Barbara Claus

Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography

In “Entr’ouverture,” an exhibition of enlarged details of photographs taken in unnamed European graveyards and charcoal drawings based on Minimalist structures, Barbara Claus explores memory and its erosion.

Claus selects subjects—a tablet in the shape of an open book, cast-iron angels that stand guard in a cemetery, and an abandoned grave site—characterized by a sentimentality that permeates the exhibition. Their surfaces, flooded with gray light, read as details of a larger whole. Expanded in scale, these photographs have an authority that transcends the individual object. Together they serve as a metaphor for melancholy and the sadness of life passing.

In this show—one of a series of exhibitions on the theme of death, organized by the gallery—Claus dealt less with the subject of mortality than with the kind of erasure that results over time and the psychological distance forged by absence.

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