Rome

Elger Esser

Galleria Alessandra Bonomo

Elger Esser spent his youth in Rome before becoming a student of Bernd Becher in Düsseldorf, where he currently lives. This exhibition gave a general overview of Esser’s work via eight pieces, each representing the nearly constant repetition of the same scheme: the horizon between sky, earth, and water. Such extreme specialization—along with reiteration—of subject matter is the prerogative of many present-day photographers, in the same way that seventeenth-century Dutch landscape painters concentrated on only certain types of imagery—seascapes, snowy townscapes, or rustic summertime views—for their clients. Specialization guaranteed quality (someone who was good at ships in a storm might not be able to paint snowy fields equally well) and the artist’s recognizability. Today, this latter prerogative appears to be essential, above all in photography, where it seems more difficult to make

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