Sous Les Etoiles Gallery is pleased to present “big nothing,” a group show curated by British abstract photographer Richard Caldicott featuring the work of photographers Nina Brauhauser, Ellen Carey, Luuk de Haan, Karl Martin Holzhäuser, Gottfried Jäger and Erin O’ Keefe. The exhibition is the first US show since 1990 to feature the work of Holzhäuser alongside German compatriot Jäger, both longtime correspondents and collaborators, and the first-ever exhibition of Ellen Carey’s Zerogram photograms and paper negatives. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, June 16, 6-8pm, and an artist talk with Ellen Carey, Luuk de Haan and Erin O'Keefe is scheduled on Monday, June 20, 7pm.
“Titled from a series of works by Luuk de Haan, this exhibition explores the area of alternative abstract photographic practices,” writes Richard Caldicott. Highlighting in turns the creative use of the movement of light, as well as the mathematical lyricism and vast pictorial possibilities of generative and concrete photography, this assembly of photographs is a demonstration of the sensitive relationship between photographer and photographic technique.
Caldicott continues: “Luuk de Haan’s work explores the boundaries between ‘form and formlessness, organic and inorganic, to be or not to be.’ Erin O’Keefe’s Things as They Are series questions the nature of spatial perception using the strategies and knowledge of an architect. The works by Karl Martin Holzhäuser and Gottfried Jäger show the astonishingly rich history of photography as constant experiment, of light as material and the photograph as a concrete and generative object. Reducing photography to new sculptural forms and wall objects, Nina Brauhauser creates ambiguities between 2-dimensional chromogenic prints and 3-dimensional space. Ellen Carey’s unique photograms from 1998-99 again show the rich depth of experimental photography, albeit from a more visceral and process driven perspective. These are all artists that pursue a series of work with intensity of infinite variations and modifications, all with a shared concern of the interplay between colour and perception.”
Nina Brauhauser, b. 1980 in Düsseldorf, studied photography at Folkwang University of the Arts (Essen) and the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague (Netherlands). Her photographs have appeared in numerous gallery and museum exhibitions across Europe, including at Städtisches Museum Kalkar; Museum im Kulturspeicher Würzburg; Galerie Schütte, Essen; FFFZ Kulturforum Düsseldorf; Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, Berlin; Galerie Christa Burger, München; and Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf, among several others. In 2013 Brauhauser participated in Bushwich Open Studios, and in 2012 was awarded “Förderpreis Grosse Kunstausstellung NRW.”
Ellen Carey, b. 1952 in New York, is an educator, independent scholar, guest curator, photographer and lens-based artist, whose unique, one-of-a-kind experimental work spans several decades. Carey has worked in a variety of cameras and formats, including Polaroid SX-70 and Polaroid PN film; b/w to color; 35mm, medium and large format. Her work has appeared in seminal exhibitions alongside the work of Julian Schnabel, Cindy Sherman, Nancy Dwyer, and Robert Mapplethorpe, and has been the subject of 53 one-person exhibitions. Her work is in the permanent collections of over twenty photography and art museums, including George Eastman House, Rochester; Fogg Museum at Harvard University, Cambridge; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Metropolitan Museum of Art and Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven; and most recently, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. “Self in Polaroid,” Be-hold’s current exhibition in Yonkers, NY, features for the first time Carey’s Stopping Down polaroid self portraits.
Luuk de Haan, b. 1964 in Vlaardingen, The Netherlands, explores historical techniques wherein camera movement and light sources, designed in advance, as well as contemporary tools like software and digital drawing, determine shape and composition. Recent exhibitions of the artist’s work include group shows “Bergen Geestgrond,” “Inspiratie-kunst, kennis en natuur” and “Silence out Loud” (curated by Joost Zwagerman) at Museum Kranenburgh, Bergen; “Blind Date II” at Dapiran Art Project Space, Utrecht; and “Ways of the Imagination” at Witteveen Visual Art Centre, Amsterdam. A forthcoming group show with Richard Caldicott also opens in June at DIEHL CUBE, Berlin. Besides his photographic work, Luuk de Haan also composes music.
Karl Martin Holzhäuser, b. 1944 in Germany, is one of the earliest champions of Concrete Photography. Today, Holzhäuser has returned to the roots of his chosen artistic medium, creating a new genre in the field of cameraless photography that combines the stringency of premeditated instructions with elements of calculated chance. Calling this work “Lichtmalerei” or “painting with light,” Holzhäuser works completely in the dark, following a predevised “score” of the movement of light from memory, and allowing for extemporaneous adjustments by hand. The work of Karl Martin Holzhäuser can be found in the collections of the Museum für Kunst und Geschichte, Freiburg; The Artothek Kunstverein, Bielefeld; the photographic collections of the cities of Leinfelden and Detmold; Marburger Kunstverein, Marburg; the Peter C. Ruppert Collection at The Museum im Kulturspeicher Würzburg; and the Schupmann Collection, among others.
Gottfried Jäger, b. 1937 in Germany, is now recognized as one of the greatest names in German photography. Jäger has said that he has tried to produce a “photograph of photography.” His work was recently the subject of a major exhibition at Steven Kasher Gallery, titled “Gottfried Jäger: A Photograph of Photography,” which was the first show in the US since 1995 to feature Jäger’s work and the first retrospective of the photographer outside of Europe. In 2014, Jäger won the Cultural Award from the German Society for Photography, a prize that some of the most eminent photographers have also been awarded. Jäger’s work is held in the permanent collections of the George Eastman House, Rochester; the Sprengel Museum, Hannover; the Museum Ludwig, Cologne; the Ruppert Collection, Museum Würzburg; the Museum Folkwang, Essen; the Fotomuseum im Münchner Stadtmuseum, Munich; the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg; and the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris. He currently lives and works in Germany, where he also serves at the photography advisor for the Peter C. Ruppert Concrete Art in Europe museum collection.
Erin O’Keefe, b. 1962 in Bronxville, NY, is a visual artist and an architect. Her work explores both the specific properties of photography and many of the material and theoretical concerns of architecture. She received her Master of Architecture degree from Columbia University and her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Cornell University. She is in conversation with a lineage of photographers from Florence Henri to Barbara Kasten to contemporaries who are also examining photography on an elemental level specific to the digital age. She was recently named one of Photo District News’ “30 New and Emerging Photographers to Watch,” and she has been reviewed or featured in The New Yorker, Collector Daily, Huffington Post, and Paper Journal.
Richard Caldicott, b. 1962, has continually challenged photographic codes of representation in favor of new aesthetic and symbolic intentions. Employing traditional analog photography methods, Caldicott imbues his minimalist set of components with rich, vibrant color. The result is stunningly beautiful abstract work that is both self-contained and part of a larger dialogue, with nods to iconic minimalism, Color Field paintings, and pop reappropriation. His work has been acquired in several significant public and private collections, including the Peter C. Ruppert Collection at The Museum im Kulturspeicher, Würzburg; Goss-Michael Foundation, Dallas; Goldman Sachs International, London; Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany; Sir Elton John Collection, Los Angeles/London; Gert Elfering Collection, Miami; and Fidelity Worldwide Investment, London, among others. A forthcoming group show with Luuk de Haan opens in June at DIEHL CUBE, Berlin.