm, Sat. 11am - 3pm

from October 9th to December 20th, 2023

by phone appointment only 0177 3202913.


in focus Galerie, B. Arnold is pleased to present for the first time Alvin Booth’s In House Nudes, which is accompanied by Edition Vervais’s publication of the work.


In House Nudes began in a barn in the Languedoc region of France where the photographer and his wife began spending time in 1989. The barn had a dirt floor, a roof with a couple of holes, and a stable where 19th century travelers kept their horses. The house that came with the barn had been an old village inn, and the photographer set to work on and in the aging structures that would become an extension of his creative output and the foundation of In House Nudes.

 

Thirty years after the series began, In House Nudes reflects a culmination of work that the photographer made but did not exhibit or publish while producing the Corpus, Osmosis, and Nocturnes series amongst others. The centrality to In House Nudes of the home and surrounding landscape represents the most immediate and radical shift in the photographer’s development. The shift occurred parallel to the creation of a central body of work that shares the artist’s concentration on views of the nude human form magnified and burnished by unseen narratives and processes of production. The In House Nude series is printed on Awagami Bamboo paper and framed with the same materials and techniques the photographer used to weld and build the window frames, staircases, and atriums of the original house and barn. 

 

My dogma has always been one camera, one lens, one light,” the photographer says. “I print what I see framed in the viewfinder. I never like to crop an image. For In House Nudes, I switched my Arri hot light for the sun - part choice and part lack of a decent power supply. All of the images are shot in natural light.”  In house is a term employed by companies that produce their work without hiring outside of the organization. When asked about it, the photographer says “the images are not all inside the house. But they are in house in every possible sense. I choose what I see from and in the house, which then becomes what you see. Of course,” he adds with a smile and pauses to point his visitor to the entrance of his studio where a small plaster object has been embedded in the  doorframe.  Unobserved until this moment, a plaster breast of generous proportion swells from the base of the frame. How many visitors have brushed by this small, playful signature? “There is plenty you won’t see,” he says, answering the unasked question. “Or not yet.


Works from the Corpus, Ova, Osmosis and Nocturnes (Ghost Prints) series complement the exhibition, allowing visitors to trace the artist's development.



"Corpus" sketches gesturally powerful bodies, both female and male, with a mix of tones ranging from pure black and white to a warm oxblood sepia. The tones recall the beginnings of photography, but the poses recall an even more distant history, that of classical sculpture. Booth creates a tangible surface on both the model's skin and the surface of the photograph itself. He relies on and revels in the mutations and flaws created by the chemical processing of the photographs. The figures are illuminated only through the subtle means of chiaroscuro, a kind of blending in which darkness is gently and seamlessly transformed into legible form.

The images in "Osmosis" are conceptions of form as stylized as charcoal drawings. Figures constructed from shadows, blended and erased, create a rich depth that extends across the picture plane but does not reach back into it. Perspective is compressed, and the body, a substrate upon which light acts, is at times illuminated to the point of being consumed, or bleached into a still, pale background. Delicate midtones articulate areas that gently blend into one another without being constrained by boundaries. Gesture triumphs over detail.

"Ghost Prints," this series of works, grew out of an invitation to a shoot in Kiev in the spring of 2015. At first glance, these sculptural photographs appear to be nothing more than shiny black boxes on the wall. When night falls or the ambient light changes, a soft luminescence comes to life. Lyrical, almost balletic figures emerge, their movement reflected in the gesture of the carbon shell obscuring them.

Elliott Erwitt

Goodbye Elliott !

We mourn the loss of our highly esteemed and endearing artist, the American photographer
Elliott Erwitt,
who died peacefully at home surrounded by his family on the night of November 29-30, 2023 at the age of 95, as Erwitt's closest assistant Mio informed us on Thursday, November 30th in the evening.
Many of legendary photographer Elliott Erwitt's iconic images are firmly anchored in the photographic canon and his incomparable visual humor is appreciated worldwide. His humor was also evident in his annual New Year's greetings, which we unfortunately have to do without now. (Here is one of our favorite motifs).

In a memorial exhibition for Elliott, we are showing a very nice selection of his most famous black and white photographs and his rare color pictures, all of which were still printed in his studio.

Goodbye ELLIOTT !

Exhibition from 13.01.2024 to 09.03.2024
Opening on Saturday, 13.1. from 7 - 9 pm
Opening hours:
until 03.02.: Wed. - Fri. 4 - 7 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
04.02. - 09.03. by appointment under 0177 3202913