Hans P. Kraus Jr. Fine Photographs to Exhibit at TEFAF NY, May 4-8
New York - Hans P. Kraus Jr. Fine Photographs will exhibit iconic images from the history of photography at TEFAF New York on May 4-8, 2018, at the Park Avenue Armory. The photographs highlight developments in the medium through the experiments and masterworks of nineteenth-century photographers, and in works by more recent and contemporary artists. On view will be work by William Henry Fox Talbot, Gustave Le Gray, Lewis Carroll, Eugène Atget, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Adam Fuss, and others.
In the early 1840s, William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877) placed a piece of lace in contact with photographically-sensitized paper to produce a boldly graphic image. When he first held it in front of a group of people, they thought it was an actual piece of lace and were stunned to learn that it was a photographic representation instead. This provided Talbot with an early method of demonstrating the power of photography to capture detail comparable to the best Dutch painters. A fine salt print, Black Lace, early 1840s, will be on display.
Since the 1970s, Hiroshi Sugimoto (b. 1948) has used photography to investigate how visual representation interrogates history. Working with an even earlier Talbot negative, Sugimoto’s toned gelatin silver print, Photogenic Drawing 008, Lace, c. 1839, 2008, greatly enlarges and interprets Talbot’s original photogenic drawing negative Lace, circa 1839. This is part of an inspired series in which Sugimoto created work from negatives Talbot had never printed.
A striking ocean view by Gustave Le Gray (1820-1884), La Vague Brisée, Mer Mediterranée (The Breaking Wave), an albumen print from a collodion negative, 1857, is one in a series of poetic and meditative seascapes made in Normandy and the Mediterranean that brought the photographer international acclaim for technical and artistic achievement. Here, Le Gray shows nature’s elements while simultaneously capturing motion in a tableau of sky, wind-filled sailboats racing across the horizon, and waves crashing against the rocks. Of this series of views, the dramatic and dynamic La Vague Brisée is Le Gray's only vertical composition. The photograph was very popular in its day, and is one of only three images for which he filed for copyright with the French Ministry of the Interior. The seascapes Le Gray created between 1856 and 1858 are the works for which he is most celebrated.
The exhibition includes a rare 1862 albumen print from a glass negative, circa 1856, by pioneering neurologist and physiologist Duchenne de Boulogne (1806-1875), the first scientist to explain that facial expressions were connected to human emotions through discrete muscle actions. The results of Duchenne’s experiments and collaboration with photographer Adrien Tournachon, illustrated in Mécanisme de la physionomie humaine, occupy a distinct place at the intersection of art and science.
Louis Robert (1810-1882) was raised at the royal porcelain factory at Sèvres. He was the head of the glass-painting atelier from 1848-1871. Robert was among the earliest French artists to take up photography. His still lifes of the Sèvres factory’s products, including a coated salt print of Vase de la Guerre (vase Mansart), Sèvres, were made to display these accomplishments at the Exposition Universelle of 1855.
Vernon Heath (1819-1895) likely began making carbon enlargements from smaller, older negatives in the 1870s. At the 1878 Exposition Universelle in Paris, Heath was awarded a gold medal for his large carbon print enlargements, such as Burnham Beeches. Heath became well known for his collodion portraits of the Royal Family, members of the Court, and other important personages. From 1857 to 1865 Heath contributed regularly to photographic exhibitions and his views of Burnham Beeches were considered some of the finest photographs of the time.