new-york

Hiroshi Sugimoto

Sonnabend Gallery

Hiroshi Sugimoto’s intensely still photographs of the sea, museum dioramas, and theaters are excruciatingly concrete. For example, the Sea of Japan, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Pacific Ocean are viewed at particular spots; paradoxically, their tight framing somehow makes them seem all the more boundless. Similarly, the theaters—most of which are located in small American towns—are precisely rendered, yet anonymous. The dioramas of various creatures, some endangered, are from the Museum of Natural History in New York. In all the photographs, the same delicate chiaroscuro works to create a restrained effect, gently rather than pushily melancholy. There is a quietness here that manages to go beyond the passive and active.

All three series deal with out-of-the-way, marginal places. The seascapes most clearly evoke transience and placelessness. The theaters are empty and have a pristine, untouched

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