Hiroshi Sugimoto, ‘Conceptual Forms 0027’, 2004, Japan Society Benefit Auction 2016

Seascape, Theater and Diorama: Hiroshi Sugimoto has created celebrated photography series which distill the passage of time with an acute awareness of history’s many layers, keen aesthetic sensibility, and subtle wit. This photograph, from the series Conceptual Forms, depicts one of several 19th-century German mechanical models that Sugimoto found at the University of Tokyo, originally used to illustrate the dynamics of Industrial Revolution-era technology. The photograph is a nod to the artist Marcel Duchamp’s "The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass)" (1915-23), a 9-foot-tall work that appears to be a complex set of mechanical diagrams, but ultimately visualizes the mechanics of human eroticism. Sugimoto will present a new project at Japan Society in Fall 2017.


Please note: After bidding closes on Artsy, bids on this piece will be transferred and executed at the live auction component of the Japan Society Benefit & Auction on the evening of November 2, 2016.

Series: Conceptual Forms

Signature: Signed.

Image rights: Courtesy of the artist

About Hiroshi Sugimoto

To craft his exquisite black-and-white images, Hiroshi Sugimoto uses a 19th-century-style, large-format camera, exploring his idea of photography as a method for preserving and modeling time. “Endeavors in art are…mere approximations, efforts to render visible unseen realms,” he says. Influenced by Surrealism and Dada, Sugimoto's work is intimately connected to Marcel Duchamp, as in his series "Conceptual Forms" (2004), (inspired by Duchamp's The Large Glass, 1923), large-scale black-and-white photographs of mathematical models and tools. Ongoing subjects include dioramas, theaters, Buddhist sculptures, and seascapes—the latter captured in a famous series of near-abstractions, coupled with specific geographic titles. A supreme craftsman, Sugimoto often varies the length of exposure to achieve tonal richness, as in “Joe” (2006), photographs of Richard Serra’s works that function as visual memories more than documentation. “I imagine my vision then try to make it happen, just like painting,” he says. “The reality is there, but how to make it like my reality.”

Japanese, b. 1948, Tokyo, Japan, based in New York, New York